Carte de séjour site 'to launch today'

An official French government web page has gone online stating that an online procedure for British people living in France before Brexit to apply for cartes de séjour will open today.

This page is also linked to on the website of the Alpes-Maritimes prefecture which says that as of today British people living in the area must make carte de séjour applications via this new online service.

The Alpes-Maritimes site says that using the new service you can attach digital versions of necessary documents and applicants will automatically be given an attestation de dépôt to prove they have applied.

It remains a mystery as to why the service is launching so far in advance of Brexit or what kind of cards it will be for, as different cards are expected to be involved whether people apply now, after a no-deal Brexit or after a Brexit with a deal.

It has not been clarified if it will be possible to use it in English.

Very few (estimates put it as less than 10%) British people in France are so far thought to have cartes de séjour as EU citizens, as obtaining one has not been obligatory and in some cases people have experienced long delays after applying or difficulties and delays obtaining a scheduled meeting to apply for a card.

Precise numbers of Britons living in France are not known, but the British embassy believes there are likely to be several hundred thousand, all of whom would need to apply for cards after Brexit (apart from children).

It is hoped that those who have cards as EU citizens will be able to scan in their existing card on the new site.

In the case of permanent residency cards a simple ‘swap’ is promised and those with temporary cards would have fewer papers to submit.

It is not known if those who have applied for an EU citizen’s card but not obtained it yet will be able to click to ask for the same paperwork to be used.

A British Embassy spokesman said there is no rush to use the new online service because in the no-deal scenario British people would have six months after Brexit day to apply.

He said further advice from the embassy will be provided in due course at its Living in France page.

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