Just 5 percent of Brits in France who applied for post-Brexit residency have received their permits, survey shows

Just 5 percent of Brits in France who applied for post-Brexit residency have received their permits, survey shows
After completing the application, the next step is an appointment at your local préfecture. Photo: AFP
A survey of British residents in France into who have applied for post-Brexit residency shows that those who are still waiting for a response should definitely not panic - just five percent of applicants have so far received their carte de séjour.

Since the UK left the EU and the British government opted to end freedom of movement, all British nationals living in France need to apply for the carte de séjour residency permit – a huge task for French bureaucrats since there are an estimated 200,000 – 300,000 Brits living in France.

The government has put in place a streamlined system for Brits who were already living here before December 31st 2020 to gain residency, and the online portal for processing applications went live after several delays in October 2020.

According to the British Consular Network 90,000 UK nationals have applied online already – the deadline for applications is June 30th, 2021.

The application process is as follows – the applications are all made online on a central web portal, they are then passed to the applicant’s local préfecture for processing and once the application is approved the applicant will then be invited to an appointment to give fingerprints and present original copies of documents such as passports. The card is then sent out by post.

For full details of how the application process works, click HERE.

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But with many people worried because they have had no response to their applications from French authorities, citizens’ rights group Remain in France Together (RIFT) carried out a survey to ascertain average waiting times.

Here are some of the key findings of the survey, an online poll that received 4,098 responses from all over France.

  • Just five percent of people who have applied have actually got their new card. In most cases, these were people who already had a carte de séjour permanent, which is a simpler process to swap.
  • 28 percent of people have received a date for the appointment at their local préfecture
  • The remaining 72 percent have received the automated acknowledgement of their application but have so far heard nothing else
  • Among people have who have been in France for more than five years, 33 percent have received an appointment date, compared to just 18 percent of those who have been here less than five years
  • Of the people who have received appointments, the vast majority were contacted in January, most appointment dates were within a couple of weeks of contact, but some people have received appointments in March or April

The survey also showed variations in waiting times between different areas.

Although all applications are made on a central portal, they are then passed to the local préfecture for processing, so waiting time depends on the staffing levels in the préfecture, the number of British nationals living in that area and the number of other third-country nationals in the area whose applications also need processing.

Areas that have a high number of third-country nationals were already struggling under a backlog of applications caused by the lockdown, even before they were hit with new applications from Brits.

Some areas that have a large British population, including Dordogne, have been given extra staff to deal with applications, but most préfectures have not.

  • In Paris, where immigration matters are dealt with by the Préfecture de Police, 50.91 percent of applicants have received an appointment date
  • Meanwhile in neighbouring Seine-Saint-Denis, just 9.09 percent have a date
  • Dordogne, which has been given extra staff to deal with UK nationals’ applications, has offered appointments to 51.3 percent 
  • In Charente 10.5 percent of people have their appointment date
  • In Aude in south west France, 9.3 percent have an appointment
  • In Alpes-Maritimes, which contains Nice, 24.7 percent an appointment

You can find the full deport from RIFT here and a département-by-département breakdown here.

All UK nationals living in France – even those who have been here a long time, are married to a French person or who had already received a carte de séjour permenent before October 2020 – must apply for a new card using the online system.

The deadline to have made the application is June 30th 2021 and by October 1st 2021 it will be compulsory for all Brits living in France to have a carte de séjour. Once you have applied online you will receive an email confirming your application has been received – this can be used as official proof of your status as a resident until you get the card.

The above system applies only to Brits to moved to France before December 31st 2020, those who moved this year will need a visa – find out the requirements HERE.


Member comments

  1. Yesterday in St Brieuc (22) my wife received the followig from the prefecture.

    Votre demande de titre de séjour a été instruite par la préfecture. Elle porte le numéro suivant : xxxxxx (numéro «GED» à rappeler dans vos futures démarches).
    Votre demande de titre de séjour a été acceptée.
    La préfecture des Côtes-d’Armor vous proposera un rendez-vous prochainement pour finaliser votre démarche (prise d’empreintes biométriques et photographie).
    Nous vous invitons à patienter.
    So good news but no rdv for my wife. Clearly we will have to be patient and no sign that my application is being processed!

  2. I live in Montpellier.

    I applied for my first permanent residence card on October 19. I had never had a card of any description prior to this application. I received an e-mail a week before the confirmation of the appointment for January 12 at the prefecture. All went smoothly and I received my card within two weeks.

  3. It’s interesting that someone on The Local states that there’s no need to panic yet in the same breath tells us that only 5% of applicants have so far received their permits since the process began 4 months ago. Does anyone seriously believe that the remaining 95% of us are likely to receive our permits within the next 4 months? Why aren’t ALL the préfectures beefing up their staff?

  4. I live in Toulouse, 31. I had a rdv on 11th January. it was done very quickly,everything was explained clearly. they said i should receive my carte de sejour within 2 months. I was given a receipt, which is evidence of the stage i have reached in the application process.

  5. Well according to that site there has been one applicant and it has been dealt with 100% I presume that means they have received it and told me so Getting somewhat stressed now even after 14 years living here and 50 years spending time with family in the village.

  6. Dept 64 sent our cards out with no visit necessary to the prefecture. We had 5 year cards since 2018. Well done 64!

  7. Thanks for all the feedback. I have downloaded the spreadsheet from RIFT site and note that in my department (22) there have been 107 applicants and one – yes one of the applicants has been given a rdv. Waiting happily now for mine to arrive!

  8. Dont hold your breath. We applied in Mayenne 13 months ago Jan 2020 and are still waiting for our interview
    Gus Pauline, Le Ham

  9. I live in the Aube(10) sent my application on the 1st octoberreceived a mail saying it had been received and they would contact me for an appointment. Very few Englich around here but still no news. Need a photo but all closed becuse of covid. Passport expires in 9 months but needs 6 months validity. Have carte vitale, french driving licence french wife and no financial problems and being bilingual have no problem with rdv just getting a tad tense with delay who did this survey because I am obviously not included.

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