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France down to last 500 post-Brexit residency applications

Just 500 permanent post-Brexit applications for residency in France remain to be finalised, according to EU figures, down from 10,000 outstanding applications in September.

France down to last 500 post-Brexit residency applications
Photo by Thomas Coex / AFP

This figure relates to all Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020, and is well down on the 10,000-plus outstanding applications reported shortly after the deadline passed in September 2021.

The EU’s sixth joint report on the implementation of residency rights under part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement brings together data from all EU member states – and the UK – on post-Brexit residency applications.

It revealed that 164,900 applications had been concluded, out of a total of 165,400 received.

Of those, 105,600 applications for permanent residency (a 10-year carte de séjour) were approved, along with 46,700 applications for non-permanent residency (the five-year carte de séjour).

A total of 3,500 were classed as “refused” – though this figure includes duplicate applications; and 9,100 were withdrawn.

On top of the 500 applications still being dealt with by local authorities, a further 361 applications were reported as incomplete, the EU study shows.

The question of the number of Britons living in France had long been in doubt, as – unlike many EU countries – France does not require EU nationals to register for residency.  Most estimates had put the figure at around 200,000 people.

The figure of 165,000 relates to adult Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020 – it does not include under 18s, people who moved after the Brexit deadline, second-home owners or people who have dual nationality with an EU country (eg France or Ireland) and therefore do not require a residency card.

It is still possible to apply for a post-Brexit residency card, if necessary. Children, for example, who were not required to apply first time around will have to when they reach 18.

READ ALSO What to do if you have missed France’s Brexit residency deadlines

France operated a two-stage deadline for Brexit residency – all applications had to made made by the end of September 2021 and since January 1st 2022, Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020 are required to have a carte de séjour residency card.

Member comments

  1. Great shame ANTS has not been so enthusiastic and diligent with processing the exchange of expired British Driving Licences. According to the Consulate there are several hundred Brits here with long outstanding valid applications unable to drive and lead normal lives. Quite shocking and the British authorities appear completely unconcerned

    1. I agree. I applied for new driving licence in Dec 2019, as my UK one was due to expire Feb 2020. I am still waiting……. and it is now Jan 2022.

      They keep asking for something else intermittently, like another copy of something, which I duly send, but then spend the time waiting again.
      I think this is outrageous, personally. I am reluctant to drive long journeys, (so a friend takes me), but I still drive to town for shopping (I have no other way)…. but it is quite stressful.
      I just wish this bureaucracy would sort out its incompetence.

  2. I agree. I applied for new driving licence in Dec 2019, as my UK one was due to expire Feb 2020. I am still waiting……. and it is now Jan 2022.

    They keep asking for something else intermittently, like another copy of something, which I duly send, but then spend the time waiting again.
    I think this is outrageous, personally. I am reluctant to drive long journeys, (so a friend takes me), but I still drive to town for shopping (I have no other way)…. but it is quite stressful.
    I just wish this bureaucracy would sort out its incompetence.

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TRAVEL NEWS

‘We will be ready’ vows France, amid fears of UK border chaos

Transport bosses have raised fears of long queues in British ports when the EU's new EES system comes into effect next year, but French border officials insist they will be ready to implement the new extra checks.

'We will be ready' vows France, amid fears of UK border chaos

The EU’s new EES system comes into effect in 2023 and many people – including the boss of the Port of Dover and the former UK ambassador to France – have raised concerns that the extra checks will lead to travel chaos on the UK-France border, and see a repeat of the long queues experienced last summer.

Port of Dover CEO Doug Bannister told The Local that he feared “tailbacks out of the port and throughout Kent” because the new system could take up to 10 minutes to process a car with four passengers, as opposed to 90 seconds currently.

EXPLAINED What the EES system means for travel to France in 2023

But French border control have insisted that they will be ready, replying to questions from the European Commission with “Oui, La France sera prête” (yes, France will be ready).

French officials said they had already undertaken extension preparation and would begin test runs of the new system in French border posts at the end of this year.

document shared recently by the secretariat of the EU Council (the EU institution representing member states) and published by Statewatch, a non-profit organisation that monitors civil liberties, shows how countries are preparing. 

“France has prepared very actively and will be on schedule for an EES implementation in compliance with the EU regulation,” French authorities say.

“The French authorities have carried out numerous studies and analyses, in cooperation with infrastructure managers, to map passenger flows at each border crossing post… and evaluate the EES impact on waiting times,” the document says. 

However, despite the preparation, the French admit that long waits at the border remain a worry, adding: “the prospect of the impact of EES on waiting times at the borders worries infrastructure managers. The fact remains that fluidity remains a concern, and that exchanges are continuing with each border post manager to make progress on this point.”

The EES system is due to come into effect in May 2023 and will be applied at all EU external borders – find full details on how it works HERE.

However there has been particular concern about the France-UK border due to three things; the high volume of traffic (in total over 60 million passengers cross the border each year); the fact that many travel by car on ferries and the Eurotunnel (while the EES system seems more designed with foot passengers in mind); and the Le Touquet agreement which means that French border control agents work in the British ports of Dover and Folkestone and at London St Pancras station.

EES is essentially a more thorough passport checking process with passengers required to provide biometric information including fingerprints and facial scans – border checks will therefore take longer per passenger, and this could have a big effect at busy crossing points like Dover.

The UK’s former ambassador to France, Lord Ricketts, told The Local: “I think the EES, in particular, will be massively disruptive at the Channel ports.”

The EU consultation documents also revealed more details of how EES will work on a practical level for car passengers – those travelling by ferry or Eurotunnel to France – with border agents set to use computer tablets to gather biometric information like fingerprints so that passengers don’t have to get out of their cars.

READ ALSO France to use iPads to check biometric data of passengers from UK

Doug Bannister added that Dover agents were “awaiting an invitation” to France to see how the new systems will work. 

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