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I am French but live in the UK. Can I return to France?

4 February 2021
France has introduced strict travel restrictions, meaning that even French citizens who are living permanently outside of the EU need to provide a reason for entering the country
By Connexion journalist

Reader question. I have both French and British citizenship. I am currently in the UK, where I live permanently. Can I come back to France?

Short answer: Yes, but only for an essential reason.

French citizens who live in countries outside of the EU and who are not residents in France or another EU country can only enter France now if they have an essential reason. 

The reason must fall into one of three categories: A compelling family reason; A compelling health reason; A compelling work reason.

You can find a full list of the reasons on the Ministry of Interior’s website.

The Ministry of Interior's website has all the travel forms people require to enter and exit France

You should scroll down to option 3, titled “Déplacement en provenance du Royaume-Uni”. 

Below that you will see a sub-heading that says “pour les ressortissants français ou d’un autre pays de l’espace européen”. 

You will find all the essential reasons in the forms there. 

It includes returning after the death of a direct family member - parent, child, brother/sister - and returning to care for a sick relative who has no other support. 

Alongside the certificate outlining their essential reason for travelling, people going from the UK to France must now have with them:

  • A sworn statement certifying the absence of Covid-19 symptoms and absence of any contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19;
  • A sworn statement to take an antigenic test or possibly undergo screening upon arrival;
  • A sworn statement to self-isolate for seven days, if necessary, in one of the facilities designated by the French authorities, along with a sworn statement to undergo a virology screening (PCR) test at the end of the isolation period.
  • For those aged 11 years and above, a virology screening test (PCR) carried out less than 72 hours before boarding, showing no Covid-19 contamination;

If you are not a French citizen or a citizen of another EU country, there are different rules about entering France from a country outside of the EU. You can read more about that here

If you are a French or EU citizen and your full-time residence is in France or another EU country, you can enter France from the UK without an essential reason. 

Read more:

The 21 essential reasons non-EU travellers can enter France

France requires new travel forms, with separate form for UK

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