Tuesday, January 25

Language tests and deportation for the unemployed: what a Marine Le Pen victory could mean for foreigners in France

Marine Le Pen is preparing for a reunion with President Emmanuel Macron in the spring of 2022.

The first polls, and the elections are still a year away, have designated The leader of the Rassemblement National (National Rally, formerly known as the National Front) as the favorite to face Macron in the second and final round of voting.

The Local, who attended an event organized by the Anglo American Press Association, asked him about his policies for foreigners in France.

“During the first six months of my presidency, I would propose a referendum on immigration legislation with a series of measures that would radically change our approach,” he said, adding: “In principle, I am more or less in favor of not modifying the rules regarding to those already present, since there is a principle in French law that laws do not apply to previous situations ”.

This is what he said:

Language tests

Current rules – There are no formal language tests for those who wish to reside in France, although the administrative processes are naturally in French. Only if you apply for a French passport will you face a formal language test, you need a certificate that your French is level B1 or higher.

All foreigners in France who come from countries outside the EU / Schengen area must obtain a residence permit (residence card) for stays longer than 90 days. Since the end of the Brexit transition period on January 1, this also includes British citizens.

Le Pen’s ProposalWhen asked whether foreigners should be required to pass a language test before obtaining a green card (residence permit), she said, “Of course.”

“If you want to settle in France, you obviously have to master the language. Except when you are a student, since, by definition, you will be studying the language. “


Current rules – Deport foreigners today it is a complicated process in France, especially if the person does not have their papers. The country of origin must first recognize the person in question and accept the return. It is usually only used in extreme circumstances, such as when a person has committed a felony or terrorism offense, although people who commit immigration offenses such as exceeding a visa or the 90-day rule it can be blocked from re-entering the country.

Le Pen’s Proposal – Under Le Pen’s presidency, foreigners in France who have been unable to get a job or who have committed some kind of crime or offense, including potentially driving-related offenses, could face deportation. Just obtaining French citizenship would give people the right to stay if they don’t have a job.

“Those who come to France to work and do not get a job, after a certain time, they will have to return to their country of origin,” he said.

“Our social security system cannot indefinitely serve people who do not have French nationality.”

She added: “If you commit a crime or a crime, you have to return to your home country, probably without any hope of being able to return to France.”

He added that this would include those who had come to France before. the age of 13, who are currently protected by French law in a almost absolute conduct.

Le Pen used the example of the 18-year-old Islamist terrorist who beheaded a history professor in a Paris suburb in October 2020. Since he arrived in France before his 13th birthday, he would have been allowed to remain in France, he said. “Hand he was not killed by the police. “



Current rule – you can obtain French citizenship if you were born in France, have a French father, are married to a French person or have lived in France for five years or more. If you go through the residency route, you are faced with a complicated process involving a mountain of paperwork, a language test, and an interview where you are assessed on French history and culture and asked to demonstrate your understanding. and support for French values.

READ ALSO Am I eligible for French citizenship?

Le Pen’s Proposal – He wants to toughen the rules to obtain citizenship, get rid of the heritage (birthright) that gives people born on French soil to foreign parents the right to citizenship.

Its general principle would be that “French nationality is inherited or deserved,” he said.

“You will be able to become French, either because one or both of your parents are French, or by naturalization,” he said, adding that he intended to toughen the naturalization criteria to be more selective “as to who grant the immense opportunity to become French. “

It did not provide details on how the route from residence to citizenship would change.


Current rule – Like most European countries, France decides asylum applications on the basis of their merits, once the person has applied for asylum upon arrival in France. If the application fails, the person faces deportation.

Le Pen’s Proposal – She said: “I will modify the rules on the right to asylum, changing one of the rules that in my opinion poses a real problem, which consists of arriving, requesting asylum and staying in the country.

“This then becomes a real source of clandestine asylum, so an application for asylum must be made at a French consulate, in any country in the world, not necessarily in the country for which asylum is requested, and we will process the request. in embassies. and consulates, and those who have the right to come can do so later. “

He also added that it would end the right of successful asylum seekers to join their families in France, saying that it is: “OOne of the elements that has transformed the nature of immigration to France from one based on work to one based on settlements. “


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