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Residency of young Britons in France ‘not considered’ during Brexit

It was only when one reader and his family left France that a border officer pointed out they needed a DCEM document for their son

Reader had to ‘blag’ their way out of, and back into, France without DCEM document for son Pic: Hayk_Shalunts / Shutterstock

November’s Connexion highlighted problems British children and young people in France regularly face due to lack of proof of residency status under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.

Perhaps it was because of time restraints, but I suspect this issue was not previously fully considered at an official level.

Read more: Young Brexit agreement Britons facing residency difficulties in France

Read more: UK families in France struggle to gain Brexit WA cards for children

My wife and I applied for residency status the day the Brexit referendum result was announced. 

We then, post Brexit, had to exchange this for Withdrawal Agreement residency status. 

At no point during that 2020 exchange process was it explained that we would need to obtain a DCEM (document de circulation pour étranger mineur) for our son, should we ever want to take him out of France. 

It was only on doing so that a border officer pointed out that we needed one.

Read more: Does my under 18 need a DCEM travel document for travel from France?

Thankfully, we blagged our way out of – and back into – France. The application process for a DCEM was online, quick and straightforward. However, it cost €50. 

As a footnote, our son is keen to obtain French nationality the day that he is old enough to. 

Personally, I cannot understand why any ‘British children’ born or raised in France would not want to do the same, for professional, travel or electoral representation purposes, if nothing else. 

Gary GRANT, Morbihan

Share a point of view on an aspect of French life at letters@connexionfrance.com  or The Connexion, Le Grande Bretagne, 30 av. Grande Bretagne, 98000 Monaco.Please include your name and department of France or country where you live. Letters used may be edited for space and sense; the Editor’s decision is final. Letters received may be used online and/or in print.

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Explainer: France’s Brexit residency cards and foreign travel

Explainer: When does a child need ‘permission form’ to leave France?

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- Visas and residency cards (cartes de séjour) for France help guide - Understand when visas and residency cards are required to move to France or come for an extended stay - Applies to Britons (post-Brexit) and to all other non-EU/non-EEA/Swiss nationalities - Useful to anyone considering a move to France, whether for work or otherwise, or wanting to spend more than three months at their French second home
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