British citizens in France are urged to apply for post-Brexit residence permits before midnight amid confusion and mixed messages about whether or not the June 30 deadline has been extended to guarantee their rights.
A spokesman for the French Interior Ministry confirmed to the media last week that the deadline for applications for the new permit, which guarantees local residence, medical care, employment and other rights, had been extended by three months.
It followed statements on the websites of various local prefectures that the deadline had been postponed to September 30. While the reference to a deadline change has been removed from some, remains in place in others.
According to the British campaign group in EuropeAt least six prefectures have also said, via email and in person, that a delay had been agreed, with some adding that the new permit would be mandatory only on January 1, 2022, rather than October 31.
However, there has been no public announcement of the change by the French government and the British embassy in Paris has repeatedly said that it had not been informed of any extension. insisting on the deadline stayed at midnight on June 30.
The British in Europe called the situation “chaotic” and added: “Official French sources have told people that there is a three-month delay. If today is the deadline, what will happen tomorrow to the people who were told they have three more months to apply?
“We call on the interior ministry and the embassy to publicly clarify the situation. This is our house. We pay taxes, we invest in local communities, and we deserve better than this. No one should face the misery of becoming undocumented overnight. “
Under the terms of the Brexit withdrawal agreement, UK citizens who were legally residing in one of the 27 EU member states at the end of the Brexit transition period last year are eligible for permanent residence, protecting their basic rights. .
Fourteen countries, including Spain, Germany, Portugal and Italy, opted for systems that automatically confer a new post-Brexit residency status on legally resident Britons, without the risk of losing rights if an administrative deadline is missed.
The other 13 chose a constitutive system under which Brits must formally apply for a new residency status, including five (France, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta and the Netherlands) that initially set a June 30 deadline.
Last month, the Netherlands extended its deadline to October 1, and last week Luxembourg pushed back its deadline by six months, leaving Latvia, Malta, and possibly France, as the only remaining early deadlines.
According to the latest official figures, 140,900 out of an estimated 148,300 UK residents in France (actual number may be higher) have applied for the new permit. In Latvia, 500 have filed 1,200 applications and in Malta 9,200 out of 13,600. The French Interior Ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism