Can I travel from France to Portugal with just Brexit residency card?

All Britons who were living in France before this year will soon need to hold a Withdrawal Agreement residency card. We answer a question on travel rules with these cards

2 December 2021

Portuguese capital Lisbon is famous for its yellow trams Pic: Olga Gavrilova / Shutterstock

By Liv Rowland

Reader question: I travel frequently from France to Portugal. Can I (as a Briton living in France for many years) show my carte de séjour for this trip or must I have a valid passport with me as well?

You should not rely on your carte de séjour alone for travelling to another EU country such as Portugal, but should rather take both your residency card and your passport with you.

If you are travelling by car, you are unlikely to be subject to checks on your journey requiring you to show documentation, but if you are travelling by air then you may be asked to show both your passport and identity card by either border police or the airline as detailed on this official French site (click for the Conditions spécifiques and then select Circuler en restant dans l’Espace Schengen). 

British residents of France with Withdrawal Agreement residency cards have the right to travel in other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180, but if they are subject to an identity check while doing so a French-issued residency card is not sufficient on its own as a travel document, but rather you should be able to present a valid passport.

This is different from French nationals travelling within the EU, who can present their national ID cards, and are not obliged to hold a passport.

A WA residency card can, however, be used on its own as an identity document for internal flights in France.

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