A man with Australian and New Zealand nationality who has been living on a barge in France since 2011 has been given an order to leave the country within 30 days after applying for a residency permit.
Bryan Griffin, 82, a former pilot, applied for a titre de séjour at the prefecture in Meurthe-et-Moselle (Grand Est) in June, but on December 23 received a refusal and a notice ordering him to leave France within a month.
Mr Griffin held a UK residency permit between 2010 and 2019, but entered France in May 2011, according to the prefecture’s order. It states that he has therefore been living in an “irregular situation” in France since that time.
He said he decided to apply for a French residency permit in order to continue living in the EU after Brexit.
The prefecture gave several reasons for denying Mr Griffin’s residency permit request. It includes the fact that he was living in France on a British permit, the fact that he does not plan to work in the country and the fact that he does not have family ties to France or cultural integration.
“[He] does not justify a particular integration into French society, in particular by mastering the French language or by working,” the order states.
It also cites his trip to India between November 2019 and April 2020 as a reason why he has not been living continuously in France for 10 years.
Mr Griffin told The Connexion he felt “sick in the stomach” when he received the order.
He said he would contact a lawyer to challenge the order, but that it is difficult over the Christmas period.
Mr Griffin has 30 days to contest the decision, either administratively or judicially.
He said he has lived all over France but mainly in the north east.