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December 2020 3 minutes

Brexit: What should British citizens living in France know?

An overview of the steps British citizen must take before December 31st 2020

On January 31st 2020 Great Britain left the European Union after the settlement of the Withdrawal Agreement. At the moment we are in the transition period, which ends on December 31st 2020. Until that day British citizens are still granted the right to freedom of movement within the EU and, thus, continue to be able to travel, settle and live in EU countries. Nevertheless, since the end of the transition period is drawing closer, it’s crucial you act now to ensure you can legally stay in the EU. 

British citizens in France: what steps do you need to take?

We know this time can be stressful for British citizens living in France. With this article, we aim to give you an overview of the situation in France and provide you with a precise list of steps to tick off on your To-Do list. In this way you get all the administrative tasks done quickly and effectively. With the bureaucratic hassle out of the way you can fully enjoy the Christmas period and look forward to a - hopefully much better - year of 2021 in France.

The first steps: what do you need to do right now?

Registration as a resident: 

If you are registered as a resident before December 31st 2020 you have the right to stay. However, there are a couple of steps you need to follow to ensure the continuance of this right:

  • You must be registered as a resident in France before December 31st 2020 in order to be able to stay. Moreover, you have to apply for a new resident permit (online) before July 1st 2021. This permit must be granted before October 1st 2021, according to the Withdrawal Agreement. 

  • All UK nationals living in France must apply for a second resident permit, even if they have a (permanent or non-permanent) European carte de séjour, are currently applying for a second nationality or are married to or in a civil partnership with EU nationals.

  • The UK government also funds organisations which can provide support if you need help with completing their residency applications. Charities, such as the International Organisation for Migration, the Franco-British Network, the Church of England - Diocese in Europe Residency and the SSAFA.

Life in France post-Brexit

The following sections will summarise the regulations and laws governing life as a British citizen in France after December 31st 2020. 


You maintain your right to work in France, as long as you are registered as a resident in France before December 31st 2020. Depending on your employer, you may need a UK police certificate, the UK equivalent of a casier judiciare, and an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) if you work with children.


Since Great Britain has a double taxation agreement with France you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. The existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in France will likely not change. 

Banking arrangements should stay the same after the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020. If your finance provider needs to make any alterations to one of your products, they will contact you directly.  


Until the end of the transition period on December 31st 2020, the legislation on driving license exchanges will remain the same. You must exchange your UK license either when your current license needs amendments to include new driving categories, or when you are served a driving ban or penalty points due to a driving offense under the French Highway Code. As a resident in France, you can exchange your UK license for a French one after having lived in France for 185 days.

Do you still have doubts about what you must do to legally stay in France or other EU-member states post-Brexit?

We have created a comprehensive guide on how British citizens can remain compliant with the new regulations in France and other EU-member states. In case you still have further questions that are not answered in this article nor by the guide, please send us a message or schedule a free consultation - we will be happy to help you!

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