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 ) 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 europa.eu 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