There are positive aspects to law and policy in France. Its statelessness determination procedure (SDP) is accessible, there is a right to appeal, and a multi-annual residence permit with the right to a travel document is granted to those recognised as stateless. The law requires that detention is a last resort and that a country of removal is identified prior to detaining. There are provisions in law to prevent statelessness including among children born on the territory or to nationals abroad, and safeguards to prevent deprivation of nationality leading to statelessness.
However, there are also key gaps. France is not Party to three of the four core statelessness conventions and although some disaggregated data on the SDP and stateless refugees is published, it does not capture statelessness in its census. Applicants for statelessness status under the SDP have no legal right to stay and there is no simplified route to naturalisation. People released from detention are not protected from re-detention. Although there is a safeguard in law for children born stateless in France, its implementation is problematic with some children being required to go through the SDP to prove their statelessness. Late birth registration is only possible through the courts and there is emerging evidence of barriers to birth registration and prompt issuance of birth certificates for some children born on French territory.
Elise Martin Gomez, Forum réfugiés