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HomeLanguagesFrenchFrance to introduce compulsory language tests for migrants

France to introduce compulsory language tests for migrants

French lawmakers are increasing efforts to make it harder to stay in France long term if you don’t speak French.

A new immigration bill presented on February 1st, outlines measures to introduce a compulsory language test for anyone applying for a ‘Carte de séjour pluriannuelle’ multi-year residency permit in France.

At present, there is not currently a language test for Cartes de séjour, however the application process and informal interviews are all carried out in French, and a ‘Contract of republican integration’ must be signed- requiring applicants to have a moderate working proficiency of the language already.

Language tests are required for those applying for citizenship, and applicants will need to demonstrate an intermediate DELF B1 level of spoken and written French throughout the interview process.

In July of last year, the Interior Minister of France, Gérald Darmanin announced plans to make this change, at the request of the Prime Minister. He said “At the request of the Prime Minister, we will double the credits for integration, and we will condition in particular the multi-year residence permit for a foreigner who spends several years on the national territory (to master) the French language, either for naturalization or for a regularization examination.”

Until February 2023 the bill had not been debated and as it stands, does not seem to be winning the approval of the right or left.

Although the proposed test comes with intent to toughen immigration processes, the Interior Minister has also said renewal processes will be easier for long-term residents.

An ‘automatic’ renewal for those holding multi-year Cartes de séjour will be carried out for residents who “cause no problems and have no criminal record” to eliminate the need for queuing at the prefecture.

It is unclear when the changes will take place.

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