November 5, 2020

Further Lockdowns in France: What’s the Immigration Impact?

As the number of coronavirus cases begins to climb again across Europe, many countries are going back into lockdown at varying levels of severity. France, for example, has reverted back to lockdown status until at least December 1 in order to try to bring the virus under control. However, it is expected that the impact will not be felt as strongly as the initial phase earlier this year.

During this renewed status of lockdown in France for the next month, the external borders of the EU will remain closed. However, exceptions will be made for spouses of French nationals, employees with a Talent Passport status and Intra-company transfer (ICT) posted workers, who will be permitted to enter the territory. In order to enter France, individuals will still need to provide proof of a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which must be obtained 72 hours before arrival, in addition to a certificate of derogatory travel.

With regards to application processing within France, administrations such as the prefectures, OFII and DIRECCTE will remain open and will continue to proceed with appointments already made. Individuals attending the appointment will be required to provide the invitation and the new travel certificate. It is expected that while the offices remain open, there will be significant delays both in obtaining new application appointments and in the processing times of accepted submissions.

Despite the above, consular administrations processing outbound visa applications for other countries from within France are starting to close, with some suspending or postponing processing, or reducing services. Foreign authorities have the right to restrict the entry into their respective countries for French nationals and/or those entering the country from France. Furthermore, they are within their rights to enforce such measures such as Covid-19 testing and quarantine. As such, it is advised to plan any overseas travel carefully and as far in advance as possible as delays are expected.

For further information on the impact of lockdown on current immigration applications for France, please contact the Sterling Lexicon immigration team at 

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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