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colin

Applying for French residency

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Sorry! Not your post I am referring to. I think we are trying to keep the same balance. I have worked in France on and off since the 1970s, have worked for and with French companies and colleagues, and have even represented France in international sailing events...

I am relaxed, and proud, to be a Shetlander, a Scot, British, European, and these days, Breton. None are contradictory. All are rich and enriching. I have lost nothing of the first by embracing the others.

Enough they howl …..

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On 11/07/2018 at 09:22, Cabin-boy said:

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

OK, Ed. First of all, I apologise for the delay in replying, but we have family here on a visit for a fortnight, and now that have gone to bed, I have the chance to reply.

I'll deal with the easy point first. The French are indeed very quick to point out that no EU citizen is obliged to apply for a a Carte de Séjour. And, of course, the vast majority of EU citizens have absolutely no need to apply for one, and would be wasting everyone's time if they did (in most cases). However, from 29 M

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On 11/07/2018 at 09:22, Cabin-boy said:

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

OK, Ed. First of all, I apologise for the delay in replying, but we have family here on a visit for a fortnight, and now that they have gone to bed, I have the chance to reply.

To other readers, I apologise for the length and detail of this post, but for a mere Cabin boy this guy asks complicated questions! However, he is quite right to do so.

I'll deal with the easy point first. The French are indeed very quick to point out that no EU citizen is obliged to apply for a Carte de Séjour. And, of course, the vast majority of EU citizens have absolutely no need to apply for one, and would be wasting everyone's time if they did (in most cases). However, from 30 March next year, British subjects in an EU country may have no automatic right to be there (if "no deal" is the outcome). And whilst I doubt very much whether any action would be taken to deport them to the UK, it is very likely that a system of registration will be initiated to record their residence in that EU country, and the present automatic right to be there ceases. Indeed, a new registration system would in all probability happen even if some sort of deal is reached - just as is proposed for EU citizens resident in the UK.

Both French and British governments have apparently advised that the registration would be easier and quicker if the British applicant has a Carte de Séjour Permanent, because the formalities involved are likely to be the same (proof of income, proof of residence, etc).

As you suggest, nothing will change in respect of our current rights until the end of the transition period, 31 December 2020, but only IF there is a ratified Withdrawal Agreement. If the UK were to leave with no deal then our current rights would come to an end on 29 March 2019. With a "no deal" outcome, there is NO transition period. It is quite a possible outcome, too, as is becoming increasingly clear.

I'm not a legal eagle, so here I quote from the website of the organisation known as RIFT (Remain In France Together):

"France is the only EU27 country not to require EU citizens moving from another country to register or report their presence: in all other countries there are formalities to undergo after 3 months of residence. France has actually passed legislation requiring all resident EU citizens from elsewhere to register (see above), but has never published the arrêté which would prescribe how this would work and insert this into domestic law, therefore it's not, at present, a requirement.

"Although the absence of any registration requirement means that most of us have avoided the bureaucracy involved in applying for a Carte de Séjour, there is a downside: it means that it isn't always evident (a) how long we've been legally resident and (b) whether we have been properly exercising our free movement / treaty rights and are therefore 'legally resident'. At the end of the transition period, from 1 January 2021, all British citizens living in the EU will need to justify their membership of the 'protected group' - those whose rights will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement. Those of us living in France who don't already hold a Carte de Séjour at that point could find ourselves at a disadvantage.

"Going through the (relatively simple) procedure now of applying for a Carte de Séjour as an EU citizen will make sure that both of these things are done formally, in good time, and before it becomes necessary, so that after Brexit you can easily demonstrate that you are legally resident and hence can show that you are covered by the Withdrawal Agreement.

"The draft Withdrawal Agreement provides in Article 17 that those already holding permanent residence cards (see below) will be able to exchange them for cards which verify our post-Brexit rights, thus avoiding potentially complicated and stressful administrative procedures."

You are right, Ed in saying that there is no document from the British Embassy in Paris or UK government which says that Brits in France should apply for a CdS immediately. Since when do government departments say anything so simple?! However, on this page there is reference to a Q&A session held by the Embassy on Facebook. I quote part of it:

"You have the right to a carte de séjour as a British national, but it is not obligatory at present. We are talking to the French Government about the process they will put in place, as we have in the UK. In the meantime it does make sense to get your paperwork in order to speed things up in due course."

From the French government, a direct link to the Ministère de l'Intérieur does not exist as far as I know, and I confess that I accepted the word of RIFT, who stated as follows (in a third-party French translation of their article):

" Après avoir rencontré des militants, les représentants du ministère de l’Intérieur français ont encouragé la diffusion du mot qui est maintenant un bon moment pour les Britanniques pour obtenir une carte de séjour."

RIFT has, on the page previously cited, expressed the following: "We recommend that all British people living in France now apply for a Carte de Séjour. [RIFT's emboldenment] The same advice has been given by the French Ministry of the Interior, whose responsibility this is, and by the British Embassy." No specific source is given. To attempt to clear this up, I have contacted Kalba Meadows, a leading light in RIFT and in The Three Million, asking her for direct evidence of the assertions made by them in respect of both governments. However, I have no reason to doubt their honesty and good intent.

Bear with me in the meantime, but I will do my best to clear this up!

Edited by Jardinier
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Thanks for the comprehensive reply. It certainly is confusing, especially for those who perhaps don't speak the language well enough to be able to ask questions and, crucially, understand the answers. It seems that, to paraphrase Yes Minister, it is advice which is unofficially official and non-atriutable to anyone with an official role in the process. I'm surprised that France is the only country not to have an official procedure in place given their love of bureaucracy but perhaps they are saving something special up for later. 

The advice that it is better to have a card is also at odds with what I have experienced. When my original residency card (issued as was required in 1999) expired in 2009 I went to the office to get it replaced only to be told to go away, it was no longer necessary and they didn't want to waste time on me seeing as how many other applications they had to process.

I think that given my situation (married to a French woman etc), it will be far simpler for me to go down the double nationality route and I'll take a look at the requirements for that this summer and decide if an application in the autumn is both feasible and worthwhile. It's probably the least complicated and safest solution as it will alleviate the need to reapply for anything at a later date. 

Thanks again. Ed

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Further to all the above, I received today a notification from the British Embassy in Paris of an update to their advice to Britons in the light of the Brexit negotiateions. You can see the advice page for yourself at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-france?utm_source=923383e6-6591-4b8d-8732-2b0bbdc2dad3&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate#registration-in-france

This article includes the following:

" The British Embassy is in regular and close contact with the French Authorities who advise that UK nationals should apply for cartes de séjour under the current system. If you have any problems with doing so, please contact us outlining the difficulty you have encountered, when, and which préfecture (département). We may not be able to reply to all emails but will continue to raise with the French authorities and update this page with further details. The French Ministry of Interior have assured us that any UK Nationals currently living legally in France and exercising their EU rights are able to request a carte de séjour, including the right to be issued with a permanent card upon first request if eligible.

" You will have until at least June 2021 to submit any necessary registration documentation. In the meantime, we would encourage eligible UK nationals to prepare your papers (bank statements, statements of household bills etc) to demonstrate your continued residency in France and to apply for a carte de séjour."

I think that answers questions about whether French and UK governments recommend applying for a Carte de Séjour Permanent.

I have had no reply from Kalba Meadows, but for all I know, she may have been behind the update at the Embassy, if she passed on similar queries. I am sure that she is extremely busy at the moment with all the buffoonery going on in and around Westminster.

Ed, there are various categories of Carte de Séjour available, and applications for the different ones require variations of supporting evidence. If you haven't already done it, you will need to log on to your Préfecture's website and find the page where you can make an appointment. There will be some delay in getting one, especially as - as you well know, I'm sure - nothing much happens in August. We had a first appointment for my wife's application, but they required a couple of pieces of evidence we didn't have at the time, and we're looking at a second appointment asap now.

But ... Would it not be better for you if you took out French nationality? (Not meaning to pry here ... Just wondering).

Edited by Jardinier
Added italics in quotation

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Just back to offer an apology for the extra "e" in "negotiations" in my last post. Too late now to change it. And to add that we have just (we think - waiting for confirmation) made an appointment for 14 August for my wife's CdeS interview.

Edited by Jardinier

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4 hours ago, Jardinier said:

Further to all the above, I received today a notification from the British Embassy in Paris of an update to their advice to Britons in the light of the Brexit negotiateions. You can see the advice page for yourself at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-france?utm_source=923383e6-6591-4b8d-8732-2b0bbdc2dad3&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=immediate#registration-in-france

This article includes the following:

" The British Embassy is in regular and close contact with the French Authorities who advise that UK nationals should apply for cartes de séjour under the current system. If you have any problems with doing so, please contact us outlining the difficulty you have encountered, when, and which préfecture (département). We may not be able to reply to all emails but will continue to raise with the French authorities and update this page with further details. The French Ministry of Interior have assured us that any UK Nationals currently living legally in France and exercising their EU rights are able to request a carte de séjour, including the right to be issued with a permanent card upon first request if eligible.

" You will have until at least June 2021 to submit any necessary registration documentation. In the meantime, we would encourage eligible UK nationals to prepare your papers (bank statements, statements of household bills etc) to demonstrate your continued residency in France and to apply for a carte de séjour."

I think that answers questions about whether French and UK governments recommend applying for a Carte de Séjour Permanent.

I have had no reply from Kalba Meadows, but for all I know, she may have been behind the update at the Embassy, if she passed on similar queries. I am sure that she is extremely busy at the moment with all the buffoonery going on in and around Westminster.

Ed, there are various categories of Carte de Séjour available, and applications for the different ones require variations of supporting evidence. If you haven't already done it, you will need to log on to your Préfecture's website and find the page where you can make an appointment. There will be some delay in getting one, especially as - as you well know, I'm sure - nothing much happens in August. We had a first appointment for my wife's application, but they required a couple of pieces of evidence we didn't have at the time, and we're looking at a second appointment asap now.

But ... Would it not be better for you if you took out French nationality? (Not meaning to pry here ... Just wondering).

The information that you have given is absolutely correct however.............the French departements don't all operate in the same way. Here in the Vendee although they have many more applications than normal pour Residency,without knowing the outcome of the British/EU "agreement (or not), a Carte de Sejour may have no value at all after Britain's negotiations with the EU if things don't work out.A worrying time for all but we should all live in the real world.The UK is leaving the EU.There will be a price to pay.Some will care more than others.It is a very worrying time for many Brits living in France.Let's hope it works out well for all of them.

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Yes, Imprimerie, I agree and join you in wishing all Brits the best under very worrying circumstances.

I understand that the Ministère de l'Intérieur has fairly recently written to all Préfectures with instructions to follow the same procedures with CdeS applications from Brits. Whether this actually happens is another matter ...

We come under Tarn-et-Garonne, and have found the Préfecture in Montauban helpful but a little imprecise. We are still not sure that we have all the necessary documentation for my wife's second interview. Slightly annoying, as we live an hour away, and it's a bit of a fag if we have to go three times. Had enough of that when they "lost" my healthcare file at the Caisse Primaire. Nevertheless, the staff at all the authorities have been great, on a face-to-face basis, for the 15-16 years we have been here.

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