Enter the characters you see below Sorry, we just need to make sure you’re not a robot. Disclaimer: This page does not set out to give anything other than a glimpse of certain aspects of this area of French Law and professional advice should always be sought from a duly specialised French practitioner prior to undertaking any steps whatsoever. France has traditionally been a country with a fairly open border policy, but there have been recent efforts, as reflected in a July 2006 law, to restrict the immigration of french visa to a child workers and persons who would become a burden on the French State.
Recent legislation has made French nationality requirements via marriage more difficult. Considerable discretionary power has been given to the French Consulates in their decisions to grant or deny visas. We shall briefly look at visa issues, both professional and family, and then look at French nationality questions relating to foreigners. A long stay visa, or entry permit, is required for all persons requesting a stay document. This essentially means that the alien must go through a French Consular authority and be approved to enter the country. Of course, for members of the OECD countries, including the United States, no such long stay visa is required for trips to France under 90 days. There are various types of such visas, whether for business or pleasure, issued by one of the European member states to the Schengen convention.
The visa is granted for one or multiple stays for no more than three months per every six months. There is an intermediate visa, between the short stay visa and the long stay visa, for stays of six months, and which do not require that the alien obtain a stay card. But this visa has only limited uses and most people who wish to remain in France will need to make an application for a long stay visa, with or without the assistance of counsel. One unusual feature of France’s immigration system is that it allows aliens to request “retirement” visas, which will be granted for long periods of time as long as the economic conditions are met. In spite of recent efforts to restrict the immigration of unskilled foreigners to France, France has nevertheless kept its borders open to skilled workers and the rules have been made ever more favourable to group companies and international service agreements.
A number of categories of work permit and temporary work visas exist, notably a new hire of a foreign person, the transfer of a foreign employee to France for a limited time to perform a specific function, and special provisions for high-level employees of international groups. France to open a representative office of a foreign company. The first category mentioned, the high level executive category, allows for considerable time savings but has stringent requirements regarding minimum salary, seniority with the group and existence of group relationship. The temporary employee transfer category may provide a short-term solution where the minimum pay or international group criteria are not satisfied for the high level executive category. Under the standard procedure for application for a work permit, the French employer prepares the petition, often with the assistance of French counsel. This file is presented to the DDTEFP. Spouses of French citizens have a right to a long stay visa and a family stay card as of right, absent fraud, and for spouses from visa waiver countries, no long stay visa is required.
The spouse can acquire a right to permanent residence, provided the marriage was celebrated at least two years prior to the permanent residency request. Also, the parent of a French citizen may request permanent residence, provided that the parent is a dependent of the French citizen. Furthermore, the minor children of aliens established legally in France can also be sponsored for visas to return to the family unit. France still has a very favourable framework for retirees, where unlike the United States a special visa category still exists. If the foreign-born person is the child of a French parent, citizenship may be obtained as of right by making a petition for a French nationality certificate. The individual need not reside in France to make this application.
Foreign-born persons with a French spouse may claim French citizenship following four years of marriage. Furthermore, foreign-born persons may request to be naturalized if such persons have resided continuously in France for five years prior to filing of the request. French speaking person can show that his acts in France have been meritorious and contributing to French prosperity. Dual nationality is not expressly provided for in French law, but is recognized. Thus a child born abroad in a country which applies the rights of nationality based on place of birth, where such child may also claim nationality through parentage, will have dual nationality.
Nevertheless, the French government applies the Convention of May 6, 1963 which provides that former nationality is lost in respect of national laws of signatory states whose laws provide for loss of nationality, such as Germany. French law recognizes rights to asylum or political refugee status for a foreign-born person who is subject to persecution by a sovereign or non-sovereign authority. Whether for a visa refusal or a denial of nationality, the French system of justice enables the individual to appeal the decision by either making an additional, formal request for reconsideration, or a hierarchical review, or recourse to the courts. If you wish to be put in touch with a maximum of three English-speaking fully trained and qualified French lawyers specialising in this particular area of French law, please click here.