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FRANCE: President Francois Hollande Introduced Measures to Enhance the Attractiveness of France

President François Hollande introduced a series of measures to enhance the attractiveness of France on February 17, 2014, at the "Strategic Council for Attractiveness."

The new measures introduced by President Hollande, designed primarily to attract foreign capital, also introduce advances in immigration policy to attract international talent, strengthen the status of foreign students in France, and address social issues. The measures include:

Creation of a "talents passport" residence permit: valid for four years, renewable, to be issued to qualified young graduates, researchers, investors, corporate officers, and highly skilled workers. This measure is expected to be implemented by 2015.

Facilitating access to employment for foreigners whose professional stay in France is less than three months: the temporary work permit will be replaced by a system of prior declaration.

Facilitating business travel: entrepreneurs who regularly come to France for economic exchanges may have long-term visas for five years. In addition, visas for foreign businesspersons will be issued within 48 hours, as compared to several weeks currently. This measure is expected to be extended to tourists from emerging countries, and is already the case for Chinese nationals.

Facilitating the reception of foreign students in France: students will receive a residence permit, valid for at least the duration of the studies pursued. In addition, students with a master's degree should be able to obtain, by a simplified process, an authorization to stay one year to find a qualified job corresponding to their university studies. The steps to change to working status should thus be facilitated. Finally, the government will provide for a further simplified procedure for master's students with a particular profile of excellence.

Signing new social security agreements with emerging countries: France signed agreements with Brazil and Uruguay that should come into force quickly. The government will also sign a social security agreement with China and plans to begin negotiations with Mexico later this year.

Providing for easy installation in France of foreign start-ups: the French government wants to help foreign start-ups in France. Also, foreign start-ups will have a single point of contact for their efforts, the "French Tech Help Desk." Moreover, the "French Tech Ticket" will allow an ambitious entrepreneurial project, if selected, to receive financial assistance of € 25,000. In addition, foreign subsidiaries of large groups that would settle in France will be eligible for assistance from the public investment bank.

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