February 11, 2021

Current Travel Restrictions in France

There have been several changes to COVID-19-related restrictions for travel into and out from France in recent weeks. Earlier this year, a travel ban was implemented that severely restricted movement into and out of the country. In the last few days, it has been confirmed that there is no longer a requirement for a “compelling reason” to travel within the EU, so those who wish to enter France from another European Area country are permitted to do so, and there are no restrictions on individuals leaving France to enter another country within the EU zone.

As for travel to and from those countries outside of the EU, departures from France are still subject to the compelling reasons system. While no foreign citizen wishing to leave France and return to their home country or country of residence will be prevented from doing so, there is no guarantee they will be able to return to France without a compelling reason. Only those considered exempt and demonstrating a compelling reason will be permitted, regardless of nationality.

For French and European Zone nationals arriving from a non-European zone country, “compelling” purposes include entering the country for health, family, or professional reasons, or to return to their main residence.

For all other nationals arriving from a non-European zone country, “compelling reasons” cover those entering France as a Passport Talent holder, having a valid French residence permit or a VLS-TS and residing in an EU country or assimilated, British nationals and family members qualifying under the withdrawal agreement, researchers, and students, under certain conditions.

While it has been confirmed that intra-company transfer (ICT) permit holders from all non-EU countries and British posted workers are no longer listed as exempt from the travel restrictions, and the travel ban applies to them, Passport Talent holders do remain exempt and are considered to automatically have a compelling reason to enter France. Intra company transfers who fall under the “Passeport Talent - salarié en mission" scheme may also be exempt.

It is important to be aware that anyone who is permitted to enter France from outside the EU will require a negative PCR test, which must be completed within 72 hours prior to departure, and undergo a seven-day quarantine period upon arrival.

Given the recent changes and rapidly changing developments, we recommend individuals check the latest requirements and restrictions when intending to travel to avoid missing new information.

For further information on travel restrictions into and out of France, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team.

Leanne Cottrell

Leanne Cottrell

As Head of Immigration with Sterling Lexicon, Leanne leads a team of specialists who are responsible for ensuring the entire immigration process is smooth and stress-free for clients, assignees and their accompanying family members. She brings over ten years of experience in strategic immigration management, planning and consultation to her role, and has cultivated invaluable knowledge and experience in processing countless global migration applications. As a trusted partner, she consults with clients on everything from policy considerations and cost or efficiency improvements, to the impact of opening offices in new locations. Leanne is a frequent presenter and author on global immigration topics and trends.

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