Merchants, craftsmen and industrialists for France and DROM [fr]


A merchant is someone who performs commercial acts, that is, who is involved in the circulation of wealth with a speculative intention and who does so on an ongoing basis; this implies the repetition of commercial acts within the framework of permanent and ongoing activities whose main purpose is to make a profit. A merchant does business in his own name and on his own behalf, and at his own risk.

A craftsman is an independent worker who performs a manual craft in a limited-size business. A craftsman is essentially a manufacturer and a producer, as opposed to a merchant who performs commercial acts and who buys for the purpose of reselling, without any transformation.

An industrialist is a manufacturer who, like a craftsman and as opposed to a merchant, performs a production or transformation activity, in addition to buying and selling. An industrialist is distinguished from a craftsman essentially by the size of his business. Any business having more than ten employees is deemed to be part of the industrial sector.

If you wish to carry on your activities in an Overseas Territory or Community, please contact us.

If you are a national from a member country of the European Union (EU), the OECD, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Andorra or Monaco, you are exempted from this visa. You merely have to register with the business registry (merchants and industrialists) or the crafts directory (craftsmen) in the Department where you will be carrying on your activities on arriving in France.

Documents to be provided

Please provide both the original and 2 copies of the documents. All the documents must be submitted in the order below.

The visa section will give you back the original documents.

Document or photocopy missing = incomplete file = high risk of visa refusal.

  • Three identification photos, in colour, recent (less than three months), original, in 35 mm X 45 mm format with a clear and uniform background. Two photos must be affixed to each form and the third added to the file;
  • Original passport (and copy of your passport’s identification page). The passport must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the end of the stay in France. The visa is made effective by means of a self-adhesive label affixed to one of the pages of the passport;
  • Refugees : RefugeeTravel Document issued in accordance with the 1951 Geneva Convention;
    • Canadian residents with refugees status, even if they have a permanent resident card, must be in possession of this document and present themselves at the consulate at least one month before their travel date.
  • Non Canadian citizens : evidence of your regular status in Canada ;
    • a permanent resident card (photocopy must be recto-verso),
      • IMM 1000 not accepted.
    • or a study permit along with a valid Canadian visa (to ensure the return to Canada),
    • or a work permit along with a valid Canadian visa,
    • or a Canadian visitor’s visa if the holder prove residence over three consecutive months in Canada.

Long-stay visa to work as a merchant, craftsman or industrialist in France :


The Consulate reserves the right to require additional supporting evidence.

Filing the documents does not systematically guarantee issuance of a visa. You should not leave your present job, sell your property or commit yourself in any way before receiving your visa.

Useful addresses

Police certificate

4225, Dorchester Blvd.
Montreal (Qc)
Tel. : (514) 939-8300


Identification Canada
4060, Ste. Catherine West
Montreal (Qc)
Tel. : (514) 939-2244

Research on insolvency
5, Place Ville Marie # 800
Montreal (Qc) H3B 2G2
Tel. : (514) 283-6192 / Fax : (514) 283-9795

Economic services
1501, McGill College Avenue - Suite 1000
Montreal (Qc) H3A 3M8
Tel. : (514) 878-9851

French Chamber of Commerce
Tel. : (514) 281-1246

Fees and timeframes

Application fees (non-refundable): the value of €99 in Canadian currency for long stays payable only by debit card, cash or money orders (exact amount) payable to “consulat de France à Montréal”.

The timeframe for issuing a visa depends on your nationality, even if you are a permanent resident of Canada. Processing time for certain applications can take up to 2 months.

Please consult the following link regarding the Application Processing Time for your information : “Timeframes”.


Attention, you must schedule an appointment in order to submit your application on the Consulate’s website : "Rendez-vous" (in the "Prendre rendez-vous" tab).

Only those persons in possession of the notice to attend will be admitted to the Consulate offices. For security reasons, please be on time.

Before attending, please make sure you bring all the documents indicated on the Consulate Web site that are required to issue the requested visa.

You must submit all original documents, as well as two photocopies of each document.

To avoid penalizing other applicants, if you must cancel your appointment you are strongly requested to do so via the Consulate’s website : "Rendez-vous" (in the "Revoir son rendez-vous" tab).

Last modified on 12/02/2016

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