Two Afghan nationals benefiting from subsidiary protection appealed to the Conseil d'État as part of an urgent application to obtain that the procedure for investigating and issuing visas for family reunification be adapted so that their spouse and children can benefit from a visa for this purpose without delay.
The applicants stated in particular that their families had been separated for several years and that the failure of the consular services to register their application for family reunification was illegal.
The investigation showed that security problems and growing instability in Afghanistan had forced France to close the visa service of its embassy in Kabul to the public and transfer it, initially, to the embassy in Islamabad (Pakistan). However, the threats to French establishments in Pakistan have also led to its closure in April 2021. These closures for security reasons, added to the health crisis, have caused a significant delay in the processing of visa applications.
To remedy this situation, in May 2021, an order was issued by the Ministers of the Interior and Foreign Affairs to allow the services of the French embassies in Iran and India to process visa applications from Afghan nationals. These services must also take into account the investigation of applications already carried out in Kabul or Tehran, as well as the age of the applicant's children at the date of submission of the application and provide for priority processing of these applications.
In addition, during the investigation, the Minister of the Interior undertook to ensure that, for applications from Afghan nationals for family reunification, the provisions allowing any consular post, by way of derogation from the rules of ordinary law, to issue visas to persons who can prove unforeseeable and compelling reasons that did not allow them to submit their application in the consular district where they usually reside, would be applied.
Finally, the administration also announced that measures would soon be taken to adapt the human, material and real estate resources of the embassies concerned, according to security developments.
In this very uncertain context, and taking into account the progress made during the investigation, the urgent application judge considers that there is no reason to order the administration to take additional measures today.
Download French Ordinance No. 455751