Brexit, Europe, France, UK

BREXIT: Brits working in France

As British & EU citizens, freedom of movement allowed for living, studying, working and mutual recognition of professional qualifications in any EU country. Brexit ended the above! Before reading further, we advise all Brits in France to research their own unique situation (see links end document).


  • May 2022 – Overseas voting rules for Brits is evolving. There is normally an end to the 15 year rule, but there does seem to be some eligibility requirements! … 
  • 01/01/2022 – 1) All Brits in FR entitled to a Withdrawal Agreement (“WA”) residence card should be able to provide one, if requested. 2) For FR travel companions to the UK: border control will no longer accept EU/FR ID cards, you must have a passport.
  • 01/07/2021 – 1) All Brits living in FR before 31/12/2020 should have requested a “withdrawal agreement” residence permit. Brexit – Demande de Titre de Séjour
  • 25/06/2021 – the UK and France came to an agreement about driving licences being mutually recognised. There is now no need after 1 year of residency in France, as before, to exchange your UK driving licence for a French one.
  • 26/04/2021 – The EU parliament voted in the EU/UK Free Trade Agreement (“FTA”).
  • 01/01/2021 – The UK became a third country.
  • 31/12/2020 – The UK/EU Transition period ends.
  • 30/12/2020 – A FTA between the EU/UK is approved by UK parliament. In full the EU/UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement.
  • 01/02/2020 – Brits in FR had their rights enshrined in the WA, an international treaty.  It means Brits currently living and/or working in FR have the right of residence, to work, to buy a home, to run a business and social security rights.
  • 31/01/2020 – The UK left the EU entering the transition period ending 31/12/2020. 

Post-Transition Period reciprocal advantages will end, notably:

    • The right to work in the EU without a work permit.
    • The right to study in the EU (the UK has opted out of  the European Action Scheme for the Mobility of University Students “ERASMUS”),
    • Onward FOM within the EU ends. Residence cards cover your host country only,
    • Mutual recognition of professional qualifications has ended for new arrivals to EU. For those already in FR your qualification will continue to be recognised but only in FR, where the decision was issued (or the country where the decision was issued, if you are a frontier worker), if you applied for recognition,
    • The European Health Insurance Card will no longer be valid. If you work in FR after a period of 3/6 months (exact length of time to be verified) you should be on the FR social security system,
    • If you use a car, check your insurance coverage for both EU/UK. FR drivers in UK are required to have an insurance green card,
    • Visas for stays superior to 90 days will be required,
    • Frontier workers already resident in FR can continue to live in FR and work in border countries. You will be able to apply for a document from the country you work in certifying you are a frontier worker,
    • To live in FR any future spouse/partner non-EU citizen will have to apply as a third country citizen. Equally Brits returning to the UK with their non-British partners will have to comply with UK national immigration law.
    • Now the UK has left the EU, FR will reintroduce residence cards. Brits in FR prior to 31/12/2020 have until 01/07/2021 to apply. All Brits should have a residency card as of 01/10/2021 irrespective of their date of arrival. Residency permits – French Gov Information site. The card you are issued will depend on your personal situation.
      • All UK nationals legally resident in FR on 31/12/2020 will need to apply for a new residence permit under the WA. The new cards for those covered by the WA agreement will include the words “accord de retrait” (Agreement on the withdrawal of the UK from the EU).
      • If you already have a residency card you will be able to exchange it (free of charge) for the new WA residence permit.
    • Apart from the above it is also important to research: the validity of your passport, pet passports will no longer be valid, checking out rules for non-Brits family members if you decide to return to live in the UK. 

Useful links:

  1. EU-UK Friendship Group
  2. France rights
  3. UK Government Living in France Guide
  4. UK Government Guidance to Living in Europe – 3 July 2020
  5. French Government Brexit page for UK citizens
  6. British in France
  7. Brexit mode d’emploi
  8. French version of the Withdrawal Agreement
  9. RIFT Report in PDF
  10. Your Europe: Help and Advice for EU citizens and their family
  11. EU publications on Brexit



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