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
Updated: 28 November 2020
- Can I enter France?
- I am planning to marry a French national, or I am in a romantic relationship with a French national to whom I am neither married nor with whom I have entered into a PACS contract. Can I travel to France?
- I am travelling to France. Will I be subject to quarantine upon arrival?
- I am travelling to or from a French overseas territory. What are the rules?
- Can I leave France?
- My residence permit for France expired between 16 March and 15 June 2020. What should I do?
- I have applied for a French visa from a French Consulate. What is my application’s status?
- I received a visa to travel to France but could not use it because the borders were closed. Can I use it later?
- 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?
- I am an international student and I wish to travel to France. What should I do?
- I have a question on reception in France of foreign students.
- I am employed in France. What precautions should I take when carrying out my work?
- I am a foreign employer in France. What should I do to ensure the health and safety of my staff?
- I work in France but live in a neighbouring country. Can I continue to go to work?
- I live abroad and my child is currently in France with their other parent. Can my child travel to see me?
- 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?
1. If you are arriving from a country on the list below, you can enter metropolitan France without any COVID-19 restrictions.
2. If you are in another country, you are recommended to limit international travel as much as possible. If you however must travel, 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 hold an official passport;
- If you take up your duties in a diplomatic or consular mission or in an international organization headquartered or having an office in France, where necessary with your spouse and children, or if you travel to France with a mission order issued by your home State;
- If you are a foreign health professional helping to fight COVID-19 or recruited as a trainee for this purpose;
- 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 or you are a minor enrolled in school, 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” or “ICT posted worker” long-stay visa, where necessary with your spouse and children;
- If you are travelling to France to receive treatment in a public or private hospital.
For your arrival in France, you need to fill in and carry two documents in addition to required travel 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.
In addition, for travellers over 11 years of age:
A. If you are arriving from a country on the list below, even if you are in transit, or if you have been there in the last 30 days you must present a negative test result carried out less than 72 hours before boarding. You will not be allowed to board without this document.
B. If you are coming from another country, you are strongly recommended to present a negative test result, carried out less than 72 hours before departure, upon your arrival in France. If you do not have this result, you will have to take a test at your airport of arrival.
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 planning to marry a French national, or I am in a romantic relationship with a French national to whom I am neither married nor with whom I have entered into a PACS contract. Can I travel to France?
In addition to the normal travel restrictions (visa, duration of stay, etc.), you should ask for a laissez passer from your Consulate of France for your place of residence.
For more information on the procedures for issuing this laissez passer, visit the website of the diplomatic or consular post of your place of residence.
You will have to adhere to current national confinement rules.
If you do not have a negative result of a test carried out in the 72 hours before your departure and if your test at the airport is positive, or if you have COVID-19 symptoms, the authorities can require that you self-isolate.
Travellers are asked to show civic responsibility and to follow the health precautions recommended by the authorities.
To travel to French overseas communities, if you are over 11 years, you will have to produce a negative result of a PCR test carried out less than 72 hours before boarding, in addition to the rules set out above and regardless of your place of departure.
You cannot travel to or from Reunion, Mayotte, French Polynesia, New Caledonia or the Wallis and Futuna islands if you cannot prove imperative 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.
Travel to French Polynesia is subjected to special rules and check-in prior to travel. All necessary information is available here: https://www.etis.pf. Tourism remains authorized if you are not coming from Metropolitan France or Martinique where the confinement does not allow you to leave your home except for imperative reasons.
Upon arrival in metropolitan France from an overseas community, you will be required to have a PCR test or, failing that, to comply with a seven-day isolation period.
There are no restrictions on departures from France. However, you can only go to the borders or airports if you adhere to confinement rules and if you fill out an exempted movement certificate. This currently excludes all departures that are not justified on imperative grounds.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
For the latest information, visit Campus France’s website.
You must follow the health recommendations available on the government website https://www.gouvernement.fr/info-coronavirus.
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.
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.”
- 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.
For the latest detailed information, read the National Covid Protocol for the Health and Safety of Workers on the website of the Ministry of Labour (in French).
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 detailed information, click here :
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.