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French court refuses entry to residents' non-official foreign partners

Covid-related travel restrictions are keeping apart couples made up of a French citizen or resident and someone in a non-EU country who cannot officially prove they are in a relationship

Binational couples who are able to provide official documentation of their relationships are able to get a waiver to enter France Pic: Gustavo Fring / Pexels / Pexels License

A French court has rejected a plea by people living outside of the EU to enter France on the basis of their relationship with a French citizen or resident. 

The Conseil d’État, which serves as France’s supreme court for administrative justice, rejected the call on Friday (April 16). 

The plea concerned couples who are not married or in a civil union (Pacsed) and those who cannot prove they live together. 

For those who are able to provide official documentation of their relationships, they are able to get a waiver to enter France.

France currently has a travel ban on those entering from outside the EU, except for from a handful of countries including the UK, Australia and New Zealand, due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

France eases Covid rules for UK and other non-EU travel

The couples who petitioned the court demanded an exception to the travel ban to be able to meet again, arguing that the current restrictions infringe on their private and family life. 

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The judges on the case explained their decision by citing the risk of importing variants of Covid-19.

“The health situation remains at a worrying level on the national territory,” they stated. 

“The fundamental freedoms invoked (by the couples) must be reconciled with other fundamental freedoms, including the right to respect for life.

“Maintaining the entry restrictions...for foreign nationals who are in a relationship with a French national without being married, in a civil union or living together must be regarded as a measure that is necessary, appropriate and proportionate to the objective of safeguarding public health.”

Read more:

Joy as first binational couples split by Covid meet again

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