Iran - Q&A (15 december 2023)


What is the status of the visa application submitted by Mohammed Zubair Yusufi and his family?

The visa applications submitted by Mohammed Zubair Yusufi and his family in Tehran, to which they traveled at their own initiative, were processed according to the rules and were rejected for security reasons. On June 26, the family had an appointment with the French Embassy in Tehran, where they were informed that their visa was rejected. The French administrative judge upheld the merits of this decision.

France is doing all it can to show its solidarity with Afghans threatened by the Taliban. Since September 1, 2021, the number of visas issued to Afghan national has risen to 15,074 (including 11, 288 long-stay visas, mainly for the purpose of reunification, asylum, and keeping families together). Most of these visas were issued to women, human rights activists, journalists and judges who had received specific threats in Afghanistan.

Although there is no longer a French Embassy in Kabul, France is continuing its policy of issuing long-stay visas, specifically so that Afghan nationals can apply for asylum. Applications are processed by our consulates in neighborhood countries in order to meet applicants’ particularly urgent and obvious need for protection.
Against this backdrop, France is mobilizing its efforts to ensure that any individuals who might be eligible for asylum are not expelled from neighboring countries while their case is being examined. Thus in Pakistan, where a policy was instituted to return undocumented Afghans to Afghanistan, Afghan asylum applicants can point to their visa applications to avoid expulsion. This procedure made it possible to finalize the cases of 45 families (and issue 165 visas) between November 16 and December 2.

A specific procedure has also been in place for the past 10 years to welcome local civilians who had previously worked for the Ministry for the Armed Forces. When they file an application, their identity and status are verified with that Ministry. The Interior Ministry then conducts security checks. Based on the results, they are either issued a visa or their applications are rejected. More than 1,500 people have been welcomed under this system since 2013.