Coming back into France for resident Brits after a no deal exit


This is a question that is coming up at lot at the moment so I thought it would be a good time to post about the situation, why there may be a potential issue, and what you may need to do about it. 
Although if there's a no deal exit there will automatically be a grace period of 12 months for those who were legally resident before Brexit, this is NOT the same kind of grace period as the transition period of the Withdrawal Agreement. The no deal grace period only relates to residents, whereas the WA transition period relates to everyone. So that means there would immediately have to be a way for border control to differentiate those already legally resident from those who aren't.



If you currently hold a carte de séjour

For those who currently hold an EU CdS: we're verifying whether the Schengen database will be updated to include these cards and whether the machines will be able to read the chips. If you're travelling outside Schengen after a no deal Brexit you MUST carry your CdS with you.

If you don't currently hold a carte de séjour

For those without a CdS in the case of a no deal exit on 31 October, the worst case scenario is that you will need to carry with you proof of your residence in France - perhaps not a full dossier, but proof of residence and health care, work contract, your avis d'imposition etc. The issue of re-entry to France for those without a current CdS is one that we've taken up with the European commission, the Ministry of the Interior and the embassy but we've not yet had a satisfactory response. It is right at the top of our current list of things to discuss urgently with the Ministry in October if it looks as though we're heading towards no deal. 
To be clear here, the issue isn't whether you have the right of residence in the case of a no deal exit (you do, prescribed by the ordonnance) - or even whether you can enter without a visa, because unless the UK plays silly buggers on visas there is an EU wide agreement on visa free entry. It's whether you can enter as a resident, ie not triggering the Schengen 90 day rule which could lead to you inadvertently becoming an overstayer.

EDIT 16 October 2019

The travel section of UK government's 'Living in France' website has been updated today and suggests that work to deal with this is now in hand. It says "suggests that this is now in hand. It says: "The French authorities are preparing to streamline border crossings for UK nationals resident in France who will not have residence permits until the end of the 1-year grace period."

It would be helpful if it gave us more of an idea on what 'streamlining' means in practice, but it's reassuring at least to know that the issue is finally being addressed! You can read the paragraph in the 'Living in' website here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/living-in-france#passports-and-travel . We'll bring you more news as we have it.


Kalba

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