Brexit Guidelines for British Nationals in France

Dec 10, 2020 | Global

This article provides updates on what the Brexit transition means for British nationals residing in France.

On December 31, 2020, at midnight, the Brexit transition period will end. The United Kingdom (UK) will become a third country to the European Union (EU).

British nationals already residing in France can submit “Withdrawal Agreement” residence permit applications now. The request can be made on the internet. All British nationals already residing in France before December 31, 2020, are eligible to apply for a residence permit, in accordance with the provisions of the Brexit agreement signed between the UK and the EU. By June 30, 2021, all British nationals wishing to benefit from the provisions of the Brexit agreement to retain their rights to stay and work in France must have a French residence permit.

Applicants must upload documentation, including passport identity pages; proof establishing the date the applicant moved to France, such as a property certificate issued by a notary, a home insurance contract, a home insurance certificate or an employment contract; and documents relating to the specific situation of each applicant. For example, an employee must provide a copy of their most recent pay slip, while a student must provide proof of enrollment in a school or university. After completing these steps, the applicant will receive an application confirmation by email, with a reference number confirming the filing.

Once the file has been processed, an email will be sent to the candidate to make an appointment at the prefecture to finalize the file (fingerprinting, photo, and proof of payment of fees).

It is not yet clear how the applicant will receive the residence permit when it becomes available, whether by post to his or her home in France or by going to the Prefecture a second time.

Permit Types

Presence of less than five years

British nationals who have resided in France for less than five years as of December 31, 2020, must apply for a residence permit, depending on their status (e.g., student, employee, temporary worker, posted worker, self-employed professional, unemployed person, family member, long-term visitor). They will be issued a residence permit in accordance with the agreement bearing the specific category, such as “Withdrawal agreement—employee.”

Although the list of required documents is not yet available, applicants are advised to prepare:

  • Passport or identity card
  • Proof of address in France
  • Identity photographs
  • Proof of resources: employment contract, payslips, bank statements
  • Proof of professional activity: work certificate signed by the employer confirming the date of the start of employment in France
  • Proof of the purpose of the stay in France over the past five years (e.g., employment contract)

British nationals who have resided in France for less than five years as of December 31, 2020, can also apply for a resident card when they can prove that they have lived in France for five years. For example, a British national residing in France as of December 31, 2017, can apply for a resident card as of December 31, 2022.

Presence of five years or more

British nationals who have resided for five years or more in France as of December 31, 2020, are eligible to obtain a resident card valid for 10 years.

Although the list of required documents is not yet available, applicants are advised to prepare:

  • Passport or identity card
  • Proof of address in France
  • Three identity photographs
  • Proof of presence in France over the past five years: one document per half-year (e.g., rent receipts, energy bills)

Proof of resources: employment contract, payslips, bank statements.

For more information, please contact Vivian Zhu, Director of Global Immigration at Wolfsdorf Rosenthal.

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