Information for Unaccompanied minors



How do I know if I am a foreign minor isolated (PII)?
In France, you are a unaccompanied foreign minor if: you are under 18, you're not French, and no legal representative (a parent, an adult responsible for you) accompanies you.

Can I be deported?
If you are recognized as an unaccompanied foreign minors, you cannot be expelled. Unaccompanied foreign minors have the right to stay in France.












I am an unaccompanied foreign minor and I just arrived in France, whom should I contact?
To benefit from the children protection service, you must contact the appropriate services of the General Council in the department where you are called "bureau de l’aide sociale à l’enfance - childhood social assistance office." You can also contact associations (like France Terre d’Asile) or a children's judge – Juge des enfants. List of all associations dealing with unaccompanied minors juvenile courts directory

I have no identity document. Can I get access to the care services?
Even if you do not have an identity document your demand will be evaluated and taken in consideration by the childhood social assistance office. Your access to the care services will depend on your assessment. 

They said they need to verify that I am a minor. How can they do this and what does it involve?
All unaccompanied foreign minors can be requested to pass by the verification process. It aims to determine whether you are a minor to decide on the services you can get access to as well as the result of your demand. It consist of three areas: an evaluation of the explanations and details you give us of your background and history; check your vital documents if you have them, and possibly a medical examination. 

I was told that I have to do a medical examination to verify that I am a minor. Am I obliged to do it?
The medical examination may be asked during your appraisal period to see if you are a minor, but it cannot be done without your consent.

One claims that I am not a minor. What can I do if I want to emphasize my need to be protected?
You can contact the juvenile courts and ask to review your case. Juvenile courts directory

What is the difference between “Aide sociale à l’enfance - Social Assistance to children” and “France Terre d’AsileFrance haven?
Aide sociale à l’enfance - Social assistance for children is part of the General Council, which is the administration responsible in particular for the protection of children. France Terre d'Asile is an association specialized on refugees and asylum seekers, which also deals with MIE (fees, accommodation, food, clothes, schooling). France Terre d'Asile apply what is decided by the Social Assistance to children. 

They said they would send me to another department. Do I have to?
France plans a territorial distribution of newcomers unaccompanied foreign minor. The “ordennance provisoire de placement - temporary placement order” (OPP) determines your host department: it can be the department from where you enter in France or a different department, depending on the number of arrivals. Once the department is designated, this will be the only department to look after you, and you cannot seek protection in another department. 


Do I need a legal representative in France?
Usually your parents are your legal representatives and those who take care of you until you turn 18 years-old. But if your parents cannot take care of you because they are far away or died, it will be necessary to designate you someone who will be your legal representative on French territory. Indeed, as a minor, there are some steps you cannot perform alone, and it takes an adult performs with you.
- If you are supported by the services of Social Assistance for Children:
the Social Assistance for Children does not automatically become your legal representative when you are supported. The prerogative of the appoint of an legal representative for you belongs to family court judge. Most often, your legal representative will be the Social Assistance for Children.
- If you have a family member or an adult friend:
If that person was believed as a trusted third party to look after you, it can also apply to the family court judge to be your legal representative. See Article 377 al. 2 and 3 Civil Code Delegation of Parental Authority Guardianship of minor


I am under 16 years, can I go to school?
In France, all children under 16 are required to attend school, regardless of nationality or language. You can sign up to go to school. Once you register, you will have to pass a test of the “Centre Académique pour la Scolarisation des Nouveaux Arrivants et des Enfants du Voyage - Centres for the Education of New Arrivals and Traveller Children” (CASNAV) or the “Centre d’information et d’orientation - Information and Counselling Centre” (CIO), which will assess your level of French and your grade. You can attend to specific classes as soon as you learn to speak French. Article L. 131-1 of the Education Code List of CASNAV in France

I have more than 16 years, is that I can go to school?
If you are over 16, there is no obligation to go to school and the school is not obliged to accept you. You can still go to school or college or in high school or in a qualifying path for a professional aptitude certificate – “Certificat d’aptitude professionelle” (CAP) whether in vocational training in Apprentice Training Center – “Centre de formation des apprendis” (CFA) whether in a Professional Training Center – “Centre de formation professionel” (CFP). But those institutions can only accept you if they have vacant places.
The organization that looks after you may ask you to open a file to the “Centre Académique pour la Scolarisation des Nouveaux Arrivants et des Enfants du Voyage - Centres for the Education of New Arrivals and Traveller Children” (CASNAV), or at the “Centre d’information et d’orientation - Information and Counselling Centre” (CIO) so that you can be evaluated and to register for French classes. You must register for this classes as soon as possible after arrival. If you have ever been to school in your home country and you arrive after 16 years, we must ask those who care of you to ask at CASNAV to offer you with tests. Site of Education list of all CFAListe all CFA List of CASNAV FranceListe of France CASNAV


I am not registered or I cannot be enrolled in school, and I want to improve my French. Where can I have classes?
If you're not registered at school, or if you have more than 16 years and the CASNAV does not register for courses, you can contact associations. The municipality of the city where you live can give you their address and number.

I am under 18 and I would like to start training or work. What steps should I take?
If you want to start training or work:
- You will not need a work permit if you are under training school status in a professional school, or if you do internships in the part of your schooling.

- You will need a work permit if you want to start an apprenticeship, do a state-paid internship or work. In order to obtain a work permit, you must contact the “Department of foreign labor – Service de la main d’oeuvre étrangère” of the DIRECCTE of your place of residence.
If you came to social assistance to children before age 16, you can ask a residence permit marked "private and family life" in advance, so that you will be allowed you to work through vocational training. DIRECCTE directory by department List of France prefectures


The Ensemble en France training by France Terre d’Asile:

Ensemble en France, with the MOOC, the blog and the guide is the first complete online resources pack (available on computer and mobile devices) on the French society aiming at immigrants. It answers their everyday cultural questions. Each part of the project decodes in its own way France’s complexity, its values and its red tape and allows the reader to discover the shades of the French language and to master them.

The purpose of the project is to make France understandable to foreign people, to help them navigate through their new territory by giving them the keys so that everyone, new comers and “already there” immigrants can live together (“ensemble en France”) in harmony.



What are my rights concerning the access to the healthcare system?
 The access of a unaccompanied foreign minor to healthcare depends primarily on its situation.
- If you are supported by the Social Assistance to children the or to the judicial protection Youth Judicial Protection – “Protection judiciaire de la Jeunesse” (PJJ), you must request the benefit of the “Couverture maladie universelle - Universal health care coverage” CMU, which will give you the right to free health care.
- If you are hosted at a secure third party, you can get extensive rights to health insurance as a trustee of the third party, and therefore benefit from the Universal health care coverage.
- If you are neither supported nor hosted by a third assured, you can benefit from “Aide médicale d’Etat – Medical State Aid” - (AMEs).
While in process to get health protection, you can have the first free treatment in access to health care hotlines – Permances d’acèss aux de soins de santé (PASS) in public hospitals.


What is a residence permit? What it has to do with my support by Social Assistance to children?
A residence permit is a document that allows you to legally stay in France since you turn 18. As long as you are still a minor, you do not need to have a residence permit. Once you reach, when you turn 18, the regularization of your status in France will depend on the duration of your enrollment with Social Assistance to children and your insertion procedures in France.


When do I have to apply for a residence permit?
You do not need a residence permit before you turn 18 years old, but you have to start a your process of regularization proceedings a little before your majority.  

Who to contact to get a residence permit?
To apply for a residence permit, you must file your application with all the necessary parts to the Prefecture of your department of residence. List of France Prefectures

Which residence permits can I get?
It depends on the age at which you have been entrusted to Social Assistance to children .
- If you have been entrusted to ESA before your 15 years, you can request a simple French nationality declaration District Court closest to your home BEFORE your 18 years.

- If you have been entrusted to ESA before your 16 years, you can obtain a residence permit "private and family life", explaining well what are your ties and your integration in France. It's a good title one year and renewable.

- If you have been entrusted to ESA after your 16, you can also request a residence permit but the outcome of this application will be more uncertain. You can make a residence permit application "private and family life" by highlighting your links with France. If you are engaged for 6 months in training to bring you a professional qualification, you can apply for a "salaried" or "temporary worker". You can also apply for a "student" if you follow higher education.


The Prefecture refuses to give me a residence permit. What now?
You can make an administrative appeal for the annulment of that decision. If you have received as an obligation to leave French territory – “Obligation de quitter le territoire français” (OQTF) with period of voluntary departure you must send a letter to the Prefect within 30 days after receiving notification of the refusal to grant a residence permit, if it is an immediate OQTF you have a period of 48 hours.
You can also seek to contact the administrative court of your department for the contentious appeal, that is to say, ask for annulment of the decision not to granting a residence permit. Once again, if you have received the OQTF with a period for voluntary departure, it must be completed within 30 days after receiving notification of the refusal to grant a residence permit departure without delay. Or in a period of 48 hours if you have received an immediate OQTF.

I asked for "private and family life" card / employee and was given a student card. Is what I can challenge that decision?
You can make an administrative appeal asking the Prefecture the reasons for their refusal to grant a private and family life / employee card by explaining why you think you fulfill the conditions for have these permits. But you cannot be sure that this will make them change their minds. 

Is it at the end of the validity of my residence permit student can I apply for a residence permit “employee” or “temporary worker”?
Yes, you can but it's not an easy process because you either have a certain level school, or work in a field facing recruitment. In fact, a good amount of requests are often refused. Shortage occupations list


What is the asylum?
The asylum is the procedure that allows a protection of the French state and the right of residence in France if you fear persecution in your country of origin . asylum Guide for unaccompanied minors asylum applications of unaccompanied minors, 30 questions / answers for professionals

I want to apply for asylum, which steps should I follow? When do I have to do my asylum application?
The application must be made in France. Like all asylum seekers, you need to ask for a asylum seeker form by prefecture and return it to the French Office for Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (OFPRA). You will then be interviewed to explain your situation. In case of rejection of the application by OFPRA, you can appeal the decision to the National Court of Asylum – Court nationale du droit d’asile (CNDA). Asylum Guide for unaccompanied minors


Do I need a legal representative to apply for asylum?
As an unaccompanied minor, there are some steps you cannot perform by yourself. This is the case of the asylum application. Since you get the asylum seeker form taken by prefecture, the latter will inform the Procurator, who then appoints you an "ad hoc administrator" if the family court judge have not already appointed you a legal representative.
The ad hoc administrator is your legal representative only for the asylum application. He will assist you and represent you during the different stages of your asylum application.  


The Social Assistance to children is currently responsible for me but I want to go home. How can I do this?
You can always ask to go home. We need you to talk with the educational team that takes care of you. It will convey to Youth Judicial Protection to create a report which assesses if you can go home safely and if your family can accommodate you. Judge then will meet with you, and if this return is consistent with your best interests as a child, he will deliver an document asking for the suspension of the procedure and you will be then accompanied by the French Office of Immigration and the integration (OFII) throughout your return process. Procedure for return assistance