Brit expats in France still being refused residency cards

Brit expats in France still being refused residency cards

Brit expats in France still being refused residency cards

Is France deliberately making life difficult for EU and UK expats wishing to get residency permits?

Now that the election of Boris Johnson as the UK’s Prime Minister is a fact rather than just a threat, a no-deal Brexit seems even more likely. In France and also in the UK, expats hoping against hope common sense would win out in the end are now even more concerned about their long-term futures in their chosen countries of residence.

The UK’s scheme for its EU expats is expensive, but is comparatively straightforward compared to that in France. For several years now, UK expatriates living, retiring and working in France and attempting to get residency cards before Brexit kicks in have met with a lack of co-operation or downright refusals from officials. Now that a no-deal Brexit looks more likely than not, it’s even more important that the correct documentation must be obtained.

French law states it’s not compulsory for expats to have a residency card, but another French law rules they’re able to apply should they so wish. The first requirement is to have lived in the country for over five years, but it’s well known that certain prefectures simply refuse expat applications outright, including to those who’ve lawfully resided in the area for the stipulated number of years. The issue has been ongoing for up to four years, but has increased in frequency since the Brexit vote.

Some British citizens who qualify for residency permits have simply been given temporary permits, with others being refused outright. Now that a no-deal Brexit is far more likely due to Johnson’s premiership, getting proof of longer-term residency in France is even more crucial for Britons confronted with official excuses such as ‘ all applications have been suspended until the Brexit outcome is known’ and ‘you’re not able to apply’. It’s the same with recent arrivals, and Brits planning a last minute exit from the UK should also be aware of their rights in French law after freedom of movement is no longer one of them.

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