Perspectives on professional immigration in France through 2022.


Passport TalentThe annual figures on professional immigration released by the Interior Ministry on Thursday 20 January give some clues on the 2022 trends. They also highlight the impact of the health-care crisis in 2021 on administration and population movements.

The fluxes, which had dropped in 2020, are nearly back to where they were in 2019.
The need for skilled labor related to post-war reconstruction has been one of the driving forces behind the rise in professional immigration in France, which began in earnest in the 1970s.
Since the beginning of the millennium, four distinct periods may be identified.

Following a period of stability until 2007, the creation of temporary work permits for seasonal workers resulted in a significant increase in the number of permits issued between 2008 and 2012.
Professional immigration has since experienced a limited growth rate till 2020.
The COVID-19 crisis has had a significant influence on professional immigration, which has decreased by 32% in 2020 compared to the previous year. This period has been marked by reforms to the professional immigration system, the most recent of which is the decree of March 31, 2021, relating to the employment of foreign staffers.

The implications of migration policies on professional immigration must be underlined too.

Public policies have attempted to rebalance the migratory balance on multiple occasions, increasingly recognizing the need to reform professional immigration. Administrative burdens and inflexible procedures harmed France’s appeal, which was having difficulty attracting highly qualified foreign workers.

Taking these flaws into account, the reform of March 7, 2016, was able to put a stop to some criticisms.
In this sense, the implementation of a multi-year visitor card aimed to streamline these administrative procedures.

This card was issued at the end of a one-year regular stay following the completion of a government-sponsored integration contract.

Between 2015 and 2019, the use of this multi-year visa for seasonal workers allowed for a significant increase in their numbers.

The 7 March 2016 reform, which created a new category of visas and residency permits, including “the talent passport,” was also a huge success.
The “talent passport” is a French adaptation of the “blue card” of the European Union, simplifying the installation of “international talents” with skills valued in France. It is a simplified and faster procedure that provides benefits, including for third parties by facilitating the issuance of a family member’s visa.

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