To make their stay legal, France will now issue provisional residence permits to travellers that remain in France but are not able to leave the country due to travel restrictions imposed across the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As part of the latest update on COVID-19 related information, the French Diplomatic websites of consulates overseas have provided further details on “Extension of expired visas and residence permits”, both for those that “are stranded out of France” as well as those in France who “cannot return” to their country of origin.
For those stranded outside France
The validity of French long-stay visas, residence permits, and receipts for applications for the renewal of permits expiring between March 16 and May 15, 2020, had been extended for 3 months. Those individuals that have any of such documents and are stranded outside France due to disruptions in air travel will be, thus, “able to enter or return to France once the situation allows”.
For those in France on a short-stay visa expiring soon but unable to leave
Individuals that are in France on a short-stay visa Schengen visa that would be expiring soon but are unable to return – either due to suspension of flights or that country banning entry from France due to health concerns – might, “in cases of justified urgency”, gain from an extension of their “short-stay visa for up to 90 days or be issued a provisional residence permit”.
Such visa holders are encouraged to contact the prefecture of their present location to seek either an extension of their short-stay visa or for receiving a provisional residence permit if their Schengen stay limit has been reached.
On June 17, the European Union and Schengen Area member states marked 3 months of border closer during which no Schengen visa holder has been eligible for entering France.
All those that had arrived in France on a Schengen visa prior to March 17, and were unable to leave due to the global travel restrictions, have already reached their allowed 90-day stay in France on a Schengen visa.
Now, provisional residence permits are being issued to all third-country nationals that were unable to leave France due to justified reasons.
For those that had secured a short-stay Schengen visa for travelling to France before the pandemic outbreak, but were unable to travel due to COVID-19 special measures, a simplified procedure would be available upon the resumption of visa services. In such situations, fewer supporting documentation would be required for a new visa request.