For members


How many American citizens are ordered to leave European countries?

Hundreds of Americans citizens have been forced to leave EU and Schengen area countries in recent years for numerous reasons, mostly related to residency rules. Here's a look at the numbers.

How many American citizens are ordered to leave European countries?

A small number of European countries are responsible for most orders to leave the Schengen area issued to American citizens in 2021 and 2022, figures from the EU have revealed.

In 2021, 1,690 US citizens were ordered to leave a Schengen area country.

And up until the end of September 2022, some 1,290 Americans were ordered to leave the EU and Schengen area, according to the latest available data from the EU statistical office Eurostat.

The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, France, Germany and Belgium issued the vast majority of departure orders towards US citizens.

From the figures, which are communicated to Eurostat by national authorities, it emerges that the Netherlands alone issued 980 leave orders in 2021 and 770 in the first nine months of 2022.

Norway followed with 795 leave orders in 2021 and 105 in 2022 up to September. Then came Sweden, with 240 in 2021 and 135 in the same period of 2022. In comparison, France ordered 100 US citizens to leave in 2021 and 85 in the first nine months of 2022, and Germany 60 in 2021 and 25 in 2022.

Spain reported 10 cases in both years, Italy 5 in 2021 and 15 in 2022. For Austria, the figures were 15 in 2021 and 10 in the first nine months of 2022. Denmark issued 15 and 20 leave orders respectively, and Switzerland 40 and 20 respectively.

Netherlands vs Norway

Not all these people who received the orders, however, had to leave the country in which they were based.

The Dutch immigration agency (IND) said that an order to leave can be issued if a residence application has been “rejected” or “a previously granted residence permit has been withdrawn”.

The person has then an obligation to leave the country and all other countries of the Schengen area within a certain period (usually 4 weeks).

But it is still possible to apply and obtain a residence permit, or even to appeal a negative decision, while staying in the country, the IND said.

The discrepancy between the number of orders given and the number of people who actually then had to leave is reflected in Eurostat figures.

The data shows that the number of returns – US citizens that actually had to leave European countries – is smaller than the number of orders given: 510 in 2021 and 350 in the first nine months of 2022. For the Netherlands, the total was 80 in 2021 and 40 in 2022.

From information on actually number of people returned it emerges that Norway is the country that imposed most US citizens to leave: 635 in 2021 and 60 in the first nine months of 2022. For Sweden, the figure was 180 in 2021 and 85 in 2022 up to September.

Some 15 US citizens were returned from France both in 2021 and in the first nine months of 2022. For Germany the number was 10 and 5, for Denmark 15 and 10, for Italy and Spain zero and 10, for Switzerland zero.

Why are American citizens ordered to leave EU countries?

When it comes to the reasons why Americans are given orders to leave EU and Schengen area countries, well it’s largely for the same issues other non-EU citizens receive the same instructions. 

The Local recently published data about British citizens issued a leave order from Sweden post-Brexit. A spokesperson of the Swedish Migration Agency said these were due to “incomplete [residency] applications, late applications, applications where the applicant did not fulfil the requirement for residence status,” as well as “reasons unknown”.

The website of the French Ministry of Interior specifies that an order to leave can be issued, for instance, if a person has entered France or the Schengen area irregularly and does not have a residence permit, if they have stayed beyond the visa expiry or for more than 90 days in 180, if they have an expired residence permit, or this has been refused or withdrawn, or if they have worked without a work permit.

However, there are several cases in which a person cannot be forced to leave France. These include, among others, being a minor (unless parents are also subject to such a measure), having lived in France for more than 10 years, excluding periods as students, having habitually resided in France since a child, have been – and still be – married to a French citizen for at least 3 years.

An order to leave is not an expulsion, which occurs only when, in addition to be illegally present in the country, the person also represents “a serious threat to public order,” the French Ministry of Interior says. In this case, the expulsion usually leads to a ban from the country.

This article was written in collaboration with the Europe Street news site.

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For members


How to renew your American passport in France

If you are an American living in France and your American passport is expiring soon, here is what you need to know about the renewal process.

How to renew your American passport in France

Renewing your American passport while in France has a slightly different – and at times more challenging – process than doing so in the United States.

Before starting, you should keep in mind that the process on average takes between four to six weeks, so be sure to begin well in advance of any international travel.

Here are the steps you should take, and the things to be aware of when doing so:

Determine whether you should renew by mail or make an appointment

Unfortunately, you can’t do this process online – it involves either an in-person visit or sending documents by mail.

If you are an adult renewing your 10-year passport, then you most likely will need to do so by mail. This has been the US Embassy in France’s ongoing policy since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Children’s passport renewals are still conducted in-person.

READ MORE: Americans in France: What you need to know about proposed changes to EU driving licence rules

There are some circumstances where you might be able to make an appointment. You can learn more about whether this will be possible for you, as well as wait times on the Embassy’s website HERE or by emailing the Passport Unit directly at [email protected] 

The Embassy may allow you to make an in-person appointment if you have a ticketed flight within the next three weeks.

If you are doing it by mail, here’s what to do next;

Fill out and print the renewal form

As long as your most recent passport was issued in the last 15 years and you were over the age of 16 at the time, then you should complete a DS-82 form (found HERE). If this is not the case for you, then you will likely need to complete the DS-11 form.

You fill out all the details of the form online, and then click save, at which point it will save your form into a Pdf, that you then print out. When it comes to filling out the ’emergency contact’ section, you must list someone living in the US, as the form cannot accept non-US addresses. 

Once printed out, you then need to sign and date the form – failure to do so can mean that your paperwork will not be counted and will be sent back to you. 

Take your identification photo

The next step involves taking a passport identification photo that you will staple onto the DS-82 paperwork.

This part can be tricky for Americans in France, as many of the Photomaton machines that you will find in French grocery stores or stations do not offer the correct dimensions for an American passport renewal. The picture must be in colour with a white background, and it must be 2 inches by 2 inches, or about 5 cm by 5 cm. 

If you are able to have your renewal appointment at the Embassy, then you will be able to take use their specialised photobooth. However, for all others, you will likely find yourself needing to book an appointment with an independent photographer or studio who will print the photograph with the correct dimensions. 

If you google “Le Labo Photo” or “Le Studio Photo” in French, then you will be able to find a studio near you. Some places will allow walk-in sessions, while others may require appointments to be made beforehand. If you are struggling to find a photo studio, then you can email the Embassy’s Passport Unit and ask for a recommendation near you.

Pay the fee and print the confirmation

Pay the passport application fee. You can do this via the US government’s secure payment site. You will need to print the electronic confirmation, which you will receive by email after paying the fee. This should be included in the documents sent to the Embassy in your passport renewal file. 

Buy a prepaid envelope

Next, buy a pre-paid envelope – this must be included as it will allow the Embassy to send you your new passport.  The Embassy recommends that the envelope should allow for 500g of weight per applicant. More than one applicant can use the same envelope as long as the weight allowed for is correct (for example – two applicants should ask for a 1kg envelope) and you can expect to pay around €30 for this.

READ MORE: Americans in France: Investment options, citizenship and basketball

At the post office, ask for either a Collissimo (“pret-a-envoyer”) or Chronopost (“pret-a-expedier”) envelope. The Embassy advises on their website that “Applicants outside of Metropolitan France and Monaco should use a Chronopost “Monde et Outre-Mer” envelope.”

On the envelope that will be used to send your passport back to you, fill out Expidateur (Sender) segment with the Embassy’s address: US Embassy; ACS/Passport Unit; 4, avenue Gabriel; 75382 Paris Cedex 08 France.

Next, under Destinataire (Recipient) put in your own name and address. 

Post your file

Put together all your documents – the DS-82 paperwork with your identification photo attached, your passport that is set to expire, printed payment confirmation email and pre-paid envelope – in a large envelope ready for posting. 

You can send this by normal mail, but as the envelope includes your original passport, you may wish to send it by tracked mail.

Une Lettre Suivie is a registered letter that will allow you to track the package as it makes its way to the Embassy for peace of mind. It costs slightly more than a traditional stamp would, and it will allow you to be able to follow the letter on the La Poste website using the tracking number given to you.

READ MORE: Have your say: What do Americans in France need to know about French life?

Wait for your new passport to be sent back to you

Your new passport will be sent to you by mail, and the Embassy indicates on their website that processing time is typically four to six weeks. 

You may be able to check the status of your passport while it is being processed online HERE.