Brexit: Ministry sets out rights of Britons living in France after transition

Brexit – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to written questions in the National Assembly

Paris, 8 December 2020

The withdrawal agreement signed between the EU and the United Kingdom protects EU citizens living in the United Kingdom and UK nationals living in one of the 27 EU member States at the end of the transition period.

Among other things, the agreement provides for rights linked to residence, based on conditions identical to those set out in the directive on free movement in the EU (Directive 2004/38/EC). In accordance with the withdrawal agreement, France pledged to protect the rights of British nationals currently living on its territory or wishing to settle here before the end of the transition period.

Depending on their situation, these nationals will obtain either a permanent residence permit (if they settled in France before 31 December 2020 and have proof of having lived lawfully on French territory for five years) or a document valid for one to five years (if they settled in France before 31 December 2020 and have been on French territory for under five years). Members of their family will also be able to have access to a residence permit. Residence permit applications are made online until 1 July 2021, via a Ministry of the Interior platform.

British citizens settling in France after 1 January 2021 will not fall under the withdrawal agreement unless they are members of a family whose link with a British national holding a right of residence was established prior to 1 January 2021 or unless it concerns children of that national born after 31 December 2020. The residence situation of British citizens settled in France from 1 January will be examined in the framework of the ordinary domestic law applicable to third-country nationals. Under these conditions, following the transition period British nationals wishing to make long trips to France (over 90 days in any 180-day period) will have to apply for a residence permit or long-stay visa issued by the national authorities.

This is the automatic consequence of the British people’s choice to leave the EU. On the other hand, an exemption is envisaged for short stays: following the transition period, British nationals will be able to continue making trips to France not exceeding 90 days in a 180-day period, without having to apply for either a visa or residence permit (provided the United Kingdom reciprocally grants all EU citizens exemptions from short-stay visas)./.

Published on 09/12/2020

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