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A total of 3,500 were classed as “refused” – though this figure includes duplicate applications; and 9,100 were withdrawn.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

‘Ashamed, embarrassed, disappointed’ – How Brits in the EU feel about the UK

A new in-depth survey on British nationals living in the EU has revealed the impact that Brexit has had upon their lives, and their attitudes to their country of origin.

'Ashamed, embarrassed, disappointed' - How Brits in the EU feel about the UK

The study, conducted by academics at Lancaster and Birmingham universities, provides a snapshot of how Brits in the EU live – their age, family, work and education – and how they feel about the UK in the six years since the Brexit vote.

Unsurprisingly, it revealed that Brexit has had a major practical impact on the lives of Brits living in the EU – who are now subject to third-country rules and require residency cards or visas and face restrictions on voting and onward movement within the EU.

But the survey’s 1,328 respondents were also asked about their emotions towards the country of their birth.

Eighty percent of respondents said it had changed their feelings towards the UK.

A British woman living in Norway said she felt: “Deep, deep shame. Embarrassed to be British, ashamed that I didn’t try hard enough, or appreciate my EU citizenship.”

“Since Brexit I am disappointed in the UK. I am worried, and no longer feel like I have the same affinity for the country. It’s a shame because I love ‘home’ but the country feels so polarised,” added a British woman in her 30s living in Denmark.

An Austrian resident with dual British-Irish nationality said: “I feel disconnected, like it’s a completely different country from how I left it.

“So much so I feel more connected with my second nationality (Irish) despite the fact I never grew up in Ireland. It’s embarrassing what’s happened in the UK and what continues to happen. It’s like watching a house on fire from afar.”

The experience of living abroad during the pandemic also affected people’s feelings towards the UK, with 43 percent of people saying the UK’s handling of the Covid crisis affected their feelings towards the county.

A British woman in her 50s living in Spain said: “It was shambolic. Too late, too little, mixed messaging, lack of seriousness. So many deaths after what should have been a head start.”

A British man living in Greece described it simply as “a shit show”.

In addition to the Brexit effect, the survey also provided interesting and detailed data on the lives and profiles of Brits who live in the EU;

  • 69 percent had degree-level education
  • 77 percent worked in a professional or managerial role
  • 53 percent are of working age
  • 59 percent have been living in their country of residence for more than five years
  • 78 percent said it was very unlikely that they would move countries in the next five years 
  • The most common reasons for moving country were retirement (40 percent), family reasons (35 percent) and work (30 percent)

Almost all respondents said that Brexit had impacted their lives, with the loss of freedom of movement being the most common effect mentioned.

One man said: “My original plan (pre-2016) was to move to France on retirement, due in 2026. Brexit caused me to move sooner, in order to retain my European citizenship rights. The pandemic helped (indirectly) in that I got locked down in France in 2020, which enabled me to earn residence under the pre-Brexit rules. I had been talking to my employer about doing something similar before the pandemic broke.”

“I moved to France in 2020 in order to protect my right to live and work in France post-Brexit. My migration is 100 percent a result of Brexit,” said one American-British dual national.

Other respondents talked about the post-Brexit admin necessary to gain residency status in their country, financial losses due to the weakening of the pound against the euro and the loss on onward freedom of movement – meaning that Brits resident in one EU country no longer have the right to move to another.

The report also highlighted that only 60 percent of respondents had changed their legal status by security residency since Brexit.

For some Brits in the EU this is not necessary if they already have citizenship of their country of residence (or another EU country such as Ireland) but the report’s author highlighted that: “It may also offer an early indicator that within this population there are some who may find themselves without legal residence status, with consequences in the future for their right to residence, and access to healthcare, welfare and work (among other services).”

READ ALSO What to do if you have missed the Brexit deadline in France 

In total 42 percent of respondents were completely disenfranchised – the 15-year rule means they can no longer vote in the UK, while the loss of EU citizenship means that they cannot vote in European or local elections in their country of residence.

The British government has recently announced the ending of the 15-year rule, giving voting rights to all UK nationals, no matter how long they live outside the UK. 

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