Immigration update: France | First step of the phased process for lifting restrictions

As announced in our Immigration Update on France dated 16th April, France enters today, 11th May, the first phase of its general reopening, after the COVID-19 lockdown that started on 17 March.

Kindergartens and first levels of schools return today, with strict distancing and hygiene measures. Companies and shops reopen, with still a recommendation to e-work whenever possible. Small museums and libraries can reopen too. Cafes, cinemas, restaurants and large cultural places shall remain closed until at least the end of May. Masks must be worn in public transportation and is strongly recommended when physical distance cannot be maintained.

Travel within France is possible within a 100km distance and no certificate is required to go outside any longer. Immigration authorities such as OFII and prefectures will slowly resume work in the coming weeks, but with strict limitations to limit contact with public and severe restrictions on the types of application that can be filed now.

Second phase of the internal reopening process will start on 2nd June and conditions will be announced later in May, depending on the success of the first phase.

In parallel, travelling to France is still highly restricted. External Schengen borders are closed until further notice, and internal Schengen borders are now closed until at least 15 June.

Crossing an internal Schengen border is possible for an imperious reason, and travel certificate must be presented to the authorities when one presents at the border. Quarantine may be imposed by the French authorities if traveller comes from outside the EU/UK or Schengen. Consulates still work on a very degraded mode and no reopening date has been communicated yet.

Closure of borders is one of the most impeding situations that can be faced in the world of international mobility. The current status prohibits entry into the territory to most of the non-EEA travellers, including but not limited to tourists and assignee’s coming to do an orientation tour and search for a home in France. Early reopening of borders would expose locals to a second wave of infection, thus that may only occur when virus is controlled in most countries and when medical capacities get back to a normal level.

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

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

Alexandra Demeure
Immigration Manager

Western Europe cluster


About our Immigration Services

Our Immigration services manage thousands of visa applications every year for a multitude of international companies. Our experienced immigration experts and migration agents handle the immigration process for you and provide simple reporting and guidance on immigration matters.

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