UN begins project to help British people living in France after Brexit

UN begins project to help British people living in France after Brexit
Photo: AFP
The UN is preparing for a project to help vulnerable British people in France through the issues thrown up by Brexit.

The UN's Migration Agency is generally better known for working with refugees in war-zones and disaster-hit regions, but now the agency is advertising for staff to come and work with British people living in France.

The Agency is looking for two people – one caseworkers and one legal adviser – to work in France with vulnerable British people, helping them to navigate the administration and regularise their situations after Brexit.

READ ALSO Brexit Withdrawal Agreement – what is it and does it cover me?


The caseworkers will help vulnerable British people navigate the often complicated administration required by Brexit. Photo: AFP

The two will be based in Saint-Brieuc, Brittany, and will offer advice and support in person, by email or over the phone.

The Agency says it wants the starting date to be April 2020, and the job is on a 12-month contract but with the possibility of an extension.

Among the duties involved in the positions are: “Provide comprehensive individual legal counselling to vulnerable UK nationals identified, during one-on-one meetings, via email or by telephone.

“Provide individual assistance to most vulnerable beneficiaries for online applications and during appointments with local stakeholders (including, when necessary French-English, English-French interpretation).”

Since the start of the Brexit process there has been concern about the number of people living in France who may be classed as vulnerable or who may struggle to fulfill the requirements for residency after the end of the Brexit transition period – currently set for December 31st 2020.

Unlike most European countries, France has never required EU citizens to register for residency, so no-one knows exactly how many British people live here – it is estimated to be between 150,000 and 300,000.

Many British people in France are retired, often on low incomes, and some have been living 'under the radar' as far as interaction with the French state is concerned.

There is particular concern about people who either do not have internet access or are not regularly online, as most of the vital information concerning residency, healthcare, pensions and driving has been issued online.

The issue of having 'sufficient resources' has also caused concern for many who are living on low incomes.

READ ALSO How much money do I need to stay in France after Brexit?

The UN is not the only organisation offering help and outreach to British people – the British Embassy has also been running a series of outreach events around the country as well as online Q&A sessions, and voluntary groups including Remain in France Together (RIFT), France Rights and British in Europe have all dedicated themselves to the situations of British people living in France – both through providing information and lobbying on our behalf.

And of course The Local has been reporting on this issue since 2016.

If you're confused on what you need to do to secure your status if you are already living in France or planning to move here, head to our Dealing with Brexit section.

We have the latest advice on gaining residency, registering for healthcare, your pension rights and what you need to do if you are driving in France.

 

 


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