France – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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Update : June 1sup>st, 2020

Entrance restrictions updated

What is change?

France has updated entrance restrictions and related regulations.

Key Points:

  • As of May 25, the following foreign nationals may enter France:
    • Citizens of France, the European Union, Andorra, the U.K., Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, Switzerland, San Marino and the Vatican, as well as their spouses and children if they reside in France or if they are passing through France on their way to the country of which they are nationals or residents.
    • Third-country seasonal agricultural workers whose main residence is in the above countries, and who hold a prior declaration of employment, a receipt with the Simplified TESA or the TESA+ order number, a contract of employment signed with a company or an agricultural company operating in France.
    • Posted European workers whose assignment cannot be postponed, and who hold a service agreement specifying assignment duration.
    • Third-country nationals, as well as their spouses and children, with a valid French or European residence permit who are traveling to their main residence.
  • All foreign nationals entering France must hold a travel certificate in addition to the other required documentation (e.g., proof of residence, work certificate, etc.).
  • As of May 25, travelers from outside of Europe are subject to 14-day quarantine.
  • Travelers flying from Spain will be asked to enter voluntary quarantine. This measure shall also be implemented for travelers from the U.K. once the British quarantine has entered into force.

France closed its borders in April, and the EU external border closure will remain in force until at least June 15.

Update : May 15th, 2020

Change regarding state of emergency

What is change?

A new law is now in effect as of May 12.

The state of emergency initially planned for two months starting March 24 is now extended until July 10. Several new regulations regarding quarantine and movement of people are included.

In addition, the lockdown is lifted as of May 11 with the result that certificates are no longer needed to prove the purpose of leaving home.

Some kindergarten, primary and middle schools are also reopening. Some shops are also opening, with the exception of restaurants and bars, provided they implement all sanitary requirements. French government administrations including the prefectures will resume progressively and will review applications in accordance with necessity (right of asylum takes priority).

Borders are still closed until further notice. However, the European Commission requires the travel ban continue until at least June 15.

What does the change include?

People can move freely within 100 kilometers of their home (in French cities and French overseas territories). Those wishing to exceed this limitation outside their department of residence must complete and sign an attestation stating one of the following reasons for traveling beyond the 100 kilometers:

  • Urgent work.
  • Studies or taking an exam.
  • Medical reasons.
  • Urgent family reasons.
  • Reporting to police/national authorities.
  • Summons to appear before administrative and judicial authorities.
  • Specific tasks imposed by the administrative authorities.

Government officials can impose a 14-day quarantine on those coming from a third country (not including European Union countries and the U.K.) in the following situations:

  • If they are arriving from an area deemed infected by COVID-19 (according to the Ministry of Health list).
  • Those who are infected by COVID-19 as certified by a certificate from a medical doctor.

Update : March 31st, 2020

Labor Office closures, limited services affect application processing

What is change?

Labor Office application processing is halted or delayed as a result of France’s COVID-19 self-isolation mandate.

Key Points

  • The Labor Offices have either suspended operations or are only partially operational, affecting work permit application processing.
  • When normal operations resume, longer processing times are anticipated.
  • During mandatory home confinement, people may only leave their residence for essential purchases of food and medicine, to seek medical care, to assist those in need, and for work. Anyone who leaves home must hold an individual statement explaining the reason for leaving confinement.

Employers must be prepared for significant disruptions to employee mobility and all but essential business activity and government services.

Update : March 18, 2020

New measures to prevent the spread of the virus: Closure of nurseries, schools and universities and all non-indispensable places.

Further to an address to the nation on March 16 evening by the French President and further to the Ministerial Council held on March 17, the French government has implemented the following measures :

  • A total-containment of the population during at least 15 days effective March 17 from noon is now in place. Individuals are allowed to get out only for essentials needs (work purpose, make essential purchases (food, medicine, ..), visit doctors, child care or help vulnerable individual with the entire respect of the sanitary barrier). They must hold an individual statement reporting the reasons for being out of their home
  • In an agreement with the other Schengen member states, all travel between non-European countries and EU countries are suspended for 30 days, making impossible for non EU nationals to enter France. The exception to this rule concerns French nationals, non-EU nationals holding a French long term visa and family of EU nationals

Impact in France – Communication from the public services:

  • The local administrations (notably the Prefectures) in all French areas are closed until further notice. Any appointment planned during the closure period is cancelled and will be postponed
  • In order to maintain the rights (work, residence, social right) in France of non-EU nationals legally present in France, the validity of their residence permits, expiring from March 16th 2020, is extended for three (3) additional months.
    The documents concerned are:

    • Long-stay visa
    • French residence permit, regardless the immigration status
    • Temporary residence permit
    • APS (temporary authorization of stay)
    • Asylum application attestation

In such situation the non EU nationals will be considered in a lawful status from a domestic perspective; still any travel outside France is prohibited as no return to France will be possible with expired residence permits.

This transition period should be sufficient to have the situation get back to normal. Still, we recommend to continue liaising with the local administration to apply for any further appointment.

Impact from abroad: Communication from the official visa website for France

Due to the current situation regarding the spread of the coronavirus, France has decided to suspend the issuance of visas until further notice.

All visa types are affected : short-stay Schengen visas, long-stay visas to France, visas to overseas territories. This suspension also applies to visa applications for which an appointment has already been made.

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