Coronavirus - Advice for Foreign Nationals in France

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Important: new measures will come into effect as of 29/11/2021.
Please check the page after this date for the details.
In any event, please consult the latest travel advice before travelling.
In the meantime, you can visit https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus

This FAQ contains information for foreign nationals wishing to enter France or already in France, who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

During your stay in France, download and activate the #TousAntiCovid application.

Last updated: 29/11/2021

MEASURES IN FRANCE

Restrictions are in force in metropolitan France. While you are in France you will need to present a health pass for access to certain events and places.


TRAVEL TO FRANCE

Can I enter France?

Following the discovery of a particularly worrying new variant (B1.1.259), the French Government has suspended flights from seven countries in southern Africa for a minimum of 48 hours (as of 26/11/21).
Morocco will suspend regular flights to and from France at 23:59 on Sunday, 28 November.

If you are vaccinated

If you are vaccinated, you can travel to France with no restrictions linked to health conditions.

The measures applicable to vaccinated adults also apply to any minors accompanying them, whether they are vaccinated or not. You can therefore travel with your underage children, whether they are vaccinated or not, and they will not need to self-isolate. Unvaccinated children aged 12 and over will need to present a negative test result as described below.

Travel documents if you are vaccinated:

  • proof of vaccination. It will only be valid if it proves that you are fully vaccinated, i.e.:
    • Seven days after the second shot for two-shot vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxevria and Covishield));
    • Four weeks after the shot for one-shot vaccines (Johnson & Johnson);
    • Seven days after the shot for vaccines administered to people who have already had COVID-19 (only one dose is necessary).
      Only vaccines authorized by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) (Pfizer (Comirnaty), Moderna, AstraZeneca (Vaxzevria), Johnson & Johnson (Janssen)), or AstraZeneca (Covishield) will be accepted.
    • Seven days after a booster ARNm dose (Moderna or Pfizer) after two shots of a vaccine on the WHO’s health emergencies list (Sinovac/Coronavac or Sinopharm/BBIB-PVeroCells)
  • a sworn declaration, which you can download from the Interior Ministry’s website stating that
    • you have no symptoms of COVID-19 infection;
    • to your knowledge, you have not been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to your journey.

Starting on 15 December, people 65 and older or who were vaccinated with a Janssen vaccine must provide proof of booster vaccination for their COVID certificate to be extended.

If you are not vaccinated

A list of countries of departure has been drawn up on the basis of the health indicators. The lists of countries can be altered based on changes in the epidemic situation.

Specific rules apply to road hauliers (in French and English).

If you are not vaccinated and you arrive from a “green” country

Countries/territories on the “green” list: countries in the European space (European Union, Andorra, the Holy See, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland), Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Comoros Islands, Hong Kong, Japan, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, New Zealand, Qatar, Rwanda, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Uruguay and Vanuatu.

In this category, the rules may vary from country to country. For example, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Romania, Slovenia and Slovakia have been placed under surveillance among the countries in the European space. A test taken less than 24 hours prior to arrival is required for people who are not vaccinated (as opposed to 72 hours for other countries on this list).

The Prefecture of the Nord Department in France enacted more restrictive measures on Saturday for people coming from Belgium, categorized by the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control as one of the ten EU countries in a situation of high concern. People coming from Belgium, apart from children under 12, must present proof of full vaccination or a negative result of a PCR or antigen test taken less than 24 hours prior to the date of arrival.

Upon boarding, each traveller aged 12 and over must present a negative PCR or antigenic test taken less than 72 hours before the flight.If you are travelling from Germany, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Latvia or Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland your test must be taken less than 24 hours before the flight.

If you have previously contracted COVID-19, instead of a negative test result you may present a certificate of recovery dated more than 11 days and less than 6 months prior to the date of arrival. A certificate of recovery is a document issued to persons who have contracted COVID-19, upon presentation of a positive RT-PCR or antigenic test.

This will not apply to:

  • trips by residents of cross-border areas (border within a 30 km radius of your residence, and for a duration of less than 24 hours).
  • work-related trips, the urgent or frequent nature of which makes them incompatible with these tests;
  • trips by hauliers carrying out their work.

To avail of the exemptions above, you must have a document proving the reasons for your trip.

If you are not vaccinated and you arrive from an “orange” country

Countries/territories on the “orange” list: every country/territory in the world, except those on the green list and red list.
  • You can only travel to France if you have pressing grounds for travel. The list of pressing grounds is set out in the certificate of international travel drawn up by the Ministry of the Interior.
  • Each traveller aged 12 and over must present a negative PCR test taken less than 72 hours before departure or a negative antigenic test taken less than 48 hours before departure.

If you have previously contracted COVID-19, instead of a negative test result you may present a certificate of recovery dated more than 11 days and less than 6 months prior to the date of arrival. A certificate of recovery is a document issued to persons who have contracted COVID-19, upon presentation of a positive RT-PCR or antigenic test.

  • You may be subject to a random test when you arrive in France.
  • You must pledge to self-isolate for 7 days.

If you are not vaccinated and you arrive from a “red” country

Countries/territories on the “red” list: Afghanistan, Belarus, Botswana, Brazil, Costa Rica, Cuba, Eswatini, Georgia, Lesotho, Moldova, Montenegro, Mozambique, Namibia, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia, Suriname, South Africa, Turkey, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.
  • You can only travel to France if you have pressing grounds for travel. The list of pressing grounds is set out in the certificate of international travel drawn up by the Ministry of the Interior.
  • Upon boarding, each traveller aged 12 and over must present a negative PCR or antigenic test taken less than 48 hours before the flight.
    If you have previously contracted COVID-19, instead of a negative test result you may present a certificate of recovery dated more than 11 days and less than 6 months prior to the date of arrival. A certificate of recovery is a document issued to persons who have contracted COVID-19, upon presentation of a positive RT-PCR or antigenic test.
  • You will be tested when you arrive in France.
  • You will be subject to a mandatory 10-day quarantine supervised by security forces.

Travel documents if you are not vaccinated

Depending on your circumstances, you must complete and carry some of the following documents in order to board:

  • a sworn declaration, which you can download from the Interior Ministry’s website stating that
    • you have no symptoms of COVID-19 infection;
    • to your knowledge, you have not been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to your journey;
    • (if you are aged 12 or over) you agree to submit to a virological RT-PCR test for SARS-CoV-2 upon arrival in France;
    • (where applicable) you pledge to self-isolate for seven days;
    • (for non-vaccinated travellers arriving from a “red” country) you are aware that you will have to quarantine for 10 days upon arrival in France.
  • (for non-vaccinated travellers arriving from “orange” or “red” countries) an exempted international travel certificate for Metropolitan France, which you can download from the Interior Ministry’s website. 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);
  • (for non-vaccinated travellers arriving from a “red” country) proof of location of self-isolation, and where appropriate, access details for inspectors to carry out checks.

If you fail to produce these documents, you will be denied boarding.

In all cases, the usual travel restrictions apply (visas, duration of stay, etc.).
Whatever your place of departure, if you show symptoms of COVID-19 upon arrival in France, you will be quarantined or placed and kept in isolation by the prefect.

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

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

Each overseas territory as well as Corsica, sets its own entry conditions and possible restrictions (curfew, lockdowns, etc.) based on the local epidemiological situation. You are therefore highly advised to visit the website of the prefecture or high commission of your destination before you travel.

Travel between Metropolitan France and some overseas territories is only possible if you have pressing grounds for travel.

You must in that case have a travel certificate for overseas territories and Corsica, available on the Interior Ministry’s website.

The specific conditions for each overseas territory and Corsica are available on the website of the prefecture or high commission of the relevant territory.

Can I leave France?

Morocco will suspend regular flights to and from France at 23:59 on Sunday, 28 November.
These rules do not replace the rules in force in your destination country, including with regard to testing, self-isolation and quarantine obligations. For further information, check the destination country’s Embassy or Consulate website.

The conditions for leaving France will vary according to your destination country and vaccination status.

Specific rules apply to road hauliers (in French and English).

If you are vaccinated:

No restrictions apply to you upon leaving France. However, we strongly advise against travelling to countries on the red list.
N.B. Your destination country may impose its own obligations (test, quarantine, etc.)

If you are not vaccinated:

Travelling to a “green” country

No restrictions apply to you upon leaving France.
N.B. Your destination country may impose its own obligations (test, quarantine, etc.)

Travelling to an “orange” country

If you are not vaccinated, you can only travel from France to an “orange” country if you have pressing grounds for travel, or if you are travelling to your country of origin or residence. You must present a certificate of international travel, available in French and English at the Interior Ministry’s website.
Your destination country may impose its own obligations (test, quarantine, etc.)

Travelling to a “red” country

All travellers, whether vaccinated or not, are strongly advised not to travel to a “red” country. You can only travel from France to these destinations if you have pressing grounds for travel. You must present a certificate of international travel, available in French and English at the Interior Ministry’s website.
Your destination country may impose its own obligations (test, quarantine, etc.)

VISAS AND PERMITS

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 may 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 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.

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 2020. 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 asylum application. 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.
  • Continuation of interviews for asylum and stateless person status
    In order to reduce numbers in waiting rooms and interview rooms, asylum seekers called to OFPRA for an interview are, wherever possible, requested not to bring their children with them.

The presence of any legally approved third party at an interview (a lawyer or a third party from an association accredited by OFPRA) must be notified to OFPRA at least 48 hours in advance so that organizational steps can be taken.

Third parties accompanying asylum seekers, other than those which are legally approved, will not have access to the premises.

Persons received at OFPRA are invited to respect the prevention measures that it has put in place to protect their health and that of others:

Access to the premises will be subject to a temperature check by security personnel;
A surgical mask will be issued to visitors who do not have one and must be worn during the entire time they spend on the OFPRA premises. Please note that homemade masks and category 2 cloth masks will not be accepted.

Should they show any symptoms of COVID-19, visitors to OFPRA must immediately inform the security personnel or the reviewing protection officer for assistance.

  • Submitting an asylum or stateless person status application to OFPRA

Those seeking asylum or stateless person status and who need to submit an application to OFPRA must follow the usual procedure (by post only).

This information will be updated on the OFPRA website: https://www.ofpra.gouv.fr/fr/l-ofpra/actualites/mesures-liees-au-covid-19.

STUDY

International students and researchers: conditions for entering France

Depending on your country of origin and your vaccination status, the procedures that apply to travel to France vary. We recommend you complete a full vaccination cycle before your departure to facilitate your arrival and daily life in France.

  • Students and researchers from Category 1 (“green” list) countries and territories do not need to have proof of pressing grounds to travel to France.
  • For students and researchers from Category 2 (“red” list) and Category 3 (“orange” list) countries and territories, the following reasons are recognized as pressing grounds for travel:
  • students enrolled in French as a foreign language courses prior to enrolment in higher education; students that have passed the oral tests of competitive entrance exams to French higher education institutions; students enrolled in a higher education establishment for the year 2021-2022 (including French as a foreign language courses); researchers or teachers (including language assistants) moving to France at the invitation of a research laboratory or higher education establishment, for research or teaching activities that require a physical presence, and including their partner (spouse, civil partner, or cohabiter subject to evidence of cohabitation) and children.

For more information, visit the Campus France website. You may also seek information from the French Consulate or Campus France area in your place of residence.

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?

Working from home full time is mandatory where possible.

Moreover, 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.

Moreover, 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 visit the website of the Ministry of Labour (in French).
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/protection-des-travailleurs/ (in French).

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

Yes, if working from home is not possible. 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 the latest detailed information, click here: https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/le-ministere-et-son-reseau/actualites-du-ministere/informations-coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-declarations-du-ministre-et-de-la-porte-parole/article/communique-conjoint-covid-19-situation-des-travailleurs-frontaliers-19-03-20

CHILD CUSTODY

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

Exercising custodial rights is pressing grounds for travel to countries covered by these measures.
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. Exercising custodial rights is pressing grounds for travel from countries covered by these measures.
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.