Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Julie Ritaine - Avocat Associé –Médiateur, BBDR explains the situation following Brexit:

Residency cards were not compulsory for British people living in France when they were EU citizens. However, due to Brexit, British people  living in France will now have to obtain residency cards to continue to stay in France post Brexit, deal or no deal.

Who needs to apply?

This will affect all people over the age of 18 who either have  five years or more residency in France, or people over 18 who are currently  accruing the five years.

When will I have to make an application?

You will be able to submit an application for a residency card from July 2020. You will keep your current rights until 31 December 2020 and you will have to obtain your card before 1 July 2021.

Will my existing English Will be affected by French domicile?

If you emigrate to France, with no intention of returning to the UK, you will legally lose your British domicile. This may, depending on how it is drafted, invalidate any existing English Will you have. You may therefore need to draft a new French Will to ensure that your personal wishes are carried out after your death.

In French law the compulsory provisions of the Civil Code applies to the whole of your estate on death, and this may not necessarily comply with your wishes and would almost certainly be disadvantageous to any surviving spouse. It might well even be the case that the compulsory provisions of French law will in any event apply to part of your estate, whatever testamentary provisions you make. This means that the implications of any provisions in an existing English Will should be examined carefully in each individual case.

If you need help applying for a Residency Card, advice on a pre-existing Will or assistance drafting a new Will under French law, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Author: Julie Ritaine, Avocat Associé –Médiateur – BBDR AVOCATS, 28 rue Saint-Jean, BP 372, 62205 Boulogne sur Mer Cedex, France. 


T: (+33) 03 21 99 05 50  Fax: (+33) 03 21 91 30 30


Please note that specialist advice should be taken in relation to any specific queries and the information above is provided for general information purposes only.