Britons in France will now have until September 30 to apply for their Brexit Withdrawal Agreement residency cards, the Interior Ministry has confirmed.
A senior spokeswoman for the ministry’s section for the entry and residency of foreigners told The Connexion: “We have put off the date off from June 30 and are giving this leeway in order to make sure all of the latecomers can get their applications in on time.”
The residency cards website is therefore to remain open for applications until the new date, the spokeswoman confirmed.
The news of the three-month extension comes as the British Embassy last week warned that “many” Britons in France were thought to have yet to apply for their cards.
All British adults who were living in France by December 31 last year must apply for one of the cards in order to secure their legal right to live and work in France – unless they have an EU/EEA/Swiss dual nationality.
There is at present a legal obligation in France to hold one of the new WA cards by October 1, 2021. The cartes de séjour that some Britons in France obtained as EU citizens will have no validity, but can help as part of the application for a new cards.
The positive news of the extension was broken today on the website of the Côtes d’Armor prefecture and confirmed to us in a call to the ministry. However The Connexion was told in a follow-up call that details of the extension have yet to be put into a formal decree. This is however expected shortly, the ministry spokeswoman said.
In the meantime the British Embassy has stated that the official deadline as of today remains June 30, so no one should delay applying for their card.
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement states (article 18d) that if a person misses an obligatory residency card applications deadline, then the country's authorities should assess the circumstances and reasons for this and allow further applications within a 'reasonable' period if there are 'reasonable grounds' for the deadline having been missed.
We note however that today's statement by the Côte d'Armor merely says: "It has been decided to put off the deadline for applying for a Withdrawal Agreement residency card to September 30. During this extra period applications will be able to continue to be made online at the residency cards website. The site will therefore remain operational for longer as a consequence. All applications will be processed."
Roger Haigh, the president of the Franco-British Network, one of the bodies accredited by the UK government to help Britons with card applications, told The Connexion: "We will be active as normal to the end of September."
Article updated with additional information