Who to contact in France for help with Brexit residency card

Britons who are unsure about aspects of their application, are not confident with using computers or have any other difficulties can contact several different bodies for personalised assistance

19 January 2021
IOM caseworker Elizabeth Kelsey can help Britons in several areas of northern France
By Liv Rowland

There are several sources of help if you are struggling to complete the online formalities for a new Brexit deal card.

All Britons who were living in France in 2020 and want to stay must now apply for one of the new Withdrawal Agreement (WA) residency cards via a dedicated website and many readers have found the process straightforward.

However if you are unsure about aspects of your application, are not confident with using computers or have any other difficulties, a number of bodies can advise and in some cases meet you personally.

Some of these are approved and funded by the British government under the UK Nationals Support Scheme, however there are geographical restrictions as to who these can help.

The International Organisation for Migration (IoM)

This is a UN partner agency helping migrants and refugees.

Its section helping Britons with Brexit is based in Saint-Brieuc, Brittany with two full-time staff there and will focus on Normandy, Brittany and Paris and Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France and Pays-de-la-Loire.

It intends to share information on residency requirements and provide direct help for those in difficult situations. The latter could include people with chronic illnesses, or language, literacy or IT difficulties.

The focus is residency applications and topics that are directly linked to applying for residency.

Its staff have also been touring small towns and villages with large populations of UK nationals to give out flyers to mairies and maisons de services au public.

Contact details: By email at UKnationalsFR@iom.int or by telephone on 08 09 54 98 32, Monday to Tuesday 14:00-16:00 and Wednesday to Thursday 10:30-12:30.

Meetings at the office are possible by appointment. It has a website at france.iom.int/en/uk-nationals-support-fund-uknsf.

SSAFA

This charity for British military veterans and their families helps military veterans in France. The British Embassy said they expected those applying to the charity to include disabled and pensioner veterans, and veterans living in remote areas or needing help with translating paperwork.

Contact details: 08 05 11 96 17 Monday to Friday, 09:00 to 17:30, or by email at ukvie.support@ssafa.org.uk. It was a website at ssafa.org.uk/get-help/veterans-in-europe. It also has a UK-based number on 0044 (0)800 193 0474.

Franco-British Network (FBN)

A non-profit body that helps Britons move to France and set up businesses. It is focused on the Dordogne, Aubergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur.  

Its team consists of three bilingual professionals from the area who were already part of the network, plus two new paid part-time workers.

Contact details: Questions may be sent via tinyurl.com/y29bfxbk. It also has a telephone helpline on 05 19 88 01 09 (Monday to Wednesday 9:00-13:00 and Thursday and Friday 13:00-17:00) and a Facebook page: facebook.com/francobritishnetwork. Its website is: francobritishnetwork.fr.

The Church of England’s Diocese in Europe

The diocese is offering assistance to those in Nouvelle-Aquitaine apart from Dordogne, as well as Occitanie, Bourgogne-Franche-Comté, Centre-Val de Loire, Corsica and Grand Est.

Contact details: It has a website relating to its Brexit help at frenchresidencysupport.org. Its hotline is on 05 32 80 00 05, Monday to Friday 09:30 to 12:00 and 13:30 to 16:00; Tuesday 17.30-20.00 and Saturday 09:30-12:00.

Also offering help, nationwide

Two English-speaking bodies that are not part of the official funded network have told The Connexion they are able to help: English-speaking charity Cancer Support France (email brexit@cancersupportfrance.org, telephone 0800 240 200) and The Old School, Dordogne.

The Old School (oldschoolfrance.com), which has received some funding from the British Community Committee of France for this work, has a helpline on 05 53 40 60 54 from 09:00 to 16:00 on Thursdays and can also arrange one-to-one meetings.

All local prefectures should be able to assist to some extent with making the application online, using free public computer terminals.

Paper applications are not possible.

Another option would be to visit one of the Maisons de Services au Public at: maisondeservicesaupublic.fr. These are local centres that can help people with administrative tasks.

Previous Brexit card articles

No Brexit cards denied so far to Britons in Dordogne

Britons French Brexit residency cards: How to apply

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