Who are the Brits in France who have not yet applied for post-Brexit residency?

From fear of rejection to a simple misunderstanding, a new survey has revealed the different reasons why a number of British nationals living in France have not yet applied for post-Brexit residency, even as the deadline looms.

Who are the Brits in France who have not yet applied for post-Brexit residency?
British nationals living in France have until June 30th 2021 to apply for post-Brexit residency. Photo: THOMAS COEX / AFP
British nationals living in France are facing a big deadline to apply for post-Brexit residency at 11:59 pm on June 30th 2021. Those who fail to apply risk losing local healthcare, employment and other rights when the new permit becomes compulsory from October 1st 2021. 
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.
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.

Member comments

  1. I have concerns for people who have made applications, received attestation and await contact from préfecture. I know 3 people who chased up and were told there was no dossier. They had to apply a second time. Two other people were told that they had not replied to an email. They had not received the email and are technology competent. So 5 errors out of 12 people that I know have applied.

  2. According to some at the Anthony prefecture some Brits are arrogant thinking the can stay whatever happens.

  3. I know exactly zero people out of dozens who applied in good time who haven’t got their cards yet.
    Funny how these things work…..

  4. You state that those in the process of applying for French nationality need to apply for the carte de séjour. What if you have a dossier/référence number for your application for nationality and the application is quite far along and you are just awaiting the call for the interview?

    1. Hi, If you are not a French citizen by September 30th (and the application process for citizenship on average takes 18 months to 2 years) you will need a carte de séjour. A dossier or reference number for a citizenship application is not proof of your right to residency

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France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Visits to the Channel islands from France have halved since Brexit, and French local authorities say they may be forced to cut the regular ferry service, asking for the passport requirement to be waived for French visitors.

France may cut Channel islands ferry service after post-Brexit collapse in visitor numbers

Travel to and from the Channel islands – which are British crown dependancies – has reduced significantly since Brexit, when passports became a requirement for those travelling in and out of the islands and their ports.

Now the president of the local authorities in the Manche département of France has asked that passport requirements be lifted, with hopes of increasing travel to and from the islands.

Jean Morin told Ouest France that there has been a “considerable reduction in the number of passengers on routes between the Channel ports and the islands” and as a result the ferry service between France and the islands was seriously in deficit.

“On these lines, we will never make money, but we cannot be in deficit”, explained the Morin. 

He added that if a solution is not found by the deadline of May 1st, 2023, then local authorities will stop funding the shipping company DNO, which runs the Manche Îles Express ferry service.

“If the passport requirement is not lifted by then, we will have no choice but not to renew the service contract for 2024-2025”, Morin told Ouest France.

Only around half of French people have a passport, since the ID card issued to all adults is sufficient to travel within the EU. 

READ MORE: Ask the Expert: How Brexit has changed the rules on pensions, investments and bank accounts for Brits in France

DNO re-launched operations in April and since then, the company, and by extension the département – who plays a large role in funding it via a public service delegation – has been losing significant funds.

According to Franceinfo, the number of passengers has been cut in half since passport requirements were introduced. Franceinfo estimates that for one ticket for one passenger costing €30, the département spends €200.

According to Morin, the ideal solution would be to require a simple ID for tourists seeking to take just day-long or weekend-long stays on the islands – which reportedly represents at least 90 percent of the boats’ usual passengers.

“The Jersey government is working hard on the issue and is waiting for an agreement from London and the European Union. There is the possibility that things could move quickly”, Morin told Franceinfo on Tuesday.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic and Brexit, boats going to and from the French mainland carried at least 110,000 people per year. In 2022, only 40,000 passengers made the journey, Olivier Normand, the sales manager of Manche Îles Express, told Actu France.

Normand had expected the decline, however. He told Actu France that the company had taken a survey, which found that almost half (between 40 and 50 percent) of their clientele did not have a passport.