Brexit: what next?
HOW TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCY AND FRENCH CITIZENSHIP
Once you have lived in France for five continuous years you may apply for a permanent residence permit, which allows you to stay in France for 10 years and is renewable. This gives you many of the same rights as French citizens (e.g. in education, at work and in healthcare), but you don’t share them all – you can’t vote in elections or hold public office, for example.
The five-year residency requirement is reduced to two years if you are joining a family member who already has permanent residence, or if you are the parent of a child with French nationality with temporary residence.
If you have been married to a French national for more than three years you are eligible to apply for permanent residence.
By becoming a French citizen you will be entitled to the same rights and benefits as the French, including the right to vote in presidential and parliamentary elections and to hold political office. It would also allow you to become a citizen of the European Union, enabling you to enjoy freedom of movement within other EU member states and the right to live and work there without applying for visas.
You don’t have to give up your own nationality, and can have dual citizenship.
You can apply for French citizenship if you meet the following criteria: • You are over 18. • You have lived in France for at least five consecutive years (less under certain circumstances, such as having studied at a French university). • You can demonstrate that you
have integrated into French annual state pension increases for expats were to continue.
At present, and for the next two years during withdrawal negotiations, if you qualify for a UK state pension you can claim it in France and have it paid directly into a French bank account in euros without incurring any transfer fees or bank charges.
life and you can speak reasonable French. • You are of good character
and morals. • You don’t have a criminal record (minor offences such as parking tickets and speeding fines don’t count).
You can apply for permanent residence or citizenship at your local préfecture. Applications are assessed by the police, mayor’s office and various government departments and may take up to two years to be approved. The following documentation must be provided, and anything written in English must be translated by a sworn translator:
• The Cerfa no. 127530*1 application form, which is available online on the government website immigration.interieur.gouv.fr. • Your birth certificate. • Proof of identity (passport). The EHIC healthcare card will continue to be valid for as long as the UK remains in the EU, until the negotiations have been concluded, so you will continue to have access to statefunded emergency medical treatment in any EU country you visit. The card can also be used in countries such as Norway and Iceland who are EEA members but do not belong to the EU, so it is possible that the UK could adopt this model.
Retired British expats have their healthcare paid for by the NHS via the S1 form, and whether this continues to be the case will depend on the outcome of the negotiations. If the S1 system no longer applies they may have to take out private health insurance. • Proof of marital status and
whether you have children. • Evidence of employment and
residence in France. • Evidence that you don’t have a
criminal record. • An attestation de moralité to attest that you are of good moral character (a letter from your mairie is sufficient).
If successful, you take part in a naturalisation ceremony, and are given a French national ID card and a French passport.
You can also claim the right to citizenship if one or both of your parents are French citizens. Children born to foreign citizens on French soil are automatically entitled to French nationality at the age of 18, as long as they currently live in France and have done so for at least five years between the ages of 11 and 18. Children can apply for citizenship on their 16th birthday if they have lived in France for at least five years since the age of 11.
New air service agreements will now have to be negotiated in order for British airlines such as easyJet to continue to operate freely across Europe, as they will no longer have automatic access to the single aviation market once the UK leaves the EU. The ECAA (European Common Aviation Area), which extends the liberalised aviation market beyond the EU member states, could offer UK airlines a way to access the single aviation market if the UK were to participate in this agreement, as non-EU country Norway does.
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