Freedom of movement


Country Report: Freedom of movement Last updated: 30/11/20


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Asylum seekers benefit from freedom of movement in France; except for persons who introduce an asylum application in an administrative detention centre or who are under house arrest, for instance asylum seekers under Dublin procedure (see Chapter on Detention of Asylum Seekers).

However, reception conditions are offered by OFII in a specific region where the asylum seeker is required to reside. Following the 2018 reform, allocation to a specific region is conducted even if the applicant is not offered an accommodation place.[1] Non-compliance with the requirement to reside in the assigned region entails a termination of reception conditions. Freedom of movement is therefore restricted to a region defined by OFII. In practice, these new measures are not yet applied.

The national reception scheme assigns a reception centre or a region to asylum seekers, taking into account as much as possible the vulnerability assessment made by OFII and the general situation of the asylum seeker. The assignment to a reception centre is an informal decision, meaning that no administrative act is issued to asylum seeker. Therefore it cannot be appealed.

In practice, most asylum seekers are concentrated in the regions with the largest numbers of reception centres: Grand-Est, Auvergne-Rhône Alpes, Ile de France.

Persons may have to move from emergency facilities, possibly to a transit centre to finally settle in a regular reception centre (gradually progressing to more stable housing).


[1] Article L.744-2 Ceseda, as amended by Article 13 Law n. 2018-778 of 10 September 2018.


Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation