Confusion surrounds extension of deadline for Brits in France to apply for residency

Confusion surrounds extension of deadline for Brits in France to apply for residency
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP
British and French government spokesmen appear to be at loggerheads on whether the deadline for Brits living in France to apply for post-Brexit residency has been extended.

The original deadline to apply for residency – which applies to all UK nationals living in France – was midnight on Wednesday, June 30th.

Last week, after a slew of local préfectures announced an extension to the deadline on their websites, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry told The Local: “I can confirm that the deadline for applications for Withdrawal Agreement cartes de séjour has been extended until September 30th, 2021.

“This extension concerns the whole of France.

“During the extension period, applications for residency can continue to be submitted on the online portal.”

However, one week on the British Embassy in Paris is still adamant that there is no extension, telling UK nationals on Wednesday morning: “The clock is ticking: protect your rights in France by applying for residency in France before the deadline at midnight tonight.”

Meanwhile the French government’s official Brexit page has not been updated recently, and still shows a deadline of June 30th, but dozens of people have reported receiving emails from their local préfectures telling them that the deadline is now September 30th.

The Local, along with citizens’ rights groups such as British in Europe and Remain in France Together (RIFT) are continuing to push for clarity on this situation.

So what should people who have not yet applied do?

In a word – apply.

The application process is simple and can be done online – you can find a full guide to how to apply HERE.

The streamlined process requires a lot less documentation than previous systems and documents can also be requested at a later stage.

Even with the extension there is not a lot of time and it’s a long-acknowledged fact that French bureaucracy slows down over the summer as staff take les grandes vacances

What else can you do?

If you have already applied, please talk to British friends, neighbours and colleagues to ensure they know the requirement to register.

There are an estimated 25,000 Brits living in France who have still not applied and there are a number of persistent rumours floating about that certain groups are not affected by this deadline. In fact, you must apply for residency even if:

  • You have lived in France for a long time
  • You are married or pacsed with a French or other EU national
  • You have previously held a European or other type of carte de séjour
  • You are not British – in certain cases, non-British nationals will also need to apply as family members, if they are currently in France on a visa as the spouse or family member of a British person.
  • You are still in school/education – all over 18s must apply for residency
  • You have a pending application for French or other EU citizenship

The only groups who do not need to apply now are

  • Under 18s
  • Brits who have dual nationality with an EU country (although they may apply if they wish)

READ ALSO What happens to Brits in France who miss the deadline to apply for residency?

Member comments

    1. Ah yes, the negotiating tactic that proved so useful in the exit negotiations.

      Is the Paris Embassy more or less useful than a chocolate teapot? Answers please to E. Llewellyn, 35, rue du Faubourg St Honoré, 75383 Paris, France.

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