Around 150,000 British nationals live and work in France.
The breakdown of political negotiations and consensus around the Brexit deal is a source of great concern for these expats who wonder what will happen to them after March 29, 2019.
In preparation of the possibility of a no-deal (“hard”) Brexit, the French government has published an order that sets out the rights of UK citizens who will stay in France after March 29, 2019.
This order grants them preferential treatment over the citizens of most “Non-EU” states.
Below are the key points of this government order.
British nationals may continue their professional activities in France beyond Brexit for a transition period of at least three months.
The finalize end-date of the transition period has not yet been announced. A decree will set this date, which could hypothetically fall anywhere between June 29, 2019 and March 28, 2020.
After the end-date of the transition period, British nationals will need to be in possession of one of the various permits allowing them to stay, reside, and/or work in France.
A condition of reciprocity
After those first three months, the government order and its effects are conditional on the UK government taking similar measures for the French nationals residing and working in the UK. Failure to ensure reciprocity would possible result in the suspension of the preferential treatment detailed below:
- - UK Nationals in France for 5 years or more
British nationals who have been residing in France for five years or more (as of March 29, 2019) will be entitled to a Residency card that allows for them to stay and work in France for 10 years.
- - UK Nationals in France for less than 5 years
The British nationals who have resided for less than 5 years as of March 29, 2019 will need to file applications for a permit, based on their personal situation. Such permits include those for: students, employees, temporary workers, posted workers, independent professionals, unemployment beneficiaries, family-tie permits, long term stay/visitor, etc
The government order sets out specific rules for British nationals who practice law in France and who wish to stay in France after Brexit. Subject to meeting certain criteria, they could register with a local bar association during the transition period and continue to practice law after.
The government order addresses many other labour-related questions that concern British nationals in France. These include health and welfare coverage, the recognition of professional qualifications and equivalencies, and the attribution of jobs reserved for French/EU nationals.
Flichy Grangé Avocats can assist you and your company in handling the crucial 3-12 month transition period from a labour-law perspective.