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Brexit cards for Britons in France: Here is a first example

A Dordogne resident has showed us her new residency card, one of what may be the first batch to be sent out

20 November 2020
By Liv Rowland

A British woman from the Dordogne has told how she has already received her Brexit Withdrawal Agreement card, which is pictured below.

Pauline Leaphard, 61, said she is aware of others who also received them. “I think a batch must have gone out today,” she said. “A friend of mine who went to give their fingerprints a few days before me got theirs today as well.”

Ms Leaphard, who retired early from work in the pensions and finance sector, said she has been living in France for two years in what was formerly her holiday home.

She applied on the ‘no-deal cards’ website that was briefly open last year and was called in to the Dordogne prefecture to give two passport photos and have her fingerprints scanned on October 9, several days before the website opened for new applications

“I already had an email before that, inviting me. I think it was quick because it is department 24 – the Dordogne – and they know that a lot of British people live here.”

She then had an email on October 16, saying that everything was accepted and her card would be sent out.

Ms Leaphard said because she had applied on the old website she took into the prefecture her supporting paperwork in case of the need for checks. However the official did not spend long looking at it.

This is not expected to be required for applications via the new site.

She noticed that her card does not specify she is ‘inactive’ but notes her right to do all forms of work.

The aim of the cards is to confirm Britons' continuing rights to live and work in France under the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement deal. Most of the same rights as for an EU citizen continue for those benefiting. They will not be available for Britons arriving in France next year.

“Paperwork is one of my fortes, so I’m not surprised I’m one of the first. I like to get things done and dusted," Ms Leaphard said.

“I’m relieved to have it. After I went in, I didn’t know how long it would take to issue the card.

"They just said it would be sent as a recorded delivery, signed-for letter, by the end of December at the latest. Then it turned up out of the blue today.”

She added: “There’s a fear of the unknown, but it was so straightforward in the end. I think they’re wanting to get it all done as smoothly as possible.

“I’ve now been helping a friend who lives in a retirement home and doesn’t speak French or have a computer or the internet. I have applied for her.”

The wording on the cards calls them Carte de séjour article 50 TUE, that is an 'article 50 residency card', referring to the section of the Lisbon Treaty which gives rules on how a country may leave the EU.

The cards also include, under a 'remarks' heading, a reference to the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement treaty, article 18, which deals with citizen's rights. 

Previous articles

Britons Brexit residency cards – how to apply 

15,600 apply in first days of Brexit residency card website 

Residency card applications: Q&A 

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