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How To Move To France Post - Brexit

On the 1st of January 2021, the Brexit transition period ended. This marked the end of European right within the UK. For those looking to relocate to countries like France, the process now looks very different than it did just a few years ago. This guide will look at the updated process for moving to France post-Brexit.

Visas For Stay More Than 90 Days

For stays of more than 90 days in France (or French overseas territories), you will now require a Visa. This applies to stays for any purpose, including for work and studies. UK citizens can obtain the necessary long-stay visa (visa de long séjour) for various reasons, including joining family members, studying in France, and for work.  

French long-stay visas are commonly visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour (VLS-TS). VLS-TS visas also function as a temporary residency permit for stays up to a year. The correct visa for you will depend on your reason for staying. Visit the France Visas website to check your French visa requirements. 

French Work Visas

UK citizens do not require a work visa to work in France for less than 90 days. They do, however, require a temporary work permit. The permit should be requested from the French authorities by the employer. 

Work-related stays of more than 90 days require a relevant long-stay work visa such as a “talent passport” - a multi-year visa for highly skilled workers or those wishing to start a business in France. You will generally be required to have found work before your application. Unless your visa doubles as your residence permit, you will also need to apply for one.

French Study Visas

The 90-day restriction also applies to UK citizens studying in France. For courses longer than 90 days, students will require a French study visa. There are various study visas, including a 6-month temporary study visa (visa de long séjour temporaire pour etudes) and a long-stay study visa (visa de long séjour etudes). Whilst on a French study visa, you may work around 20 weekly (964 hours per year).

Temporary Residence In France

For more permanent stays of more than three months, you will require a French residence permit (carte de séjour). A VLS-TS will permit you to stay for up to a year, but it is non-renewable. Carte de séjour typically grants you one year and can be renewed up to five years. You can apply for your carte de séjour at your local French prefecture and must do so within eight weeks of arriving in France.

Becoming A Permanent Resident

Renewable Permanent Residence Permit

British citizens can apply for a 10-year renewable permanent residence permit (carte de resident). To do this, you must first live in France for five continuous years (through a renewable carte de séjour). You are also required to meet other criteria to qualify. Requirements may include proof of French language skills and integration into French society. 

Applying For Permanent Residency

You can apply for permanent residence in France after three years if you are: 

  • The spouse of a French national 
  • The parent of a French child living in France 
  • A foreign national with carte de resident

French Citizenship

If you wish to become a French citizen, you may do so after five years. As with permanent residence, you will need to meet eligibility requirements. Becoming a French citizen will grant you the right to a french passport and other additional rights.

Other Considerations

Although your visa is an important aspect of a move to France, there are many other matters to attend to too. For example, relocation to France can have a significant impact on inheritance. To ensure your estate is shared as you wish, speak to an expert about French inheritance law and how it affects beneficiaries back in the UK. Similarly, there are unique complications you will need to address when buying property in France. French and UK property and inheritance laws differ. Navigating how they interact with one another requires assistance from a specialist french law expert.

Speak With Our Specialist French Notaires

For expert French legal advice and services, speak with the team at France Tax Law. Our team of solicitors and French notaires can help you with all areas of your move to France. From expert advice on buying property in France to helping you navigate French inheritance law, we are the team for you. Speak with our specialist French notaires today.

Learn More About French Law

Are you planning a relocation to France? Our news section is filled with the latest information on all areas of French law. Whether you are looking to purchase French property, incorporate french assets into your will, or expand your business into France, we have a useful guide for you. 

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