France: New law significantly changes immigration system

A new law implemented in March with initial provisions effective November 1, 2016 (with a transitional phase) and additional provisions effective January 1, 2017, significantly overhauls the French immigration system, and includes measures to attract skilled foreign talent and increase employer requirements to combat illegal immigration and illegal work.

The most significant changes affecting employers are explained below.

France: Short-term work permit exemption introduced

A short-term work permit exemption has been implemented for foreign nationals working in the following activities:

  • Those attending conferences, seminars and trade shows;
  • Those seconded to France to participate in audit, information technology, management, finance, insurance, architecture or engineering-related activities;
  • Those participating in cultural, artistic and scientific events;
  • Entertainers and technical staff working in film production and distribution, in audio-visual, performing or recording ­arts;
  • Domestic workers during their employer’s stay in France; and
  • Visiting professors conducting occasional lectures.

France: New immigration law expected late 2016

A new law is expected to reorganize and create new work permit categories, create a work permit exemption for eligible foreign workers on assignments under three months and consolidate residence permit options. The implementation date of the new provisions is expected to be announced in November 2016, along with related process and documentary requirement changes.

France: Restrictive border controls implemented

Due to the recent terror attacks and related state of emergency, France has put strict border controls into place until at least December 13, 2015, at train stations, air and seaports.  Travellers should expect increased security at entry checkpoints.  Issuance of visas and immigration documents could be delayed or suspended at the discretion of the French government. 

France: Travel update

On Friday 13 November, a number of terrorist incidents took place in Paris resulting in widespread casualties. British nationals are advised to exercise caution in public places and follow the advice of the local authorities. French authorities have heightened security measures due to a risk of further attacks. The advice of the Paris Police is currently to keep movement around town to a minimum. Systematic border control checks have been implemented at all entry points into France. A national state of emergency and a three-day period of mourning have been declared (14-16 November). Public gatherings, the flying of drones and use of fireworks in the Ile de France region (Paris and surrounding area) have been prohibited.