Brexit: rights of Britons living in France to be protected

Brexit – Situation of British nationals owning second homes – Reply by the Office of the Minister of State for European Affairs, attached to the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs, to a written question in the National Assembly

Paris, 20 October 2020

The withdrawal agreement 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, it 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 (31 December 2020). 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. The situation of British nationals wishing to pay short visits to France following the transition period, for example to travel to their second home if they live mainly in the UK, does not fall under the withdrawal agreement but under the future relationship between the European Union and the United Kingdom, which is currently being negotiated.

If no agreement comes into force following the transition period, their situation will be covered by a regulation adopted at European Union level which stipulates that British travellers will be exempted from short-stay visas (under three months), provided the UK reciprocally grants all EU citizens exemptions from short-stay visas. For visits longer than three months, British citizens will, however, have to possess long-stay visas./.

Published on 20/10/2020

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