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Brexit: can I still move freely in Schengen Zone?

Every other day, we share a reader question from our Brexit and Britons in France Help Guide. Get your copy of the guide via the link at the end of this article.

Travel plans post-Brexit

During the transition period nothing changes, however Britons will face more restrictions after that.

The WA deal will protect the right to live in France though Britons will in due course need to apply for ‘Brexit-deal’ residency cards. The right to work in the country in which you are settled (ie. France) is protected by the deal.

As to moving freely in the sense of visiting other Schengen Zone countries without visas, a third-country citizen living legally in a Schengen Zone country may visit another country of the zone for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

French website for residency cards for Britons delayed

As mentioned, the negotiated deal protects the automatic right to live and work in the state in which you are already established. Campaigners for the rights of Britons in the EU were dissatisfied with this, saying ‘onward free movement rights’ should be maintained.

That is not to say it would be impossible for Britons in France to move to another EU country or work in one, just that the right would not be automatic. Britons would have to apply to a new country for the right to live there and (barring special rules agreed in future talks) be subject to the stricter criteria applied to ordinary ‘third country’ (non-EU) citizens.

Get our Brexit and Britons in France 2020 Help Guide 

In our comprehensive help guide, you'll find information on what Brexit means for British residents, second homeowners and visitors in France - now and after December 31, 2020. Recently updated following on from the delay of the new residence card website for Britons (now set to launch in October), this 64-page handbook outlines what you need to do as Britain leaves the EU. We answer your questions on whether second homeowners can spend more than 90 days in France after Brexit, would you be better covered for healthcare by becoming French, future guidance on pet vaccinations and more.


More questions from the Brexit helpguide

Will French blue badges still be valid in UK?

Will inheritance law be affected?

Will the Erasmus study scheme continue for Britons?

Will I need a new passport?

Will Britons need visas to visit France?

Resident or second-home owner in France?
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