French government adopts tough new immigration stance

The French Government has announced tough new measures on immigration which will see quotas for non-EU skilled immigrants introduced.

The government also indicated it will adopt a new approach towards hiring migrant workers from outside the EU, and has hinted it could look to introduce a points-based selection system. An annual visa cap would be placed on such a system.

Earlier this week, Labour Minister Muriel Pénicaud that France had to recruit according to its needs and that quotas would be decided annually, with help from regional governments, job centres and social partners. The current number of migrant workers being offered visas is 33,000.

“We welcome [migrant workers] now, but not necessarily in jobs that are stretched. Conversely there are some jobs that are stretched which cannot be filled,” she said.

The quotas will not take into account specific countries and migrant workers will be given a visa for a specific period and a specific job.

The government is also looking into a number of measures focussing on migrants who do not have the right to stay in the country.

The period of health cover will be reduced from 12 months to six, and those seeking asylum will have to wait three months before they can apply for basic cover.

However, France is keen to attract bigger numbers of students, doubling the current number to half a million by 2027. Prime minister Edouard Philippe said France was currently the world’s fifth biggest host country for international students and risked losing out to countries such as China.

“We want to take back control of our migration policy,” said Philippe yesterday. “This means fighting back against abuses of the right of asylum, against irregular migration. Our country will therefore play its part so that Europe rebuilds.”

Article published 7th November 2019