Brexit: France finalises rights of British residents after Brexit
The French government has published its anticipated decree laying out the rights and responsibilities of British residents as the Brexit transition period nears its end.
The decree was finally published in the Journal Officiel on November 20, making it a legally binding document.
It lays out the rights and responsibilities of British nationals who are already resident in France by December 31, 2020.
Although the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement agreed between Brussels and London broadly covers the rights of British and EU nationals living in their respective territories, each country must publish its own domestic legislation laying out its rules and requirements.
Every British national living in France needs to apply for a carte de séjour residency permit online, which can be found here.
British nationals will get a card bearing the words Accord de retrait du Royaume Uni de l’UE – Withdrawal agreement between the UK and EU.
In order to benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement, British nationals need to be legally resident in France before December 31, 2020, this decree does not cover people who move to France after this date.
Everyone must have made their application for a card by June 30, 2021. Everyone must have a card by October 1, 2021.
Any British national living in France after that date without a carte de séjour will be living in France illegally unless they can prove a good reason why they were not able to make their application in time.
Until October 1, 2021, there is no requirement for British nationals to have a carte de séjour in order to live, work, study or receive healthcare or benefits in France. This is not new information, but it is the first piece of official legislation to state this.
UK nationals who have already lived in France for more than five years will be given a carte de séjour permanent. The card is valid for 10 years and can be renewed, but the right to remain is for life and you will not need to prove your eligibility again.
UK nationals who have lived in France for less than five years but are married to a French person will also be given a carte de séjour permanent.
UK nationals who have lived in France for less than five years will be given a five-year card, which can then be exchanged for a carte de séjour permanent at the end of the five-year period.
UK nationals who have lived in France for more than five years only need to prove their identity and how long they have been in France.
UK nationals who have lived in France for less than five years need to prove that they fit into one of the categories of applicant – working, student, job-seeker, family member, or economically inactive.
UK nationals who are not working will need to prove they have health coverage and have enough resources not to be a burden on the French state.
The Withdrawal Agreement covers any British national and family members legally residing in France by December 31, 2020.
The decree confirms what happens to people who apply as a spouse or partner and then experience bereavement or divorce
If the partner dies, the family member is entitled to stay
If the partner is divorced, the family member is entitled to stay if the marriage lasted three years or more.
If the marriage lasted less than three years, the family member could be entitled to stay if they have joint custody of children who are in French schools or in exceptional circumstances such as the ending of the marriage because of domestic violence
UK nationals who are working in France but living in another country, known as frontaliers, can apply for a cross-border worker card that will allow them to work in France – either as an employee or on a self-employed basis.
They will receive a card bearing the words Travailleur frontalier/Accord de retrait du Royaume-Uni de l’UE – Non-résident – cross-border worker/ Withdrawal Agreement between the UK and EU – non-resident.
As with the other categories covered by the decree, this applies to people who are already working in France and living elsewhere before December 31, 2020.
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