After the events of Brexit and the confusing complexities of our negotiated deal, it can be baffling to understand where UK citizens stand in some situations. People living in the UK who wish to move to countries that remain in the European Union could be left scratching their heads. We’re here to help you understand the situation better.
We continue to have a good flow of visitors to and from one of our closest neighbours, France. Many Britons continue to live in France after Brexit and millions of us visit every year. Despite the continued strong relationship, our exit from the European Union has had an undeniable effect on the ease of transit. UK residents wanting to visit, move to, or work in France will find that it is a more complex process in 2023. To help you plan your move, we have summed up the newest elements of your post-Brexit move to France.
The prospect of any international move can be overwhelming. With our helpful International Moving Advice, you can be sure you’re ready for anything.
Can I still live in France After Brexit?
If you are one of the thousands of British citizens that have moved to France, Brexit will have little effect on your rights to continue your life in the EU. The withdrawal agreement in place means that Britons already living in France before the 1st of January 2021 may maintain their residence status wherever they are in France. However, if you are hoping to move after this date, things may seem a little more complicated.
Can I Still Move to France After Brexit?
It is still possible to move to France following Brexit, however, the new bureaucratic barriers in place can appear off-putting. The move is made much simpler with the assistance of a professional moving company like GMS, with advice like the below to guide you through your relocation to France. One thing to bear in mind will be the visa requirements for entering France, either for a short period or for a longer-term stay.
French Visa Requirements
If you are visiting France on holiday for a short period of time, there is no need to worry about applying for a visa. UK citizens are allowed to remain in France for up to 90 days if they are travelling with a valid passport. Bear in mind that this is only for leisure visits as any work you carry out in France will require a work permit, which will also be explained below.
If your stay will surpass the 90-day mark, for example, if you are on a work placement for several months, you then need to think about applying for a visa. As with any country, there are many different types of French visas to choose from depending on the purpose and duration of your visit. For stays longer than 90 days in France, there are two main visa options:
- Long Stay Visitor Visa: This will permit you to live in France for 12 months, longer with certain circumstances. Circumstances will also dictate whether you are allowed to work on this visa.
- Temporary Long Stay Visa: This visa allows a stay of 3 – 6 months in France.
[Regardless of the type of visa you apply for, the application should cost no more than €99. If your circumstances are unique and you’re unsure whether you need a visa or not, make use of the French Visa portal.] When applying for a visa, there are certain documents required for the online application process. You will need to have rental accommodation in France, provide your proof of income, prove that you have travel or health insurance, and have a valid passport.
Working in France after Brexit
A big part of moving to France from the UK after Brexit for many people is the prospect of work. UK nationals wishing to move to and work in France will now need to consider a work permit. If you have already got a job in France, it will be the responsibility of your employer to request a work permit from the French Ministry of Labour via the online portal. The Ministry will review the permit in terms of the employee’s skills, compliance with regulations, conditions of employment and more.
Once this has been successful and you have your work permit, you may now begin to apply for a visa and/or a Residence Permit.
How to Get French Residency After Brexit
Once you have been approved for a long stay visa you can apply for a French Residency Permit. This still applies to Europeans wanting to move to France – the only change following Brexit for Britons is that income requirements have increased, and you must meet a minimum level of proficiency in French.
There are different methods to be able to reside in France for long periods of time post-Brexit. The type of permit will depend on how long your stay is to be and if you plan to work during your residency. The 5 different types of French resident permits are:
- A long-stay visa
- Temporary residency visa
- Multi-year residency permit (with different categories for students, employed people, self-employed people, and private/family life)
- Retired persons residency permit
- French Residency permit/Permanent residency
Applying for Residency in France
To apply for a residency permit, or Carte de Séjour, you will need to be in France. You need to make an appointment at your local town hall or government office and present the correct documentation and proof of identification. When attending your appointment, you will need to provide:
- Valid Passport (original and copy)
- Visa or existing Residency Permit (original and copy)
- 3/4 passport photos
- Work contract details and signed work contract
- Proof of your permanent address in France
- Information on marital status
- Proof of sufficient financial income
- Declaration on honour of continuity of your stay in France
- Proof of minimum A2 French language proficiency
When you have supplied these documents in your appointment, you are in the process of your application for French residency. To be approved, you must not leave France before receiving your Carte de Séjour, which can take up to 8 weeks.
Are you considering moving to Spain? Read our guide on Moving to Spain from the UK after Brexit for more information.
If you have made the decision to move to France from the UK, our relocation services can help. We look after your move from start to finish. Get a quote for your international move today from Global Moving Services.