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BREXIT

France down to last 500 post-Brexit residency applications

Just 500 permanent post-Brexit applications for residency in France remain to be finalised, according to EU figures, down from 10,000 outstanding applications in September.

France down to last 500 post-Brexit residency applications
Photo by Thomas Coex / AFP

This figure relates to all Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020, and is well down on the 10,000-plus outstanding applications reported shortly after the deadline passed in September 2021.

The EU’s sixth joint report on the implementation of residency rights under part 2 of the Withdrawal Agreement brings together data from all EU member states – and the UK – on post-Brexit residency applications.

It revealed that 164,900 applications had been concluded, out of a total of 165,400 received.

Of those, 105,600 applications for permanent residency (a 10-year carte de séjour) were approved, along with 46,700 applications for non-permanent residency (the five-year carte de séjour).

A total of 3,500 were classed as “refused” – though this figure includes duplicate applications; and 9,100 were withdrawn.

On top of the 500 applications still being dealt with by local authorities, a further 361 applications were reported as incomplete, the EU study shows.

The question of the number of Britons living in France had long been in doubt, as – unlike many EU countries – France does not require EU nationals to register for residency.  Most estimates had put the figure at around 200,000 people.

The figure of 165,000 relates to adult Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020 – it does not include under 18s, people who moved after the Brexit deadline, second-home owners or people who have dual nationality with an EU country (eg France or Ireland) and therefore do not require a residency card.

It is still possible to apply for a post-Brexit residency card, if necessary. Children, for example, who were not required to apply first time around will have to when they reach 18.

READ ALSO What to do if you have missed France’s Brexit residency deadlines

France operated a two-stage deadline for Brexit residency – all applications had to made made by the end of September 2021 and since January 1st 2022, Brits who were living in France before December 31st 2020 are required to have a carte de séjour residency card.

Member comments

  1. Great shame ANTS has not been so enthusiastic and diligent with processing the exchange of expired British Driving Licences. According to the Consulate there are several hundred Brits here with long outstanding valid applications unable to drive and lead normal lives. Quite shocking and the British authorities appear completely unconcerned

    1. I agree. I applied for new driving licence in Dec 2019, as my UK one was due to expire Feb 2020. I am still waiting……. and it is now Jan 2022.

      They keep asking for something else intermittently, like another copy of something, which I duly send, but then spend the time waiting again.
      I think this is outrageous, personally. I am reluctant to drive long journeys, (so a friend takes me), but I still drive to town for shopping (I have no other way)…. but it is quite stressful.
      I just wish this bureaucracy would sort out its incompetence.

  2. I agree. I applied for new driving licence in Dec 2019, as my UK one was due to expire Feb 2020. I am still waiting……. and it is now Jan 2022.

    They keep asking for something else intermittently, like another copy of something, which I duly send, but then spend the time waiting again.
    I think this is outrageous, personally. I am reluctant to drive long journeys, (so a friend takes me), but I still drive to town for shopping (I have no other way)…. but it is quite stressful.
    I just wish this bureaucracy would sort out its incompetence.

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POLITICS

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.

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