Security guard faces lay-off in France due to Brexit-related red tape

The worker, who has lived in Brittany since age 12, told of struggles linked to a new law

Due to new rules for the security industry, Callum Colverson has not had his carte de séjour for the required 5 years so now faces losing his job or an expensive court case

A British man working as a security guard in France has said he risks losing his job because of a Brexit-related admin issue.

Callum Colverson, 33, has worked in the security industry since school and has been with his current firm since 2016.

Originally from Southampton, he has lived in Brittany since he was 12.

To work as a security guard, you need a diploma and to be registered with official security industry regulator Cnaps, which issues five-year licences.

When Mr Colverson applied for a renewal of his licence, he was turned down because he has only had a residency card since 2019.

He first had an EU citizen’s card, which was recommended but not obligatory as a way to protect future rights, then a Brexit Withdrawal Agreement card.

He was told that a 2021 law now requires security workers from outside the EU to have had a carte de séjour for at least five years.

Tightening rules to avoid irregular immigrants

This law was linked to tightening rules to avoid irregular immigrants being employed in the sector.

However, Britons have only legally needed a card to live in France since 2021. His present professional licence expires in July.

“It is very unfair and frustrating,” he said. “I consulted a lawyer, who said my only option is to go to court and that will take time and cost at least €2,500, or even €3,500 if we have to appeal.”

The Connexion asked Cnaps about the issue but it said the new law did not allow any exceptions to the five-year rule.

However, it added: “Due to the situation of Mr Colverson and British subjects whose specific case, on the face of it, was not foreseen by this law, we invite him to get in touch.”

He said his employers are sympathetic and have offered to advance some future wages for legal costs and to keep him on their books without pay after his licence expires.

If the rule is maintained, he would not be able to work until next year.

He has set up a crowd-sourcing fund to help with legal bills incurred appealing against the decision: here.

On this funding page, he says: “All I’d like is to keep my job, pay my mortgage, renovate my house, maybe find a girl and have children one day.”

Mr Colverson told The Connexion he had thought about applying for French nationality before Brexit.

Read more: What questions should I expect during a French citizenship interview?

“I looked at the form with the details of your parents and grandparents and thought it was complicated,” he said.

“Now I wish I had done it, because even if I got a dossier together now, it will take too long to go through to solve the problem.”

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