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European in France: refusal of entry and removal

Verified 18 septembre 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you European, your freedom to travel and stay in France (and that of your family) can be challenged in limited cases. You may be subject to an administrative ban from the territory, an obligation to leave France or a decision to expel.

You may be refused entry to France if your behavior (or that of a family member) constitutes a threat to public order and security.

This threat must be real, current and sufficiently serious for a fundamental interest of society.

You are then subject to a administrative prohibition of territory (IAT) which may be contested.

The foreigner can make a administrative appeal before the Minister of the Interior.

It may also appeal before the Administrative Court of Paris and enter as reference..

Who shall I contact

Who is involved?

You (or a member of your family) may be subject to an obligation to leave the French territory (OQTF) in one of the following cases:

  • Absence of right to stay in France :: if you do not have (or no longer) the right to stay.
  • Abuse of the right to stay :: for example, if you live in France for the main purpose of collecting social benefits and benefits. This is also the case if you multiply stays of less than 3 months when you do not meet the conditions to stay more than 3 months (absence of work or resources, etc.).
  • Serious threat to public order during the first 3 months of stay in France :: your behavior represents a real, current and sufficiently serious threat to a fundamental interest of french society.

However, if you have a right to a permanent stay in France (more than 5 years of regular and uninterrupted stay), you cannot be the subject of an OQTF, nor your family.


The obligation to leave France is taken by the prefect, after examining your situation. In particular, the following elements shall be taken into account:

  • Former residence in France
  • Your health
  • Your family ties

The OQTF is a written and reasoned decision. It may be accompanied by a driving ban on French territory.

From notification, you have 30 days to leave the French territory. On reasoned request, this period may be extended by the Prefect. After the departure period, you may be forcibly returned to the country mentioned in the decision.

You can challenge OQTF within 30 days of notification. You must present your legal action before the administrative court of territorial jurisdiction.

Who is involved?

You may be expelled if your behavior represents a real, current and sufficiently serious threat to a fundamental interest of French society.

The same measure can be taken against a family member if he also represents such a threat.

You cannot be deported if you have lived in France for 10 years with a residence permit. However, deportation is possible if you are endangering state or public security.


The decision to expel is taken by the prefect or the Minister of the Interior, depending on the seriousness of the threat, after examining your situation. A number of elements are considered, including:

  • Your length of stay in France
  • Your age
  • Your family ties in France and in your country of origin

The administration must respect a particular procedure..

You can do one application for annulment before the administrative court or request repeal from the expulsion order to the authority that made the decision (prefect or interior minister).