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«First Focussed Study 2013 Attracting Highly Qualified and Qualified Third-Country Nationals to France: Good Practices and Lessons Learnt French ...»

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Secrétariat général

à l’immigration et à l’intégration

First Focussed Study 2013

Attracting Highly Qualified and Qualified Third-Country Nationals

to France:

Good Practices and Lessons Learnt

French Contact Point of the European Migration Network


July 2013


The French Contact Point:

In France, the National Contact Point (NCP) of the European Migration Network (EMN) is the Secretary General for Immigration and Integration of the Ministry of the interior.

• Contacts

- Marie-Hélène AMIEL : marie-helene.amiel@immigration-integration.gouv.fr Head of the Department of Statistics, Studies and Documentation

- Raymond PRATS : raymond.prats@immigration-integration.gouv.fr Deputy head of the Department

- Ophélie TARDIEU : ophelie.tardieu@immigration-integration.gouv.fr Coordinator of the French National Contact Point of the European Migration Network

- Caroline MULLER : caroline.muller@immigration-integration.gouv.fr Policy Officer of the French National Contact Point of the European Migration Network

- Anne-Cécile JARASSE : anne-cecile.jarasse@immigration-integration.gouv.fr Policy Officer of the French National Contact Point of the European Migration Network

• Address Point de contact national du Réseau européen des migrations Département des statistiques, des études et de la documentation Secrétariat général à l’immigration et à l’intégration Ministère de l’Intérieur Place Beauvau 75800 Paris Cedex 08

• Websites

- EMN Website: http://emn.europa.eu

- French NCP Website (in French):

http://www.immigration.interieur.gouv.fr/Europe-International/Le-reseau-europeen-des- migrations-REM Page 2 of 47 EMN Focussed Study 2013 Attracting (highly) qualified third-country nationals to France




Study conducted by the National Contact Point for France of the European Migration Network (EMN) July 2013 Disclaimer The FR EMN NCP has provided information that is, to the best of its knowledge, up-to-date, objective and reliable within the context and confines of this study. The information may thus not provide a complete description and may not represent the entirety of the official Policy of France. The FR EMN NCP accepts no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the use made of theinformation contained in this study.

The European Migration Network was created by Council Decision No. 2008/381/EC of 14 May 2008 and is funded by the European Union and the General Secretariat for Immigration and Integration

–  –  –

- AGDREF : Application de gestion des dossiers des ressortissants étrangers en France The IT application for managing the files of third-country nationals in France

- CAI : Contrat d’accueil et d’intégration Reception and Integration Contract

- CESEDA : Code de l’entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d’asile Code on Entry and Residence of Foreigners and Right of Asylum

- CJC : Confédération des jeunes chercheurs Confederation of Young Researchers

- CINDEX : Club inter-entreprises sur les stratégies et politiques de mobilité internationale Inter-Company Club for strategies and policies relative to international mobility

- CITE : Classification internationale type de l’éducation International Standard Classification of Education (ISCED)

- CITP : Classification internationale type des professions International Standard Classification of Occupation (ISCO)

- DIRECCTE : Direction régionale de l’entreprise, de la concurrence, de la consommation, du travail et de l’emploi Regional Directorate for Enterprises, Competitiveness, Consumer Protection and Employment.

- DGT : Direction générale du travail General Directorate of Labour

- OFII : Office français de l’immigration et de l’intégration French Office for Immigration and Integration

- SGII : Secrétariat général à l’immigration et à l’intégration Ministry of the Interior, General Secretariat for Immigration and Integration

- SMIC : Salaire minimum interprofessionnel de croissance Statutory Minimum wage (index-linked)

- VLS-TS : Visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour Long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit (LSV-RP)

–  –  –

Section 1. National Policies and Measures

1.1 Policies

1. Are there national policies in place for the attraction of highly qualified and qualified third-country nationals?

2. Other target groups

3. Policies focussing on specific areas of occupations

4. Transposition of EU Directives in French legislation

5. Brain drain: does the national policy address this aspect in the countries of origin?.. 17

6. Brain drain: the national policy addresses this aspect with the countries of origin..... 17

7. Public debates on the national policies

1.2 Measures

8. Measures implemented to satisfy the policy goals

9. Existing public policies that specifically aim at positively influencing the immigration decision of (highly) qualified third-country nationals

1.3 Relations with third countries and labour migration agreements

10. Policies focussing on specific third countries

11. Labour migration agreements relating to attracting qualified and/or highly qualified third-country nationals to the national territory

12. Legislation adopted facilitating labour migration from specific third countries ('country-specific legislation')

13. Entry into other more favourable agreements with non-EU/EEA countries and/or regions relating to attracting qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals to France

Section 2. Evaluation and Effectiveness of Measures

2.1 Evidence of effectiveness based on statistics

14. Evidence of a link existing between the national measures and immigration of qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals

15. Quotas for qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals in EU Member States

16. Evidence of a link existing between the labour migration agreements and the immigration of qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals

2.2 National methods of evaluation

17. Primary research evaluating the national policies and measures implemented to attract qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals

2.3 Policy makers' or other stakeholders' (i.e. academics, non-governmental or private sector representatives) experience.

Section 3. Challenges and obstacles

19. Challenges and obstacles that can influence the attractiveness of France for qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals

20. Experiences and assessments of the stakeholders concerned

Section 4. Conclusions




–  –  –

Table 1: Overall trend of first permits issued to third-country nationals for remunerated activities

Figure 1: First permits issued to third-country nationals for remunerated activities by reason

Table 2: First permits issued to third-country nationals for remunerated activities by sex and age group

Table 3: Employment of third-country nationals by professional status (ISCO-88) and occupation

Figure 2: Employment of third-country nationals by professional status (ISCOand occupation

Table 4: Employment of third-country nationals by professional status of OC 1ISCO-88) by age and sex

Table 5 : Self-employment of third-country nationals by occupation (ISCO-88) 29 Table 6 : Employment of third-country nationals by highest level of education attained

Table 7 : Self-employment of third-country nationals by highest level of education attained

Page 6 of 47


The EU Policy relative to the migration of highly qualified third-country nationals, as defined in the Europe 2020 Strategy, emphasises that Member States need to make the best use of the potential of migrants living lawfully in the EU. At the same time, it paves the way for new types of labour migration in sectors where a shortage of labour and skills is becoming manifest. Furthermore, the Strategy underlines that, in the context of international competition for skilled individuals, the EU needs to focus its efforts on attracting highly qualified thirdcountry nationals.

From a legal point of view, a third-country national is an individual who is not an EU citizen under Article 20(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, nor is he/she entitled to the EU right to freedom of movement, as defined in Article 2(5) of the Schengen Borders Code1. As a result, citizens of the EFTA member countries are not considered as third-country nationals in this context.

Although there is a lack of a common definition at an EU level for the expressions “qualified” or “highly qualified” workers, several criteria may be considered, such as the level of qualifications, profession or even salary threshold. Expressions used in the French policy for attracting these groups are “international talents”, “high potential” or “highly qualified” employees.

Attracting qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals is a strategic challenge for all EU Member States. The National Covenant for Growth, Competitiveness and Employment adopted by the French government on 6 November 2012 provides for “developing a strategy aimed at attracting international skills and major investment projects in particular, as well as cultural and scientific projects”. In the framework of the recent French Parliamentary debate on labour migration and student mobility, several guidelines were presented with a view to achieving this goal2. The present study has therefore been conducted in an important political and legislative context, since the parliamentary debate should lead to the tabling of a bill in 2014.

The focus of the present study is to examine policies and measures implemented in France to attract qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals, whilst reviewing their effectiveness and potential obstacles.

In 2006, a new policy on labour immigration was implemented in France, focussing more on socio-economic requirements. It is based on the concept of “selective migration policy” introduced by the then Minister of the Interior. The regulations, pursuant to the law of 24 July 2006 relative to immigration and integration, facilitate the entry and stay in France of international employees whose qualifications and professional experience meet the requirements of French companies.

Several measures have come into force over the past years, with a view to promoting labour migration and attracting in particular high potential third-country nationals to France. Also, France is the first EU Member State to have transposed the EU Council 1 Source: EMN Glossary 2.0: http://emn.intrasoft-intl.com/Glossary/index.do 2 Refer to http://www.senat.fr/cra/s20130424/s20130424_9.html#par_275 and http://www.assembleenationale.fr/14/cri/2012-2013/20130269.asp#INTER_0 (in French) Page 7 of 47 Directive 2009/50/EC of 25 May 2009, also known as the “EU Blue Card” Directive into national legislation, through the law of 16 June 2011 relative to immigration, integration and nationality.

The figures show however that efforts need to be pursued. In 2012, labour migration in France accounted for only 9 % of the 193,000 residence permits issued for the first time.

Despite efforts to promote the “skills and talents” residence permit, the goal was not met. On average, 200 residence permits in this category are issued each year. Several reasons may explain why the figure is so low, first and foremost the complexity of the system and constraining administrative procedures. There are currently eleven different types of residence permits for third-country national workers, each with different procedures.

Although some initiatives have been launched to make procedures easier, there are still many challenges that need to be taken up. Further to the analysis of recent political reports and interviews conducted with various stakeholders in the context of the present study3, current policy has been assessed and existing obstacles identified, while possible avenues for improvement are being considered. In the framework of the recent French Parliamentary debate on labour migration and student mobility, several guidelines were presented to enhance the attractiveness of France. The draft law due to be tabled in Parliament in 2014 provides for a generalisation of multi-annual residence permits and an improved reception for applicants at prefectures.

The present study is a continuation of the following studies previously conducted by the EMN: “Immigration of international students to France” (2012), “Temporary and circular migration: empirical evidence, current policy practice and future options” (2011) and “Satisfying labour demand through migration” (2010).

The Synthesis Report drafted on an EU scale based on the National Contact Points’ studies will take stock of the policies and measures implemented throughout the EU to attract qualified and highly qualified third-country nationals. It will in particular draw attention to good practices and identify the challenges that still need to be met in order to strengthen the attractiveness of the EU and efficiently meet the needs of the labour market in the relevant sectors.

3 These interviews were conducted in April 2013 with representatives of the Department of Immigration of the General Secretariat for Immigration and Integration (SGII); the French Office for Immigration and Integration (OFII); Migration Conseil Consultancy and international corporations L’Oréal and BNP Paribas.

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