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EU Immigration Portal
Which ministry has overall responsibility? Ministry of the Interior

The Ministry of the Interior is responsible for the general internal security with respect to criminal acts or natural catastrophes, the granting of identity documents (passports, identity cards) and driving licenses through the network of prefectures, relations between the central government and local governments, logistics and organization of political elections at the national and prefectoral levels, regulation of immigration and prevention of illegal immigration and the integration of legal immigrants. The Ministry of the Interior supervises the police forces and all regional prefectures and sub-prefectures are subordinate to it.

As part of its responsibilities on immigration, asylum and integration, the Minister of the Interior prepares and implements government policy on:

  • the entry, residence and economic activity in France of non-EU citizens;
  • the fight against irregular migration and documentary fraud in relation to non-EU citizens;
  • asylum;
  • the integration of migrant populations.
In immigration matters, the ministry's objectives include control of migration flows, promoting professional immigration, combating irregular immigration and facilitating integration.
Are there other ministries involved? Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The Ministry of the Interior is, along with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, responsible for the policy on visa delivery. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is responsible for the definition and implementation of cooperation policies and of development assistance contributing to migration control.

The French representative authorities (embassy or consulate) are responsible for issuing visas to non-EU citizens.

Ministry of Labour
The Ministry of the Interior is, along with the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue, responsible for combating unauthorised employment of foreigners.
Ministry of Justice
The Ministry of the Interior works with the Ministry of Justice in the domain of nationality declarations and the issuance of French nationality certificates.
Are there any decentralised entities? Ministry of Solidarities and Health

The Departmental Directorate of Social Cohesion (DDCS) or the Departmental Directorate for Social Cohesion and Protection of Populations (DDCSPP)

The DDCS or DDCSPP is responsible for the social cohesion policy. The DDCS or DDCSPP can assist in the family reunification procedure and the reception of immigrants and asylum seekers.

Ministry of the Interior
The prefectures
The prefectures represent the state and ensure the defence of national interests in each national department. They are, inter alia, responsible for the issuance of identity papers as well as for the implementation of rules and regulations regarding the entry and residence of non-EU citizens. The prefectures issue residence permits to non-EU citizens who are allowed to enter France. They also supervise traffic and road safety as well as various state authorisation procedures and public investigations.
Regional Directorates for Enterprises, Competition Policy, Consumer Affairs, Labour and Employment (DIRECCTE)

These regional organisations, operating under the authority of the regional prefect, ensure the coordination of public policies in economic development, growth and employment, labour and consumer protection.

They group eight directorates or services (from the Ministry of Economy and Finances and the Ministry of Labour, Employment, Vocational Training and Social Dialogue) in one single entity at regional level [including the Regional Directorate and Departmental Directorates of Labour, Employment and Professional Vocation (DRTEFP and DDTEFP in French)].

What are the implementing agencies? The French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII)

The OFII was established in March 2009 and is the only state structure in charge of legal migration. The OFII is a decentralised body with regional branches and is placed under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior.

Its main tasks are:

  • the management of administrative procedures in assistance with or on behalf of the prefectures and/or the representative authorities (embassy or consulate);
  • reception and integration of migrants who are authorised to reside durably in France (medical visit, personalised interview, language test, presentation of "Republican Integration Contract" (Contrat d’intégration républicaine), monitoring of its implementation);
  • reception of asylum-seekers;
  • return and reintegration assistance for foreign nationals.
Pôle Emploi
Pôle Emploi is a public administrative employment centre which centralises job applications and offers and provides unemployed persons with financial aid.

Are there general immigration policy papers?

Report to the French Parliament:

Guidelines for Immigration and Integration Policy, twelfth report pursuant to article L.111-10 of the Code on Entry and Residence of Foreigners and Right of Asylum (CESEDA) (2014).

Are there impact assessments, studies and reports available?

Data on migration and asylum in France

Annual statistics on migration, asylum, return and the acquisition of French nationality for 2018, General directorate of Foreign nationals in France, Department of statistics, studies, and documentation, June 2019.


Data about non-EU students in France

Report about international students in higher education institutions in France, General directorate of Foreign nationals in France, Department of statistics, studies, and documentation, October 2018.


Data on professional migrations and students coming to France

Preparatory document for the debate on professional immigration and international students in France, General directorate of Foreign nationals in France, Department of statistics, studies, and documentation, April 2013.


Securing migratory pathways for third-country nationals in France

Report for the Prime Minister by Matthias Fekl, parliamentary commissioner to the Ministry of the Interior, 14 May 2013.


Migrants and descendents of migrants

Insee Références, 2012.

Study conducted jointly with the Department of statistics, studies, and documentations of the Directorate General of Foreign nationals in France, of the Ministry of the Interior.

Infos migrations:
The first years of refugees in France
Migrants’ families and descendants: between specificities and convergence towards the hosting country

What is the key legislation?

  • Code on Entry and Residence of Foreigners and Right of Asylum (Code de l'Entrée et du Séjour des Étrangers et du Droit d'Asile - CESEDA);
  • Law for a managed immigration, an effective right of asylum and a successful integration, of 10 September 2018 (law No. 2018-778);
  • Law on the Right of Foreigners of 7 March 2016 (law No. 2016-274);
  • Labour Code (Code du Travail);
  • Law on Immigration, Integration and Nationality of 16 June 2011(law No. 2011-672);
  • Law on Immigration and Integration of 24 July 2006(law No. 2006-911);
  • Decree of 18 January 2008 relating to the issuance, without eligibility requirements based on the labour market situation, of work permits to third-country nationals.

This portal does not present the specific regulation of bilateral treaties which can have specific measures which can only apply to nationals of the country signatory of the bilateral treaty.

Access French legislation online

What are the national scientific research and statistical offices on immigration?

National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE)

INSEE collects, produces, analyses and disseminates statistical information on the economy, society and territories of France.

This information is relevant to public authorities, government bodies, local authorities, social partners, businesses, the media, researchers, teachers, students and private individuals.