A snappy guide for Brits applying to live and work in France after Brexit.

Once upon a time, moving to France from the UK was just a splash across the channel.

Okay, maybe not quite as simple as that, but it was more straightforward, and we’d had decades to familiarise ourselves with the process.

But, since Brexit, a British citizen relocating to France is a TCN – a Third Country National. This refers to anyone required to apply for a visa to remain within a country not of their origin.

Today, we’re going to specifically look at how to apply for a visa to work in France.


Steps to obtaining a visa

British passports and documents.

Official visa website

Firstly, you must register on the official visa website for France. There, you will find all the information for the exact visa that you are applying for. As well as a completed visa application, you will also need copies of your passport/ID, birth certificates, bank statements, and a criminal record check.

If you are applying to run your own business in France, then you will need to present a business plan. Additionally, you will need several copies of any certificates or qualifications that relate to your business.


Visa application centres

After that, you need to book an appointment at one of the visa application centres. In the UK, they are located in Edinburgh, London, and Manchester. Here, you will submit and explain all your documents. Additionally, you will be asked to provide biometric data. Don’t get too excited though – at this appointment, you will not find out if your application has been successful.


Decision made

Once a decision has been made, you will be able to return to the visa application centre to collect your passport. Alternatively, you can use their express courier service to have it delivered to you; this costs £18.

Please note that between the initial appointment and the decision at the visa centre being made, you will not have access to your passport.

If your visa has been granted, then you will receive correspondence from the Consulate of France.

Within three months of your arrival in France, you must register and validate your visa; this is done through a website link. There is a lengthy list of things that you will need to provide, including: your email address; visa information; the official date of entry into France; a residential address in France and credit card details to pay for your residence permit. And for a more fun obligation: you will need to attend language lessons.

It is absolutely imperative that you get on top of this. Unfortunately, if you do not validate your visa within three months of your move to France, you are no longer considered a legal French citizen.


There is help at hand

Two people filling out forms.

Does this process sound overwhelming? Don’t let it put you off your dream move to France – help is at hand.

In both Britain and France, there are businesses offering hand-holding services to help you get through the process. However, as rules and regulations are ever shifting as we all adjust to life post-Brexit, it is vital to choose a helper who is really on top of everything. Hand helpers can ensure that you don’t forget any paperwork – if you do, it can really delay the process. Having assistance with getting everything in order can also reduce how long it takes to get your visa processed. It is worth considering, especially if you are feeling overwhelmed.


If you would like further advice on the buying and selling process in France, download your free France Guide.

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