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colin

Applying for French residency

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I quote below some information from Dém'Marches Bretagne (detail later) about the procedure for applying for French residency, Carte de Séjour.

Applying for a residency card AFTER BREXIT (= after March 29th, 2019) means
you can't leave France during the process (4 to 6 months) ; if you do, your application is cancelled.


My advice is that you apply before end of October to be able to obtain an interview at Préfecture before Brexit.

In explanation. Nelly Ferriault is a brilliant adviser on all things administrative in France, is bilingual, used to work for the Préfecture, knows the people, the systems and the pitfalls inside out. She specialises, amongst other things, in helping Brits with car registration, tax and benefit forms, applications for residency or nationality, disputes with neighbours …. She is an absolute star, bubbly, charming, but serious, experienced and fearless in addressing issues. Her contact details are below. She lives NE of Rennes and covers Ille et Vilaine and a little beyond.

The process of applying for residency is typically bureaucratic. Mounds of photocopies of 5 years of bills and bank statements to prove you have been here, and have the means to pay your way. Plus originals and copies and notarised translations of birth and marriage certificates etc. The point she is now making is that, if you want to apply, and your application is accepted pending confirmation, you may only travel within the EU until you receive that confirmation 4 to 6 months later. Unless a specific arrangement forms part of Brexit, the UK will be outside the EU, and any applicant leaving France whilst waiting, will see their application automatically cancelled.

Nelly Ferriault

Dém'Marches Bretagne

demarches35@outlook.com

+33 (0)6 22 13 08 01

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I'm afraid I don't buy that. Can't leave France as the headline suggests or the EU as suggested in the body of the text? It's not the same thing at all. They can't stop anyone leaving France via Spain, Italy or Belgium so how are they planning to stop people traveling to Eire and  travelling across the border into Ulster? Plus what about travel to Switzerland (if you accidentally ski across the border - apparently easily done) and Norway via Sweden?

I guess she's touting for business (and why not? - she needs to work) and trying to panic people into getting in touch now but until there is a deal (whatever it may be) in place there is no need to rush. There will still be a transition period after March 2019 during which people will be free to travel while establishing their residency status. Ed. 

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6 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

I'm afraid I don't buy that. Can't leave France as the headline suggests or the EU as suggested in the body of the text? It's not the same thing at all. They can't stop anyone leaving France via Spain, Italy or Belgium so how are they planning to stop people traveling to Eire and  travelling across the border into Ulster? Plus what about travel to Switzerland (if you accidentally ski across the border - apparently easily done) and Norway via Sweden?

I guess she's touting for business (and why not? - she needs to work) and trying to panic people into getting in touch now but until there is a deal (whatever it may be) in place there is no need to rush. There will still be a transition period after March 2019 during which people will be free to travel while establishing their residency status. Ed. 

After today's news from the UK who knows where the UK be by the end of March 2019.A soft Brexit or no Brexit at all and European travel will have no obstacles for the UK. A hard Brexit ? That's a different matter and could lead to many problems for UK nationals concerning European residency and travel.

Edited by imprimerie
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6 minutes ago, imprimerie said:

After today's news from the UK who knows where the UK be by the end of March 2019.A soft Brexit or no Brexit at all and European travel will have no obstacles for the UK. A hard Brexit ? That's a different matter and could lead to many problems concerning European residency and travel.

Exactly, don't jump the gun and rush things. Wait and see what happens. There are far more EU citizens in the UK who might need to do the same thing over there than there are of us over here. I think she picked the wrong day to advertise her services 😀. But if things go wrong for her and nobody needs her assistance, my French brother-in-law works for Pole Emploi so can help her find another job. 

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy

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cabin-boy, I find everything you have said rude to the point of insulting! Try thinking before spouting.

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As any normal person can see, the original post, and explanation therein is mine. I quote a few lines from Nelly, and give her contact details at the end. I really object to the tone and content of cabin-boy's posts. Public apology???

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3 minutes ago, colin said:

cabin-boy, I find everything you have said rude to the point of insulting! Try thinking before spouting.

I was thinking, and my thinking is that there's no point anyone rushing into something that will cost them significant sums of money (around €50 for a translated birth certificate I believe) before is absolutely necessary. I can see no legal way that they can prevent people leaving the country (for business, pleasure or family reasons) while a residency application is processed as that will infringe on the basic rights of movement which they are so keen to uphold. The lady whose services you are extolling may well be an expert in getting around French bureaucracy but unless she also has a talent with a crystal ball to predict events 8 months hence then I suspect putting in an application today might be a waste of time. Ed. 

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For you, perhaps, but you are not in the position of a lot of Brits in France, and I still request a polite apology please!

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Do you think that 78 year old Mrs Smith, living in Pontivy since 2002 really wants to travel via Spain, and worry about the whole stramash, when her grand daughter in Salisbury gets ill?

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Very well! I humbly apologise for misunderstanding the tone and substance of the original post (due to confusion over what constitues the boundaries of the proposed travel ban) and for any suggestion that Mrs Ferriault is exploiting worried expats. Ed. 

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Thank you. It is not a "proposed travel ban", but a statement from a member of the relevant staff at the Préfecture in Rennes regarding the procedure. No scaremongering, no touting for business, just pointing out a fact. I have had Russian friends here in St Malo caught in this situation. If UK is outwith the EU, and without a specific agreement on this type of issue, voilà. Just trying to help, and not getting involved in the pro v con Brexit debate.

Edited by colin

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5 minutes ago, colin said:

Thank you. It is not a "proposed travel ban", but a statement from a member of the relevant staff at the Préfecture in Rennes regarding the procedure. No scaremongering, no touting for business, just pointing out a fact.

OK, but you say it's 'the procedure'. Is it the current procedure?, because if it is very few people will be able to guarantee they don't need to travel for 6 months to Salisbury or elsewhere (although Mrs Smith's grand-daughter might want to look for a safer place to live once she's recovered). Or is it the procedure which will kick in after Brexit?, meaning that no matter what the final deal is that will be case, whether needed or not. If the latter, how come it has not been made public already or is it some arbitrary decision on the part of the Breton region to apply those rules? Are you sure the procedure does not apply now to those requesting nationalisation at the same time as political asylum or migrant status to prevent them registering in two EU countries simultaneously? In which case the official is simply extrapolating the idea, maybe incorrectly. Ed. 

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Simples ... My Russian friends as example, non EU. Not their fault, but papers got "lost" at the Préfecture, and their visa was beyond its sell by date. Grand daughter born in Zurich, but had to wait till their application had gone through. Leaving the EU means just that, unless we believe in unicorns. Nothing new or unusual in this at all, but, till end March, the UK is in the EU. After that date, can you really be sure and honestly advise people to wait?

Like I said, no scaremongering, no rudeness, just trying to help, and point those who could benefit, towards someone I can personally recommend.

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11 hours ago, Cabin-boy said:

I'm afraid I don't buy that. Can't leave France as the headline suggests or the EU as suggested in the body of the text? It's not the same thing at all. They can't stop anyone leaving France via Spain, Italy or Belgium so how are they planning to stop people traveling to Eire and  travelling across the border into Ulster? Plus what about travel to Switzerland (if you accidentally ski across the border - apparently easily done) and Norway via Sweden?

I guess she's touting for business (and why not? - she needs to work) and trying to panic people into getting in touch now but until there is a deal (whatever it may be) in place there is no need to rush. There will still be a transition period after March 2019 during which people will be free to travel while establishing their residency status. Ed. 

Ulster is not British ,  only part of it is , the rest is in the Republic of Ireland  or Eire as some people on here call it ( we stopped using the Eire thing a long time ago )

Edited by Chef

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12 minutes ago, Chef said:

Ulster is not British ,  only part of it is , the rest is in the Republic of Ireland  or Eire as some people on here call it ( we stopped using the Eire thing a long time ago )

OK, point taken. Thanks. Ed. 

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Thanks for the sensible advice @colin sadly it will be too late for the Mrs and me but we could do with more good advice like that.

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It is, in fact, the official advice of both the UK and French governments that Brits should apply for a residency card, and it makes sense to do so as soon as possible. We don't know, as has been pointed out, what the final outcome of Brexit or the status of Brits in the EU will be, but it is expected that there will be a big rush to get a Carte de Séjour Permanent after March 2019. It makes sense to do it now and to be covered. My wife is going through the procedure right now. The claimed advantage is that once you have the Carte, it will be easier to swap it for any new permit or permanent visa that is introduced as part of the agreement.

There's an interesting article here from The Connexion, an English-language newspaper aimed at foreigners (mainly Brits) in France. There are several links to other info within the article.

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3 hours ago, Jardinier said:

It is, in fact, the official advice of both the UK and French governments that Brits should apply for a residency card, and it makes sense to do so as soon as possible.

Can you please give me a link to that advice, either from the UK or French government. On the UK site (link below) I can not see a reference to that, or am I looking in the wrong place? It suggests that until the end of 2020 nothing will change and no action is currently required, giving time for the final negotiations to take place. It does mention that if you have residency status then that's great and it will be simple to swap it for a more permanent document afterwards. But it also says that freedom of movement will NOT change, and the procedure should be transparent and affordable. 

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/advice-for-british-nationals-travelling-and-living-in-europe

The French site clearly states it's not an obligation (see link). 

http://accueil-etrangers.gouv.fr/demande-de-titre-de-sejour/vous-etes-ressortissant-e-de-l-ue/vous-etes-ressortissant-e-de-l-ue/

Ed

Edited by Cabin-boy

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When we had our interview at the prison like Préfecture in Rennes a couple of weeks back, the member of staff dealing with us stated very clearly that any application pending for a non EU citizen would be automatically cancelled if evidence of leaving French territory to a non EU country came to light. No threats or anything. A friendly, helpful and thoroughly efficient bureaucrat. I believe Nelly Ferriault followed this up with a call to someone further up the food chain, who confirmed the point.

Of course, it is highly possible that a reciprocal arrangement will avoid such restrictions for UK citizens after Brexit, but I would think this would only be the case in a "soft" Brexit scenario, and could be a real pain for people in the event of a "hard" or "no deal" Brexit?

Nonne of us are trying to scare anyone, or bash a political drum, just putting our experiences and gleanings in front of those who might benefit.

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7 minutes ago, colin said:

any application pending for a non EU citizen would be automatically cancelled if evidence of leaving French territory to a non EU country came to light. 

Thanks for clarifying that. I think that, as I said before, they are simply applying current procedure (for NON-EU nationals) to a potential future situation for which they have no concrete guidelines and which is unlike any situation they have previously faced.

I think that even with a 'no-deal' Brexit as regards trade and customs etc the immigration issue will have to be resolved as a standalone problem as the EU will not want to jeopardise the status of all those EU citizens living in the UK and risking expulsion. It's one thing for the UK to reabsorb half a million or so retirees and UK-qualified workers with their families but much more difficult for the other EU countries to take back a much larger number of (generally) unqualified labourers and farm workers, as well as health-care professionals, when their unemployment rates are so high. Their welfare systems would struggle to cope.

Has your application now been accepted and how long has it taken or how long will you have to wait to get confirmation? Ed. 

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9 minutes ago, Cabin-boy said:

Thanks for clarifying that. I think that, as I said before, they are simply applying current procedure (for NON-EU nationals) to a potential future situation for which they have no concrete guidelines and which is unlike any situation they have previously faced.

I think that even with a 'no-deal' Brexit as regards trade and customs etc the immigration issue will have to be resolved as a standalone problem as the EU will not want to jeopardise the status of all those EU citizens living in the UK and risking expulsion. It's one thing for the UK to reabsorb half a million or so retirees and UK-qualified workers with their families but much more difficult for the other EU countries to take back a much larger number of (generally) unqualified labourers and farm workers, as well as health-care professionals, when their unemployment rates are so high. Their welfare systems would struggle to cope.

Has your application now been accepted and how long has it taken or how long will you have to wait to get confirmation? Ed. 

What you say about Brexit is logical.However up until now nothing has been logical with Brexit.Trying to get a topic of this size through parliament without a majority is very difficult .As regards advice from this person and that person I would be very wary in a situation which could give an outcome that nobody would have thought of.Experts are great when they get it right but in this situation who knows what the outcome will be.

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Not sure why you are objecting to what I have said? Is "better safe than sorry" dead?

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36 minutes ago, colin said:

Not sure why you are objecting to what I have said? Is "better safe than sorry" dead?

If it is my post you are refering to I'm not objecting, I'm just giving you my opinion after running and living and working in France for almost 30 years and having received French nationality in 2002.I hope that gives me the right to give some sort of advice on this subject.

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14 minutes ago, imprimerie said:

If it is my post you are refering to I'm not objecting, I'm just giving you my opinion after running a business and living and working in France for almost 30 years and having received French nationality in 2002.I hope that gives me the right to give some sort of advice on this subject.

Sorry for the double post I forgot a couple of words!!

 

Edited by imprimerie

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