Thursday the 31st of December 2020 marked the end of the transition period following the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union. An agreement was reached at the eleventh hour and it comes on top of a host of decrees. This has important consequences for British nationals working and residing on the French territory. As a result, it is vital that businesses and workers in France begin preparations for the many changes expected in the coming months.
Employers in France have a responsibility to ensure that their staff possess the appropriate documentation to be employed in France.
Individuals must ensure that they are legally allowed to reside and work in France.
There are criminal and administrative sanctions for failure to comply with such rules.
British nationals living in France since before 31 December 2020 can benefit from the withdrawal agreement and can continue to reside in France. They are entitled to a ‘withdrawal agreement’ residency permit of either 5 years (if they have lived in France for less than 5 years) or 10 years (if they have lived in France for more than 5 years).
All British nationals in France have until 1 July 2021 to apply for a residency permit. They will need to prove that they have the appropriate permits starting on 1 October 2021.
Since no paper files will be handled by the administration, the process is carried out exclusively online at: https://contacts-demarches.interieur.gouv.fr.
All this means that HR departments should reach out to their employees who are British nationals, to remind them of their obligations and the options available to them.
It is quite likely that these employees will also need assistance from payroll and HR, with assembling the appropriate and relevant paperwork for their residency permit application.
Of course, other possible scenarios may arise; for example, specific rules, procedures and processes will apply to British nationals who are married to a French citizen.
Also, British nationals who move to France after 1 January 2021 cannot benefit from the withdrawal agreement. As such, the common laws regulating the entry and residency of third-country nationals shall apply and therefore, they will need to submit an application for a long-stay visa if they intend to stay in France for more than 90 days.
By means of the withdrawal agreement, British nationals residing in France before 31 December 2020 do not need a work permit, even if they change employers.
Only those who move to France and start working as of 1 January 2021 will be required to apply for a work permit.
Flichy Grangé Avocats is available to assist you with the employment law and immigration matters raised by Brexit.
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