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'Can I travel on a Carte de Séjour?' British embassy answers Brexit questions

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'Can I travel on a Carte de Séjour?' British embassy answers Brexit questions
British embassy in Paris. Photo: AFP
13:13 CET+01:00
On Monday night the British embassy in Paris answered questions from anxious Britons in France on what a post-Brexit world holds for them. Here's a selection from the Q&A.
More questions have been answered on the British Embassy in Paris Facebook page
 
Question: How much will it cost to apply for residency in France after March 29th?
 
Answer:  In a deal situation, we understand that there will be no cost to apply for residency. However, in a no deal scenario, then I’m afraid there will indeed be an application cost for those who do not already have a permanent residency card. We understand this will be more like €100-150 – the precise fee should be confirmed in the coming week.
 
Question: If Britons in France do not manage to exchange their UK driving licence for a French one before March 29th due to the long wait, will it be enough to carry a copy of the application forms from before that date in order to avoid having to re-take a driving test in France? 
 
Answer: We are very much aware of the delays to exchanging drive licences as this is coming up regularly – and not, we should say, linked to Brexit but to a broader backlog.
 
The exact process for exchanging your licence after Brexit hasn’t been outlined by the French yet (including about driving tests) but you can check their website for updates here
 
They’ve also said that for those who arrive after Brexit they will have a year to exchange their licence during which it remains valid – so it sounds like there’s some flexibility if you don’t have a French licence in your hand on 30 March.
 
When you send your UK licence off to be exchanged, the French government should issue you with a certificate of proof which will be valid for 12 months, but you might want to keep a copy of your forms and a photocopy of your UK licence just in case.
 
No-deal Brexit: What the new French law really means for Britons in France
Photo: AFP
 
Question: Will it be possible to drive in the UK on a French driving licence in the case of a no deal?
 
Answer: Yes. You will be able to drive in the UK on a French licence in the event of a no deal Brexit.
 
Question: What advice do you have for Britons who commute between France and the UK, and have homes (or 2nd homes) and businesses in both? Will people be forced to choose between the two, in terms of taxation, healthcare, driving licences?
 
Answer: In theory people should have had a primary residence anyway, which then fed through to decisions about driving licences, healthcare etc.
 
But there will be changes, around the right to onward movement (where we continue to push for it to be continued) and on visa free travel being for three months and we want to be honest about that. On the businesses element we would suggest talking to a lawyer as it depends very much on the kind of business.
 
Question: Many Britons are preparing the examinations to become teachers in France (civil service posts). Do we have any news on how this would work in the case of a no-deal Brexit?
 
Answer: According to the “ordonnance” that the French published on February 7th, the rights of UK nationals who are either permanent or trainee “fontionnaires” will be protected. Hope this helps and do let us know if there are any problems.
 
Brexit: Brits in France must start preparing for the worst
Photo: AFP
 
Question: After Brexit, if a Briton living in France wants to travel back into France with their pet on a European pet passport, will the animal in question have to have blood tests and a health certificate?
 
Answer: Under a deal scenario nothing changes until the end of 2020 and we will hope to negotiate replacement agreements for the current EU system. Under a no deal we will continue to allow people to travel using their existing pet passports, but going the other way it will depend on the EU placing the UK on their list of countries which removes the obligation for a blood test. You’ll find more information here.
 
Question: How do I get a newly issued copy of my birth certificate for a carte de sejour application and how long it should it take?
 
Answer: Prefectures often require your certificates to have been issued within three months, or to have been legalised. Getting a copy is often cheaper!
 
You can obtain a copy of your UK birth certificate online from the General Register Office – it will be sent after 14 days and cost £11-14. If you need it sooner you can pay £35 for an express service. It should only take you about 10 minutes to complete the form online
 
Question: Do you have any information about what will happen to children and students after Brexit?
 
Answer: Minors living with you won't need carte de sejours until they are 18, and thereafter they can apply in their own right, including for a student card if they are studying.
 
This French site and our own site have more details.
 
Photo: AFP
 
Question: Will I still be able to travel in and out of France for work post Brexit even if I haven’t received my CDS?
 
Answer:  Yes you will still be able to travel on your passport as you would do now, even if in the middle of a CDS application. The French authorities have also said that CDS in the new system will allow travel within Schengen for short periods (less than 3 months) for both business and travel. 
 
Question: Will Brits be able to claim disability benefits with a CDS?
 
Answer: Under the Withdrawal Agreement we have already said that benefits, like disability benefit, will continue to be paid to eligible British nationals in the EU after Brexit. That is also our intention under a no-deal scenario but we need to work through some of those details on how it works in practice with the French.
 
Stay tuned to our Living in France guide we update regularly with the information available:
 
Question: If you have less than six months remaining on your UK passport, is it best to renew now, or wait until after March 29th? Will people need to apply for a new one after Brexit?
 
Answer: We recommend renewing any passport with less than six months remaining.
 
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