Thousands of British expats left in ‘precarious situation’ by French residence rules

Boris Johnson 'needs to step up for British expats' says expert

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With just days to go until the deadline, a report from the British Embassy in Paris in June stated that up to 10,000 Brits are still yet to apply for a carte de séjour. Since the UK left the EU, Britons have been required to obtain a residency permit to live in France and anyone without one will be considered illegal.

People who have been living in France for more than five years are entitled to permanent residency.

Those who have lived there for less than five years can obtain a carte de séjour which can then be renewed for a permanent card at a later date.

British expats in France have been required to register for a card since the Brexit transition period ended.

The original deadline in France was June 30 which was then extended until September 30, although other EU countries have already closed the application process.

Urgent warnings have been issued to Britons in France who have yet to apply for the residency permit.

Kim Willsher, a foreign correspondent, tweeted: “If you don’t apply, you risk losing health/social security rights in France. Don’t bank on there being another extension.”

A spokesperson from the citizens’ rights group , Remain in France Together, said: “Many thousands will be in a precarious situation on October 1st 2021.

“The French Government has not yet officially changed the deadline and there are so few working days left.”

Some applicants have been rejected for a residency permit with up to 2,200 rejections so far.

According to latest estimates, France has around 148,300 Brits living there, although the number was never accurately recorded while Britain was in the EU.

The campaigning group, British in Europe, said: “In seven days, thousands of UK citizens who have applied for residency in France, some many months ago, face being accused of being illegally resident with all the harm that brings.

“From the 1/10 the law states you must possess a card and that law has not yet been officially amended.” 

“Our home country may have voted for Brexit but UK in France deserve better than this. There is nothing more these UK citizens can do.”

Some were unsympathetic to those left without a residency permit. Twitter user Neil Atkinson, said: “You have to live under a rock not to know about this and have already applied.

“For me, the process was slick and painless and I received my carte de séjour earlier than promised.”

Owners of second homes in France who want to visit the country for more than 90 days out of 180 will need to apply for a visa instead of a residence permit.

Anyone without a French residence permit will be considered an illegal resident and will not be able to access state services.

British expats living in France should also carry their carte de séjour at all times in case they are stopped by police.

Residency in France comes with certain rules, including filing a yearly tax declaration in France.

Brits visiting France for a holiday are already subject to post-Brexit rules and are now allowed to stay for 90 days out of every 180.

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