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Official speeches and statements - October 30, 2020

Published on November 2, 2020

1. COVID-19 - Travel passes for couples of different nationalities separated by the health crisis - Reply given by the Ministry of State for Tourism, French Nationals Abroad and Francophonie, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to two written questions in the National Assembly (Paris,2020-10-27)

Since the beginning of the health crisis, binational couples (married, in a PACS [civil union] or cohabiting) have been able to meet in France, foreign partners being one of the categories of people authorized to enter France, provided that - if arriving from a non-EU country identified as being in an area where the SARS-CoV-2 infection is circulating - they have a travel declaration for mainland France, which can be downloaded from the Interior Ministry website. They must also have a sworn statement testifying that they have no COVID-19 symptoms.

These people remain subject to the rules applying to entry and residence, including the possible requirement to hold a visa depending on nationality (our consulates are also processing visas for partners as a priority). Under the procedure, French people in relationships not formalized by a marriage, a PACS, a cohabitation contract or joint residence were not allowed to meet their foreign partner in France.

However, mindful of the difficult situations of these people separated by the health situation, the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior, acting on internal directives from the French Government, have established an exceptional procedure for entering France which applies to foreign nationals who can prove to the relevant consulate in their place of residence that they were in a relationship with a French national for at least six months before borders closed and had previously stayed in France at least once. They are also required to be capable of returning to their country of residence and to present a return ticket. They will be issued with exceptional permission to enter France, to stay for a maximum of 90 days. Again, people holding these travel passes remain subject to the rules applicable to entry and residence in France (including the possible requirement to hold a visa depending on nationality).

Since this procedure was put in place, and as of 20 October, some 600 travel passes have been issued to foreigners to enable them to meet their French partners, international travel restrictions imposed by the global health crisis having kept them apart for many months./.