The Taliban’s accelerating offensive in Afghanistan has seen six provincial capitals fall into their control in the space of a few days, raising speculation that they may be in a position to take the capital Kabul within weeks. For the Afghans formerly employed by the forces of the US led international coalition, the dangers posed to the lives of them and their families are very real and greater than ever. But up to around 80 of those employed by the French army in Afghanistan have been refused visas to find safe haven in France, despite the killing in June of one amongst them. Justine Brabant reports.
There has been a steep increase in the number of African visitors who have had their visa applications rejected by the French authorities over the last five years. According to applicants and lawyers, requests to visit France regularly get turned down for no good reason. Yet, as Fanny Pigeaud reports, a recent case in Nantes in western France shows that some visa refusals can be overturned by the courts.
Speaking at the European Union summit in Brussels dominated by the struggling negotiations to find a mutual agreement for conditions of the UK's exit from the union, French President Emmanuel Macron described reports that British citizens would require a visa to enter or remain in France as 'fake news', but also did not rule out the possibility.
Many Syrian refugees living in Turkey have gone to the French Consulate in Istanbul in the hope of obtaining a visa that will allow them to travel to France in safety. But only a small number ever get granted this precious document. Mediapart's Carine Fouteau tells the story of one Kurdish family from Syria who were twice forced to flee the fighting and who are now desperately waiting for a visa from the French authorities that would restore hope to their shattered lives.
The reciprocal agreement between France and India will allow their nationals in either country a 24-month extension of visas post-studies.
Following six months of protests, the French government this week appeared ready to accept at least a partial climb-down over its contentious move to restrict the granting of work permits to foreign, non-EU students, many of whom are graduates who have been offered employment after their studies in the country. The restrictions, which the government said were prompted by "one of the most severe economic crises in history" and which critics denounced as pandering to the electorate of the far-right, caused an outcry from French academics and the business world. Carine Fouteau reports.