France announces closure of web portal for post-Brexit residency applications

The special web portal created to allow Brits living in France to apply for their post-Brexit residency cards will 'permanently close' on October 4th.

France announces closure of web portal for post-Brexit residency applications
Photo: Philippe Huguen/AFP

The deadline for Brits who moved to France before the end of the Brexit transition period to apply for residency was extended from June 30th to Thursday, September 30th, and it has now been confirmed that the web portal will close on Monday.

Brits who moved to France before December 31st 2020 benefited from a simplified application process for the crucial carte de séjour residency card – which could be done on the specially created web portal, available in English and French.

French authorities have now confirmed that the portal “will permanently close on October 4th”.

The previous deadline to submit applications had been June 30th, but French authorities extended this to allow an extra three months for anyone who had not been able to submit their application in time.

Figures from the Interior Ministry show that more than 5,000 applications were received during this extension period.

READ ALSO What happens to Brits in France who don’t register for residency before the Brexit deadline?

Once the portal closes, the only applications accepted from Brits under the Withdrawal Agreement will be:

  • Those living in France before December 31st 2020 who turn 18 after October 4th (minors are not required to have a carte de séjour)
  • Family members or spouses of Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020
  • Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020 and who have exceptional (force majeure) reasons for not submitting their applications before the deadline date

These applications will have to be made directly to local préfectures, rather than online

All other applications must be made before this date, and this applies to all Brits who moved to France before December 30th 2020, including

  • Those married to a French or European national
  • Those who have been here a long time
  • Those who previously had a European carte de séjour. Only residency cards issued since 2019 are valid. People who have cards issued before 2019 need to swap them for the new Withdrawal Agreement card
  • Non-Brits whose residency rights in France derive from a British partner, spouse or family member eg someone in France on a spouse visa as the spouse of a UK national

The only exception is Brits who have dual nationality and have a French or other EU nation passport, although they can apply for the new residency card if they wish.

For the full details of how to apply, click HERE.

Brits who moved to France after December 30th 2020 need to follow the new post-Brexit process, which involves getting a visa – full details HERE.

The deadline to be in possession of the carte de séjour has also been extended – until January 1st 2022 – to allow préfectures time to process the roughly 10,000 applications that are still outstanding.

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British PM Boris Johnson’s dad becomes French

The Brexit-supporting father of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has acquired French citizenship, a French justice ministry source told AFP.

British PM Boris Johnson's dad becomes French

A Conservative who once worked for the European Commission in Brussels, Stanley Johnson opposed Brexit at first but swung behind the EU departure project following 2016’s narrow referendum vote that was championed by his son.

The elder Johnson’s ties to France are through his French mother, and he speaks the language.

The 81-year-old filed his citizenship application at the French consulate in London in November last year, with a six-month deadline for the justice ministry to object elapsing on Wednesday.

“Based on the facts in his application, and without a refusal by the justice minister, Mr Stanley Johnson acquired French nationality on May 18 2022,” the ministry told AFP.

READ ALSO Am I eligible for French citizenship?

“This decision concerns only Mr Stanley Johnson and does not extend to his descendants,” it added.

The most common ways of acquiring French nationality are through residency in the country or marriage to a French citizen.

However it is possible to become French through family connections, although France accepts only a French parent – not a grandparent like Ireland or a great-grandparent like Italy – in these types of application.

READ ALSO How to obtain French citizenship through ancestry

French law normally prevents children of its citizens from claiming nationality if their family has been abroad for more than 50 years without making use of their rights.

But their applications can still be considered if they can prove “concrete ties of a cultural, professional, economic or family nature” with France — a clause Stanley invoked in his application.

“I’ll always be European, that’s for sure,” Stanley Johnson told RTL radio in French in a December 2020 interview.

He had come under fire at home for his plans, announced at the same time most Britons were losing the right to travel freely across the European Union as a post-Brexit “transition period” ended.

“It’s not a question of becoming French. If I understand correctly I am French! My mother was born in France, her mother was completely French as was her grandfather,” Stanley said.

“For me it’s a question of obtaining what I already have and I am very happy about that,” he added.

Around 3,100 British people acquired French nationality in 2020, according to the latest figures available from EU statistics agency Eurostat, making France the second most popular choice for acquiring European citizenship, after Germany.

Stanley Johnson has become a public figure in Britain following his son’s political rise, appearing on a celebrity reality TV show in 2017 and appearing regularly in the media.

His ex-wife Charlotte Fawcett — Boris’s mother — told a biographer recently that Stanley had beaten her many times, breaking her nose on one occasion.

Last year two women, a Conservative MP and a journalist, accused him of groping or touching them inappropriately.