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How to move to France after Brexit

Photo by Habib Ayoade

France has always been a popular destination for British people to move to, but with the UK leaving the EU on the 31st January many Brits are asking How can I move to France after Brexit.

Well Moving to France after Brexit will not change until the transition period of 11 months up to the 31st December 2020 (this could be extended) has passed. During these months both British and EU citizens keep the rights they currently have and they can therefore move and settle in any country within the EU. However anyone making the move will need to not only get there, but also to acquire resident status within France so they become a resident of that country. This is the big rush, as it is currently unknown how complicated it will be to gain resident status in France after the transition period.

To acquire resident status is already a complicated matter and anyone living in France or moving to France needs to get their house in order and become a resident before the transition period closes. After that date it may become a lot harder to become a resident of France and you may even find yourself living in France illegally which is not a good position to be in.

The relocation experts at Advance Moves who specialize in removals to France have an information page dedicated to moving to France. Through their website you can gain further information on moving to France and obtain an instant online quotation to budget for your removal costs when moving to France or any other country in the World.

Advance moves tires to keep its clients updated with current information on moving to France after Brexit with help and information on what is required. Their current advice is that if you want to move to France, then do it quickly before the process of becoming a resident of France becomes more tricky after the transition period. Move now and acquire resident status ASAP. The process to become a resident in France is a little complex and is summarized in the 11 points below.

1. As an EU citizen, you’re permitted to spend more than three months in France providing you meet the conditions for legal residence.

2. This is the case whether or not you apply for a carte de séjour. Just because holding a carte de séjour isn’t currently obligatory doesn’t remove your responsibility to meet the conditions. They are two separate things.

3. You must meet these conditions for five years. At that point, if you have met them for that period, you become eligible for permanent residence, which is condition free going forward.

4. In every EU country except France and the UK, EU citizens moving there to live must demonstrate that they meet these conditions in order to get a compulsory registration card. France is NOT discriminating against you when you are asked to prove your legal residence when you apply for a carte de séjour. They are legally required to do so by an EU Directive.

5. You may move to France as an EU citizen to work, be self-employed, study, or if none of these you must show that you are self-sufficient and are not likely to be or become a burden on France’s social security system.

6. It isn’t enough just to say that you’re self sufficient or that you’ve never claimed social security benefits. France has its own rules on this – guideline income levels for self-sufficiency – that it applies. Just because you’ve never claimed benefits doesn’t mean that you’ll automatically be deemed to be self-sufficient.

7. Those working have to show that their work is ‘genuine and effective, and not marginal or ancillary’. Préfectures will look at income to determine this, but they will consider other factors too and will use their discretion.

8.  If you are not working and your resources are below the guideline figures by more than just a few euros, you may have some serious thinking to do and some choices to make. This is especially the case if your resources have always been below the guideline figures since you arrived in France, as this means that you have never been legally resident and cannot receive a carte de séjour. This is crucial, because after Brexit every British resident will need to hold one.

9. If you are self-employed and your derived income is very low, you may also not be deemed to be legally resident.

10.  If you fall into paragraphs 8 or 9 you may need to have a long hard think about what you can do: for example, how could you increase your income for the five year period required? This might include working, registering as a jobseeker, setting up a (genuine) business, letting some rooms in your home, or even asking for a regular allowance from family.

11. If you don’t meet, have never met, and can’t meet the conditions for legal residence it’s possible that you may not be permitted to stay in France. In total 3,367 orders to leave France were issued to EU citizens in 2017 because of failure to meet the legal residence conditions.

So you can see now why it’s important to get your house in order sooner rather than later as after the transition period it will be harder still to move to France. Further information and assistance can be found at the British consulate in Paris.

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