Immigration advice for partner joining me under provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement

Hello, Bonjour!

I’m a British national and last year I decided to accelerate my plans to live abroad and moved to France during the transition period to take advantage of the provisions set out in the withdrawal agreement. While things for me have gone smoothly so far and I managed to set myself up as self-employed here and just recently received my carte de sejour from the prefecture, the next challenge is for my partner to join me.

My partner is a third country national (doesn’t hold British or EU citizenship) who is currently working in the UK on a Tier 2 visa. We are not married (yet :slightly_smiling_face:) but have been in a relationship for almost three years and have been living together in the UK for over a year.

While looking around, I found this Q & A memo on and the following question matches our circumstances relatively well:

Q: I am the unmarried partner of a United Kingdom national residing in the host EU state. I plan to join him there but I can do it only in four years because of existing work commitments in my country, Canada. Will I be able to join him?

A: Yes. The Withdrawal Agreement protects partners who had been in a durable partnership with a United Kingdom national at the end of the transition period but were not residing with that partner in the host EU state. You will be able to join your partner in the host EU state, provided that you remain in a durable partnership with him at the point you seek to come to the host EU state and he has obtained a new residence status under the national residence scheme, for which he has to apply before the end of the grace period. You will yourself have to apply for a new residence status within three months after your arrival in the host EU state.

The requirement of durability of the relationship must be assessed in the light of the objective to maintain the unity of the family in a broad sense. National rules can refer to a minimum amount of time as a criterion for whether a partnership can be considered as durable. However, in this case national rules must ensure that other relevant aspects (such as for example a joint mortgage to buy a home) are taken into account.

We’re now looking to start making progress on the move and are a little lost on where to even begin. Conditions surrounding the Withdrawal Agreement are pretty unique and its very hard to find first-hand experiences on the internet in this area. As a result, I’m looking for some advice on where to begin.

We need to clarify a few things, in particular there are questions around the durability requirements for the relationship as well as which visa she needs to apply for so that she can travel to France in order for us to start processing things.

I’m trying to work out who is the right person to reach out to to find out more specifics on how to proceed. I’m assuming that there might be some kind of government body that I can contact for advice, but i’m new to France myself and have no idea where to begin. I’m also hoping that maybe there are others in similar circumstances that might be able to share their experience?

Finally, I’d also be interested in being put in touch with any immigration lawyers/specialists who have experience with similar cases. While my French is still a long way from being able to navigate complicated immigration related conversations, my partner does speak fluent French however it would be great if anybody does know of English speaking specialists but I realise it might be a lot to ask for :sweat_smile:

Start here:

what department do you live in? There are associations set up and funded by the UK gov to help.


As you said she is from Canada and speaks French fluently, could she be a Quebecoise?

If so, I am wondering if there might be a preferential route for her to follow.

Get PACS’d asap ! :wink:

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Oh, Franco looks great! I don’t know why I didn’t see this sooner! Thanks @toryroo

I’m in Toulouse, so department 31 (Haute Garonne)… I’ll have a search around for local associations as I didn’t realise that they existed. Thanks again!

Sorry @David_Spardo, that quote was from the FAQ section of so it’s not my specific circumstances. My partner holds a Lebanese passport which is quite limited in terms of immigration options :sweat_smile:

Oh, shame, I thought that might be a loophole. But, looking on the bright side, the only Quebecois I know, he lives in our commune, is also the most miserable person I know, so perhaps not all bad then? :wink: :laughing:

Best of luck with it anyway. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Yeah, this actually seems like a good plan for us I think.

It does lead me to another question though (although I haven’t searched much on this topic yet myself) as I’m considering the fact that we might want to get PACS’d before submitting a residency application (as a registered partnership would probably have less friction as it goes through the system) but I’m not completely sure if this is allowed if she just enters France on the short-stay visa with the new option of “Entry visa for beneficiary of the withdrawal agreement”.

Thats something else for me to dig into though :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

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So it looks like you are the Church of England:

IOM - The International Organisation for Migration (Brittany, Normandy, Paris and Ile-de-France, Hauts-de-France, Pays de la Loire)

Contact details:

  • visit the IOM website
  • email:
  • hotline: 08 09 54 98 32 available during the following hours: Mon - Tues 2pm to 4pm and Wed - Thurs 10.30am to 12.30pm

FBN - The Franco-British Network (Dordogne, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, and Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur)

Contact details:

Church of England - Diocese in Europe (Occitanie, Bourgogne Franche-Comté, Centre Val de Loire, Corsica, Grand Est, Nouvelle Aquitaine, not including Dordogne)

Contact details:

SSAFA, The Armed Forces Charity (across France)

Contact details:

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Thanks @toryroo, I found the link on after your first reply and sent them a message. By this afternoon a representative called me back full of really useful information, i’m so impressed!

Thanks again for the tip off, I hope others in a similar situation find this useful too.

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Associations are such a huge boon to social life in France. Read a bit about them here. Finding France. Hopae that you enjoy. Its free! bien sur