France publishes income guidelines for British people after Brexit

The French government has published its official guidance on how much money British people will need to be granted residency status after Brexit.

France publishes income guidelines for British people after Brexit
Photo: AFP

In order to qualify for residency after Brexit, British people need to fulfil certain criteria, and the one that has been causing the most anxiety is the 'minimum resources' requirement.

For people in work this is fairly straightforward, but for people not working and on low incomes – particularly pensioners – the idea that they might not have enough money to qualify has been causing considerable anxiety.

Until now there have only been guideline figures, but on Sunday the French government published an Arrêté in the Journal Officiel, which lays out the criteria that officials must base their decisions on.

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The Withdrawal Agreement states that all decisions must be taken on a case-by-case basis, so for example if someone falls slightly below the threshold but owns their own house outright and therefore doesn't pay a mortgage or rent, this would have to be taken into account.

Savings and extra income such as rental income from a property in the UK are also taken into account.

The French take the level for RSA as a guide figure. Revenue de Solidarité Active (RSA) is the French in-work benefit. Anyone earning below a certain amount is entitled to top-up benefits and this is the figure that is being used to calculate what is a reasonable income level.

As with all benefit levels, it changes over time, but currently the level is €564.78 per month.

There's good news for British people – the French government has said that unlike for other types of application, British people can declare this as an income for their household – so if you are a couple you only need €564.78 between you, not €564.78 each.

In more good news, RSA is the guideline figure that will be applied for all types of application. The French benefit level for pensioners – ASPA – is higher and there had been fears that some people would not meet this threshold, but the Arrêté says that RSA is the guideline figure for all types of application.

The document states: “The adequacy of resources is assessed in the light of the personal situation of the person concerned.

“Regardless of the number of people in the household, the amount required may not exceed the minimum amount of the RSA for a single person without children.”

Proof of income

And only certain groups of people need to provide proof of their financial situation.

People who have lived in France for longer than five years simply need to supply personal information, proof of address and some evidence of the date they arrived in France when they apply for residency.

All British people living in France – even those who have been here for a long time or are married to a French person – need to apply for a residency card before June 30th, 2021. For more on how the residency card application process works – click here.

People who have lived in France for less than five years apply as one of the following categories; employed or self-employed, student, job-seeker, retired or otherwise economically inactive, the family member of someone who fits the above criteria or the spouse, civil partner or live-in partner of a French person.

Of these categories, only those applying as 'retired or economically inactive' need to supply proof of their means. Documents that will be accepted for this include your most recent tax declaration, information on pension payments or recent bank statements.

People applying as 'inactive' will also have to provide proof of health cover – registration within the French state healthcare system is sufficient for this.

To read the Arrêté in full – click HERE.

And for full details on the financial resources rules, click HERE.

For more on residency, healthcare, driving and travel after Brexit, head to our Preparing for Brexit section, or the citizens' rights group France Rights.

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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.

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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.