Ressortissant britannique (ou famille) installé en France avant le 31 décembre 2020 : vous avez jusqu’au 30 juin pour faire votre demande de titre de séjour en ligne


you are a british citizen


Right of residence

Changes are coming on 1 January!

On 30 December 2020, the EU and UK signed a trade and cooperation agreement which will determine the rules that apply from 1 January 2021 to relations between the EU and the UK in a number of areas.

Since 1 January 2021, although an agreement has been reached, major changes must be taken into consideration.


British nationals were required to apply for a residence permit marked "UK Withdrawal agreement from the European Union" on a dedicated website for such applications. This website is closed as of 4 October 2021. Only the part of the website allowing the filing of additional documents that may be requested by the prefecture is still accessible.

Those still eligible for the Withdrawal Agreement will need to contact the prefectures to submit their applications. This will affect :

  • British nationals reaching the age of majority after 4 October 2021;
  • Family members arriving in France after this date;
  • British nationals who have not been able to apply previously due to legitimate reasons (health reasons, force majeure, etc.).

British nationals have to hold a residence permit from 1 January 2022.

However, as of this date, people who have not yet received their residence permit will be able to continue to reside legally in France and benefit from the rights attached to their status (residence, work, social rights) as long as they are able to present a registration certificate of their application for a residence permit under the withdrawal agreement (either online or at the prefecture) and as long as their case is under study.

On the other hand, British nationals who wish to settle in France since January 1, 2021, are not covered by the withdrawal agreement (except if they can provide proof of a pre-existing family relationship on January 1, 2021 with a British national already established in France), and are subject to the provisions of standard residency law. They must request the issuance of a long-stay visa from the French consular services in the United Kingdom which will allow them to subsequently obtain a residence permit at the prefecture.

If you did not find the answers to your questions on this page, you can contact us at the following address: contact-brexit@interieur.gouv.fr.


  • Imprimer

Frequently

asked questions


  • Will British nationals be obliged to obtain a residence permit ?
  • British citizens and their family members (spouse, partner, children, relatives in the ascending line, and dependent family members who are British or third country nationals) living in France prior to 31 December 2020 should have applied for a residence permit online by 4 October 2021. This website is closed as of the latter date. Only the website part relating to the submission of additional documents that may be requested by the prefectural investigating services will remain accessible until 31 December 2021.

    People who have not completed their application online before this date (recent majority, family members who arrived in France after 4 October 2021, legitimate reason for the delay) will have to submit their paper application to the counters of the prefecture of their place of residence.

    People who settled in France before January 1, 2021 and who subsequently reach the age of majority must submit their application for a residence permit to the prefecture within one year of their 18th birthday.

    British nationals wishing to settle in France after January 1, 2021 and justifying a pre-existing family relationship before January 1, 2021 with a British national already established in France must submit an application for a residence permit directly to the prefecture of their place of residency within three months of their arrival.

    British citizens are required to own a residence permit as of 1 January 2022, irrespective of their date of arrival in France. Failing this, they must provide proof of the submission of an application in progress, by presenting either the certificate of registration of the application for a residence permit online, or a receipt for the application for a residence permit issued by the prefecture; this is valid as long as their case is under study.


  • How to request my residence permit?
  • British nationals and their family members (spouse, partner, children, ascendants, and dependent family members of British nationality or third-country nationals) already settled in France before December 31, 2020 had until October 4, 2021 to request the issuance of a residence permit bearing the words "Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union". The website is closed as of 4 October 2021. Only the module relating to the submission of additional documents that may be requested by the prefectural investigating services will remain accessible.

    Since October 5, 2021, those who are still eligible for the withdrawal agreement and who have not been able to complete their procedures online within the time limit allotted should contact the prefectures to submit their applications. This will affect:

    • British nationals reaching the age of majority after 1 October 2021;
    • Family members arriving in France after this date;
    • British nationals who were unable to submit their application beforehand due to legitimate reasons (health reasons, force majeure, etc.).

    British nationals wishing to settle in France since January 1, 2021 and justifying a pre-existing family relationship before January 1, 2021 with a British national already established in France must submit an application for a residence permit directly to the prefecture of their place of residency within three months of their arrival.

    British citizens are required own a residence permit as of 1 January 2022, irrespective of their date of arrival in France. Failing this, they must provide proof of the submission of an application in progress, by presenting either the certificate of registration of the application for a residence permit online, or a receipt for the application for a residence permit issued by the prefecture. The presentation of these documents will allow them to continue to benefit from their previous rights (right of residence, access to work, social rights) if they resided in France before January 1, 2021.


  • What conditions need to be fulfilled by British citizens living in France prior to 31 December 2020 who wish to apply for a residence permit ?
  • British nationals and third-country nationals who wish to settle in France since January 1, 2021, when they provide proof of a pre-existing family relationship before January 1, 2021 with a Briton already established in France, must apply for a stay under the withdrawal agreement with the prefecture of their department of residence.

    British nationals who arrived in France from January 1, 2021 and who have no pre-existing family ties before January 1, 2021 with a British national benefiting from the withdrawal agreement, can obtain a residence permit on the basis of the provisions of standard residency law. They must first request the issuance of a long-stay visa from the French consular services in the United Kingdom. At the end of the validity of this visa, they can apply for a residence permit at the prefecture of their place of residence.


  • What conditions need to be fulfilled by British citizens moving to France from 1 January 2021 who wish to apply for a residence permit ?
  • British citizens arriving in France as of 1 January 2021 who have no family connections with a British citizen covered by the agreement will be issued with a residence permit in accordance with national legislative provisions.

    They must directly apply for a residence permit at the prefecture of their place of residence.


  • Will British citizens living in France prior to the UK’s withdrawal have to pay for a residence permit ?
  • Residence permits issued in accordance with the withdrawal agreement will be provided free of charge.


  • Will residence permits granted prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU still be valid after this date ?
  • Permits marked “citoyen Union européenne” obtained prior to the end of the transition period were valid until 31 December 2021.

    As of January 1, 2022, British nationals must hold either a specific residence permit bearing the mention “Withdrawal agreement” (if they arrived in France before January 1, 2021 or if they arrive after this date and justify a pre-existing family link before January 1, 2021 with a British national already settled in France) or a standard residence permit (if they arrived in France from January 1, 2021 and do not justify a pre-existing family link before January 1, 2021 with a Briton already settled in France).

    The application for a “Withdrawal agreement” residence permit had to be made online before October 4, 2021 by people who had settled in France before January 1, 2021. People who had settled in France from this last date and those who had already settled before this last date who subsequently reach the age of majority must submit their application for a residence permit directly to the prefecture.


  • I am a British citizen already living in France before 31 December 2020. Can the French authorities or my employer ask me to show a residence permit?
  • Decree No. 2021-1236 of 27 September 2021 postponed to 1 January 2022 the date from which British nationals benefiting from the Withdrawal Agreement must have a residence permit.

    The application for a “Withdrawal agreement” residence permit had to be made online before October 4, 2021 by people who had settled in France before January 1, 2021. People who settled in France before January 1, 2021 and who subsequently reach the age of majority must submit their application for a residence permit to the prefecture within one year of their 18th birthday.

    As of January 1, 2022, you can continue your professional activity, exercise a new one or benefit from the resulting social rights, as long as you are able to present the “Withdrawal agreement” residence permit. If you are not yet in possession of this permit, you must provide proof that you have submitted your application in progress, by presenting either the certificate of registration of the application for a residence permit online, or a receipt of application for a residence permit issued by the prefecture. The presentation of these documents to your employer and to the French authorities will allow you to continue to benefit from your previous rights (access to work, social rights).

    For more information, please consult Interior Ministry's page on the right of residence.


  • What is the procedure for British family members joining a British national settled in France before 31 December 2020 ?
  • British family members of a British national who settled in France before 31 December 2020 and who benefit from the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement will have access to an “Withdrawal agreement” residence permit due to the existence of their family link.

    These family members must go to the prefecture of the department of residence to apply for a residence permit within three months of their entry into France. For nationals of certain third countries, an application for a short-stay visa is necessary beforehand to travel to France. To find out if this is your case, you can consult this document.

    To find out how to submit their application for a “withdrawal agreement” residence permit, third-country nationals (visa-exempted or not) should contact the prefecture of their department.


  • What is the procedure for family members (third country nationals) joining a British national settled in France before 31 December 2020 ?
  • Third country nationals who are family members of a British national who settled in France before 31 December 2020 and who are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will have access to a residence permit due to the existence of their family link.

    Family members must first go to France to apply for this residence permit. For nationals of certain third countries, a short-stay visa application is required to travel to France. To find out if this is the case for you, you can consult this document.

    To apply for a “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union” residence permit, all third country nationals (whether or not they require a visa) must contact the prefecture of their department.


  • Are British citizens who have been issued with a residence permit required to exchange it if they change address ?
  • British nationals who applied for a Brexit residence permit online without an agreement, and who have since moved to another department, must complete a new application with the prefecture of their new department of residence.


  • Will permits issued in France allow their holders to travel throughout the EU ?
  • Besides the holders being able to settle in France, the residence permits will allow them to travel in the other Schengen Area countries for periods of less than three months.

     


  • Will British citizens require a work permit to continue working in France ?
  • British nationals and their family members settled in France before January 1, 2021 and beneficiaries of the withdrawal agreement do not need a work permit. The right to work is recognized for them with the “Withdrawal agreement” residence permit which they had to apply for before October 4, 2021.

    Similarly, family members (British nationals or third-country nationals) eligible for the withdrawal agreement who settle in France from 1 January 2021 do not have to apply for a work permit. These family members must submit an application for a “Withdrawal agreement” residence permit to the prefecture of their department of residence within three months of their arrival.

    As of January 1, 2022, British nationals and third-country nationals who are beneficiaries of the Withdrawal Agreement must have a “Withdrawal agreement” residence permit which allows them to certify their rights. This residence permit bears the mention of the right to exercise any professional activity.

    If they do not yet have their residence permit, they must provide proof that they have submitted an application in progress, by presenting either the certificate of registration of their application for a residence permit online, or a receipt of application for a residence permit issued by the prefecture. The presentation of these documents allows them to continue to benefit from all their previous rights (right of residence, access to work, social rights).

    However, those who, not covered by the withdrawal agreement, have settled in France from January 1, 2021 must apply for a work permit in accordance with the provisions of standard residency law. To stay in France for more than three months, they must first request a long-stay visa from the French consular services in the United Kingdom and, at the end of the validity of this visa, request the issuance of a residence permit from the prefecture of their place of residence.


  • Will British jobseekers be entitled to a residence permit ?
  • Two situations should be considered:

    • If the British national, beneficiary of the withdrawal agreement, looking for a job has already worked in France, he or she will be issued a residence permit valid for 5 years.
    • If the British national, beneficiary of the withdrawal agreement, enters in France with the aim of looking for a job and has therefore never exercised a professional activity in France, he will be issued an APS (admission exceptionnelle au séjour), valid for 6 months and renewable once, if he is able to prove that he is actually looking for a job and that he has a real chance of being hired within a reasonable period of time.

  • How can British citizens living in France be granted French nationality ?
  • Procedure

    There is no special procedure to facilitate access to French nationality for British citizens.

    Depending on their circumstances, they may use the citizenship by decree procedure (Articles 21-15 et seq. of the French Civil Code) or nationality declarations in their capacity as spouse, ascendant, brother or sister of a French citizen (Articles 21-2, 21-13-1 and 21-13-2 of the French Civil Code).

    Applying for French nationality for minors

    The procedure varies depending on whether or not the minor was born in France.

    If he/she is was born in France of British parents, and subject to complying with the additional conditions required by legislation (having lived in France for five years as from the age of eleven), he/she may acquire French nationality by declaration pursuant to Articles 21-7 (automatic acquisition when coming of age) or 21-11 (early acquisition by declaration, at thirteen years of age by declaration from the parents if the minor has been a resident since the age of eight, or sixteen if he/she has been a resident since the age of eleven) of the French Civil Code.

    If the minor was not born in France, he/she may become French as of right if one of his/her parents acquires French nationality (Article 22-1 of the French Civil Code).

    Lastly, Article 21-22 of the French Civil Code provides that “Nobody may be granted citizenship prior to the age of eighteen. However, citizenship may be granted to a minor who has remained a foreigner even though one of his/her parents has acquired French nationality if he/she is able to prove that he/she has lived with this parent in France during the five years prior to filing the application.».

    Civil status documents to be presented

    The originals of civil status documents and their translation by a sworn translator are required for procedures to acquire French nationality but they do not have to date back less than six months. British civil status documents do not have to be legalised or stamped with an apostille.

    British nationals who were born and/or married in the UK’s former overseas possessions are allowed to present reconstituted documents. Those born in Hong Kong (under British control until 1997) are also exempt from Chinese legalisation procedures.

    Timeframes

    For declarations of nationality, the French nationality access platform has six months from the filing date to examine the application. The minister responsible for citizenship then has a year to potentially refuse registration of the declaration. The current timeframe is approximately six months.

    For applications for obtaining French nationality by decree, the applicant has a regulatory timeframe of six months to compile his/her file. The minister responsible for citizenship then has eighteen months once the full file has been constituted – in consideration of a receipt – to take a decision. The timeline may be reduced to twelve months when the applicant is able to prove that he/she has had his/her habitual residence in France for at least ten years on the date when the receipt is issued.

    In practice, the timeframe is between twelve and fifteen months from the filing of the application to the proposal for citizenship.

    Minimum period of residence in France for applications for France nationality

    Pursuant to Article 21-17 of the French Civil Code, applicants for French nationality must provide proof that they have had their habitual residence in France during the five years prior to filing the application. Should they fail to comply with this requirement, the application will be inadmissible under said Article 21-17.

    The five-year timeline is reduced to two years for foreigners who have successfully completed two years of higher education with an eye to being awarded a diploma conferred by a French university or higher education establishment (Article 21-18, 1° of the French Civil Code).

    The reduction of the probationary period to two years also applies to foreigners who have given or can give significant services to France owing to their skills and talent (Article 21-18, 2° of the French Civil Code). Implementation of these provisions is still rare. This category may include artists, writers or intellectuals of international renown, scientists whose work is accepted as authoritative or the most accomplished sportspersons.

    Lastly, the two-year period applies to foreigners who manifest an unusual record of integration, judged by their actions or accomplishments in the civic, scientific, economic or sporting realms (Article 21-18, 3° of the French Civil Code).

    Articles 21-19 and 21-20 of the French Civil Code which provide for dispensation of the probationary period should not concern British citizens.

    Those who apply for French nationality under Article 21-13-1 of the French Civil Code (declaration of nationality as an ascendant of a French citizen) must provide proof that they have lived in France for 25 years. If the application is submitted pursuant to Article 21-13-2 of the French Civil Code (declaration of nationality as the brother or sister of a French citizen), the applicant must have lived there since the age of six.

    British citizens wishing to apply for French nationality after the date of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union

    As from the withdrawal date, the condition of the lawfulness of residence for British citizens wishing to apply for French nationality will be assessed in the same way as for other foreign nationals.

    Article 21-27(2) and (3) of the French Civil Code provides that “No one may acquire French nationality or be reinstated in that nationality if he/she has (…) been subject either to an exclusion order which has not been expressly revoked or repealed, or to a banishment from French territory which has not been fully enforced. The same applies for persons whose residence in France is unlawful with respect to the legislation and agreements concerning the residence of foreigners in France”.

    Nevertheless, in order to ensure legal certainty, transitional arrangements are being considered to allow British citizens who have lived in France for several years until the withdrawal date and who could have, in this capacity, claimed French nationality on the basis of legislation in force prior to that date, to submit an application for French nationality without the unlawfulness of their residence being invoked against them.

    Dual nationality

    France allows the existence of double nationality or multiple nationalities. The same applies in the UK and this means that a British citizen who acquires French nationality will not be required to give up his/her former nationality.

    The Republican Integration Contract

    British citizens who come to France prior to the date the UK leaves the EU and who have lived there lawfully are exempted from executing a Republican Integration Contract.

    However, those who arrive in France subsequent to the withdrawal date, or after 31 December 2020 if there is a withdrawal agreement, will be required to sign a Republican Integration Contract in the same way as citizens of non-EU countries.