Migrants in Paris, January 2019. Credit: Reuters
Migrants in Paris, January 2019. Credit: Reuters

There is a perception among some in France that migrants "get more money than a French pensioner who has worked all his life," as Marine Le Pen, president of the National Assembly (former National Front), has said. This allegation, often repeated by far-right parties, is false. InfoMigrants recaps the benefits paid to migrants.

These are statements that often recur in far-right political discourse and that make a big impact, despite being vague, speculative, or even false. "Is it normal for a newly arrived migrant to be paid more than a French pensioner who worked all his life?" Marine Le Pen, the president of the main far-right party in France, asked on February 24 during a trip to the country’s north. The statement, posted on her Twitter account, garnered a huge reaction.

No, migrants do not earn more than retirees in terms of the social benefits they can receive. Here are the specifics:

Migrants without any legal status:

Migrants who do not file for asylum, who are undocumented (illegal) on French territory, have no right to anything.

Asylum seekers:

When arriving in France, migrants who file an asylum application are entitled to ADA (asylum seeker allowance), which varies depending on the applicant’s family situation (with or without children). The amount ranges from 6.80 euros per day for a single person (about 190 euros per month) to 17 euros per day for a couple with two children (about 476 euros per month) to 23.80 euros per day for a family of 6 people (about 660 euros per month).

Apart from this aid, asylum seekers have no right to anything.

The ADA ends after the final decision (positive or negative) from the Ofpra  or the National Court of Asylum (CNDA).

Asylum seekers governed by the Dublin Regulation:

Asylum seekers under the Dublin procedure, i.e. whose asylum application is to be handled by another European country, may also receive the ADA.

This allowance ceases to be payable after the transfer of the so-called "Dubliner" asylum seeker to another country or if the asylum seeker has been declared "on the run".

Statutory refugees

Refugees granted international protection (through refugee status or subsidiary protection granted by the Ofpra) are entitled to the same benefits as nationals or other foreign residents without resources.

They can therefore receive the active solidarity income (RSA), which is given to working-age people below a certain income level, if they are eligible, as well as the additional allowances for families.

Is there any help for pensioners in France?

The retirees Marine Le Pen referred to are also entitled to receive financial assistance. In France, senior citizens who have modest pensions can receive the Aspa, the solidarity allowance for the elderly.

The allowance is a maximum of 868 euros per month for a single person without resources and 1,347 euros per month for two people without resources.


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