Macron scraps plans for compulsory French language tests in favour of 'immigration debate'

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Macron scraps plans for compulsory French language tests in favour of 'immigration debate'
French President Emmanuel Macron delivers a speech during a reception for France's prefects at the Elysee Palace in Paris. (Photo: Ludovic Marin / POOL / AFP)

A proposed new law that called for foreigners in France to pass a French language test in order to get a long-term carte de séjour residency card has been scrapped - but will be replaced by a 'national debate' on immigration and a new law next year.


President Emmanuel Macron told a gathering of local officials at the Elysée that reform of immigration rules in France was still on the table, and would be the subject of a general debate in the coming weeks.

However an Immigration bill proposed by Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin - which included among other things proposals for foreigners in France to pass a language test before they are granted the long-term carte de séjour pluriannuelle - has been pulled from the autumn parliamentary schedule.

French language tests for residency: What we know so far

Instead, Macron said that a new bill, shaped by the nation debate, will be introduced early in 2023. 


“Our policy today is absurd," Macron said, because it "consists of putting women and men who arrive, who are in the greatest misery" into poor neighbourhoods.

This "is both ineffective and inhuman,” he said. “Ineffective because we find ourselves with more foreign people in a difficult situation than many of our neighbours; inhumane because this pressure means that they are too often badly received." 

And he called for asylum seekers to be moved to areas where population numbers are falling. 

In these regions, "the conditions of their reception will be much better than if we put them in areas that are already densely populated, with a concentration of massive economic and social problems", he said.

More easily available access to education in areas that are under-subscribed would lead to "faster learning of French, investment in vocational training", while helping keep underused resources open. He did mention a language requirement for residency cards.

He also pledged  to "improve the effectiveness of deportation policies" for illegal aliens, and said France needed to make the granting of visas more conditional on "the spirit of cooperation to take back illegal foreigners, starting with those who disturb public order".

During his recent trip to Algeria, Macron and his counterpart Abdelmadjid Tebboune opened the way for a relaxation of the visa regime between the two countries, in exchange for increased cooperation from Algiers in the fight against illegal immigration.

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kurtinsonoma 2022/09/16 19:34
This is good news!

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