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How to protect your residency rights in France

Posted on 02 June 2017

We’re currently in a state of limbo: the strange period prior to Brexit negotiations commencing, when the hints and gossip surrounding it all are coming thick and fast. Trying to sift through the clamour for the real story can be confusing. Thankfully, for anyone thinking about buying a ski retreat in the French Alps in the coming months, a recent comment from the European Union (EU) has given real hope.

After much speculation the EU has formally established its desire to guarantee the basic rights of British citizens living in the EU. Provided you are living in France before the UK formally leaves the EU – proposed for March 2019 – then your right to live there permanently, visa-free, with health coverage, will be protected. All that has to happen to make this a reality is for the UK government to reciprocate the gesture, by agreeing to protect the rights of EU citizens living in Britain. Theresa May’s stance on the subject means this is a distinct possibility, having repeatedly said she will do just that in recent months. And with her political rivals echoing her words in the build up to the election, the future looks bright for overseas property buyers, whichever party triumphs on 8th June.

If this news has persuaded you to buy that home in the Alps click here to download the FREE guide to buying a home in France

In its directive the EU says:

  • The status and rights from EU law at the time of Britain withdrawing from the EU should be protected, including rights to pensions and healthcare.
  • The rights should be reciprocal between British people and citizens of the EU’s 27 other member states.
  • Rights should include residence in their adopted country, including access to healthcare and social security, plus education and training to be available just as it is for nationals.

Of course, there’s a risk of getting ahead of ourselves here. There’s the small matter of a general election to negotiate before talks between the EU and UK can kick off and there are still many questions to be answered. We do not know for certain how they will pan out and you should always take professional advice before buying in France.

For a step-by-step guide to buying a property in France, download the France Buying Guide by clicking here.

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