Multidimension desk:

What will change in the process of regularisation of foreign workers

The immigration bill, presented on February 1, 2023 in the Council of Ministers, plans to issue a one-year residence permit to irregular foreign workers present in the territory for at least three years who have minimum experience of eight months’ during the last 24 months in a job or a geographical area in tension. This mainly concerns the construction, IT industry, telecommunications and health sectors. Next to those are service sectors, restaurant and hotel business.

Half of more than 2.5 million foreigners working in France are concentrated in Île-de-France. This reflects in the figures for job positions in tension. At the national level 38% of domestic workers are foreigners on average which rises to 61% in Île-de-France. In the construction sector, the number of foreign workers is three times higher in Île-de-France than the national average.

This card will be tested until December 31, 2026, before its permanent validation. The executive wants to create a residence permit “of full right”. Employers will not have to take any steps, the card being equivalent to a work permit. Currently, undocumented workers can obtain an “employee” or “temporary employee” card pursuant to the “Valls” circular of November 12, 2012, but these are exceptional regularizations at the initiative of employers.

To date, the regularisation of undocumented workers therefore falls within the discretionary power of each prefect who decides sovereignly on the advisability of granting requests, which induces a difference in treatment depending on the departments and nourishes a deep feeling of injustice. For example, in certain departments, one person will be regularised, while in another department, with the same file, he/she will not be regularised.

Therefore, the principle of issuing a “resident permit of full right” will put an end to the old practice.


What are the changes proposed in the Health service sector

To meet recruitment needs in hospitals and medico-social establishments, a new multi-year “talent – medical and pharmacy professions” residence permit has been introduced. It will benefit qualified practitioners from outside the European Union, such as doctors, midwives, dental surgeons and pharmacists. At the same time, the issue of competence certificate authorizing practice in France for holders of a foreign diploma is decentralised to the regional level in order to speed up the processing of applications.


What are the changes proposed for asylum seekers

Asylum seekers from countries at high risk (countries with a high rate of international protection in France) will be able to work immediately. A list of these countries will be drawn up every year. Until now, if OFPRA has not made its decision on an application submitted for more than six months, asylum seekers can obtain a work permit.

The draft bill must now be considered by Parliament. The Senate will begin its reading in March 2023.