Get Ready for Brexit

With Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal approved by the EU and his commitment to ‘get Brexit done’ on 31 October 2019, it’s important to get prepared for life after Brexit if you’re a British expat living in one of 27 EU member states.

Many EU countries have already guaranteed the rights of British expats post Brexit, but some states have only done so under the condition that the UK reciprocates and guarantees the same rights to their citizens already living in the UK.

With the majority of British expats living in France or Spain, and both countries having multiple large ports and yachting communities, we’ve put together some guidelines on how to get ready for Brexit if you’re a crew member living onshore in one of these two countries. 

If you’re a resident of one of the other EU member states, you can find out what to do by reading this useful article by Dispatches Europe.

Spain has the largest number of British expats (around 1 million), although some only live there for part of the year. It comes with a huge sigh of relief that, after Brexit, Spain will grant residency for all British expats already residing there. According to the Spanish government, British citizens will have until 31 December 2020 during the withdrawal period to apply for a Foreigner Identity Card (TIE).

In order to get a TIE, you must ask for an appointment and present your application in person at the police stations specified. The EU citizen's family member card will then be replaced automatically by the TIE.

To get a TIE after the withdrawal period, you must follow the new "procedure for documentation of EU nationals". For more information and guidance, visit the Spanish government’s website with information on how to get ready for Brexit.

If you’re a British crew member with your primary residence in France, here are some guidelines of what to do to get Brexit ready.

Residence Permit
You will have to apply for a new residence card within 6 months of the leaving date. If you already have a Carte de Séjour, you’ll need to exchange it in the new system.The French government has launched a new website to simplify the process. To get your new residence card, visit the website.

Health Cover
Make sure you have adequate health cover in place with one of the following options:

  • Direct contributions to the state social security by your employer

  • Supplying a registered S1 form to your local CPAM office

  • Subscribing to Private Health Care

  • Getting additional cover from a mutuelle

Up-to-date Passport
Make sure your passport has a minimum of 6months left to travel within the EU (except Ireland).

For more information or to ask questions which are specific to your situation, visit the French Government’s Brexit website. You can also find out more in the UK Government’s Living in France Guide.

Please note: The information provided in this article is believed to be correct at the time of publishing (22.10.2019) and has been verified to be the best of the PYA's ability, however, cannot be guaranteed.