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As a British Ex Patriat living in France how does the current situation with BREXIT affect me

Thursday, 7 February, 2019
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Living in France post BREXIT  - establishing the right to remain -Titres De Sejour

 
Since the 2016 Referendum we have launched a series of occasional bulletins about Brexit specifically focussed on the Anglo-French impact of developments, as they arise, from the perspective of the French property buyer or owner and the French resident British ex-pat.

So far, these have been very sporadic and far between because there has been very little definitive information to work on – progress in the negotiations being torturous and communication channels being blocked with hot air and speculation.

However, whenever we do come across something concrete and relevant we look to pass this information on to our existing and future clients.

One area of mounting concern, particularly for those British nationals who are already resident in France is what happens to their rights acquired prior to Brexit, whether or not they should be applying for a Carte de Séjour  right now and if so whether this would see them through Brexit.

We are not suggesting in this bulletin that if you find yourself in these circumstances that you should not apply for a Carte before 29th March, however we have been pointing out for some time now that any Carte obtained to date and running up to Brexit day would be on the basis of you being an EU citizen at the time – a status which will be lost post Brexit. Technically then, logic would suggest that such a Carte would no longer be valid post Brexit.

This conclusion has been confirmed in a recent Q & A publication issued by the French Ministry of the Interior on the matter of the procedures to be followed in order to maintain or acquire a right to stay (Titre de Séjour). These processes differ depending on whether the UK exits without a deal or whether the Withdrawal Agreement, as agreed to date between HM Govt and the EU Commission, is eventually ratified by the UK and EU parliaments, (don’t forget that the Withdrawal Agreement does not need ratification by all 27 EU member states).

This bulletin repeats this Q & A series. Although – particularly in the case of a no deal – the answers remain incomplete due to processes still having to be nailed down at Ministerial level, the answers to date do help to provide clarity.  We will look to update this bulletin as more information comes to light.
 
The following answers have been based on the  “DEAL” being the current Withdrawal Agreement signed by HM Govt and rejected in the House of Commons vote of 15/01/2019.
 
Q1. Will it be necessary to obtain a Titre de Séjour (e.g. Carte de Séjour or Carte de Résident) after the 29th March 2019?
 
NO DEAL
 
An application will be required after the 29th March 2019, although the terms and conditions for such an application have not yet been drawn up 
 
DEAL
 
If living in France prior to 31/12/2020 (or 31/12/2022 if the transition extension clause is triggered to its maximum) an application will need to be made prior to July 2021, (or July 2023) although the terms and timing schedule has not yet been drawn up.
Those arriving after 31/12/2020 (potentially 31/12/2022) will need to apply under the rules currently applicable to 3rd party countries (non EU States)
 
Q2. In the case of existing residents, what are the current official criteria to be met in order to obtain a Carte de Sejour?
 
NO DEAL
 
It will be necessary to justify that one was already living in France before 30th March 2019 on one or more of the following grounds:

a). Pursuing a professional employed or self employed occupation, or
b). Having comprehensive medical insurance in place and sufficient financial resources available. It has not yet been clarified what this level needs to be and whether it needs to be higher than for an EU / EEA / Swiss citizen.
c). Pursuing studies or vocational training and having comprehensive medical insurance in place, or
d). Being a family member of a British national resident in France prior to 30th March 2019 who themselves meet one or more of a) to c).
and continuing to meet one or more of conditions a). to d). above
 
DEAL
 
The  current criteria as applied to citizens of the EU or EEA member states and Switzerland will continue to apply through to the end of the transition period (currently 31/12/2010 but with a possible extension to 31/12/2022), namely:
a). Pursuing a professional employed or self employed occupation, (or having recently pursued such in France and now registered as a jobseeker), or
b). Having comprehensive medical insurance in place and sufficient financial resources available so as not to qualify for French income support.
c). Pursuing studies or vocational training and having comprehensive medical insurance in place, or
d). Being a family member of a British national resident in France prior to 01 January 2021 (or 2023 if the transition extension clause is invoked).
and continuing to meet one or more of conditions a). to d). above

Q3. Will Titres de Séjours obtained as an EU citizen still be valid after the end of March 2019?
 
NO DEAL 
 
Any Titre de Séjour obtained on the basis of EU citizenship before the 30th March 2019 will have to be changed for a Non EU national version. The timescale for this has yet to be published 
 
DEAL
 
Any such Titre de Séjour will remain valid until the end of the transition period – which could be extended to 31/12/2022. Thereafter it will need to be replaced with a Titre of the type described in the Withdrawal agreement.
Applications will be able to be submitted according to a timescale which has yet to be announced but in any event will run until at least the end of July following the end of the transition period (e.g. July 2021 or July 2023 if the extension allowed for in the Withdrawal Agreement is triggered). 
 
Q4. Will a British national who already has a Carte de Séjour have to change it if they move address after the 29th March 2019?

NO DEAL 
 
The Carte de Séjour obtained is no longer valid anyway and a new Carte de sejour would have to be applied for under non EU national terms – see question 3. Above
 
DEAL
 
Not automatically. The new address would only need to be disclosed when the Carte is renewed per the conditions explained in the answer to question 3. above
 
Q5. Will a Carte de Séjour issued in France allow freedom of movement around other EU member States?

Here the existence or not of a deal has no impact on the outcome of the UK leaving the EU.
The Titre will – of itself – only allow visa free movement around the Schengen area and only under Schengen rules (i.e. 90 days out of every 180 days on a rolling period basis). 
In effect – bearing in mind that the EU currently proposes Visa free travel for up to 90 days in every 180 for British nationals in any event – there is no cross border freedom of movement benefit achieved by the French issued Titre de Séjour, irrespective of whether there is a deal or no deal. The only benefit of the deal is that Freedom of movement is maintained during the transition period as a result of the Withdrawal Agreement itself. 
 
Q6. Will a British National be able to obtain a work permit in France?

NO DEAL 
 
A British national who has started work prior to 29th March 2019 will not need a work permit after that date but they will be required to apply for a general Titre de Séjour which will confirm their entitlement to remain. Those arriving after 29th March to start work will require a work permit.
 
DEAL
 
A British national who starts work prior to 31/12/2020, (or 31/12/2022 if the transition is extended to the limit allowed by the Withdrawal Agreement),will not need a work permit. Only those moving after the end of transition will be required to apply for a work permit.
In effect, compared to no deal, the deal simply defers the need for a work permit to those arriving after the transition period rather than from 30th March 2019
 
Q7. What are the criteria for issuing a 5 year Titre de Séjour Self Employment work permit to a British National?
 
NO DEAL 
 
The British national wishing to live in France and obtain a Titre de Séjour on a self-employed basis must provide proof that the activity is being carried out legally, effectively and sustainably. The means by which this is justified have yet to be published.
 
DEAL 
 
In order to obtain a EU citizen self employed worker Titre de Séjour, a British national resident and working on a self employed basis in France prior to the end of transition must provide justification that the activity is being carried out legitimately, effectively and sustainably, (i.e. business registered appropriately, qualifications criteria met, professional indemnity in place, accounts maintained, income declared).
 
Q8. Will a non EU non British national who is a member of a British national’s family have a specific status in France?
 
NO DEAL 
 
A non-British non EU national who is a member of the family of a British national who is resident in France prior to 30th March 2019 will benefit from their status as a family member and the issuing of a Titre de Séjour on that basis. In the case of the British national arriving after 29th March then all parties will be treated as 3rd country citizens when considering any application for a Titre de Séjour
 
DEAL
 
A non-British non EU national who is a member of the family of a British national who is resident in France prior to the end of the transition period will continue to benefit from their status as a family member but, as is the case now, a Titre de Séjour based on that status must still be applied for. In the case of the British national arriving after transition then all parties will be treated as 3rd country citizens when considering any application for a Titre de Séjour.
 

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