France Immigration News - May 2022

2 month ago
France Immigration News - May 2022

Extension of professional immigration processing times

In our previous piece of news regarding the latest developments in the field of professional immigration, we discussed on the digitization of procedures, the development of which was intended to significantly reduce processing times. However, numerous events have led us to note increasing delays in the processing of files by the French administration.

Increase in processing times dues to the post-Covid catching-up on files that remained on hold during the crisis

Due to the recovery from the health crisis, the French Administration is experiencing significant delays in the processing of files, as our Immigration Department has observed.

Thus, from one Prefecture to another, we note that processing times vary greatly:

For example, the Rhone Prefecture reports processing times of 108 days for a first application for a residence permit and 66 days for a renewal.

The Isère Prefecture reports an average processing time of 5 months for a first application and 4 months for a renewal application.

Finally, the Lot-et-Garonne Prefecture reports average processing times of 6 months for a first application and 3 months for a renewal.

In addition to these administrative processing times, technical difficulties with the ANEF platform, resulting in a technical blockage that prevents applications from being submitted, lengthens the processing times for applications submitted online

Delays in the production of French identity documents

Identity documents procurement in France has also increased considerably in the last year and a half, and is now around two months, compared to two to three weeks a year ago. This increase in processing time is said to be due, once again, to an increase in requests following the slowdown during the health crisis.

The French Government aims to return to a normal situation through additional financial means.

Requests for professional reasons, especially for passports, will be prioritized.

However, the delivery times for identity documents are still subject to long delays.

Other information

Reappraisal of the SMIC

As of May 1st, 2022, the SMIC (the French minimum wage) has been increased by 2.65%, due to its indexation to the consumer price index for low-income households, which increased in the same proportions between November 2021 and May 2022.

It should be noted that between May 2021 and May 2022, the SMIC increased by 5.9%, or 91 euros gross per month (72 euros net),rising from 1230.60 to 1302.64 euros net.

As a result, Immigration Law is impacted, due to the indexation on the SMIC of the level of salary necessary to benefit from a Talent Passport status.

New gross annual salary thresholds (excluding bonuses) for:

  • Passeport talent skilled graduate : 39 494 €
  • Passeport talent employee on assignment : 35 544,60 €

Medium and long-term perspectives

Implementation of the ETIAS system

The European Union will soon adopt a visa exemption system akin to the ESTA system in the USA.

The "ETIAS" tool (European Travel Information and Authorisation System), which is scheduled to come into service in May 2023, aims to coordinate the movement of non-EU citizens who are exempt from visas within the Schengen area.

When these nationals wish to travel to the Schengen area, they will be required to register online with the ETIAS systems and pay a fee of 7€.

The objective is to reduce administrative procedures and facilitate the fluidity of the movement of people within the Schengen area.

The processing time to obtain a Schengen entry visa should be a few minutes at best and 30 days at worst. This authorization will be an indispensable document for the movement to and within the Schengen area for nationals of visa-exempt countries.

Digitization of visa application procedures within the European Union

Following the same objectives to facilitate, fluidify and secure visa applications for the member states of the Schengen area, the European Commission proposes to digitize the Schengen visa application procedure.

The project to finalize the digitization of this online procedure aims to be complete by 2025.

The current procedure, based on the transfer of paper documents, is still cumbersome from an administrative and organizational point of view, and also implies costs this digitization project would like to reduce.

The objective is also, through this European standardization of the procedure, to prevent the phenomenon of "visa shopping", where travelers go to a European Union member state with simpler or faster visa application procedures or processing times, rather than their actual destination state.

 

 

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