How long can a Brexit carte de séjour card-holder spend in UK?

British people have a right to live in the UK and there is no time limit to this, however be aware of how much UK time you clock up for tax resident purposes

12 November 2021

'If you hold a ‘permanent’ WA card, the Brexit WA deal says you only lose rights to live and work in France if you are away from the country for more than five consecutive years.' Pic: 1000 Words / Shutterstock

Reader question: How long can a Briton living in France with a Withdrawal Agreement (WA) carte de séjour spend in the UK?

If France is your main home, which should be the case if you have a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement (WA) card, you probably want to avoid being seen to have become a British tax resident.

UK tax rules state this is the case if you spend more than half the UK tax year (183 days or more) there, from April 6 to April 5 the following year. This is also deemed by the UK to apply if that is the location of your only ‘home’, which you have owned, rented or lived in for at least 91 days in total and at least 30 days in the tax year.

So, assuming you maintain a home in France and you do not spend more than half of the year in the UK, that sets a limit of 182 days you could spend there in a given tax year without being considered to fall under the British tax rules.

French tax residency rules also use a test of “spending more of the [in this case, calendar] year in France than any other country”, among others, for maintaining tax residence here. So, on that basis, you would want to avoid spending more time in the UK than France in any one calendar year.

If you hold a ‘permanent’ WA card, the Brexit WA deal says you only lose rights to live and work in France if you are away from the country for more than five consecutive years. A European Commission spokesman said EU law interprets this literally (ie. absence from French territory).

However, if you have a temporary card that you plan to convert within five years to a permanent one, you should not spend more than six months away from France per year, or more than 12 months continuously for reasons such as serious illness, study, training or a posting abroad.

Find help with navigating life in France with our new Reader Questions newsletter

Sign up for our pick of the week's questions from readers answered by the Connexion team – delivered to your inbox every Saturday.

See what other readers like you are asking including: How often is a rabies shot for dogs required for France-UK travel? Will my French health pass become invalid if I refuse my booster dose? ​​Can foreign residents benefit from France's pension top-up benefit? and more. 

Sign up for the free newsletter

Related stories

How long can visiting Britons stay in France with EU-passport partner?

Does having a residency card mean I need to declare income in France?

Resident or second-home owner in France?
Benefit from our daily digest of headlines and how-to's to help you make the most of life in France
By joining the newsletter, you agree to our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy
See more popular articles
The Connexion Help Guides
Brexit and Beyond for Britons in France*
Featured Help Guide
What the Brexit deal means for UK residents of France, second homeowners and visitors in 2021 and after
Get news, views and information from France
You have 2 free subscriber articles left
Subscribe now to read unlimited articles and exclusive content
Already a subscriber? Log in now