Good news for UK nationals living in France! Today, 19 October, the French Government opened the online system for British nationals and their family members to apply for a permanent residency permit.
Keeping in line with the provisions of the current Withdrawal Agreement, British nationals and their family members who are already living in France or who settle here before 1 January 2021, will be able to apply for a five or ten-year residency permit, depending on their personal circumstances.
Are you eligible for permanent residency?
If you have been in France for longer than five years or are married to a French national, you will be eligible for permanent residency, which will see you issued a ten-year renewable residency permit.
If you have been living in France for less than five years, you will be eligible for a card with five years’ validity and will need to provide some evidence of your personal situation. An online flowchart on the residency application website will show what documents you need to provide.
Already hold a Carte de Sejour?
You still must apply on this website. All British nationals living in France will need to have a residency permit – this applies whether they already hold an existing Carte de Sejour, are married to a French spouse or have lived here for a substantial amount of time.
However, if you already applied online between October last year and early January this year, you DO NOT need to apply again - wait for your Prefecture to get in touch. The exception to this is if you have since moved to a different department – in which case you will have to make a new application on the website.
What’s the deadline?
Applications must be made using the online site before 1 July 2021, but applicants will have until 1 October 2021 to receive their card. Their rights as French residents will continue throughout the application period.
After submitting the application, applicants will receive an e-mail from their local Prefecture offering an appointment for fingerprinting and photos. The residence permit will be sent directly to their home address by post.
The website address: https://contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr
An easy-to-use and flexible system
The system is designed to be easy-to-use – the vast majority of British people living in France should be able to complete their application without issues. In a press release from the British Embassy in Paris, the Ambassador to France, Ed Llewellyn, stated:
“The French government has been very clear that it wants British nationals living here to stay and I’m pleased that the launch of the online residency system will make this as simple a process as possible. Please do seek out information about the system, tell your friends and neighbours about it, and make your applications before the 1 July 2021.”
In the event of disability or confusion with the website, the British Embassy is working with four organisations (SSAFA, International Organisation for Migration, Church of England – Europe Diocese, and the Franco-British Network) to support the most vulnerable in making their application. Full details are available on the embassy’s Living in France guide: www.gov.uk/livinginfrance
The British Embassy is asking British citizens in France to help spread the word by telling friends, neighbours and family members about the residency application website, and offering assistance if anyone in their community is less confident using the internet.
- British nationals can find further information related to the residency application and the documentation needed on the residency website itself: https://contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr
- French government information related to EU Transition and citizens’ rights is available at www.brexit.gouv.fr
- UK government information for British nationals living in France can be found at www.gov.uk/livinginfrance
- Regular updates are posted on the British Embassy’s social media:
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ukinfrance
- Twitter @BritishinFrance @UKinFrance @EdLlewellynFCDO