Significant changes concerning immigration in France

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Travel rules to France are changing :

Intra-EU travel

No restrictions aside for a negative PCR in the last 72 hours.

Please note, if a traveler enters France, but has undertaken a stay outside the European Union within 14 days prior to arrival, the rules for travelers arriving from non-EU countries will be applicable (mandatory seven-day quarantine).


Travel from a non-EU country

General rules :

Travelers from a non-EU country are only allowed to travel for essential reasons to France. Only some categories of travelers are authorized to enter France and apply for visas (Talent Passport inclusive, but seconded employees are excluded). Health measures are also applicable: a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours and a mandatory seven-day quarantine upon arrival.

Green list :

Restrictions have been relaxed for travelers from 7 countries: Australia, South Korea, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Singapore. Travelers arriving from any of these countries are not subject to any immigration restrictions (visas may be issued regardless of the reason for travel). However, health restrictions apply: a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours and a mandatory seven-day quarantine upon arrival. Negotiations are taking place at European level to review and update this “green list”. France is prepared to include the USA, but subject to reciprocity.

Black list :

Restrictions have been strengthened for travelers from 16 countries: South Africa, Argentina, Bahrein, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chili, Colombia, Costa Rica, United Arab Emirates, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Turkey and Uruguay. Travelers arriving from any of these countries are subject to very restrictive essential rules for travel. Only French, European and non-European citizens having their primary residence in France are allowed entry to France (subject to condition). No visas are issued in these countries until further notice. Strict health measures are also applicable: a negative PCR test in the last 36 hours or in the last 72 hours, a negative antigen test in the last 24 hours and a mandatory 10-day quarantine period on arrival.



Reorganisation of State services

The DIRECCTE (Regional Department of Enterprise, Competition, Consumer Affairs, Labour and Employment) have been disbanded since 6th April 2021. The Regional Departments for Economy, Employment, Labour and Solidarity (DREETS) and, in the Île-de-France region, the Regional and Inter-regional Departments for Economy, Employment, Labour and Solidarity (DRIEETS) will be responsible for examining work permit applications. Applications are submitted via an online platform (ANEF) and, at present, processing times are very reasonable.


Reform for the employment of foreign nationals

A decree of 31st March 2021 and 2 decrees of 1st April 2021 pertaining to the reform for examination criteria concerning work permits updated the list of documents to be provided and implemented a new list of regional employment requirements.

The major impact of this reform concerns the case of changing employer: until present, the rule stated that any foreign national holding an employment residency permit (employee, talent passport holder) was bound to a sponsor employer for 2 years. In the event of any involuntary termination of the employment contract, a change of employer without any immigration formalities was possible and, in the event of any voluntary termination, a change of employer was necessary, and was all too rarely approved by the authorities.

At present, the rule of 2 years no longer exists:

A “Talent Passport Holding” can change employer at any time, regardless of the ground for terminating the employment contract, without any immigration formality being required (a prior declaration of authentication continues to be required).

An ordinary “employeeortemporary employeeshould be issued with a work permit prior to signing any new employment contract, regardless of the ground for terminating the contract. Enforceability of the employment situation should be anticipated.


New developments concerning Talent Passport Holders

In the coming days, the ANEF platform will be open to electronic applications for “Talent Passport” residency permits at the national level. This will concern initial applications and renewals of residency permits. For changes in status, Prefectures are awaiting confirmation.


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