Measures enable binational couples split by Covid to meet in France

COVID-19 – Binational couples – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to two written questions in the Senate

Paris, 26 November 2020

Since the beginning of the health crisis, foreigners who are married, in a PACS [civil union] or cohabiting with a French national have been one of the categories of people authorized to enter France, provided that – if arriving from a non-EU country identified as being in an area where the SARS-CoV-2 infection is circulating – they have a travel declaration for mainland France, which can be downloaded from the Interior Ministry website. They must also abide by the health conditions (test results; tests on arrival; 14-day quarantine etc.) required to enter the territory, depending on their country of origin.

These people remain subject to the rules applying to entry and residence, including the possible requirement to hold a visa depending on nationality. French consulates are also processing visas for partners as a priority.

Mindful of the difficult situations of our compatriots in relationships not formalized by a marriage, a PACS, a cohabitation contract or joint residence, who wish to meet their foreign partner in France, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior, with the Prime Minister’s agreement, have established an exceptional procedure for entering France which applies to foreign nationals who can prove to the relevant consulate that they were in a relationship with a French national for at least six months before borders closed and had previously stayed in France at least once.

They are also required to be capable of returning to their country of residence and to present a return ticket. They will be issued with exceptional permission to enter France, to stay for a maximum of 90 days. People holding these travel passes remain subject to the rules applicable to entry and residence in France (including the possible requirement to hold a visa depending on nationality). To date, 1,205 travel passes have been issued. This exceptional measure does not currently apply to foreigners wishing to accompany to France their French partner who resides abroad and is passing through France, or foreign partners of foreign nationals residing in France, the principle being the closure of the European area’s external borders for health reasons./.

Published on 01/12/2020

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