Citizens in waiting ... again. What's the score after the votes this week?

We've just lived through one of the most momentous and extraordinary weeks imaginable in the UK Parliament, with plotlines, twists and turns right out of a Hilary Mantel novel. As we catch our breath, lick our wounds and reflect on what's happened, it's time to have a look at where it may all leave us in terms of our citizens' rights.

I have to say here that like you we don't have a crystal ball, and with opinions, loyalties and political relationships changing all the time a number of things could happen. But the legislative process means that we do have some idea of what those things are - and what they're not.

We know that MPs have voted on and passed two motions: one that seeks to prevent the UK leaving the EU without a deal, and another mandating the government to seek an extension to the Article 50 date until 30 June 2019 if the deal has been agreed by Parliament by 20 March.

However, just because these motions have been passed doesn't necessarily mea…

Facing up to difficulties with French administration as we approach B-day ... and breathe ....

With just 24 days left until 29 March and Brexit day, and no clear sense where things are heading and whether there will be an extension or an agreed deal, it's not surprising that everyone is getting a bit tense.

And not just us, but the French administration system too. The centre in Nantes has, we know, stopped processing applications to exchange British driving licences for the moment and is returning dossiers. An increasing number of préfectures are effectively closing their doors to carte de séjour applications from British residents too.

 For nearly 2 years now we at Remain in France Together have been strongly recommending that everyone applies for their carte de séjour as soon as possible, and many people have done that. We know from the Ministry of the Interior though that only around 16-18% of the total number of British in France have so far got their cartes. That means that the authorities have one gigantic job ahead - and they know it.

Our understanding is that there…

Everything you always wanted to know about the carte de résident longue durée (but were afraid to ask)

As you know, under the ordonnance that defines our future rights if there’s a no deal Brexit, all those who’ve lived in France for 5 years or more will apply for a carte de résidence longue durée. Over the last couple of weeks there has been a lot of half truth, untruth and misunderstanding flying around about this status and the card that goes with it. In this article I want to set the facts straight, so everyone knows where they’ll stand in a worst case scenario. (Clue: it really ain’t too shabby).

1. What is long term residence status?

In 2003, the EU published a Directive providing that the status of long-term resident should be awarded to a third country national after they have lived legally in an EU State for an uninterrupted period of five years. The aim of the Directive was to ‘facilitate integration and promote social and economic cohesion’ by giving non-EU nationals who have lived legally in an EU State for a certain period of time a set of uniform rights, almost identical …

What rights for the British in France if there's no deal? Part 5: health care

As we expected, the ordonnance covers the situation of those whose health care is covered by an S1. It is good news, and means that if you’re one of them you can rest assured that your health care will continue without a break. The Article covering health care tells us that

1.  If you are covered under the S1 scheme and are legally resident in France on Brexit day, you will continue to benefit from health cover for yourself and your dependents for a period of 2 years ‘under the same conditions as a person covered under the French régime’.

2.  The period of two years may be reduced if a bilateral health care agreement is concluded with the UK that would continue a reciprocal health care system between the two countries.

3.  If at the end of the two year period there is no bilateral agreement between France and the UK, then the means of access to the health care system for S1 holders will be re-examined.

4. What the ordonnance doesn’t tell us is whether cotisations would be due (à la PU…

What rights for the British in France if there's no deal? Part 4: family members

There are three paragraphs in the ordonnance dealing with family members. Please make sure you’ve read Posts 1, 2 and 3 before you read this one as to understand this post you need to understand those first! As with the entire ordonnance, much of the information needs to be understood in the context of other legislation, so, as they say … it’s complicated!

1. A ‘family member’ is defined as follows: a direct descendant who is under the age of 21 years or is dependent on you; a direct ascendant who is dependent on you, your ‘conjoint’ (see next paragraph), an ascendant or direct descendant who is dependent on your ‘conjoint’.

2; In ‘droit commun’ - the normal régime that applies to TCNs - your conjoint can be the person you’re married to, or it can be the person you’re PACS’d with. If you’re PACS’d you’re expected to show evidence of your life together in France before your application, usually for I year. If you live together without a PACS you need to show even more proof of your lif…

What rights for the British in France if there's no deal? Part 3: residence of 5 years or more

This is the third of today’s posts looking at what the ordonnance says on residence rights. In this post we’ll focus on people with more than five years legal residence. Please make sure you’ve read Post 1 before you read this one.

This is the shortest and most straightforward post.

1. If you have been legally resident in France for 5 years or more, you will be entitled to obtain a ‘carte de résident longue durée’. This is the ONLY TCN card that is regulated by the EU and not national law - it comes under the Long Term Residence Directive. It’s like the EU carte de séjour permanent in that in order to get it for the first time you have to prove health care and sufficient resources for the previous 5 years, but once you have it, you have it and no further proofs of these are required. There are two conditions to obtaining this card: either

You already hold an EU carte de séjour permanent. In this case you won’t be required to prove resources as you’ve already done this; or
You have liv…

What rights for the British in France if there's no deal? Part 2: residence of less than 5 years

This is the second of the posts looking at what the ordonnance says on residence rights. In this post we’ll focus on people with less than five years legal residence.

Please make sure you’ve read Post 1 before you read this one.

1. There are a number of different cards and you will have to apply for the one that is appropriate for your circumstances.

2. No long stay visa, normally required for TCNs applying for an initial card, is needed.

3. Students will apply for the carte de séjour pluriannuelle marked ‘student’. The length of this will be determined by the length of their studies.

4. Salaried workers on a CDI will apply for the carte de séjour pluriannuelle marked ‘salarié’. This will be issued for 4 years.

5. Salaried workers on a CDD will apply for the carte de séjour temporaire marked ‘travailleur temporaire’. This will be issued for one year.

6. Self-employed people will apply for the carte de séjour pluriannuelle marked ‘entrepreneur/profession libérale’. This will be issued…