After a one-month parliamentary debate on professional and family immigration, and more generally on French migration policy, the Inter-ministerial Committee communicated on November 6th 2019 its « 20 decisions to improve the immigration, asylum and integration policy ».
These decisions (especially the 8th and the 10th!) give us some information about the future of professional immigration and family reunification
What is the scope of the economic immigration quotas?
The French government’s proposal to introduce quotas or « quantified targets » for foreign workers is in response to the need to overcome recruitment difficulties in certain sectors of activity.
These open-ended quotas will apply exclusively to professional immigration.
The project also aims to update the list of « short-staffed jobs » for which employers experience recruitment difficulties. The list, established by an order of January 18th 2008, no longer corresponds to the reality of the labor market and must be updated.
How and when are these open-ended quotas will be established?
A new statistical tool, designed to reliably assess the reality of the French labour market, must be developed. As a result of future discussions between the social partners and the regions, as well as studies carried out by DARES and the Pôle emploi, it will assess each year the skills needs on a sectoral and territorial basis. This will result in quotas for the recruitment of foreign workers, which will be discussed annually from 2020.
The consular and prefectural authorities will receive proper guidance related to the quotas, so the policy for issuing visas and residence permits should be affected.
What about talent passports?
The Talent Passport policy is unlikely to be impacted for the next 5 years. Indeed, an audit is scheduled for around 2025 to assess France’s needs in terms of rare skills and qualifications. It is only at the end of this process that quantified, multi-year and perhaps sectoral targets for the issuance of talent passports will be set.
What about family reunification?
The open-ended quotas will only concern professional immigration and more specifically “jobs in tension”. Thus, the quotas process will not affect family reunification. This is because the government is considering the issue in terms of skills and not nationality.
As a conclusion, some reforms seem to be emerging in the field of professional immigration and family reunification. We will keep you informed about the evolution of the situation and we are at your disposal if you need any further information!