Family reunification in France

Table of Contents

You reside in France with a valid residence permit and wish to bring your spouse and/or minor child to France? Has your request for family reunification been rejected? Our law firm, specialized in foreigner law, can assist and support you in preparing your family reunification application or in appealing the refusal of your family reunification request. In this publication, we will cover the topic of family reunification in France.

What is family reunification in France?

A foreigner residing in France can be joined by their spouse and children. This is called the family reunification procedure.

Who is concerned by a family reunification request?

Only the foreigner’s spouse and children.

What are the conditions to fulfill for a family reunification request? The foreigner wishing to bring their family (their spouse and/or children) to France and their family must fulfill certain conditions:

  • Have a valid temporary or multi-year residence permit or a receipt for the issuance or renewal of a residence permit.
  • Have been in France for at least 18 months.
  • Not be in a situation of polygamy.
  • Have stable and sufficient resources to meet the needs of the family.
  • Have suitable housing to receive family members (depending on the location and the number of people in the household).

What is the condition of stable and sufficient resources?

The resources must reach a net amount based on the family size:

  • Monthly net income of 1554.58 euros over the last 12 months for a family of 2 people (SMIC amount for 2023).
  • 417.11 euros monthly net income over the last 12 months per additional person.

The applicant’s resources for family reunification may come from:

  • A salaried job.
  • A non-salaried job.
  • Managing a property.
  • A pension, etc.

If the spouse has income in their country of residence that will continue to be paid after their settlement in France, these can also be taken into account.

On the other hand, the following resources are excluded from the calculation of resources:

  • Family benefits.
  • Active solidarity income (RSA).
  • Solidarity allowance for the elderly (ASPA).
  • Temporary waiting allowance (ATA).
  • Specific solidarity allowance (ASS).
  • Retirement equivalent allowance (AER).

What are the cases of exemption from the resource condition?

The resource condition is not required in the following cases:

  • The applicant who receives the disability allowance for adults (AAH).
  • The applicant over 65 years of age residing in France for at least 25 years who requests family reunification for their spouse and provides evidence of a marriage duration of at least 10 years.

What are the housing requirements?

The applicant must provide evidence that they have housing considered normal for a family of equivalent size living in the same geographical region.

The housing must meet hygiene and equipment conditions.

The housing must also have a minimum surface area depending on the geographical area where it is located and the family size.

What are the conditions to be met by the applicant’s family for family reunification?

  • The family must reside abroad. In exceptional cases, on-site family reunification may be accepted.
  • The family must not present a threat to public order.
  • The spouse must be 18 years of age or older and the children must be under 18 years of age.
  • For children from the couple, legal filiation must be established, or they must be adopted by a court decision.
  • For children from a previous union of the applicant or their spouse, the latter must have parental authority or provide evidence of the death or deprivation of parental rights of their previous spouse.
  • Partial family reunification may be exceptionally authorized in the interest of children.

What are the procedures for family reunification in France?

The request for family reunification must first be addressed to the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII). The OFII verifies the family reunification request file. If the file is complete, the applicant receives a deposit certificate by mail. An incomplete file will be returned to the applicant. Housing conditions are then verified by the town hall of the applicant’s place of residence within two months of receiving the file. The town hall sends the file back to the OFII with its opinion on the housing conditions. The OFII completes the file and sends it to the prefect for decision.

The prefecture of the applicant’s department of residence makes the final decision. Once the family reunification request is approved, the people concerned by the request apply for a long-stay visa from the French consular authorities in their place of residence.

What is the processing time for a family reunification request?

The processing time for a family reunification request file is 6 months. The decision (favorable or not) must be notified to the applicant. In case of refusal of the request by the prefect, the decision must be motivated. In case of no response from the prefect within a period of 6 months, the request is deemed “implicitly” rejected.

What recourse is available in case of a refusal of the family reunification request?

In case of refusal of a family reunification request, it is possible to make an administrative appeal to the prefect himself or before the Minister of the Interior as well as a contentious appeal before the territorially competent administrative court.

What is the consequence of a breakup of the communal life on the spouse benefiting from family reunification?

The temporary residence permit granted to the spouse within the framework of family reunification may be withdrawn in case of breakup of the communal life during the three years following the issuance of the temporary residence permit unless the breakup of the communal life results from domestic violence.

Are there specific conditions for a family reunification request based on the type of residence permit?

Depending on the nationality and personal status in France, the process for bringing the family to France will be different. Holder of a “seasonal worker” residence permit Holder of a “retired” residence permit Holder of a “talent passport”, “ICT trainee” or “ICT detached employee” residence permit Foreigner without a residence permit We have discussed this topic in detail in another publication.

MALEKIAN law firm assists and supports you in preparing your family reunification request file or for an appeal against the refusal of your family reunification request.

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