May 2013 – Accompanying family :
Family regrouping ( regroupement familial):
The standard procedure for non-European workers residing in France to obtain authorization for their family (spouse and children) to become legal residents of France is the “family regrouping” procedure (« regroupement familial »).
To benefit from the “family regrouping” procedure, the worker must have resided and worked legally in France for at least 18 months before applying for the right to have his/her family move to France. The procedure is complex and lengthy and can take at least 18 months to process.
In short, the standard procedure means that the worker’s family cannot move to France in the three years following the worker’s arrival.
Accompanying family (famille accompagnante):
An exceptional procedure, the accompanying family procedure (“famille accompagnante”), allows the family to move to France at the same time as the worker and also allows the spouse the right to work. The categories which benefit from the “accompanying family” procedure are:
– Competences and Talents status (« Compétences et Talents »)
– Employee on Assignment (« Salariés en Mission »)
– European Blue Card (« Carte Bleue Européenne »)
Special conditions apply to each of these statuses but notably, for (“Employee on Assignment” and “European Blue Card” salary level becomes a major consideration:
The minimum gross monthly fixed salary level to qualify for the Employee on Assignment status must be at least 1.5 times the minimum legal wage (SMIC) (currently 1,5 x €1430,22 = €2145,33/month).
The minimum gross monthly fixed salary level for the European Blue Card status must be at least 1.5 times the average gross salary determined annually by the government (“salaire de reference”) (currently 1,5 x €2930,67 = €4396/month).
Alert: This presents what the French call a “legal void”: employees moving to France – even for intercompany transfers – who do not qualify for the “Employee on Assignment” status or the “European Blue Card” and who earn between €2145.33/month and €4396/month cannot benefit from the “accompanying family” procedure and must wait three years and untold formalities before their families can move to France.