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 for 4 years on condition that you provide
proof that you can live on your own resources, regardless of any family benefits and allowances you might receive. Note that this is much more restrictive than the current rules which only require you to be doing ‘genuine and effective work’. People who’ve been in France for less than 5 years and run small businesses that don’t provide a living need to seriously look at their situations now and see what you can do to increase your income from the business or even change status.

7. Two groups of people will apply for the carte de séjour temporaire marked ‘recherche d’emploi ou création d’entreprise’. One comprises those who’ve graduated from a French higher educational establishment in the year before their application; the other comprises those who are unemployed, having been employed in France for at least 3 months in the year before their application and as long as they are registered as a job seeker and have health insurance.

8. It's possible to change your situation if you're a holder of any of the above cards - for example, go from employed to self-employed. You'd need to reapply for the new status/card.

9. Anyone who doesn’t fit one of these conditions will apply for the one year carte de séjour temporaire marked ‘visiteur’. This will cover those who are retired or otherwise non-active.

You will have to prove a certain level or resources - we don’t yet know what this is as it will be specified in a separate decree - and show proof of health insurance.

The ‘visiteur’ card doesn’t allow you to work either as an employee or as a self-employed person.

10. After five years of residence, you will be entitled to receive a ‘carte de résidence longue durée’. You’ll have to show sufficient resources, the details of which will be specified in a decree. This is the closest TCN card to the EU CdS permanent.

There are other cards for family members, and we’ll look at those separately.

The moral of the story so far is that if you think life is complicated now ... take a deep breath because if there's no deal it's going to get immeasurably more so.

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