A new circular on the criteria for legalizing of illegal immigrants situation was signed on November 28, 2012 and comes into force on December 3, 2012. The situation of the illegal employees can be legalized in 3 cases: they have to justify their presence in France during five years and eight months of work over the last two years or their presence in France during three years and two years of work or their presence in France during seven years and eight months of work. The temporary and part-time jobs will be accepted. But the employer of workers in irregular situation revealing these facts will be exposed to the recovery of taxes. The legalization will be also possible for families justifying their presence of at least five years on French territory and having at least one child enrolled to school since three years. Even if both parents are in irregular situation, they have now the right to file a case. The spouse of a foreigner in regular situation can be legalized if he/she justifies his/her presence in France during five years, 18 months of common life (against five years ago), and sufficient resources. Circular allows new possibilities for legalization of unaccompanied minors and young adults. A young adult has to arrive in France before the age of 16 unless all family members are in regular situation. Only the young adults who arrived in France before the age of 13 years were automatically legalized before. The Circular does not set any "quotas".

According to the ministry of the Interior, approximately 350 000 illegal immigrants are currently living in France.

Since 1981 there have been four waves of legalization: 1981 - legalization of 130 000 foreigners; in 1987 – legalization of 13 300 asylum seekers; 1992 - legalization of 80 000 spouses of foreigners in regular situation and foreign patients; 2006 – regularization of 7000 parents of children enrolled to school.

Sources :

  1. Ministry of the Interior, 28.11.2012, Circular n°NOR INTK1229185C, http://circulaires.legifrance.gouv.fr/pdf/2012/11/cir_36120.pdf, Accessed on 28.11.2012
  2. Le Monde, 28.11.2012, Sans-papiers : Manuel Valls entrouvre la porte de la régularisation (Foreigners in irregular situation : Manuel Valls opens the door to the legalization), http://www.lemonde.fr/societe/article/2012/11/28/sans-papiers-m-valls-entrouvre-la-porte-de-la-regularisation_1796928_3224.html, Accessed on 28.11.2012
  3. Le Parisien, 28.11.2012, Sans-papiers : Valls publie ses nouveaux critères de régularisation (Foreigners in irregular situation : Valls publishes its new regulation criteria), http://www.leparisien.fr/politique/nouveaux-criteres-de-regularisation-pour-les-sans-papiers-28-11-2012-2362395.php, Accessed on 28.11.2012