The EU has confirmed Britons in France covered by the Withdrawal Agreement (WA) can obtain other immigration statuses. So is it worth applying for a carte de résident de longue-durée – UE?
Move within EU without visa
This ‘EU long-term resident card’ is for non-EU-citizens who have lived in an EU country for at least five years.
It guarantees, with minor exceptions, equal rights with EU citizens with regard to working and social security. In this respect, there are no specific benefits in France compared to the WA card.
The key difference is that it allows for some free movement rights within the EU, whereas the WA card is concerned only with rights in France.
In reality, the main effect of this that we have identified is that if you should wish to move to live, work or study in another EU country, you may do so without applying for a visa.
Once you have moved, you also benefit from the ‘equal rights’ rules and the right to bring family members from the previous country.
You do, however, still have to apply for a relevant residency card within three months of moving.
EU want to simplify swapping residency
Some countries are stricter than others over this and may ask for evidence of stable financial resources, health cover (which can include joining the national system), job offer if appropriate or registration with an educational body.
The EU is reviewing the ‘long-term residency’ rules as it believes not enough people make use of this card.
In some cases, it has been found to be over-complicated to obtain residency in a new country despite this status.
If this changes, it is hoped it would reinforce the ‘free movement’ benefits of the EU long-term resident card.
Applications are currently to your prefecture. Conditions include ‘continuous’ residence for five years with no absences of longer than six months, income equivalent to the minimum wage, and, for under-65s, a certificate of basic French.