The French Asylum and Immigration law: what are the consequences on business immigration?

20 November 2018 | Immigration in France

The final version of the law being published on September 11, 2018, the law no. 2018-778 “ for a managed immigration, an effective right of asylum and a successful integration” (IMDAEIR) have an impact on international labor mobility.

Here are the 4 main points which are relating to business immigration that shall come into force on March 1, 2019.

A promoted intra-European mobility for non-EU students and researchers

As part of intra-European mobility programs, the new law promotes students’ mobility and researchers’.

It is intended to facilitate mobility from one EU country to another, by implementing new resident permits: “chercheur-programme de mobilité” (researcher – mobility program) and “étudiant-programme de mobilité” (student – mobility program).

A more restrictive intra-group mobility regarding the posting of employees

The “ICT” (Intra Corporate Transfer) resident permit is issued to foreign nationals posted in France for a training program, a management position or a position requiring some level of expertise in an establishment or subsidiary of the group in which they are employed.

Under the new law, there are some changes in ICT status. When applying for such status, foreign workers shall prove at least a 6-month seniority (as compared to the current 3-month seniority) within the company group in which they are employed.

This change is affecting foreign subsidiaries of French companies in their recruitment process. If the subsidiary is willing to send a newly-hired foreign worker for training purposes in France, they shall wait 6 months before being able to do it.

Tighter conditions under the Visitor Status

The « Visitor » resident permit allows foreign nationals to reside in France for a stay of more than 3 months as inactive.

The issuance of such visa from the French Consulate is now subject to effective and sufficient resources. The applicant must have resources of their own in order to reside in France independently, for a 1-year period.

Companies will no longer be able to resort to such visitor status to bring their workers’ significant others who come to France under the so-called “salarié” French immigration status.

The “Family reunification” process remains the only possibility which allows legal foreign nationals to be joined in France by their significant others and their foreign minor children under 21 years of age.

Yet very long, the necessary and prior length of stay in France to benefit from the right to family reunification is extended from 18 to 24 months.

This is not a valid option for businesses. The latter will have to deprive themselves of skills not eligible for “Talent Passport” status or to revise upwards their compensation policy in order to be able to rely on such type of status.

Prior declaration of posting (SIPSI): strengthening of sanctions currently in force and related to infringements

By increasing penalties and prerogative of the French Labor Inspectorate regarding the Prior Declarations of Posting, the so-called  Professional Future Law (“loi Avenir Professionnel”) of September 6, 2018 further provides for the strengthening of the fight against illegal immigration.

These controls shall affect all sectors and no longer be limited to the construction industry.

In the event of fraud, the ceiling of the fines will double from 2,000 to 4,000 euros (and could even rise up to 8,000 in case of a repeated infringement within the same year).

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