March 17th, 2020

Member Update - Impact on France - 17th March



France has announced a state of confinement and a 15-day lockdown, which means all schools, offices, stores, businesses, restaurants, cafes are to be closed and where possible work from home to be implemented. Self-quarantine is mandatory.

All essential services including hospitals, pharmacies, gas stations and grocery stores would remain open.

Regional travel within France would be slowly reduced by allowing fewer trains and flights.

Quarantine regulations

  • New measures aimed at containing the coronavirus will be severely limiting with people obliged to stay at home for a period of at least fifteen days.
  • Anyone getting out of their homes during the next 15 days should be strictly due for absolute necessity.
    • An authorization/request should be signed every time an individual will need to go out of his place of residence. French authorities are still to communicate on the type of authorization (which should be uploaded online) and how to complete the document.
    • Those that fail to respect the new orders will face heavy penalties.


French borders and Europe’s borders will be temporarily closed and the Schengen agreement will be suspended for at least 30 days, starting Tuesday March 17th at midday.

All French administration dealing with immigration formalities (prefecture and DIRECCTE) will be also closed and all appointments scheduled in the next 2 weeks (at least) will NOT be maintained.

The Government has announced that , in order to safeguard the presence of foreign workers in the French territory, and to avoid bringing their fundamental rights into question, especially their residency card and social security benefits, the validity of their documents will be automatically extended for 3 months starting from 16th of March.

The above rule will apply to those having:

  1. Visa de long sejour
  2. Residence permit (titres de sejour) - all categories
  3. Receipt of residence permit application (Recipisse de titre de sejour)
  4. Temporary authorization of stay - APS
  5. Attestation for request of asylum

This will not be applicable to holders of French immigration documents being out of France. Therefore, if French immigration document has expired and the holder is out of France, in order to re-enter the country, a return visa application should be submitted with the French consulate.

NB: It is advised that those with expired residence permits benefitting from the above rule made by the government, should not travel outside of the French territory, as they would have difficulty re-entering the French territory.

It is not possible for the time being to anticipate and book new appointments with the prefectures/consulates, we will have to wait and see how the virus situation will progress and the solutions the authorities will put in place.

We do anticipate important delays on the processing of all immigration applications.

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