France has the highest number of British nationals vulnerable to a loss of rights.
According to the British Embassy, recent figures suggested some 135,000 out of 148,3000 Brits have applied for post-Brexit residency, leaving 13,300 at risk. Information about the application process can be found HERE
A new joint survey by RIFT (Remain in France Together)
, a group supporting the rights of British people living and working in France, and the British embassy revealed the different reasons why people have not yet applied.
Firstly, there are those who are nervous about being rejected. One of the issues is that the conditions for legal residency in France is that the person has sufficient resources.
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This has caused a certain amount of consternation among those living on meagre resources in France, but there is no evidence (yet) to suggest Brits are being turned down because of a lack of incomings.
The Local understands that out of the tens of thousands who have applied there have only been handful of refusals and they were mainly down to serious criminality on part of the applicant. However no official statistics have been released.
However, failing to apply on time could create more problems, as you will need “reasonable grounds” for having missing the deadline. Those of have applied for residency and been turned down have the right to appeal the decision – full details HERE
There are others who simply still don’t know they need to apply.
Rights groups in France and the British Embassy have long been concerned about those Brits living off the radar in the country, who still might not be aware of the bureaucratic hoops they now need to jump through thanks to Brexit.
Even to this day The Local receives emails from people unsure whether they need to apply.
There has been a desperate communication drive by the British embassy, resident groups and campaigners to get the word out. However, campaigners say not enough has been done to raise awareness. More information can be found HERE
All British nationals who were resident in France before December 31st, 2020 are required to apply for the residency permit known as a carte de séjour – even people who have been here a long time, who are married to a French person or who previously had a residency card.
It also applies to people who already hold a European carte de séjour, are in the process of applying for a French nationality, or are married or PACSed to French or other EU nationals.
The only group who don’t have to apply are Brits who have already obtained dual nationality with an EU country, although they may apply if they wish. Children under 18 do not need to apply.
Other respondents said they haven’t applied because they didn’t know how to apply or they need help with the application process. You can get help HERE
There were also Britons living in France who are simply leaving it until the last minute, but do intend to apply before the deadline on June 30th.
Finally, a large part of respondents are relying on their dual nationality (UK/EU member state), and therefore do not need to apply, though they can if they wish.
According to British in Europe
, an organisation campaigning for the rights of UK citizens in the EU, there are five key groups of British nationals in France that are at risk of falling through the cracks:
– Those who know what they need to do but haven’t got round to sorting out their paperwork to apply yet.
– The elderly or vulnerable who are being cared for, and who have very little access to internet and social media.
– Younger adults who have grown up in France and are fully integrated in French families who believe their EU spouse/kids mean they do not nee to apply.
– People who have lived here for decades, often in French families and who may have residency permits – some of whom don’t identify as British.
– Third country national family members who rely on a UK national for residency rights.