The secret Fast-track VISA program for French Startups hiring US Millennials

Mar 17, 2015
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Hiring is a pain. Always. It’s even harder when the person you want to hire was born on the other side of an arbitrary line that some people we’ve never met set up in a time period before we were born. Yep – VISA’s. They suck, or so I’ve heard. My dual nationality (Irish/Californian) makes me a relatively rare ( & valuable) profile, soliciting angry stares from my fellow Americans who come to work in France.

The biggest issue with hiring the best talent for your startup, whether in France or elsewhere, is that your best talent does not always live near you. Americans have always had a fascination with France, and I’ve always said that Americans would easily come to France if the VISA process was simple, clear, and fast. Well, last week I came across a new pilot program running out of the French American Chamber of Commerce in New York City that is exactly this.

Here’s how it works: any company (startup or otherwise) base in France who would like to hire US talent (of any kind), aged between 18 & 35 (hence, Millennial) can do so with the help of the FACCNYC, who will handle all form processing, and will expedite the process (turnaround in 4-6 weeks). While this program applies to virtually any job – pastry chef, basketball coach, neurosurgeon – the FACCNYC quickly found that the process was most quickly adopted by startups, like Bunkr, who recently hired an American to come work for them.

The big advantage of the program is that it circumvents the traditional clause of talent VISA’s which require the company to justify the reason why the job offer being filled cannot be fulfilled by a French (/European) national. For jobs like “Community Manager,” this can be a pain in the ass, which is why the VISA is typically claimed by engineering talent, evoking the lack of supply for highly-trained positions.

All the details of the program are available on their website, and you don’t have to be located in NYC, or even be a member of FACCNYC to take advantage of the offer – as of January 1st, 2015, they’ve opened it up for the entire year to see what happens, and, according to FACCNYC’s Joannah Bell, the goal is for the program, if successful, to continue.

With the ability to offer fast-tracked VISA’s like a carpool lane for Americans looking to move to Paris, things may get a little easier for French startups.

The Rude Baguette organized a bi-annual Paris Startup Job Fair for talent looking to get hired in France. Join us on March 28th for our next edition.