Claudia Jonath


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Mounira Freih


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Claudia Jonath


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Mounira Freih


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10 mars 2022

Legal and practical guide for people leaving Ukraine to France

  • Briefing

Which border crossings may be used to enter France from Ukraine?

As France is part of the Schengen area - which means that there is a free movement of people. Ukrainian citizens can easily cross the borders by train, car, plane or feet without being subject to border checks.

Moreover, the European Union has recently granted a temporary protection status to Ukrainian refugees.

Under what conditions are Ukrainian people allowed to enter France?

Ukrainian citizens with a valid biometric passport do not need a visa to enter the Schengen area and therefore, to France. Therefore, an Ukrainian citizen wishing to enter France, and having a biometric passport, does not need to apply for a visa.

However, an Ukrainian citizen wishing to enter France without a valid biometric passport, will need to go first to a consular post in a country bordering Ukraine (e.g. Poland, Romania, Hungary etc.) so that the particular situation can be assessed.

How long may Ukrainian people stay in France without any specific permit?

For the moment, Ukrainian citizens with a biometric passport can enter France for a short stay of up to 90 days without a visa (i.e. Schengen regulation). This means that they can reside legally in the country during this period, without any specific permit.

However, Ukrainians who do not have a biometric passport must have a visa (i.e. “Visa court séjour”) to enter France, which will be issued free of charge in France.

Is there any way to stay longer?

If Ukrainians wish to extend their stay in France beyond this 90-day period, they must contact the French prefecture of their place of residence promptly in order to obtain the issuance of a temporary residence permit (i.e. “autorisation provisoire de séjour”).

To this end, it is necessary to present a specific form to the French prefecture (to be downloaded from the French prefecture's website directly) and the following supporting documents:

  • specific form relating to the extension of stay form Ukraine (to be downloaded from the French prefecture's website);
  • copy of passport (identity, entry stamp) and original (if not available, copy of national identity card);
  • 2 passport photos;
  • certificate of accommodation established by the host + copy of his/her identity document (CNI or residence permit) + proof of address or certificate of an accommodation structure.

It is advisable to take these steps before the 90-day period expires. The list of French prefectures may be found on the following link:

A temporary authorization for a period of 3 months, renewable, will be issued.

Protective Measure:

The European Ministers of the Interior decided on Thursday, March 3, 2022, to activate for the first time the 2001/55/CE European Directive to grant "temporary protection" in the EU to refugees fleeing the war in Ukraine. The Directive aims to give temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and to promote a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof.

This mechanism will enable EU Member States to offer a response tailored to the situation of people fleeing the conflict in Ukraine. Those eligible will be able to benefit from a protective status similar to that of a refugee, in any country of the European Union for a renewable period of one year.

We are waiting for more details on how it will be implemented.

Are there any special transportation means available?

Yes, the Minister of Transport recently announced that long-distance trains would be free of charge for Ukrainian refugees. In a second phase, this free travel was extended to regional trains (TER) and international connections involving the SNCF (French public railway company) from France, including Eurostar.

As a result, a simple system was set up to take care of Ukrainian refugees arriving at the station: they are now allowed to travel to France free of charge by presenting their Ukrainian identity card or a special ticket issued by their German colleagues from Deutsche Bahn.

This free travel is available on TGV Inoui, Intercités, Ouigo, Lyria (to Switzerland), Alleo (to Germany), Thalys, Elipsos (to Spain), SVI (to Italy) and on Eurostar (to London for Ukrainian nationals with a visa to stay in the UK).

The timetables of all trains in France may be found on the following link:

Are accommodation and health care provided?

Ukrainians can present themselves:

  • In Paris: Reception point at 39 rue des cheminots 75018 Paris (Metro Porte de la Chapelle) managed by France Terre d'Asile. Open 7 days a week from 9am to 6pm. Interpreters available on site.
  • Outside Paris: The nearest French prefecture. The French prefecture is the authority in charge of organizing reception, official registration, access to rights and accommodation in the territories. A list of official contact points by French prefecture will be communicated soon. In the meantime, here is the list of contact information for the French prefectures:

Services provided:

  • First welcome of refugees and taking care of their first needs: meals, hygiene kits, tests and Covid masks.
  • Reception of partner associations for;
    Medical care, doctors on site;
    Psychological assistance.
  • Emergency accommodation: presence of the “Samu Social” for access to emergency housing.

Moreover, Ukrainian nationals who have managed to reach France can register themselves by calling the emergency number “115”, in order to leave their contact information and express their most urgent needs.

Under what conditions may Ukrainian people work in France?

In accordance with the March 3, 2022 agreement, displaced persons from Ukraine who are eligible for the temporary protection mechanism will be granted a special protective status for a renewable period of one year. According to the European Directive, during this period, Ukrainians benefiting from this temporary protection may have a professional activity.

Ukrainians who have obtained a temporary residence permit will be able to work in France on the condition that they have also been granted a temporary work permit.

The temporary work permit is an administrative certificate issued for a maximum of 12 months at the request of the employer and upon presentation of a promise of employment or an employment contract.

Where to look for a job?

We advise to look at the websites

These are the most widely known online job search portals in France.

What is the amount of the minimum salary in France?

In the case of a full-time job (i.e. 35 hours per week) the remuneration provided by the employment contract must comply with the legal minimum wage (“SMIC”), which amounts in January 1, 2022 to EUR 1.603,12 gross per month. In addition, applicable collective bargaining agreements provide for a conventional minimum wage to be complied with.

What about foreign diploma or other professional qualification?

Admission to higher education is the sole responsibility of the higher education institutions.

Comparability certificate can be requested to the Center “Enic-Naric : Centre français d'information sur la reconnaissance académique et professionnelle des diplômes”.

Are there any special rules on education?

In France, the right to education is guaranteed to everyone, and education is compulsory for children up to the age of 16, regardless of their nationality or migration status. Children are primarily enrolled in the department's public schools: nursery and elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.

The list of Academic Centers dedicated to the education of foreign children may be found on the following link:

Links to useful websites

Contact persons at Taylor Wessing France

Claudia Jonath, Partner (+33 (0)1 72 74 03 23,
Mounira Freih, Counsel (+33 (0)1 72 74 03 91,

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