Brexit: France is preparing for no-deal for British nationals

France is preparing for hard Brexit by putting into place a regulatory framework for immigration.

With just a few weeks left before the decided exit date of 29th March for United Kingdom, France has issued an ordinance in relation to the right of residence and work for British nationals established in the country which will be effective from date of United Kingdom’s exit.

Key features: 

  1. An unconditional right to residence and work for at least three months and up to one year after the date of exit
    Any British national legally residing in France at the date of exit will not be required to have a residence permit. An automatic right to work and all social rights will be preserved during this period.
    A deadline to submit applications for residence permits will be set through a decree for all British nationals already residing in France at the date of exit
  2. Special process for combined residence and work permit for British employees established in France for less than 5 years at time of exit
    The British national may be entitled to a residence permit valid for up to 4 years, in particular if he/she is an employee on a permanent contract.
    Family members will be granted a multiannual residence permit.
  3. A 10-year residence and work permit will be automatically granted to British nationals having been legally established in France for more than 5 years at date of exit
    British nationals will be issued a permanent residence card provided they can prove that they have been residing in France regularly and continuously for at least 5 years.
  4. Benefits maintained for a period of at least two years
    The ordinance guarantees the continuity of health care rights for insured persons under the British scheme residing in France for 2 years after United Kingdom’s exit comes into effect. At the end of this 2-year period, the conditions under which these insured persons are covered will be reviewed.
    Unemployment benefits may be granted for a work period of at least 3 months in France.
  5. The special provisions of the Ordinance may be suspended by decree if the French Government finds that the British Government does not grant a treatment to French nationals on its territory equivalent to that provided for in the Ordinance.
  6. After 29 March 2019, British nationals arriving in France will be considered as third-country nationals
    As such, they will need a work permit, a long-stay visa and a residence permit.
    The procedures and permits issued will depend on the reason and duration of the desired stay.

To avoid an interruption in the rights of residence and work rights of the concerned British employees, companies must prepare as soon as possible for the two alternative scenarios:

  • Inform and identify the population affected by Brexit in France and in the other Member States where they are present
  • Plan the procedures for supporting British employees in France
Diane Artis

Diane Artis, Partner, has over 20 years’ experience in French and international individual income tax matters. She assists leading worldwide companies in French individual tax matters, including income tax consequences […]