Fact sheet : British nationals and their family members

You are a British citizen and wish to reside in France?  

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Find all the necessary information for your installation on this dedicated sheet. 

 

Following the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on January 31, 2020, a withdrawal agreement providing specific provisions for the right of residence of British citizens was adopted. 

 

This withdrawal agreement provided a transition period until December 31, 2020 during which European Union laws continued to apply and you could come to France without having to hold a visa or residence permit.  

For arrivals as of January 1, 2021, British citizens must follow the formalities provided for non-EU citizens in terms of residence. 

 

As of January 1, 2022, all British citizens and their family members over the age of 18 will be required to hold a residence permit to settle in France for a stay of more than 3 months. Minors (under 18 years old) are exempt from the obligation to hold a residence permit unless they need a residence permit in order to work or they reach the age of 18 before the deadline for applying for a residence permit.

 

Helpful tip :

Residence permits marked “European Union Citizen” (optional) obtained before the end of the transition period will continue to be valid until December 31, 2021 but will lose their validity after this date. Holders of this type of residence permit had to apply for its exchange before October 4, 2021. Only the module to submit additional documents is available until December 31, 2021.

 

For a stay of less than 3 months

 

Regardless of the date of arrival in France, British nationals and their British family members will not be required to obtain a short-stay visa.  

However, you will have to come with some specific documents in order to justify your travel. You may have to present them at the borders. You will find all the relevant information on this matter on the France-visas website.

Also, depending on the purpose of your stay in France, you may need a work permit in case of a salaried activity and, in case of secondment, your mission will have to be declared prior to the secondment.

Family members joining a British citizen who arrived in France before January 1, 2021 and who do not have British citizenship nor benefit from an exemption, will have to apply for a short-stay visa to enter France after January 1, 2021.

Find our dedicated sheet on short-stay visas Fact sheet : short-stay visas  

 

For a stay of more than 3 months

 

You will have to apply for a residence permit or document of circulation :

  • Under the terms of the withdrawal agreement if you arrived before January 1, 2021;
  • As provided for non-European citizens if you arrive after January 1, 2021, except for family members of a British citizen who arrived before January 1, 2021.

You arrived in France before January 1, 2021

If you resided in France before January 1, 2021, you may be able to apply to one of the residence permits or ‘document de circulation’ presented in the Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union. 

 

The members of your family (spouse, partner, children, dependent ascendants, and dependent family members of British nationality or from third countries) could also apply to one of the residence permits provided if they arrived with you before January 1, 2021. For an arrival after January 1, 2021, your family members whose family relationship is prior to 2021 ( except for descendants ) must apply to the Prefecture of their place of residence in France to be issued a residence permit.

 

You had to apply for the residence permit on the dedicated platform until October 4, 2021. Only the module to submit additional documents is available until December 31, 2021.

 

After October 4, 2021, people still eligible to the withdrawal agreement will have to contact the prefecture of their place of residence to submit their applications.

The following are concerned:

  • British nationals reaching the age of majority after October 4, 2021;
  • family members arriving in France after October 4, 2021;
  • British nationals who were not able to apply before this date for legitimate reasons (health reasons, force majeure, etc.).

Conditions

Residence permit marked "Permanent residence - Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union"

 

To be eligible to this residence permit, you have to be in one of the following situations : 

  • You have been granted a permanent residence permit before January 1, 2021 ;
  • You have resided legally for at least five years in France without being away from France for a period exceeding five consecutive years;
  • For British nationals: you are married to a French national;
  • For British nationals: your professional activity has ceased (retirement). You will be able to benefit from the residence permit even if the five-year period has not been reached;
  • You are a family member of a British citizen with a right of permanent residence and you are working in France. Family members who meet these conditions will be eligible before the five-year period has elapsed.

Residence permit marked "Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union"

 

To be eligible to this residence permit, you have to be in one of the following situations :

  • You exercise a salaried or self-employed professional activity ;
  • You possess sufficient resources;
  • You study in France;
  • You can prove a family link existing before January 1, 2021 with a British national, unless for dependents.

'Document de circulation' marked "Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union - non resident"

 

To be eligible for the ‘document de circulation’, you will have to justify cumulatively that :

  • You are a British national ;
  • You were employed or self-employed in France before January 1, 2021.

This residence permit will give you the right to enter, leave and work in France.

Authorised length of stay

 

The period of validity of your residence permit or ‘document de circulation’ will depend on your situation.

British nationals and their family members legally residing in France before January 1, 2021 

 

British nationals and their family members legally residing in France before January 1, 2021 for :

  • more than 5 years in France will be able to apply for a permanent residence permit valid for a period of 10 years. The residence permit will be marked “Permanent Residence – Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union”.

 

Helpful tip : The residence permit marked “Permanent Residence – Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union” loses its validity after a period of absence of the holder of at least five consecutive years from France.
  • less than 5 years will be able to apply for a residence permit valid for a period of 1 to 5 years depending on their situation. The residence permit will be marked “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union”.

British nationals exercising an economic activity in France before January 1, 2021

 

British nationals exercising an economic activity in France before January 1, 2021 will be able to apply for a ‘document de circulation’ valid for 5 years. It will be marked “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union – Non-Resident”.  

Work

 

The residence permits “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union”, “Permanent residence – Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union” and the ‘document de circulation’ “Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union – Non-resident” confer the right to carry out any professional activity.  

British nationals and their family members who began their professional activity in France before January 1, 2021 will not be required to hold a work permit or to complete other formalities on January 1, 2021 in order to continue to exercise their activity.

Procedure

 

You do not have to hold a long-stay visa to apply for the residence permits or ‘document de circulation’ provided in the withdrawal agreement. You are also not required to produce a medical certificate.

Family members of British nationals who arrived after December 31, 2020 must apply within 3 months of their arrival in France.

Once you have submitted your application for a residence permit (which could be submitted on the online platform for British nationals until October 4, 2021) or for a travel document (‘document de circulation’), you will immediately receive a certificate of application. Only the module to submit additional documents is available until December 31, 2021.

Find the dedicated platform 

 

After October 4, 2021, people still eligible to the withdrawal agreement will have to contact the prefecture of their place of residence to submit their applications.

The following are concerned:

  • British nationals reaching the age of majority after October 4, 2021;
  • family members arriving in France after October 4, 2021;
  • British nationals who were not able to apply before this date for legitimate reasons (health reasons, force majeure, etc.).

 

What documents are required? 

The list of documents to be provided in support of an application for a residence permit or a ‘document de circulation’ under the withdrawal agreement is available on the dedicated platform (Order of November 20, 2020 setting out the list of documents to be provided by British nationals for the issuance of residence permits marked “Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU”)and varies depending on your situation.

 

Cost of the residence permit 

 

Your residence permit or ‘document de circulation’ will be issued free of charge.

 

Travels within the Schengen area 

 

The residence permits and ‘documents de circulation’ issued in France under the terms of the withdrawal agreement allow their holders to travel to other States that are part of the Schengen area for periods not exceeding three months per semester.  

A tool has been created by the European Commission to facilitate this counting.

You arrived in France after January 1, 2021

 

British nationals and members of their families who wish to settle in France in 2021 must apply for a residence permit as provided for non-european nationals.

 

Helpful tip :

The family member (spouse, partner, children, dependent ascendants of British nationality or from third countries) of a British national who arrived before January 1, 2021 in France can join the latter after January 1, 2021 and benefit from the withdrawal agreement if he or she corresponds to one of the following situations :

  • His or her family link already existed before this date and continues at the time of the application for the residence permit;
  • He or she is the child of the British person mentioned or if he or she was legally adopted by the latter as of January 1st, 2021;
  • The British national residing in France has his or her sole or joint custody.

The application must be submitted in the three months after entering France.

 

Conditions

 

The conditions and the residence permit you can apply for will depend on your situation.

Audience Residence permit issued
Employees
  • Employees hired by a French company , residence permits valid for up to 4 years, renewable
  • Seconded employees for a stay of more than 3 months
  • Business owners and company directors
  • British citizens who are self-employed will be able to apply for different types of residence permits depending on their project : residence permits for legal representatives and company founders
  • Investors
  • Talent Passport "Business Investor"
  • Students
  • Students : residence permit marked "Student"
  • Young graduates from a French institution of higher education : residence permit "Job seeker/ New business creator" 
  • Family of a British citizens
  • Family members of a British citizen who arrived before January 1, 2021 will be able to apply for a residence permit linked to the withdrawal agreement under certain conditions.
  • Family members of a British citizen who arrived after January 1, 2021 will have to check the procedure applicable to them according to the residence permit of the latter. You will find all the information on this subject on each of the specific sheets for residence permits.
  • Procedure

     

    In order to apply for the residence permit corresponding to your situation, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa under the same conditions as another non-European citizen at the French consular authorities in your place of habitual residence.

    This visa will allow you to enter the French territory. The procedure has to be initiated on the website of France-visas .

    Once you get the visa, you will be able to travel to France and apply for the residence permit corresponding to your situation upon arrival at the Prefecture of your place of residence.

    Find our dedicated sheets about long-stay visas

     

    Period of validity

     

    The period of validity of your residence permit will depend on the residence permit you apply for.

     

    Cost of the residence permit 

     

    The cost of your residence permit will depend on the residence permit requested. You will find the relevant information on each of the specific sheets.

     

    Work 

     

    If you have been employed since January 1, 2021, you will need to apply for a work permit in order to continue your activity.

    This obligation does not apply to certain family members (spouse, partner, children, dependent ascendants, of British nationality or citizens of third countries, the family link have to be prior to 2021 except for descendants) of British citizens already settled in France before January 1, 2021.

    Depending on the residence permit you will apply for, the work permit may be included in the latter.

    Find our dedicated fact sheets on work permits