By Moustafa Daly
France and the United States (U.S.) announced that nationals from both countries will have easier access to investor visas and long-term residencies.
The announcement was made in a joint statement by the French Foreign Ministry and the US Embassy in Paris. The deal was negotiated between officials after the French president’s visit to the U.S. a year ago.
"As part of this commitment, work is underway to simplify procedures for granting and renewing visas and residence permits for investors," said the statement.
What advantages do French and U.S. investors now have?
The deal establishes a streamlined process for obtaining investor visas for nationals from both countries; intended to attract those who are moving with the purpose to set up a business or make an active financial contribution to the country.
U.S. citizens aiming to move to France will now have easy and hassle-free access to obtain a four-year residency under the Passport Talent program in France – the limit was previously set to one year. They can also include their family members and dependents. The investment threshold for this process is set at 300,000 euros.
On the other hand, French investors will now obtain E-1 and E-2 investor visas to the U.S. in a simplified manner. France has been an E-1 and E-2 treaty country since 1960, but the new process will grant them U.S. residency for an initial four years instead of the current two years.
French investors aren’t obliged to meet the minimum investment threshold to pursue U.S. residency under the E-1 and E-2 programs. Still, they should first produce a business plan demonstrating their investments’ viability and benefits to the local economy.
E-2 visas are one of the more popular investment routes to the U.S. Many E-2 treaty countries, like Grenada and Turkey, see their access to E-2 visas as a major advantage for their local citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs. Also, getting an E-2 visa is a sought-after stepping stone to qualifying for the U.S. EB-5 visa.
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