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Ten days left to protect your residency rights!

Updated: Jun 21, 2021

With the deadline for UK nationals and their dependants to apply for residency under the Withdrawal Agreement just ten days away, we answer a few key questions we are often asked.

As always of you still have questions or need support please contact us without delay.

Why is the 30 June 2021 deadline so important?

UK nationals legally resident in France by 31st December 2020 have rights protected under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can read more about these protections in our article here.

For applications after the 30 June UK nationals, even those who may have lived in France for many years could be treated as Third Country Nationals (TCNs) and would need to fulfil different criteria, including higher income and language requirements when applying for residency.

I haven't applied yet because I don't have all the necessary documents, what should I do?

Even if you don't have all the required documents immediately available, it's vital you apply before the deadline. You will have the opportunity to upload or provide additional information even after submitting your application. Your préfecture should contact you to request any further documentation they require to process your application.

My spouse has already applied, am I covered or do I need to apply too?

Yes, each individual must apply for residency in their own right. The permit you receive will be unique to you. It's possible that some of the documentation supplied might include both of your names, such as your avis d'impôt for example but you must make an application under your own name, even if you use the same supporting documents.

I'm British and hold a UK passport but married to a French national, do I need to apply?


Being PACSed or married to a French person does not afford you automatic residency status so, if this applies to you, you still need to apply for a residency permit. The same applies if you are married to an EU national. However, whereas there is a specific category for partner or spouse of a French national on the application website, there is no such category for that of an EU national. Therefore, for the latter, you only have the option of applying in your own right for a WA residency permit, or regularising your status through the current system for non-European family via your Prefecture.

You might be considering applying for French nationality but, as the process can take time, we strongly recommend that you apply for a residency permit as well to ensure your rights are protected if there is a delay in receiving nationality. Nationality and residency applications are two separate procedures.

I have an old style EU Carte de Séjour with no expiry date, do I still have to apply?

Yes since the UK left the European Union, existing EU Carte de Séjour, even those marked permanent or with no expiry date, will no longer be valid.

I've already applied for my residency permit but I'm confused by all the different terminology - how do I know if I've applied for the right permit?

You may see or hear the permit required by UK Nationals referred to by different names, Carte de Séjour, Titre de Séjour , Brexit Permit or (Withdrawal Agreement Residency Permit (WA RP). If your card mentions ‘Article 50 TUE’, on the front face it is the correct card for British nationals who were living in France before the 31st December 2020. The image below shows an example card for someone with less than 5 years residency. Those eligible for permanent residency (+5 years) will also see the word 'Permanent'.

Our article available here explains in detail.

I've applied for my card but I've lost my email confirmation - what should I do?

Your email confirmation, which is usually received within a few hours of submitting your online application, is a vital record and your proof of application. It's important to keep it safe and we advise to also print off a copy or two.

1. Check you spam or trash folder in your email incase it didn't reach your inbox.

2. If your préfecture have been in contact with you about your application, then you will know that they are processing your application.

3. If you have NOT heard from your préfecture you could try to telephone or email to ask about the status of your application but with only ten days until the deadline they may not be able to respond to you in time.

If you have lost your confirmation and have concerns about the status or validity of your application, for example you know you did not upload all the essential documents, we advise that you make a second application before June 30 and note the reason for this (in french) in the comments box.

I made My Application months ago but I haven't heard anything from my prefecture - should i be worried?

If you have your email confirmation there is no need to worry. Many préfectures are still processing large numbers of applications and not necessarily in the order they were received. We understand it can be hard to be patient, especially when you know friends and family that have been for their préfecture appointments or already received their cards but you do not need to be in possession of your card until the 1 October.

When do I need to be in possession of my residency permit?

You do not need to physically have your residency permit before 1 October 2021. Préfectures are working hard to meet this deadline. If you are asked for your permit before this time, for example for work or employment purposes, the French authorities have issued a letter (in French) confirming your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. You can find a copy of the letter to download and print here.

What happens if I don’t apply?

For those who were living in France prior to the end of the transition period, 31st December 2020, and who do not apply by June 30 2021, will no longer have legal residency status in France and may have no defined route to apply for it other than returning to the UK and making a new visa application from there on the basis of being a TCN.

The French authorities have said there may be some flexibility for those with mitigating circumstances but no details of the specific criteria are currently available, Britons are strongly urged to apply before the deadline and not to rely on this possibility.

Lastly, if you are worried or having difficulties with your application we are here to help. Please contact us on 05 32 80 00 05 or email us via our contact form.

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