GOD SAVE THE EXPATS – ACT II
In our last article, we mentioned that after the massive rejection of the Brexit Treaty by the UK Parliament,the law n°2019-30, published on 20 January 2019 was enacted in France to avoid having UK nationals in France suddenly find themselves with irregular status. This law enables the government to take measures by decree to prepare for the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union and manage the consequences.
Ordinances have already been published by the government, including ordinance dated 6 Feb 2019 published in 7 Feb 2019, providing various measures relating to the entry, the stay, the social rights and the professional activity, applicable in the absence of agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union.
Numerous application decrees are to be published.
Article 1 of the ordinance provides that the UK nationals are not required to hold a visa during the 3 months post Hard Brexit, and until a date which will be set by decree which cannot be more than 1 year after the Brexit. A decree will set the date before which the UK nationals should file their request for a residence permit.
UK nationals who have lived 5 years or more in France will notably be entitled to a pluriannual residence permit with the mention:
- “employee”, valid for 4 years, when occupying a position under an indefinite work contract (“CDI”) (art. 2 I. 2e);
- “temporary worker”, valid for 1 year, when occupying a position under fix-term work contract (“CDD”) (art. 2 I. 3e).
The ordinance specifies that the visa is not subordinated to a work authorization (art. 2 III.).
The residence permit will be renewed in identical conditions as those set out for the 1stdelivery (thus the renewal is ensured unless change in situation).
The good news for employers is in article 8: the employer of a UK national is exempted to check before the French authorities that the latter holds a residence permit.
The text does not specify if the exemption is limited in time, which leads to think that it is a general rule, following the adage that it is forbidden to distinguish where the law does not distinguish(ubi lex non distinguit, nec nos distinguere).
Under this same article, the UK national has the obligation to inform without delay the employer when he/she obtains a first post-Brexit residence permit.
Better inform your UK national employees of their obligations…
The ordinance finally reminds us that it will only enter into force in the event of a Hard Brexit, i.e. a withdrawal of the UK with no agreement (art. 20 of the ordinance).