The consequences of Brexit on the residency rights of Britons in France
The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists British nationals wishing to settle permanently in French territory.
Indeed, since the United Kingdom left the European Union, the right to stay in France for its nationals has been impacted.
In this regard, the extent of these consequences varies depending on the date on which the national settled or will settle in France, with the key date being set at January 1, 2021.
For British citizens already residing in France before this date, their administrative situation regarding their right to stay is simplified.
The consequences of Brexit on the right to stay of the British in France
It is important to recall that British nationals who were already established in France before December 31, 2020, should be easily granted a residence permit, provided that they apply for such a permit no later than July 1, 2021.
For others, it will be necessary to submit a standard visa and residence permit application, following the rules applicable to all foreigners.
In this regard, it will be important to be vigilant and ensure that the requested permit aligns well with the intended plans.
THE BREXIT :
The HEAUME AVOCAT law firm assists British nationals wishing to settle permanently in France. Indeed, since the United Kingdom left the European Union, the residency rights of its nationals in France have been affected.
In this regard, the extent of these consequences varies depending on the date the individual settled or will settle in France, with the pivotal date being set on January 1, 2021. Indeed, for Britons already residing in France before this date, their administrative situation regarding their residency rights is simplified.
The consequences of Brexit on the residency rights of Britons in France It’s important to remember that British nationals who were already settled in France before December 31, 2020, must be easily granted a residency permit, provided they apply for such a permit no later than July 1, 2021.
For the others, it will be necessary to apply for a visa and a classic residence permit, in accordance with the rules applicable to all foreigners. On this point, one should be vigilant and ensure that the permit sought corresponds well with the intended plans.
The United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union took effect on February 1, 2020. This definitive exit has many implications for the stay of British nationals in France. However, the extent of these effects varies depending on the date the national settled or will settle in France.
What is the situation for the British national who settled in France before January 1, 2021?
- Residency rights for Britons already residing in France
Britons who were already settled in France before the end of the transition period remain subject to the regime applicable to European Union citizens, relating to movement and stay British nationals who can benefit from this assimilation to European citizens are: Britons who are already settled in France to study, work, or live, and Britons who are spouses or partners of a French national. This assimilation also applies to cross-border workers.
However, unlike European citizens, Britons over 18 residing in France will be subject to the obligation to hold a residency permit from October 1, 2021. They must have filed their residency application by July 1, 2021, at the latest.
A specific residence permit bearing the mention “Withdrawal Agreement from the United Kingdom of the European Union” was established for British nationals who settled in France before January 1, 2021. The validity duration of this permit depends on the previous residence duration of the national.
This residence permit will allow the British national to travel freely throughout the Schengen area for stays of less than three months. It allows its holder to carry out any professional activity throughout France. This residence permit is automatically renewed.
a) Procedure for applying for a residence permit
An electronic platform was specially set up for “Withdrawal Agreement” residency application procedures. The application is made online only via this platform, accessible via the site demarches.interieur.gouv.fr.
The British national submits their application along with the required supporting documents that vary depending on their situation. Generally, the requested documents are those that justify residence in France and the financial and tax situation of the applicant. The prefecture’s services in the place of residence will then contact the person for an appointment to take fingerprints. Their residence permit will be sent to them by mail.
Applying for this residence permit is free.
b) Duration of the permit based on the duration of residence in France
The validity duration of the “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permit varies depending on the duration of the British national’s residence in France.
i) For those who have stayed less than five years
If the British national has resided in France for less than five years before January 1, 2021, they will be issued a “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permit valid for a renewable period of five years.
ii) For those who have stayed more than five years
If the British national has resided in France for more than five years before January 1, 2021, they will be issued a residence permit bearing the mention “Permanent Stay Article 50 TFEU / Article 18(1) UK Withdrawal Agreement from the EU”. This permanent residence permit is valid for a renewable duration of ten years. The period of residence should not be uninterrupted and is not limited to the five years preceding the date of January 1, 2021. In this case, it is a residence of at least five years in total before the end of 2020. In certain cases, some Britons who have not resided in France for five years may also apply for this permanent residence permit, particularly retired individuals
Britons holding a “European Union citizen” residence permit
If the British national already holds a residence permit, notably the “EU/EEA/Swiss citizen” residence card, this permit remains valid until October 1, 2021. On this date, even if the expiration date of their current permit is later, the permit will lose its validity. Therefore, it is also appropriate for the British national holding this permit to apply for the “Withdrawal Agreement” residence card.
Right to work for British nationals already residing in France
The “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permits grant their holder the right to exercise any professional activity of their choice. In principle, the Briton already residing in France before January 1, 2021, benefits from the same rights as the European citizen.
Situation of salaried workers
British nationals engaged in salaried employment thus benefit from the regime applicable to European citizens. The provisions of European law relating to equal treatment, non-discrimination, and trade union and collective rights remain applicable to them. In this respect, this British national benefits fully from the rights
The situation of entrepreneurs/British nationals practicing a liberal profession
A British national residing in France who applies for the “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permit will benefit from the same regime applicable to European citizen entrepreneurs or those practicing a liberal profession.
III. The situation of job seekers
A Briton who came to France before January 1, 2021, to seek employment will, upon their residence permit application, be issued a provisional authorization bearing the “Withdrawal Agreement” mention. This provisional residency authorization is valid for six months. It can be renewed if the holder demonstrates they are still seeking employment and have a genuine chance of finding one.
- The situation of British students already residing in France
British students who, before January 31, 2021, were regularly staying in France and were enrolled in a French educational institution must also apply for the residence permit “Article 50 TFEU/Article 18(1) UK Withdrawal Agreement from the EU”. However, unlike other foreigners, the validity duration of this permit, which is not set to the duration of the studies, is five years. This permit is renewable for five years
Social rights of Britons residing in France
In principle, British nationals already living in France can benefit from allowances and social benefits in the same way as European citizens. Starting from October 1, 2021, they will need to present their residence permit. Until this date, if the national doesn’t have their residence permit, they must prove their residence by another means. Britons holding the new five-year or permanent “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permit, as well as crossborder workers, can benefit from social benefits and allowances, including the active solidarity income. Additionally, they can claim the enforceable right to housing and access to moderate-rent housing. Health care costs are covered in the same way for holders of these residence permits, as well as for job-seeking nationals holding the “Withdrawal Agreement” provisional residence permit. All the aforementioned elements also apply to the family members of the British national.
. What is the situation of family members of Britons already residents of France ?
The situation of spouses, cohabitants, and partners
a) The British spouse, cohabitant, or partner of a French national British nationals in this situation fall under a particular residency right regime. Indeed, the validity duration of their residence permit varies depending on their residency duration. If the British national has resided in France for more than 5 years, they will be issued, regardless of their relationship with the French national, a 10-year valid residence permit. This permit is automatically renewed. However, if the British national has resided in France for less than 5 years, the duration of the permit issued to them will vary based on their relationship with the French national. On one hand, the British spouse will receive a 10-year renewable residence permit. On the other hand, the partner or cohabitant of the French national will receive a 5-year renewable residence permit.
b) A third-country national who is the spouse, cohabitant, or partner of a British resident in France
If a third-country national holds their residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen, they will need to apply for a residence permit as a family member of a British national. However, if the foreign national holds a residence permit on another basis, they should not apply for this other residence permit
The case of minors
Children under the age of 18 are not required to have a residence permit. However, as soon as the child turns 18, they will be subject to this obligation and will need to apply for a “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permit. If the young adult is financially dependent on their parents, they must indicate during their residence permit
application that they are a family member of a Briton residing in France. The fact that the child of a British national residing in France studies abroad does not prevent their right to a residence permit
The case of the British national settling in France after January 1, 2021
Any British national wishing to settle in France from January 1, 2021, will be subject to the same regime that applies to foreigners from third countries.
See in this regard the following fact sheets:
- Visas and residence permits
- Refusal of residence permit and obligation to leave French territory
- Professional immigration
- Family immigration
- Family reunification
- Student immigration
- French nationality