France – New Actions to Restrict Travel, Extend Immigration Documents’ Validity
France – New Actions to Restrict Travel, Extend Immigra
The French government issued a decree restricting travel, various activities, and many aspects of daily life to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. On 16 March 2020, the French government also took new measures regarding the spread of the virus in relation to the residence permits of foreign nationals. On 24 March, Emergency Law 2020-290 of March 23 was published, with more rules around immigration and travel.
The French government issued a decree restricting travel, various activities, and many aspects of daily life to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19.1
On 16 March 2020, the French government also took new measures regarding the spread of the virus in relation to the residence permits of foreign nationals. On 24 March, Emergency Law 2020-290 of March 23 was published. Specific immigration provisions are stipulated in that Law.2
WHY THIS MATTERS
France, like many other countries, is limiting cross-border travel into the country with significant impact for the mobility of a company’s international workforce. The closing – for the most part – of France’s borders and other travel, entry-exit, and visa and residence permit handling matters that have been announced, will impact companies with assignee populations in terms of existing and future assignments inbound to France or outbound from France. For assignees currently in France, residence permits and several other related documents that “regularise” their presence and ability to live and work in France, are being extended.
Employees and their families who may have received offers for an international assignment to France may need to postpone the commencement of the assignment. This could cause some anxiety, stress, and inconvenience, especially where plans for relocation are already underway.
Awareness of developments, which are unfolding rapidly, is vital to help minimise disruptions to operations, individuals’ professional and personal lives, and to manage associated risks and costs.
For foreign nationals in a “regular situation,” the period of validity of the following documents is extended by three months (from 16 March 2020):
- Long-stay visas;
- Residence permits, whatever their nature, with the exception of specials residence permits issued to foreign diplomatic and consular staff;
- Temporary residence permits (APS);
- Certificates of asylum request;
- Receipts for residence permit applications.
Please note that an emergency law has been published and should be applicable with minimal delay. The French government will issue specific orders to extend the residence permits. What is expected to result from this is the different residence permits listed above may be extended up to 180 days instead of 90 days. This should be applicable to those permits expiring between 16 March and 15 May 2020.
These measures are applicable on French territory and allow the individual to remain in a “regular situation” during this exceptional period.
Holders of an expired document, who benefit from this extension, are advised not to leave French territory at the risk of encountering difficulties upon re-entering.
1 See (in French) Décret n° 2020-260 du 16 mars 2020 portant réglementation des déplacements dans le cadre de la lutte contre la propagation du virus covid-19,NOR: PRMX2007858D published in the Journal Officiel, click here.
For the many steps taken by the French government (in French), see the website of the president of France.
For news of actions and steps taken by France’s Ministère du Travail (Labour Ministry), click here.
For some basic information on actions taken by the government of France (in English) see the Embassy of the United States in France webpage.
2 Loi 2020 – 290 of March 23, 2020 Loi d’urgence pour faire face à l’épidémie de Covid-19 published on 24 March 2020 in the Journal Officiel. NOR: PRMX2007883L ELI, click here.
* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labour law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.
The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in France.
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