Why was French website for Britons' residency cards delayed?
A last-minute delay to opening the new website for Britons’ residency card applications was intended to ensure Britons do not wait too long to receive their cards once they apply, the Interior Ministry has clarified.
The British Embassy in Paris has told Connexion that the French authorities have said the delay from July 1 to October 1 – which was announced on the Brexit.gouv.fr website late on Friday – was linked to impacts of the coronavirus global health crisis.
An Embassy spokeswoman said: “Prefectures have been closed as part of Covid-19 confinement measures and we understand that it will now take them some time to get back up and running.
“The French Interior Ministry have told the British Embassy that the delay is intended to reduce the wait UK nationals would otherwise have experienced between applying for and receiving their new residency card.
“They assure us that, from October 1, prefectures will be better placed to process applications from UK nationals in a timely way.
"The British Embassy continues to work closely with French Interior Ministry, and to represent the concerns of UK nationals strongly to them."
She added: “The Withdrawal Agreement commits EU member states to opening their residency systems [enabling resident Britons to benefit from the Withdrawal Agreement deal] by the end of the transition period, with an option voluntarily to open beforehand. France is still on track for this.
“Despite the delay in the portal re-opening, we expect the detail of how applications will be assessed to be made available before the launch date, providing UK nationals with the necessary information to prepare their applications.
“We continue to encourage the French authorities to take the most flexible approach possible, and to communicate clearly to UK nationals the steps that they need to take to secure their residency status in France.”
The Interior Ministry has today acknowledged to Connexion that French website was updated on Friday with the changed opening date without warning.
Connexion will continue to report on the developing situation in our monthly newspaper and the Brexit section of our site.
Regular information for Britons in France is also provided on the Embassy’s Facebook and Twitter pages and its Living in France guide, which has now been updated with the October 1 date for the residency card site.
Less time to apply for Britons' residency card for France (subscriber extra)
Brexit residency card website: When will it open? (subscriber extra)
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