Virginia, US

Feb 19 2019

No-Deal Brexit Plans for UK Nationals Published


The situation

The French government has published a decree outlining the treatment of UK nationals residing in France, to take effect after March 29, 2019 in case of a no-deal Brexit scenario.

A closer look

The published plans include the following details:

  • Grace period. UK nationals in France must apply for a residence permit during the grace period which will last between three months and 12 months (a specific timeline would be defined at a later date) after March 29, 2019.
  • Residents for less than five years. The following rules would apply to UK nationals residing in France for less than five years on March 29, 2019:
    • Students. Those studying in France would be eligible for a “student” or “student-mobility program” card. The nature and duration of this card would depend on the duration of the studies and the seriousness of the student.
    • Employees. Those with a permanent French employment contract would be issued an employee “salarié” residence card, valid for an initial period of four years. Those with a fixed-term contract or under a secondment would receive a “temporary worker” (travailleur temporaire) card for an initial period of one year, renewable under the same conditions.
    • Self-employed. Those who are self-employed who can demonstrate that they can support themselves would be eligible for a “entreprepeneur/professional person” (entrepreneur/profession libérale) card, valid for four years.
    • Job search permit. Those who have graduated from a university in France less than one year prior to submitting their job search permit application, and those who are unemployed after having worked in France for at least three months prior to the application (who are registered with the French unemployment authorities and are covered by medical insurance) would be eligible for a “job search or creation of a company” (recherche d’emploi ou creation d’entreprise) card, which is valid for the term of unemployment.
    • Dependents.
      • UK dependents. UK nationals’ dependents would receive a “family and private life” (vie privée et familiale) card valid for the same time frame as the principal applicant.
      • Third-country national dependents. Non-UK dependents of a UK national married before March 29, 2019 would also be eligible for a “family and private life” (vie privée et familiale) card as long as they hold a residence permit as a family member of the EU spouse.
    • All others. UK nationals who do not fall in one of the categories above would be eligible for “visitor” status as long as they have sufficient resources (amount to be determined later) and are covered by medical insurance. Visitor status does not permit work in France.
  • Residents for more than five years. UK nationals residing in France for more than five years on March 29, 2019 would need to apply for a long-term residence permit, valid for 10 years. The decree is expected to provide more details on this permit.
  • Other key points.
    • All those mentioned above would be exempt from social integration requirements in France but would need to pay a tax for their residence permit.
    • UK nationals residing in France before March 29, will maintain the French  medical coverage they are entitled to in application of the EU regulation 883/2004 and 987/2009 for a period of two years, unless a specific agreement replaces it.



UK nationals who would continue to work and reside in France past March 29, 2019 should ensure that they take the necessary steps to obtain any documents required to register or apply for immigration status. Fragomen advises UK nationals to apply for the EU national card.


The proposal is a part of the government’s contingency planning in case no Brexit deal is concluded between the European Union and the United Kingdom before March 29, 2019.

Many other EU countries have published contingency plans for UK nationals in case of a no-deal Brexit, with more expected soon. Fragomen would provide updates on the situation as they become available.

Looking ahead

The government is expected to publish further details in another decree that may clarify certain points. The French authorities can suspend these measures within two months if the United Kingdom does not reciprocally provide the same benefits to French nationals in the United Kingdom in case of a no-deal Brexit.

Please contact a Fragomen immigration professional for assistance in planning contingency arrangements in a single project.

For more information, please visit Fragomen's dedicated Brexit site, which contains news, FAQs, and analysis/commentary in the form of blogs, videos, webcasts and events.

Fragomen in France is Fragomen France AARPI., operating as an immigration consultancy/law firm in France. This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to [email protected].