Overview of Travel to the UK from France
The UK and France have had a long and historic relationship going back centuries, particularly in the field of immigration.
There are over 130,000 French-born residents in the UK, with the number continuing to rise rapidly, even in light of the UK’s departure from the EU.
Although there are now more steps that French nationals need to follow in light of Brexit, there are still a variety of routes and pathways to choose from that will make settling in the UK a very tangible possibility for many.
Can I Still Apply for the EU Settlement Scheme?
French citizens may still be able to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, even though the main deadline has now passed.
You may be able to apply if any of the following apply to you:
- You have a French (or other EU) family member who was living in the UK by 31 December 2020
- You’re exempt from immigration control, or you stopped being exempt from immigration control after 30 June 2021
- You’re already in the UK with limited leave to enter or remain in the UK (such as if you’re here on a work or study visa) which expires after 30 June 2021
- You’re a family member of a British citizen who you lived with in the EU
- You must have lived with them in that country by 30 December 2020, and returned to the UK with them
You may also still be eligible to apply if you have ‘reasonable grounds’ for not applying before the main deadline, such as if you were in an abusive relationship, or if you had a medical condition that prevented you from applying.
UK Work Visas for French Nationals
Many of the UK’s visas and immigration routes are centred around attracting international talent through work visas. Many of these can also lead to permanent settlement in the UK, known as indefinite leave to remain.
Some of these visas include the following:
- Skilled Worker visa
- Health and Care Worker visa
- Scale-Up Worker visa
- Minister of Religion visa
- International Sportsperson visa
The Skilled Worker visa is the UK’s all-purpose, general work visa that covers most professions and industries. The other visas in this list, meanwhile, target more specialist niches, such as those who wish to work in healthcare or in the sports industry.
UK Family Visas for French Nationals
The UK also has a variety of Family visas that are appropriate for anyone who has a British or Irish citizen or someone with UK settled status as a family member.
You may be able to apply for a Family visa as one of the following:
- A spouse, civil partner or unmarried partner of at least 2 years
- Fiance, or proposed civil partner
- Adult dependent relative
Note that these categories each have different eligibility requirements you must adhere to in order to apply. For this reason, it’s worth checking carefully what the individual requirements are based on your own situation.
How Can IAS Help?
When moving to a new country, it’s essential to be on top of whatever legal and immigration rules and requirements you’ll have to follow in the process.
If you’re a French national looking to move to the UK, whether it be for work, your spouse, your family, or any other reason, IAS can help.
We are friendly, experienced immigration advisers who can help you with every step of the migration process. Whether it be assisting with your UK visa application, helping you with the logistics of moving your possessions in France to the UK, or expert legal advice on your complex immigration situation, we can help.
Last modified on July 17th, 2023 at 7:34 am
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As of 2022, you no longer need to take a COVID-19 antigen test, show proof of vaccination status or vaccine pass, or quarantine when travelling to England as your destination country.
However, travel advice for Wales, Scotland and certain transport providers such as trains or airlines may vary.
There may sometimes be formal restrictions on how much time you’re allowed to spend outside of the UK.
For example, if you wish to apply for indefinite leave to remain, you must have spent no more than 180 days outside the UK in any 12 months period.
However, many visas in and of themselves may allow you to travel back to France as often as you like, as long as you don’t violate the terms of your visa.
Many EU nationals, including those from France, can still visit the UK for up to 6 months at a time without having to apply for a visa.
This includes visits that involve tourism, seeing family and friends, studying, or volunteering for a registered charity for up to 30 days, amongst other things.