Overview France

last update: February 2012

As in most European countries, the French government wants to limit legal immigration and access to the right of residence for foreigners. His policy is more restrictive, and the administration tends to go beyond legal restrictions and to put additional barriers in access to rights.

The asylum procedure is long, and access to an accommodation can be problematic. The access of minors to the protection they are entitled varies according to the local administration.

The government is trying to restrict other opportunities to move to France in a legal way: the residence permit for medical reasons have just been rendered virtually impossible to obtain, restrictions are announced for the family reuniting (limited to spouse and minor children) and work immigration (the work permit application must be made by the employer). Regularisation procedures exist for undocumented immigrants, but they are long and difficult.

On the other side, there is a very developed network of support groups for migrants, with or without papers, and asylum seekers. It is therefore possible to use these associations to enforce their rights.

The courts routinely condemn the state for failing to uphold the law. So do not hesitate to seize them.

The law of June 16, 2011 further restricted the rights of aliens: making more difficult to obtain a residence permit for foreign patients, longer retention time, weakening the control of the judge on the legality of the detention ...

In view of the elections to be held in May and June, the government hardened its policy: reducing the number of residence permits granted, increased evictions, pressure on the OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) for fewer people get refugee status. It is difficult to know for now how the situation will change after the elections.

If you choose to stay in France, contact an association that may assist you in your efforts and help you enforce your rights.


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