BREXIT – WHAT ARE THE CURRENT SOLUTIONSWere you shocked by the vote? 

Whether you voted in or out, I think many of us had a shock at the result of the Brexit. Two months later, the emotions have calmed somewhat but the questions still remain and will do for quite some time.

Currently specialists in all areas (tax, property, currency etc) are looking at the possible impacts of the UK Exit from the EU and blogs are popping up like mushrooms looking at the different aspects of the Brexit. As a paperwork specialist in France, the concern for LBS has been and always will be how this affects expats who are moving and living in France.

Key questions coming from my customers are:

  1.   Will health care be affected?
  2.   Will we need a work permit to live in France?
  3.   Will this affect the taxes that I pay?
  4.   Should I still relocate to France?

You can look at my blog here for my inputs to these questions but I wanted to look at point 2 in more details for this article as this is a big concern for expats in France.
One would hope that the negotiations will result in expats living and working in France (or elsewhere in Europe) not needing a work permit but it will be quite some time before we will know the answer. In the meantime, what options are open to expats in France? To help you determine which process would be the most appropriate for you, here are some key highlights of each process.

Option 1: European Residency Card

This is of course not obligatory for Europeans right now but is a good solution for those that don’t want to wait until after the UK triggers the article 50 and officially starts its negotiations. This European residency card allows you to prove that you have the right to live in France as a resident, with no other conditions. Makes life much easier for all your future paperwork processes and there is no language test !
Some key pointers for this carte de sejour European:

General Criteria & Key information

  • Applicable to Europeans or Suisse
  • It’s free of charge
  • Managed by your local Prefecture
  • No language test involved
  • Can be applied for if you are a salaried employee, retired or student
  • Valid for 5 years (renewable then for 10 years)
  • Usually quite quick once file is validated by prefecture, you receive a receipt and your carte de séjour is delivered within 2-3 months (depending on your prefecture)
  • Good solution for interim period during Brexit negotiations and will hopefully facilitate any other paperwork needed in the future.

What you will need to prove:

  • Continuous residency in France for the past 5 years (1 document by semester)
  • That you have access to healthcare in France (attestation)
  • Proof of your income (pension, pay slips, business documents)
  • Identity papers
  • Identity Photos

More information on the French Government website
Prefecture (and no one) can say what will happen to this card once the UK is officially out of the EU!

Option 2: French Citizenship – Naturalisation

You can apply for French citizenship if you are married or pacs’d with a French person or if not you can apply by ‘decret’. Depending on which option you choose (marriage or decret), the documents can be different. Each prefecture manages their process so ensure you contact your local prefecture before finalizing your file. You can find the complete list needed for both options

General Criteria & Key information

  • Must be over 18 to apply
  • Costs 55 euros
  • Managed by your local Prefecture
  • Proof of language proficiency at level B1 will be needed (if you are over 60 you are exempt from the tests)
  • Takes 12 – 18 months
  • If you have a French husband or wife, you can apply via marriage process if not it would be by ‘decret’
  • You don’t have to give up your UK citizenship
  • You will have an interview with the authorities

What you will need to prove:

Amongst others, you will need:

  • Cerfa form 15277*02 in two examples
  • Proof of residency in France for the past 3 years (1 document by semester) and longer if you can. This will reduce the time it takes for them to respond.
  • That you have access to healthcare in France (attestation)
  • Proof of your income for past 3 years (pension, pay slips, business documents)
  • Proof of no criminal record (if living in France for less than 10 years)
  • Identity Photos
  • Legal translations of: birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce statements(if applicable)

It’s a longer process but a definitive solution for expats who have been living in France for many years and are sure they are staying.
For more information on French Naturalization or other paperwork processes, contact Tracy Leonetti at [email protected]


Tracy Leonetti, LBS in FranceFrenchEntrée contributor Tracy Leonetti is a French red-tape expert with over 20 years of experience helping people deal with french administrative problems. Both for people moving to France or already living in France, Tracy provides invaluable help with child benefit payments, small business set up, car registrations, utilities set up , healthcare registration, to name just a few.

Moneycorp Banner