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How to apply for a carte de séjour in France

PUBLISHED: 11:57 06 February 2019

Britons living in France are being advised to apply for a carte de sejour before Brexit © artisteer Getty Images

Britons living in France are being advised to apply for a carte de sejour before Brexit © artisteer Getty Images

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With Britons living in France being advised to apply for a carte de séjour before Brexit, here's what you need to know about how and where to apply for a residency permit

It will be compulsory for Britons living in France to hold a carte de séjour residency permit after Brexit, either from 30 March 2019 if there is no deal or from the end of the transition period (31 December 2020) if a deal is agreed, according to campaign group Remain in France Together. Along with the French Ministry of the Interior and the British Embassy, the group is recommending that Britons living in France apply for a carte de séjour before it becomes necessary, as it will help to simplify matters after Brexit. Currently, as UK and therefore EU citizens, Britons living in France are not required to have a carte de séjour, as long as they are exercising their ‘treaty rights’. France is the only EU27 country that does not require EU citizens moving from another country to officially register their presence in France. You can apply for a temporary carte de séjour which covers you for the first five years, or a carte de séjour permanent if you have lived in France legally for more than five years. Applying for a carte de séjour is free.

WHERE TO APPLY

You will need to make your application at the préfecture that covers the department you live in. Visit your préfecture’s website for instructions – this can be found using your department’s name followed by .gouv.fr (for example www.dordogne.gouv.fr) and clicking on the ‘Accueil des etrangers’ section.

WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO APPLY

Resident for less than five years

If you are employed, you will need:

- a passport

- three identity photos

- proof of address (proof of house ownership or your rental contract along with utility bills)

- proof of employment

If you are self-employed, you will need:

- a passport

- three identity photos

- proof of address

- proof of self-employment (eg. accounts books, proof of affiliation to a social security regime, copy of your registration with the Chambre de Commerce)

If you are not economically active (retired or not working), you will need:

- a passport

- three identity photos

- proof of address (proof of house ownership or your rental contract along with utility bills)

- proof of healthcare cover

- proof of an income to prove that you are ‘self-sufficient’ so as not to be deemed ‘an unreasonable burden’.

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Resident for more than five years

If you have been legally resident in France for more than five years you can apply for a carte de séjour permanent, which allows you to live in France without having to meet any conditions. The card is free, lasts for 10 years and is renewable. You will need:

- a passport

- three identity photos

- proof of address

- proof of five years’ continuous residence in France

- proof of having resided legally (i.e. exercised free movement/treaty rights) for five years

Further information can be found on the government website

If a withdrawal deal is agreed, residency cards obtained before March 2019 will continue to be valid during the transition period until 31 December 2020, after which they will need to be exchanged for a new card that will be provided for in the withdrawal agreement. Following the UK parliament’s rejection of Theresa May’s Brexit deal last week, French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has triggered a €50 million plan for a no-deal Brexit, which would include investment in border control checkpoints and hiring 600 additional government employees. A law has been approved by parliament that would allow the French government to impose emergency measures by decree if necessary to cope with the consequences of a no-deal Brexit including steps to “stabilise” residence, work and welfare rights for British citizens in France, who would have 12 months to apply for permission to stay.

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