France wooing Indian professionals with liberalised permits

New Delhi, March 18 (IANS) France is going all out to woo qualified Indian professionals with liberalised work permits.

Jean Yves Lavoir, the head of professional immigration department in France’s immigration ministry, is now in India to create awareness about the new liberalised categories and to increase the number of applicants.

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“We know that Indians usually go to English-speaking environment, but we want you to try France as well. Don’t be afraid, even if you don’t speak French right now,” Lavoir told reporters Wednesday.

France has started to give out “skills and transit permit” last year, under which only 450 permits have been issued worldwide in the last six months.

This permit allows the holder to stay up to three years, compared to just one year for ordinary work permit holders.

“The main criteria is that you should have a job in france to carry out a professional project,” Lavoir said.

The French official added that there was no limit on how many people can be given this permit. “We have no quotas.”

Similarly, another new permit is the three-year “intra-company transfer permit” which facilitates transfers within the company. Unlike the skills and transit permit, this one is not renewable.

French companies in India employ about 100,000 people, while Indian companies in France employ just about 6,000.

Lavoir acknowledged that this new visa policy preceded the current economic crisis, but did not feel that the slowdown would lead to a reversal in policy.

“This crisis will end one day and we will have to attract talent to our country,” he said.