Connecticut, US

Apr 22 2019

Update on No-Deal Brexit Plans for UK Nationals

France

At a Glance

  • The French government has published another decree that would apply in case of a no-deal Brexit scenario.
  • The decree contains further instructions on the application deadline and document requirements for UK nationals and their family members seeking to continue to reside in France after Brexit day.

The situation

As an update to France’s no-deal Brexit plans, the French government has published a decree with further instructions for UK nationals and their family members seeking to continue to reside in France after Brexit day.

A closer look

The decree includes the following key points:

  • Two grace periods apply. The decree divides the grace period based on whether the UK resident seeks to extend their immigration status in France after Brexit:
    • UK nationals seeking to stay in France. UK residents seeking to stay in France for more than one year after Brexit would have six months after Brexit day to apply for a French residence permit.
      • Immediate action required. UK residents seeking to prolong their stay in France should schedule an appointment at their local Préfecture as soon as possible (where available) in light of long appointment waiting times (e.g., the next available appointment in Paris is currently in July). Note that some Préfectures can only schedule such appointments after Brexit day.
    • UK nationals not seeking to stay in France. UK residents not planning to stay in France after Brexit would continue to benefit from the residence permit waiver for EU nationals during a one-year grace period.
  • Residents for less than five years. This application route is available to UK nationals who have resided in France for less than five years.
    • Eligibility. The Decree covers all types of immigration categories in this group, including those who would be eligible for an employee or temporary worker residence card, student card, student mobility program card, contractor/self-employed professional card, job search/business creation card, private and family life card or visitor residence card.
    • General document requirements. The above group of UK nationals – will have to submit a passport; passport photograph; their current residence permit (if applicable) or alternatively proof of residence in France; among other specific documents.
    • Documents for workers. UK national workers eligible for a French residence card will have to submit their employment contract and one salary slip issued in the last three months to obtain an employee (salarié) or temporary worker (travailleur temporaire) card.
    • Documents for family members. Family members of UK nationals may be able to obtain a family and private life (vie privée et familiale) card if they submit proof of the family relationship (such as a birth or marriage certificate); proof of material and financial support by the UK national; and a copy of the UK national’s passport. Non-EU spouses must currently hold a ‘family member of an EU national’ residence card to qualify for this application route.
  • Proof of residence. Since the decree does not list specific documents as acceptable proof of residence, Fragomen expects that UK nationals can prove their residence through various documents, e.g., rental agreements, utility and insurance bills related to residence under the assignee’s name, credit card statement, and mentioning the applicant’s name, proof of travel including airplane and train tickets. As accepted documents may vary by Préfecture, applicants are advised to check local requirements well in advance.
  • Residents for more than five years. UK nationals and their family members who have lived in France for more than five years will be able to request a ‘Long Term Residence EU card’, and the documents they will have to submit vary based on whether they previously held a permanent residence card or not:
    • Those who hold a permanent residence card. Those currently holding a permanent residence card – will have to switch to a ‘Long Term Resident EU’. They will only need to submit a valid passport and their current residence permit to change their permit to a ‘Long Term Resident EU’ permit, valid for 10 years.
    • Those who did not previously hold a permanent residence card. Those currently residing in France for five years or more (who did not request a permanent residence card) will have to submit the following documents to obtain a ‘Long Term Resident EU’ permit, valid for 10 years: a passport; passport photograph; proof of sufficient funds and/or home ownership; their current residence permit (if applicable) or alternatively, proof of residence for five years plus proof of health insurance.
    • Family members. As a reminder, the family relationship must have existed prior to Brexit day for family members to qualify for this application route. Note that there are additional conditions in the Decree relating to non-EU spouses.
  • Cost of permit. French authorities may charge for the amended permit (likely approximately EUR 100), though related details remain unclear in the Decree. Exemptions may apply on a case-by-case basis.

 

Impact

UK nationals and their family members seeking to continue to work and reside in France for more than a year after Brexit day can now take practical steps to safeguard their status by scheduling appointments (where available) and preparing the above supporting documents. Fragomen expects that applications can only be filed after Brexit day. As a reminder, these contingency measures only apply to current residents, not new arrivals after Brexit day.

Background

The decree 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 Brexit day.

Many other EU countries have published contingency plans for UK nationals in case of a no-deal Brexit.

Looking ahead

Further details of the government plans have yet to be announced. Fragomen will provide updates on the situation as they become available.

 

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 parisinfo@fragomen.com.