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Brits in France urged to express Brexit worries ahead of launch of carte de séjour website

It's been easy to forget in the midst of a global pandemic, but the Brexit process is continuing and for British people living in France there is an important date coming up.

All British people currently living in France – and those who move here before December 31st – need to apply for a new carte de séjour under the Withdrawal Agreement.

The agreement gives quite generous terms to those already living here to remain, but everyone – even people who already have a carte de séjour permenant – will have to apply for a new residency permit.

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

At present it is not possible to make the application and the French government is setting up a new online system for British people, which is scheduled to go live in July.

People who already have a carte de séjour permenant need to use to site to swap their card for the new one, and everyone else needs to make a new application.

The only exceptions to this are British people who have dual nationality with another European country and those who applied using the 'no deal' portal that was briefly online in October 2019. Anyone who successfully applied on the old portal should have received an email telling them that their application will be moved to the new portal.

At present we don't know exactly what the new online process will involve, but those who managed to use the 'no deal' portal last year reported that it was quite user-friendly and simpler than many administrative processes.

Everyone makes their application online (although there is expected to be an exemption for people who have no internet access) and then applications are passed to the préfecture where you live for processing.

Ahead of it going live, citizens' rights group France Rights, who have been in close contact with French authorities over the process, are asking people to fill in a survey detailing their concerns about the process.

The group will be providing detailed information on the new process and already has comprehensive information on the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement on its site here.

Kalba Meadows from France Rights said: “Taking a snapshot of where people are right now will help us plan how to go about things and what info we need to be looking at.

“The survey is short, simple and completely anonymous.”

To access the survey, click HERE.

For more on the paperwork requirements, head to our Preparing for Brexit section.


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Amber alert: Travellers to France warned of another busy weekend at UK ports

A week after chaotic scenes and 6-hour queues at the port of Dover, the British motoring organisation the AA has issued an amber traffic warning, and says it expects cross-Channel ports to be very busy once again this weekend as holidaymakers head to France.

Amber alert: Travellers to France warned of another busy weekend at UK ports

The AA issued the amber warning on Thursday for the whole of the UK, the first time that it has issued this type of warning in advance.

Roads across the UK are predicted to be extremely busy due to a combination of holiday getaways, several large sporting events and a rail strike – but the organisation said that it expected traffic to once again be very heavy around the port of Dover and the Channel Tunnel terminal at Folkestone.

Last weekend there was gridlock in southern England and passengers heading to France enduring waits of more than six hours at Dover, and four hours at Folkestone.

The AA said that while it doesn’t expect quite this level of chaos to be repeated, congestion was still expected around Dover and Folkestone.

On Thursday ferry operator DFDS was advising passengers to allow two hours to get through check-in and border controls, while at Folkestone, the Channel Tunnel operators only said there was a “slightly longer than usual” wait for border controls.

In both cases, passengers who miss their booked train or ferry while in the queue will be accommodated on the next available crossing with no extra charge.

Last weekend was the big holiday ‘getaway’ weekend as schools broke up, and a technical fault meant that some of the French border control team were an hour late to work, adding to the chaos. 

But the underlying problems remain – including extra checks needed in the aftermath of Brexit, limited space for French passport control officers at Dover and long lorry queues on the motorway heading to Folkestone.

OPINION UK-France travel crisis will only be solved when the British get real about Brexit

The port of Dover expects 140,000 passengers, 45,000 cars and 18,000 freight vehicles between Thursday and Sunday, and queues were already starting to build on Thursday morning.