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Expulsion of a foreigner from France

Verified 22 octobre 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

Expulsion is an administrative measure aimed at removing a foreign national from the territory. It shall be pronounced in serious situations relating to the protection of public order or in the event of a breach of the security of the State. It is taken by the prefect or by the Minister of the Interior. The alien may be forcibly returned to his or her country of origin or another country. The procedure is therefore exceptional, framed and must be justified.

You are concerned if:

  • you are a foreigner and live irregularly in France,
  • and you are a serious threat to public order.

The threat is assessed by the administration based on your behavior: violence, drug trafficking, incitement to terrorism, etc. It is not necessary to have been subjected to criminal conviction..

Exceptions exist for certain categories of nationals, who may benefit from relative protection.

Your private and family ties in France or your state of health may prevent you from being expelled. But your private and family ties in France, or your state of health, do not totally protect you from expulsion. The measure remains possible and is proportionate to the threat you represent.

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Resident in France since the age of 13

The foreigner resident in France since the age of 13 (or less, for example foreign national who arrived in France as a child at the age of 5) has a protection called almost absolute..

Protection can be removed. The alien may be expelled, but only in the following cases:

  • Terrorist behavior or behavior that compromises the fundamental interests of the State
  • Acts of willful provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of persons
  • Offenses committed by a foreigner against his family (attempted murder, serious violence, etc.)

Resident in France for more than 10 years

General case

A foreigner who has been present in France for more than 10 years with a valid residence permit is entitled to protection relative.. This protection does not apply if the only residence permit he has held during these 10 years is a "student" residence card.

Protection may however be withdrawn. The alien may be expelled in the event of

  • of imperative necessity for the security of the State or public security
  • or a final sentence of 5 years or more in prison.
Married to a Frenchman

A foreigner who has been legally resident in France for more than 10 years and who has been married for at least 4 years to a French national is entitled to a protection almost absolute.. The spouse must have retained French nationality.

The foreigner must not be polygamous. The community of life must always be effective.

Protection can be removed. The alien may be expelled, but only in the following cases:

  • Terrorist behavior or behavior that compromises the fundamental interests of the State
  • Acts of willful provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of persons
  • Offenses committed by a foreigner against his family (attempted murder, serious violence, etc.)
Parent of a French child

An alien who has been legally resident in France for more than 10 years and who is the father or mother of a minor French child residing in France is entitled to a protection almost absolute.. It must be non-polygamous and contribute to the maintenance and education of its child since birth or for at least 1 year.

Protection can be removed. The alien may be expelled, but only in the following cases:

  • Terrorist behavior or behavior that compromises the fundamental interests of the State
  • Acts of willful provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of persons
  • Offenses committed by a foreigner against his family (attempted murder, serious violence, etc.)

Resident in France for more than 20 years

A foreigner who has been legally resident in France for more than 20 years is entitled to so-called protection almost absolute..

Protection can be removed. The alien may be expelled, but only in the following cases:

  • Terrorist behavior or behavior that compromises the fundamental interests of the State
  • Acts of willful provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of persons
  • Offenses committed by a foreigner against his family (attempted murder, serious violence, etc.)

Resident in France for less than 10 years

Married to a Frenchman

A foreigner who has been married for at least 3 years to a Frenchman who has retained French nationality is entitled to so-called protection relative.. The foreigner must not be polygamous. The community of life between spouses must always be effective.

Protection may however be withdrawn. The alien may be expelled in the event of

  • of imperative necessity for the security of the State or public security
  • or a final sentence of 5 years or more in prison.
Parent of a French child

The father or mother of a minor French child residing in France is entitled to a protection relative.. It must be non-polygamous and contribute to the maintenance and education of its child since birth or for at least 1 year.

Protection may however be withdrawn. The alien may be expelled in the event of

  • of imperative necessity for the security of the State or public security
  • or a final sentence of 5 years or more in prison.

Sick or injured person at work

Work Accident

A foreigner receiving a French pension from an accident at work or an occupational disease, with a disability equal to at least 20% is protected relative..

Protection may however be withdrawn. The alien may be expelled in the event of

  • of imperative necessity for the security of the State or public security
  • or a final sentence of 5 years or more in prison.
Untreatable disease in country of origin

A sick foreigner usually residing in France and suffering from a disease that cannot be treated in his country of origin is entitled to a protection called almost absolute..

Protection can be removed. The alien may be expelled, but only in the following cases:

  • Terrorist behavior or behavior that compromises the fundamental interests of the State
  • Acts of willful provocation to discrimination, hatred or violence against a person or group of persons
  • Offenses committed by a foreigner against his family (attempted murder, serious violence, etc.)

  Please note : a minor cannot be expelled. However, he may be removed with his parents if they are both deported.

The decision shall be taken by the prefect of the alien's place of residence. We're talking aboutprefectural expulsion order (EPA).

In some cases, however, only the Minister of the Interior is competent:

  • Absolute emergency (e.g. whether the person may commit terrorist attacks)
  • Foreign Protected.

We are talking aboutministerial expulsion order (AME).

Except in cases of absolute emergency, the prefect or the Minister of the Interior must call you before a commission before taking its decision.

You must be informed by a special report summoning you to be heard before an expulsion commission (Comex). This newsletter is yours notified at least 15 days before the commission meeting, either by a police officer at your home or in prison.

The following information is provided:

  • Reasons for your expulsion procedure
  • You can present yourself alone or with the assistance of a lawyer or any person of your choice
  • You may be heard before the committee with an interpreter
  • You can ask legal aid
  • You can request the expulsion committee meeting to be dismissed for a legitimate reason
  • You have the right to communicate your case and to present a defense
  • Remedies against the order, if taken.

You are heard by the Comex. It must give its opinion on the file within one month of delivery of the invitation. This notice must be accompanied by a detailed explanation, it is said that it must be motivated..

When you or your lawyer request that the meeting be adjourned for a legitimate reason, Comex extends this period by up to 1 additional month.

The Comex's opinion is communicated to you. It is also communicated to the prefect or the Minister of the Interior and is not binding on them (they are not obliged to follow it).

If an expulsion decision is taken, you may be forcibly removed from France, unless a court decision prohibits it.

  Please note : if the Comex has not delivered its opinion within the time limit, the prefect or the minister must inform you. However, the prefect or the minister may make his decision, even if Comex does not give its opinion.

If an expulsion decision is taken, the alien is forcibly removed from France. The decision shall specify whether the expulsion is immediate or deferred with house arrest..

Measurement execution

Immediate expulsion

The expulsion order may be enforced immediately, even if an appeal is filed. For example, a foreigner can be deported as soon as he or she is released from prison or after an arrest at home.

The alien may be forced to board a means of transport (plane, train, boat, etc.) and be under police escort for the duration of the journey.

It can also be placed in detention center during the organization of his return.

His residence permit was withdrawn.

If the foreigner is incarcerated, he is expelled at the end of his prison sentence.

House arrest (deferral)

In some cases, instead of being directly expelled, the alien may be placed under house arrest in France. He must then remain in a place designated by the administration. This place is not necessarily his home.

Deferred expulsion under house arrest shall apply in one of the following cases:

  • The life or freedom of a foreigner is threatened in his country of origin (application of the death penalty, etc.). Or he is exposed in his country of origin to torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The summons shall be issued until expulsion is possible.
  • The foreigner cannot travel to his country (ongoing conflict) or to another country (no admission agreement in the requested countries). The subpoena is then issued until expulsion is possible.
  • The alien is seriously ill, in the absence of appropriate treatment in his country of return. A temporary work authorization is then issued. There is no time limit for this house arrest.
  • The alien belongs to one of the categories of aliens entitled to relative protection. He may then be granted a temporary work authorization. The summons may be canceled at any time if he commits new disturbances to public order. The alien will then be directly deported.

In all cases, the alien must report regularly to the police or the gendarmerie. Otherwise, he may be sentenced to 1 year in prison.

Country of return

When the expulsion order is carried out, the alien shall be returned to one of the following countries:

  • Country of nationality (unless he is a of refugee status or subsidiary protection)
  • Country which has issued a valid travel document
  • Any other country in which he may legally reside, with the agreement of that State

The effect of the expulsion order shall be prohibit return to France from abroad.

He will only be able to return to France in one of the following situations:

  • The measure is canceled from a given date
  • It is canceled as if it had never existed (in this case we are talking about a repeal).

Appeals against the expulsion order are possible, but they do not prevent the expulsion from being carried out.

You may appeal to the administrative judge for annulment. You can also directly ask the administration to put an end to its decision for the future.

The measure will also be reviewed automatically every 5 years by the administration.

Action for annulment before the Administrative Court

You're abroad

Expulsion by the prefect

You have to file your appeal maximum 4 months after notification the expulsion order, before the administrative court of your former place of residence or imprisonment.

You may bring your appeal alone or have a lawyer assist you.

You may, under certain conditions, legal aid..

If your appeal is rejected by the court, you can appeal to the administrative court of appeal within a maximum period of 2 months following notification of the judgment.

Expulsion by the Minister of the Interior

You must file your appeal in a maximum 4 months after notification the expulsion order, before the Paris Administrative Court.

You may bring your appeal alone or have a lawyer assist you.

You may, under certain conditions, legal aid..

If your appeal is rejected by the court, you can appeal to the administrative court of appeal within a maximum period of 2 months following notification of the judgment.

You are in France

Expulsion by the prefect

You must file your appeal in a maximum period of 2 months after notification the expulsion order, before the administrative court of your place of residence or imprisonment.

You may bring your appeal alone or have a lawyer assist you.

You may, under certain conditions, legal aid..

If your appeal is rejected by the court, you can appeal to the administrative court of appeal within a maximum period of 2 months following notification of the judgment.

Expulsion by the Minister of the Interior

You must file your appeal in a maximum period of 2 months after notification the expulsion order, before the Paris Administrative Court.

You may bring your appeal alone or have a lawyer assist you.

You may, under certain conditions, legal aid..

If your appeal is rejected by the court, you can appeal to the administrative court of appeal within a maximum period of 2 months following notification of the judgment.

Remedy for repeal by the administration

You can also request that the expulsion order be canceled for the future. It's called repeal.. This is possible even if you have already filed an appeal before the administrative court and it has failed.

If you file your application more than 5 years after your expulsion, the administration must refer your application to the expulsion commission (Comex). You may be represented by a lawyer.

You're abroad

Expulsion decided by the prefect of department

You must send a written request to the prefect.

Your request is refused if the administration has not responded within 4 months or if the administration has notify..

Expulsion is maintained, you cannot return to France.

Your request is accepted if the administration notifies you.

If your expulsion order is canceled for the future, you can apply for a visa to return to France in order to obtain a residence card.

Who shall I contact

If you refuse, you can file an appeal with the administrative court of your former place of residence or imprisonment.

Expulsion decided by the Paris Police Commissioner

You must send a written request to the prefect.

Your request is refused if the administration has not responded within 4 months or if the administration has notify..

Expulsion is maintained, you cannot return to France.

Your request is accepted if the administration notifies you.

If your expulsion order is canceled for the future, you can apply for a visa to return to France in order to obtain a residence card.

If you refuse, you can file an appeal with the administrative court of your former place of residence or imprisonment.

Expulsion by the Minister of the Interior

You must address a written request to the Minister of the Interior.

Your request is refused if the administration has not responded within 4 months or if the administration has notify..

Expulsion is maintained, you cannot return to France.

Your request is accepted if the administration notifies you.

If your expulsion order is canceled for the future, you can apply for a visa to return to France in order to obtain a residence card.

Who shall I contact

If you refuse, you can file an appeal with the Paris Administrative Court.

You are in France

If you are at liberty, you must file your appeal in a maximum period of 2 months following notification the expulsion order.

If you are in prison or under house arrest, you do not have a maximum period.

Expulsion decided by the prefect of department

You must send a written request to the prefect.

Your request is refused if the administration has not responded within 4 months or if the administration has notify..

Expulsion is maintained, you cannot return to France.

Your request is accepted if the administration notifies you.

If your deportation order is canceled for the future, you will not be forcibly deported. However, you must get residence permit to stay in France.

Who shall I contact

If you refuse, you can file an appeal with the administrative court of your place of residence.

Expulsion decided by the Paris Police Commissioner

You must send a written request to the prefect.

Your request is refused if the administration has not responded within 4 months or if the administration has notify..

Expulsion is maintained, you cannot return to France.

Your request is accepted if the administration notifies you.

If your deportation order is canceled for the future, you will not be forcibly deported. However, you must get residence permit to stay in France.

If you refuse, you can file an appeal with the administrative court of your place of residence.

Expulsion by the Minister of the Interior

You must make a written request to the Minister.

Your request is refused if the administration has not responded within 4 months or if the administration has notify..

Expulsion is maintained, you cannot return to France.

Your request is accepted if the administration notifies you.

If your deportation order is canceled for the future, you will not be forcibly deported. However, you must get residence permit to stay in France.

Who shall I contact

If you refuse, you can file an appeal with the Paris Administrative Court.

Automatic review of the expulsion order

The administration must systematically review your expulsion order every 5 years. The administration must do this on its own without any action on your part, even if you have already filed appeals for repeal or cancelation.

This review shall take into account the following:

  • Evolution of the threat to public order that you represent
  • Changes in your personal situation
  • Your guarantees of professional or social reintegration

If you do not receive a decision to repeal, the expulsion order is upheld (implicit refusal). The refusal may also be explicit: you will then receive a decision clearly stating that the administration will not repeal your deportation order.

You can appeal for annulment against a refusal to repeal, either explicitly or implicitly, by referring the matter to the administrative court.