British expats in France advised on ensuring their rights to stay

Published:  19 Aug at 6 PM
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As the likelihood of a no-deal Brexit creeps ever closer, British expats in France are being encouraged to prepare for the worst whilst hoping for the best.

The citizens’ rights campaign group Remain in France Together has issued a checklist aimed at helping those likely to be affected make preparations against the wider implications of Britain’s crashing out of the EU without a deal of any kind. Firstly, in order to comply with France’s ‘no deal’ ordinance, you’ll nerd to be legally registered in the country, as owning your own home isn’t enough.

To be sure you’ll qualify for legal residence, you’ll need to ensure you’ve submitted your French tax returns as required, even if your income is received from a UK-based source. You’ll also need to be sure your application is the right one for your ‘residential category’ – you’ve a choice between employed, self-employed, retired, economically inactive or student. Most importantly, you need to make sure you’re registered with the French healthcare system and also have an attestation of your rights, even although you may not yet have received your Carte Vitale. Downloading a new attestation from your provider’s website as proof is the best idea.

For British expats resident in France for five years or more, applying for the Carte de Sejour whilst current rules are still in place is fine but, should a no-deal Brexit occur, it’ll actually be easier to apply to get your carte de residence longue duree under France’s no deal ordonnance. If you’ve lived in France for under five years, you’ll need to wait until Brexit is done and dusted to apply for your carte de sejour, as its rules will have changed post-Brexit.

As regards proving your length of residency, you can request a ‘bordereau de situation fiscale’ from your local tax office, covering every year you’ve been in France. It’s easily done online, at Another useful proof is a compiled file of all the utility bills issued in your name for the required five years. If your name isn’t on any utility bills, there’s time yet to get it added. Another useful proof of your entitlement to residency is a file of bank statements, pension statements and/or wage slips, covering at least the last five years and longer if possible. 10 years is the best idea, as it proves your resources are sufficient and stable.
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