Post Brexit -
The Withdrawal Agreement and Political Declaration have to be approved by the British Parliament, but Theresa May failed to achieve this in the three so-called "meaningful votes", while in other non-binding votes the MPs expressed clear opposition to the no-deal scenario. It has been reported that the existing deal may be "brought back" in some form, and if so it will obviously include the full citizens' rights provisions, which do not appear controversial. The great benefit of protection under the agreement lies in its nature as an international treaty with direct effect and provisions on governance.
The Withdrawal Agreement sets out how the UK would leave the EU for
1. finances (the 'divorce bill');
2. Northern Ireland ('the backstop');
3. laws covering it; and
4. citizens' rights.
It is an agreement that would be a legally binding international treaty.
The agreement does not protect all our rights but goes some way so we'll look at what is excluded -
· Continued freedom of movement
· No more cross-border services as self-employed people.
· Some professional qualifications not recognised.
· Watch out if you fall in love outside your country - your future spouse or partner may not be able to join you so easily. At least EU law may be able to help you a little with this
The good news - once covered, you will be covered for your lifetime, as long as you remain resident in France. If you have permanent resident status you will be able to leave for up to 5 years and return without losing their rights. (Note: Although the decree card is slightly better on this)
You will need a Carte de Séjour and an online system is being planned
Under a deal this card would be free of charge and the transition period would be longer (at least until end 2020)
Check out the French Government Brexit page for more on this - see links section
In other words, to get a carte de séjour permanent, you have to produce all the evidence to show that you've met the conditions for 5 years - even if you've been living in France for 20 years.
Note the requirement for health cover. It seems that many have used an EHIC on arrival in France but technically this is only for visits as a tourist and not as a resident. It is not a fast process to join the medical system and it can be accessed by
· employment or self employment;
· or a UK issued S1 form if you’re in receipt of a state pension or those that work in the UK, and their dependents; or
· through the French universal health coverage system known as PUMa (Protection Universelle Maladie).
All legal residents may access PUMa.
Taxes are what we pay for civilised society
If you live in France you must get to grips with French tax forms. Every resident needs to complete a tax declaration annually following which you will be given an Avis d'impôts. Some get a nice surprise of a bill and others a refund! They don't chase you to file your taxes so you need to know it's something that needs doing. Don't forget to declare foreign bank accounts unless you like big fines. The Avis you get back will be one of the most precious items to add to your residence dossier. The French fiscal (tax) year runs from January to December. You will usually need to make your tax declaration in the May of the following year.