France is not only open to foreign investment it also has an entrepreneurial spirit and welcomes new talent to its shores. As such, attractive conditions are in place for those who choose to live and work in the country.
Notable expatriate benefits for foreign investors considering investing in and moving their families to France, include:
> Tax exemption on income earned outside France: employees on intra-group transfers or who are directly recruited abroad, directors and certain non-salaried personnel may claim exemption from income tax on up to 50% of their total income.
> Exemption from paying wealth tax (ISF) on assets or estates held outside France for five years
Reduction in capital gains tax through a tax exemption of 50% on income from “passive” sources such as dividends and interest.
A range of flexible residence permits
- The “Skills and Expertise” residence permit: a multi-year residence permit (valid for three years on a renewable basis) enabling the holder to live and work in France (as a salaried employee or on a commercial basis).
- The “Expatriate Employee” residence permit: this enables seconded and expatriate employees working within companies of the same group or establishments of the same company (“intra-group mobility”) to hold a multi-year residence permit (valid for three years).
- The “European Blue Card”: may be requested as from January 2012. This permit allows highly skilled foreign nationals to work in France and then, 18 months later, in other EU Member States without completing any further formalities. This residence permit is valid for one to three years and may be awarded to employees with at least five years’ experience in a specific sector or at least three years of higher education. Their monthly gross pay must exceed around €4,000.
The residence permits above offer any accompanying family members (spouses, children) full entitlement to the “Private and Family Life” residence permit, which also enables them to seek employment without having to seek a work permit.
Schools with international programs
- France has an excellent education system, and boasts no fewer than 306 schools with international programs in a wide range of major European and world languages.