Coronavirus - Advice for Foreign Nationals in France (Last update: 20 August 2020)

This FAQ contains information for foreign nationals wishing to enter France or already in France, who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
General information on restrictions and recommendations in France and action taken has been centralized on a platform at the following address: https://www.gouvernement.fr/en/coronavirus-covid-19

Last update: 20 August 2020

TRAVEL TO FRANCE

I am a foreign national. Can I enter France?

That depends on virus circulation in your country of departure.

1. If you are arriving from a country on the list below, you can enter metropolitan France without any COVID-19-related restrictions or paperwork.

Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, the Holy See, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

2. If you are arriving from another country, you can only enter France if your journey meets one of the following criteria for exceptions:

  • If you are a French national (you may be accompanied by your spouse and children);
  • If you are a European Union citizen or a national of Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino, Switzerland or the United Kingdom, and your main residence is in France or you are crossing France to reach your country of nationality or residence (you may be accompanied by your spouse and children);
  • If you hold a valid French or European residence permit or long-stay visa and your main residence is in France or you are crossing France to reach your residence in the European space;
  • If you are transiting for less than 24 hours in an international zone;
  • If you are a member of a delegation on official travel, or of a diplomatic or consular mission, or of an international organization headquartered or having an office in France (you may be accompanied by your spouse and children);
  • If you are a foreign health professional helping to fight COVID-19;
  • If you are a member of crew or personnel operating passenger or cargo flights, or travelling as a passenger to reach your departure base;
  • If you are carrying out international goods transport;
  • If you are a passenger coach or train driver or crew member;
  • If you are a member of crew or personnel operating a merchant or fishing vessel;
  • If you are a student with a long-stay visa or short-stay visa (VCS) for study or placements or coming for less than 90 days from a country exempted from VCS requirements, and you can prove you have accommodation in France;
  • If you are a professor or researcher employed or invited by a French higher education establishment or research laboratory and you are travelling for study and teaching purposes;
  • If you have a “Talent Passport” long-stay visa.

For your arrival in France, you need to fill in and carry two documents:

● An exempted international movement certificate for travel to metropolitan France. You must present this certificate to travel companies before using your travel ticket, as well as to border control authorities (for travel by air, sea and land, including by rail);

● A sworn declaration that you do not have COVID-19 symptoms.

These documents can be downloaded in French and English from the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Moreover, depending on your point of departure and if you are aged over 11 years, you will be subject to a test prior to boarding or upon arrival:

A. Bahrain, Panama, United Arab Emirates or United States of America: you will have to present a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure, prior to boarding. You will not be able to board without this document.

B. Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, India, Israel, Kirghizstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Lebanon, Madagascar, Maldives, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Oman, Palestinian Territories, Peru, Qatar, Serbia, South Africa or Turkey: you will have to either present a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure, or submit to such a test at the airport upon arrival in France.

C. For countries not on the above lists, you are encouraged to undertake a PCR test prior to travel or in the airport upon arrival. If not, you will be asked to comply with a two-week quarantine at your place of residence or in a suitable accommodation facility.

In all cases, the usual travel restrictions apply (visas, duration of stay, etc.).

Other rules apply to travel to and from French overseas territories (see below).

I am travelling to France. Will I be subject to quarantine upon arrival?

If you are arriving from a country on the list below and have not visited a country not on the list in the month prior to your arrival in metropolitan France, you will not be subject to a quarantine period.

Member States of the European Union, Andorra, Australia, Canada, Georgia, the Holy See, Iceland, Japan, Liechtenstein, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Rwanda, San Marino, South Korea, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, the United Kingdom and Uruguay.

If you are arriving from another country or have visited another country in the month prior to your arrival, you will be subject to a two-week quarantine period if:

  • You have symptoms of COVID-19 on arrival; or
  • You cannot present a negative PCR test, carried out less than 72 hours before departure.

Travellers are asked to show civic responsibility and to follow the health precautions recommended by the authorities.

I am travelling to or from a French overseas territory. What are the rules?

To travel to French overseas territories, all travellers aged over 11 years will have to produce a negative PCR test result, carried out less than 72 hours before boarding, in addition to the rules set out above.
You cannot travel to or from French Guiana, French Polynesia, Mayotte, New Caledonia or the Wallis and Futuna islands if you cannot prove compelling family or professional grounds.
You will then have to provide an exempted movement certificate for travel to or from these overseas territories, available on the Ministry of the Interior’s website.

Upon arrival in metropolitan France from one of these territories, you will be encouraged to submit to a PCR test or, failing that, to comply with a two-week quarantine period.

Can I leave France?

Yes. There are no restrictions on departures from France.

VISAS AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

My residence permit for France expired between 16 March and 15 June 2020. What should I do?

The validity of the following permits, which would have expired between 16 March and 15 June 2020, has been extended by 6 months:
● Long-stay visas,
● Residence permits,
● Temporary residence permits,
● Receipts for residence permit requests.
The validity of certificates of asylum application, which would have expired between 16 March and 15 June 2020, has been extended by 3 months.

I have applied for a French visa from a French Consulate. What is my application’s status?

French consulates are gradually resuming visa issuance where local public health conditions allow. For further information on this resumption, consult the France-Visas portal and the websites of diplomatic and consular posts.
You will have to make a new appointment to submit your visa application.

I received a visa to travel to France but could not use it because the borders were closed. Can I use it later?

You cannot use an expired Schengen short-stay visa. However, you will be eligible for a simplified procedure with less supporting documentation for a further visa application when issuance resumes.For further information on this resumption, consult the France-Visas portal and the websites of diplomatic and consular posts.

If you received a long-stay visa which expired between 16 March and 15 June 2020, its validity has been extended automatically by 6 months.

ASYLUM APPLICATIONS

I am an asylum seeker. I have an appointment with the French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA). What should I do?

● Closure of the general reception
The general reception has been closed since 16 March. No members of the public will be received without an appointment until further notice.
Those seeking asylum or stateless person status may contact OFPRA only by email at the address indicated on their appointment letter. In the absence of an appointment letter, questions should be sent to communication at ofpra.gouv.fr.
● Closure of reception for those with international protection
The reception for protected persons has been closed since 16 March and will remain so until further notice. No civil status documents can be issued on the OFPRA premises.
Protected persons may however continue to request the issuance of civil status documents (birth/marriage/death certificates) online using the dedicated form on the OFPRA website. Tutorials have been created to help fill in online forms.
They can also make a request to the departmental offices of the OFII or the place they are staying, if they are staying in a residence provided by the authorities, for provisional proof of family composition established based on the declarations made when they submitted their application for asylum. This document can be issued upon presentation of the OFPRA decision recognizing international protection and can be used to access social rights, without waiting for the OFPRA to issue the initial civil status documents.
Considerable information on the civil status of protected persons or the right to family reunion is available on the OFPRA website.
● Gradual resumption of interviews for asylum and stateless person status
From 11 May, appointment letters for asylum or stateless person status interviews will be sent by post or issued in person at the OFPRA offices in French Guiana, by appointment only.
Those requesting asylum or stateless person status whose interviews were cancelled before 11 May will receive a new appointment later.
This information will be updated on the OFPRA website.

STUDY

I am an international student and I wish to travel to France. What should I do?

Whatever your country of origin, you are authorized to enter France (see above). Your request for a visa or residence permit will be processed as a priority.

I have a question on reception in France of foreign students.

For the latest information, visit Campus France’s website.

EMPLOYMENT

I am employed in France. What precautions should I take when carrying out my work?

You should follow the health recommendations available on the government website https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus.
The French Labour Code provides that the employer must take the necessary steps “to ensure the safety and protect the physical and mental health of workers” (Article L. 4121-1). The employer therefore has the right to take restrictive measures to ensure the health of their staff after assessing the risk of contamination in the company.
Furthermore, under Article L. 4122-1 of the Labour Code “in accordance with the instructions given by the employer, each worker should take care, in accordance with their training and as far as they are able, of their health and safety as well as that of other people concerned by their actions or omissions in the workplace.”
Therefore:
• You must comply with the instructions given to you by your employer according to the situation in your company and your own circumstances;
• You must ensure your own safety and that of your colleagues and respect the health advice given.
For the latest information, click here: https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/actualites/l-actualite-du-ministere/article/coronavirus-questions-reponses-pour-les-entreprises-et-les-salaries
The rules for issuing work permits have been simplified.

I am a foreign employer in France. What should I do to ensure the health and safety of my staff?

For the latest detailed information in several languages, click here: https://travail-emploi.gouv.fr/le-ministere-en-action/coronavirus-covid-19/proteger-les-travailleurs/article/quelles-mesures-l-employeur-doit-il-prendre-pour-proteger-la-sante-de-ses

I work in France but live in a neighbouring country. Can I continue to go to work?

Yes. Generally speaking, job contracts continue to be valid and cross-border workers continue to enjoy the rights and protections resulting from their contract similar to other employees. For detailed information, click here :

CHILD CUSTODY

I live abroad and my child is currently in France with their other parent. Can my child travel to see me?

There are no COVID-19 restrictions on departures from France. We recommend that you:

  • Check conditions for entry to the country concerned on the “Travellers’ advice” page and the website of the competent consulate.
  • Check that flights are available in both directions of travel.

NB: preventing exercise of visiting and overnight access rights by the other parent – without legitimate grounds – or refusing to hand over a child may be punishable by up to one year’s imprisonment and a €15,000 fine.

I live abroad and I wish to travel to France to accompany my child to see their other parent who lives in France. Can I travel to France?

The conditions for travel to France, which vary depending on your country of departure, are set out above.
Where possible, we recommend the “unaccompanied minors” services offered by airlines from the age of 5 years upwards.
If you or your child require a visa to enter France, you will need to contact the competent consulate in your country of residence.


Source: France Diplomacy

Last updated on: 1 September 2020