Post Brexit -
Withdrawal Agreement ratified
Following the General Election in December 2019, PM Boris Johnson has begun the process of putting the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) he made with the EU into law. Assuming the bill is passed and the WA is ratified by the EU Parliament, the UK will leave the EU on 31 January 2020.
Here is a link to the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill which sets out the UK law in relation to our leaving the EU.
The full WA can be found here.
The section on Citizens’ Rights begins at Article 9.
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; here is whats excluded -
· Continued freedom of movement
· No more cross-border services as self-employed people.
· Some professional qualifications not recognised.
· 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.
After Brexit, you will need a Carte de Séjour and an online system is currently in place but relates to the proposed No Deal Brexit. We are waiting to see what amendments will be made to the system if the UK leaves the EU under the WA.
Under the WA, the card would be free of charge and the transition period would be longer (at least until end 2020) Please take a look at the ‘Where are we now?’ page for more details.
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.