Annual cartes would be costly for pensioners

Retired British people on low incomes who moved to France within the last five years face having to make a costly and time-consuming carte de séjour application every year for life if there is a no-deal Brexit and no new rules are agreed.

1 May 2019
By Oliver Rowland

This is because the rules in the new French decree setting out simplified procedures for obtaining non-EU citizen cards after a no-deal Brexit only apply for applications in the six months after Brexit, an Interior Ministry source told Connexion.

The decree, fleshing out procedures outlined in an ordonnance published in February, says in the case of a no-deal Brexit Britons would have to apply for non-EU citizen cards within six months – and obtain a card within a year.

They would benefit from simpler, lighter requirments than those usually applicable to other non-EU citizens, notably lower and more flexible means tests.

Those resident in France for more than five years could immediately obtain a long-term resident’s card (renewable only after 10 years with a very simple application and no means test).

Those who have been in France for less than five years when they apply would obtain one of several kinds of shorter-term cards, depending on their work status, renewable after one to four years.

These shorter-term cards would, on renewal, have the same lightened requirements as for the first application, including the lowered, flexible means thresholds.

However, an Interior Ministry source said renewal of cards would be at the “standard” cost of cards to third country citizens.

This is currently €269, although the rate may be lowered as a review of tariffs is planned.

Furthermore those with short-term cards would not in the future benefit from lightened criteria to obtain the different, long-term card after totalling five years in France. This would leave those with lower incomes having to renew short-term cards for life.

The ordinary rules for the long-term card require income of at least the French minimum wage (currently €1,522) per applicant.

This would in particular impact retirees as the non-EU citizen card relevant to them is a one-year ‘visitor’ card so they would face having to renew annually at the standard cost. For more about the decree, see connexionfrance.com/French-news/Brexit .

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