The updated AIDA Country Report on France provides a detailed overview on legislative and practice-related developments in asylum procedures, reception conditions, detention of asylum seekers, the content of international protection, as well as procedure for and content of temporary protection in 2022.

In 2022, 156,455 persons registered to apply for international protection in France, with many applications by nationals of Afghanistan (23,755), Türkiye (11,420) and Bangladesh (11,295). Approximately 12.3% of the requested lodged before the asylum authorities were subsequent applications. The overall recognition rate at first instance according to the authorities stood at 27%, but with significant variations depending on nationality: among the top 10 nationalities of applicants, the recognition rate ranged from 2.2% (Albania, Georgia) to 68.6% (Afghanistan). The overturn rate of first decisions upon appeal stood at 21%, with the National Asylum Court further granting protection in 14,450 cases.

Concurrently, as of the end of 2022, between 65,800 and 86,000 temporary protection residence permits were still active in France. The scope of temporary protection applied is that of the EU, leaving without a solution the reported hundreds of displaced students mainly from African countries who arrived from Ukraine. After initially being ordered to leave the country, the authorities allowed those still in France as of July to enrol into university. Contrary to other countries, France decided to deliver temporary residence certificates, to be renewed every 6 months rather than 1 year.

Access to French territory continued to be hindered, with a total of 72,581 decisions refusing entry issued between January and October at the borders with Italy, Spain, Belgium and France. Violations of fundamental rights persisted particularly at the border with Italy, with reports of persons being refused entry without any assessment of their protection needs and multiple violations in detention places close to the border. France allowed the Ocean Viking NGO rescue boat to a port in Toulon in November but did not immediately grant the persons access to the territory, instead creating an ad hoc temporary waiting area. Lastly, attempted crossings of the Channel increased by 46%. 8,323 persons were rescued in the Channel, but at least 31 died at sea trying to reach the UK. In November 2022, France and the United Kingdom signed a new agreement related to Channel crossings.

Access to reception continued to be severely hindered in France. In the first 7 months of 2022 alone, OFII took 16,877 decisions of withdrawal of reception conditions. When comparing Eurostat and national data, it is estimated over 40,000 asylum seekers did not have access to any reception conditions (accommodation, allowance, etc) at the end of 2022. Regarding accommodation specifically, at least 80,000 asylum seekers were without access to accommodation as of December 2022. Persons continued to live in informal camps in Paris and Calais; in Calais, the authorities sought to limit the distribution of water and food by NGOs, both with legal measures (struck down by the court) and by placing rocks and other obstacles around the distribution points.

As regards detention, in 2022 France was condemned by the European Court of Human Rights for the 9th time in just over 10 years for the detention of migrant children in conditions contrary to Article 3 ECHR. At the Italian border, NGOs also denounced the continued detention of newly arrived seekers without a formal detention order. However, local authorities’ ban on NGO access to the temporary detention zone was struck down by the Court.

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