you are a british citizen


Right of residence

The withdrawal agreement concluded between the United Kingdom and the European Union provides for a transition period to run until 31 December 2020. During this period, British citizens and their family members already living in France or wishing to move to France before 31 December 2020 retain their rights as European citizens and are not required to hold a residence permit. Pursuant to this agreement, these citizens will need to apply for “withdrawal agreement” residence permits. However, they have a long timeframe in which to make their application since they will only be required to hold a residence permit as of 1 July 2021.

A new version of the https://contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr website will be onlined in October 2020 for these citizens to apply for their “withdrawal agreement” residence permit online in good time.


British citizens and their family members who wish to move to France after 31 December 2020 will be subject to national legislative provisions and will be required to obtain a long-stay visa before going to a prefecture to file their application for a residence permit.

As a British citizen based in France, you are concerned 1) if you already have a residence permit or if you do not yet have one; 2) if you wish to be granted French nationality.

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


  • How to request my residence permit?
  • British nationals and their family members can apply for a residence permit now via the Ministère de l’Intérieur online residence permit application service : https://contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr/brexit/brexit-residence-permit-application/

    This online service is meant for British citizens as well as their family members (spouse, children and parents of British nationality or third-country nationals) residing on the French territory before the United Kingdom’s withdrawal date from the European Union.

    In order to carry out your request, you will need to send a photograph or scan of your passport as well as one or several additional documents depending on your situation.

    After filling out the administrative information and downloading your documents, a confirmation of your request will be sent by email with a number confirming your registration. Once your file has been processed, an email will be sent to you in order to make an appointment at the prefecture to finalize your request (fingerprinting, photo, proof of fee payment). Your residence permit will be sent to your home.

     


  • Will British nationals be obliged to obtain a residence permit ?
  • During the transition period, British citizens and their family members already living in France or wishing to move to France before 31 December 2020 retain their rights as European citizens and are not required to be in possession of a residence permit.

    At the end of the transition period, if no agreement comes into effect on the future relationship:

    All British citizens living in France will need to apply for a residence permit.

    British citizens and their family members living in France prior to 31 December 2020 will need to apply online by 1 July 2021. They will be issued with a residence permit marked “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union”.

    British citizens who arrive in France after 31 December 2020 will need to apply for a standard residence permit at a prefecture. By way of an exception, British family members of British citizens already living in France prior to 31 December 2020 will be issued with a visa free of charge and will be entitled to a residence permit when they arrive in France in accordance with the agreement.

    British citizens will be required to be in possession of a residence permit as of 1 July 2021, irrespective of their date of arrival in France.

     


  • What conditions need to be fulfilled by British citizens already living in France who wish to apply for a residence permit ?
  • The conditions will be the same as at present in terms of recognising a right of residence for EU citizens. British nationals will have to prove that they come under one of the following categories:

    • Either carrying on a professional salaried or self-employed activity (or having carried on such an activity or being registered as a jobseeker);
    • Or having sufficient resources for themselves and their family, as well as health insurance
    • Or being a student or undergoing vocational training, as well as having health insurance
    • Or being a member of the family of a British citizen who is based in France prior to 31 December 2020 and having a right of residence (spouse, partner, child, ascendant or dependent family member or belonging to the household of a British citizen)

    British citizens who are lawfully residing in France before the end of the transition period and have been doing so for more than five years will be entitled to a permanent ten-year residence permit.

    British citizens lawfully residing before the end of the transition period for less than five years will obtain a permit valid for one to five years depending on their circumstances.

    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.


  • What are the conditions for obtaining a permanent residence permit for British citizens living in France?
  • British citizens and their family members living in France prior to 31 December 2020 and who are able to prove that they have resided lawfully in France for five years will be granted a permanent right of residence in the form of a renewable ten-year permit.

    People already in possession of a residence permit issued due to their former status as EU citizens will be automatically entitled to exchange this document for a permanent “withdrawal agreement” residence permit.

    The agreement also provides for special arrangements to obtain this permit in certain circumstances (pensioners, incapacity for work, etc.).


  • 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 will remain valid until 1 July 2021, but will no longer be valid after this date.

    British citizens in possession of an EU permit will also need to file a permit application online by 1 July 2021 in order to obtain a permit marked “Article 50”.

    As of 1 July 2021, British citizens will be required to be in possession of either a special residence permit provided for by the withdrawal agreement (if they arrived in France prior to 31 December 2020) or a standard residence permit (if they arrived in France on or after 1 January 2021).


  • Will British jobseekers be entitled to a residence permit ?
  • Permits marked “citoyen Union européenne” obtained prior to the end of the transition period will remain valid until 1 July 2021, but will no longer be valid after this date.

    British citizens in possession of an EU permit will also need to file a permit application online by 1 July 2021 in order to obtain a permit marked “Article 50”.

    As of 1 July 2021, British citizens will be required to be in possession of either a special residence permit provided for by the withdrawal agreement (if they arrived in France prior to 31 December 2020) or a standard residence permit (if they arrived in France on or after 1 January 2021).


  • Will British citizens require a work permit to continue working in France ?
  • British citizens and their family members who begin working in France prior to 31 December 2020 will not require a work permit. Only those who move to France and start working as of 1 January 2021 will be required to apply for a work permit, with the exception of family members of British citizens already living in France prior to 31 December 2020.


  • Are British citizens who have been issued with a residence permit required to exchange it if they change address ?
  • British citizens issued with an EU residence permit prior to the end of the transition period will be required to exchange it. They may also mention their change of address at the same time.

     


  • 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 issued there will allow them to travel in the other Schengen Area countries for periods of less than three months.

     


  • Will citizens of non-EU countries who are members of the family of a British citizen have a special status ?
  • Citizens of non-EU countries who are members of the family of a British citizen (who moved to France prior to 31 December 2020) will be entitled to a residence permit due to their family connections. In the same way as British citizens, they will also be required to apply for a residence permit online.

  • 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.


  • Will non-EU minors be able to go on school trips from France to the United Kingdom in the same way as EU citizens?
  • The conditions governing movements of persons on school trips to the United Kingdom will remain the same until 31 December 2020.

    Minors from a country not in the EU or the Schengen Area who usually live in France and take part in a school trip to the United Kingdom may continue to travel on the group travel document (“liste d’écoliers voyageant dans le cadre d’une excursion scolaire à l’intérieur de l’Union européenne” – list of schoolchildren travelling on a school trip within the European Union) issued by the prefecture.

    Foreign minors are not required to be in possession of another travel document, short-stay visa or travel document for foreign minors.

    In addition to the group travel document, foreign minors must be in possession of a parental authorisation to leave the territory.

    The conditions in effect after the transition period will depend on the negotiations underway on the future relationship: details will be provided at a later date on the applicable arrangements following the end of the transition period.