Will UK Citizens Still Be Able to Live and Work in France? | ExpatWoman.com

Will UK Citizens Still Be Able to Live and Work in France?

What rights do British expats currently have to live and work in France?

Posted on

11 October 2017

Last updated on 19 January 2020
Will UK Citizens Still Be Able to Live and Work in France?
The right to live, work and study in any European Union countries is something that many UK citizens have exercised since it was brought about and finalised in 1992. 

Having access to healthcare, schools and voting and stand in elections across any of the countries are just a few more rights EU members get to exercise, and with millions of Brits exercising their rights and living all over Europe, including France, it’s only understandable that Brexit is causing quite the stir.

What rights do British expats currently have?

The period of instability that has come about since the trigger of article 50 has understandably left both seasoned and new expats unsure and understandably worried about what Britain leaving the European Union could mean for them and their futures. But don’t fret just yet. Britons currently living in France and other European countries are still under the same rights as they always have been, and will be until Brexit negotiations come to a conclusion. Throughout the negotiations so far, it has been assured that there will be every effort made to ensure that Britons will be able to remain in their respective locations after the final split.

What have the politicians said?

Talks about Brexit are in abundance in today’s politics, with many of the talks coming to the same conclusions about expats in Europe. Francois Hollande (previous President of France), during talks with British Prime Minister Theresa May, has said “There is no doubt that the French people who reside in the UK will be able to continue to work there and that the British people in France will be able to work there and spend as much time as they wish.” May’s response was equally as reassuring, claiming that “[she expects] to be able to do so [guarantee the right for EU citizens to stay in the UK] and the only situation in which that wouldn’t be possible is if British Citizen’s rights in European member states were not being protected.” While none of this is set in stone, the talk of keeping at least some level of freedom of movement should be reassuring to those hoping to move to France in the future.

Will I need a visa to live and work in France after Brexit?

It is still too early to tell how the negotiations with the European Union will conclude. However, it is likely that after Britain has left the EU, any Brits moving to France will have to apply for the EU Blue Card. There’s also the potential of needing a residency visa, which will essentially mean that Brits will have to undergo the same applications as any non-EU citizens. This means satisfying certain criteria, including proving that they can financially support themselves, and proof of medical insurance. But even then, you will lose the right to vote in elections, or hold public office, and can only keep these rights if you become a French citizen.

SEE ALSO: Top Tips for Working in France 

What other rights will we keep?

The British Government have promised that Brit’s can get free healthcare while living or travelling in Europe under the EHIC scheme, that British pensioners living in Europe will continue to have their pension payments increased every year as they would in the UK, and more. There is even talk of associate citizenship for British citizens in Europe once the UK has parted from the EU completely.
Guy Verhofstadt, the chief negotiator of the European Parliament, has pushed forward these plans, and under the terms of these proposals, the citizenship would be available to any citizens of former EU members that wish to still be part of the “European project”, which could even mean an ability to vote in EU elections. However, with France suggesting that eligible British citizens in the country should apply for dual-citizenship, it may be worth looking into more permanent options now as opposed to playing a waiting game. There are options around for anyone that wants an extra level of stability to ensure that their life in France, or any European country, is a secure and safe one.
If you are looking at moving to France, please do make sure you contact us and see how we can help.
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