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Ministry of Health and Population, Office of Immigration and the Introduction of Families: applications for the introduction into France of families of foreign immigrant workers (1946-1958)

    This fonds of 133 articles presents files relating to circular n°180 of 26 August 1948, (modified by circular n°116 of 14 June 1950). This concerned the procedure for introducing families of foreign workers, whether salaried or not, of any nationality. With a view to accelerating the arrival of families, this ministerial circular called on prefects to authorise the entry into France of the families of immigrant workers (salaried or not) already established on French territory in a large number of cases. The five copies of the introduction applications were submitted to the Departmental Directorate of the Population in the applicant’s place of residence, by the applicant, after approval by his or her employer or the mayor. The applicant was then given all the information needed to direct his or her family to the centres of the National Immigration Office (ONI) (offices in certain foreign countries) that were responsible for sending them to France after authorisation, and also received the lump sums due on entry to the French territory for reuniting families. The departmental directorate of the population carried out investigations into, among other things, the healthiness of the accommodation to be used by the families. The opinion of the departmental director was then transmitted to the prefect. However, some prefects could ask the central administration to examine particular cases. For applicants who were not employees, the application had to be referred to the Minister. As the application process differed depending on the nationality of the applicant (agreements between countries were established in the post-war years), state aid was provided for certain nationalities, while other families were required to pay a lump sum to the ONI in order to enter the country. For the latter, their application was sent directly to the ONI in Paris, which required the families to attend the relevant ONI centre abroad. Among the files in this collection, some are applications for regularisation (under circular 183 of 28 July 1949), for immigrants who entered France on a short-stay visa and then requested regularisation of their situation if they were staying with their family. Circular n°116 of 14 June 1950 modified n°180 with the following measures: restrictions were made if the applicant held a work permit which expired within 3 months. Depending on the applicant’s situation and that of the labour market, vacant jobs were filled preferably with national workers. Depending on his situation and that of the labour market, vacancies were filled preferably with national labour. The collection includes several thousand individual files containing forms, correspondence, proof of accommodation, medical certificates, surveys and employment certificates. It shows distinct administrative paths depending on the applicant’s country of origin. Among the nationalities represented are: Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, German, Belgian, Romanian, Bulgarian, British, Polish, Russian, Yugoslav, Turkish, Armenian, Greek, Hungarian, Syrian, Israeli and French. There is also the case of Algerian workers, mentioned as « free workers », Algeria being French at that time. As for the various cases of German workers, most of them were former prisoners of war who became free workers. Some of the files are very complete, but many are very succinct. Some do not indicate the date of birth of the applicant and some, with the same name, are distinguished by their date of birth or the place where they lived or worked. Handwritten letters are testimonies to the lives of migrants in post-war Europe; some are in the applicant’s native language. To date, a few files are in poor condition, but the majority are still in good condition. The files are arranged alphabetically by applicant’s name.

    Original source name : Ministère de la Santé et de la Population, bureau de l'immigration et de l'introduction des familles : demandes d'introduction en France de familles de travailleurs étrangers immigrés (1946-1958)
    English translation : Ministry of Health and Population, Office of Immigration and the Introduction of Families: applications for the introduction into France of families of foreign immigrant workers (1946-1958)
    Creator : Administration
    Document- type 1 : immigration papers
    Document- type 2 : correspondence
    Reference number : 20190081/1-20190081/133
    Language(s) : French, German, italian
    Geographical coverage : International
    Time range : 20thc.
    Year(s) : 1946-1958
    Theme 1 : experience of migration
    Theme 2 : work
    Link to the item in the catalogue :
    Archive name : Archives nationales
    Archive name (English) : French National Archives
    Archive address : 59 Rue Guynemer, 93383 Pierrefitte-sur-Seine
    City : Pierrefitte-sur-Seine
    Country : France
    Official website and institutional resources :
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