Immigration update: France | Steps to reopening Schenghen and EU borders

Steps to reopening Schenghen and EU borders

1st July : 1st step to reopening of external borders

External Schengen borders, which are closed since mid-March because of the Covid-19 pandemic, should progressively start reopening as of tomorrow, 1st July 2020.

The European Union State Members, which are for most part of the Schengen Space, has finalised a list of 15 countries where the control of the virus is equivalent or better to the European level (max. 16 new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days). Travellers from these countries could enter the Schengen area from tomorrow on.

These are the following: Algeria, Australia, Canada, China, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia, Uruguay.

The EU requires that the open countries do open their own borders to EU travellers, by reciprocity. This is not fully the case to date for China and Thailand so travellers from these countries may still have restrictions in the coming weeks.

Similarly, Algeria is on the list but has just announced new closure of its borders until further notice, because of a recent raise in the number of infections.

Borders with the USA, Russia, India, Brazil, Turkey and other major sources of travellers for the EU will for now remain closed, but the situation shall be reassessed by the EU countries every second week, to allow fast action based on sanitary situations in non-EU countries.

It is to be noted that the countries remain sole decision-makers for their borders, but States have agreed upon a global coordination, which appears to be a prerequisite now that internal Schengen borders have reopened.

During the reopening period, consulates will receive instructions from their own Member State. It is likely that they will prioritise some types of applications in the “open countries” such as long-stay work visas, student visas, family visas. Usual checks will then occur upon arrival, and quarantine may be imposed.

In the “still-closed countries”, they have until now authorisation to deliver some types of visas in very exceptional circumstances, but the final entry into the country is to be granted by the Border Authority upon arrival.

If the economy urges the EU and the whole Schengen Space to reopen its borders, precaution remains the key word and the approach taken today is both progressive and differentiated.

We will continue to keep you updated on further developments and assist you as soon as possible to get the requested authorisations for future and current assignees to enter and circulate.

If you have any queries, please feel free to contact us

Alexandra Demeure
Immigration Manager
Western Europe cluster

To read more immigration updates, click here.

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