France to simplify immigration procedures

Multiple-year stay permits, fast track for asylum requests

24 July, 14:11

    Workers beat African drums at a May Day demonstration in Paris (archive) Workers beat African drums at a May Day demonstration in Paris (archive)

    (ANSAmed) - PARIS - A reform law presented at the French cabinet on Wednesday would give passports to the most highly-qualified immigrants, issue multiple-year stay permits, and facilitate asylum request procedures.

    ''France must remain a land of immigration and one of asylum,'' said Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve in an interview with the daily Liberation. ''Countries that close themselves off are condemned to decline.''

    The immigration reform provides for the introduction of longer stay permits - from two to four years - for those who have already been granted a one-year permit and have requested its renewal. The mechanism would reduce the lengthy waiting period that the current annual renewal obligation causes in many prefectures, and is based on the fact that over 99% of renewal requests are approved. There is also a proposal to create a four-year 'talent passport', which would replace the various types of permits currently used for qualified immigrants, such as researchers, artists, and engineers, thereby simplifying the procedure.

    The reform also aims to reduce the amount of time for asylum request processing, from an average of two years to nine months. Requests have almost doubled over the past seven years, with over 66,000 submitted in 2013. (ANSAmed).


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