Measures and restrictions due to COVID-19: Travel certificates for access to French territory needed
French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced on 7 April implementation of the following:
“In the context of the state of health emergency in France, restrictions on access to mainland France and to French Overseas territories have been put in place. All travellers are required, as of April 8, 2020, at midnight, to complete and carry with them one of the following travel certificates according to their situation:
- for a trip from mainland France to French overseas territories
- for an international trip from abroad to mainland France
- for an international trip from abroad to French overseas territories.
The document is to be presented to transportation companies before boarding, as well as to border control authorities.”
The forms can be downloaded directly on the website of the Ministry of the Interior, in French or English: https://www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites/L-actu-du-Ministere/Attestation-de-deplacement-et-de-voyage
With closure of Schengen borders on 17 March for an initial period of 30 days, foreigners willing to come to France were anxious and uncertain on their right to access the country. This new measure clarifies the position and lists the only reasons that would justify entry. It confirms in particular that third-country nationals having their primary residence in France or in the EU and holding a French or European residence permit shall be granted access to come back.
French nationals, as to them, will always be granted access to the country, shall they be requesting it However, difficulty is to secure a seat on a plane, and many are still waiting for an opportunity to travel back.
To date, France is in highly restricted lock-down, and no visas are issued by French consulates until further notice. Validity of French permits expiring between 16 March and 15 May has been extended for 3 months for the French territory. Short-stay visas (90 days) or authorizations to stay under visa-exemption coming to an end can be extended by local authorities if holders cannot leave. French authorities are taking necessary measures to avoid immigration issues for people in the country, and strictly limits new entries.
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