What is this government-sponsored “immigration law”?

What is this government-sponsored “immigration law”?

President Emmanuel Macron announced his recent decision to amend and split the “immigration law,” sparking a heated debate across the country. Review of the “immigration law” in France…

Emmanuel Macron declared on March 22, 2023 that the draft law “to control immigration and improve integration”, supported by Gérald Darmanin and Olivier Dussopt and presented to the Council of Ministers on February 1, 2023, would be divided into “several texts”. A “shorter draft law and several legislative proposals” are now planned with various measures: several measures to regularize undocumented workers and to facilitate the recruitment of foreign health professionals, as well as provisions to strengthen the integration of foreigners in France, particularly in relation to proficiency in the French language and Respect for the principles of the Republic. The text also provides for measures to facilitate the expulsion of convicted foreigners.

Expulsions: The perpetrators are primarily targeted – The main aim of the text is to facilitate the expulsion of foreigners who have previously been convicted “of felonies and misdemeanors punishable by imprisonment for a term of at least ten years”. The aim is to remove the “protection” enjoyed by foreigners who have been in France for more than ten years. The text also includes measures to combat irregular immigration, such as increased repression against smugglers and “slum traders” and visual checks of cars by border police.

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The creation of France Asile spaces to simplify the administrative procedure for asylum seekers between different competent administrations – It is planned to gradually deploy this system according to local needs. The text also reforms the organization and asylum process before the National Court for the Right of Asylum (CNDA) to speed up the processing of appeals against denials of protection. The creation of territorial chambers of the CNDA is planned, as well as the generalization of the single judge, except for complex cases that will be considered by a college.

Multiple Immigration and Labor Measures – As a flagship measure to meet labor needs in certain tight sectors, a one-year residence permit will be introduced for undocumented foreign workers who have been in the country for at least three years. This card is issued automatically under certain conditions (employment for at least eight months in the last two years in an employment relationship with a shortage of workers).

Irregular workers can apply for their regularization under this new card, which will be issued automatically under certain conditions (residence in France for at least three years, experience of eight months in the last twenty-four months in a trade or geographical region of tension). This map will be tested before its possible sustainability until the end of 2026. Employers do not have to do anything as the card is equivalent to a work permit.

Minimum knowledge of French to obtain a first multi-year residence permit for foreigners who apply for it – The executive wants to “link the first issue of a multi-year residence permit to a minimum command of the French language”, whereas today only participation in language courses is compulsory. Employers can offer their foreign workers French lessons, which are considered effective working time. All foreigners applying for a residence permit must pledge to respect the principles of the Republic and in case of non-compliance their residence permit may be refused, revoked or not renewed. The reasons for the non-renewal or withdrawal of the residence card are extended to serious threats to public order. Finally, an effective stay of six months per year in France is required for the renewal of certain long-term permits.

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A new multi-year residency permit has also been introduced for healthcare professionals with degrees outside the European Union once they are hired by a public or private not-for-profit healthcare institution. This permit entitles you to a residence permit for a maximum of four years.

Asylum-seekers can also work immediately upon arrival in France if “there is a high probability, given their nationality, of obtaining international protection in France”, exempting them from the six-month waiting period.

Also read: 6 things you should know about the Asylum Immigration Act