Anyone experience of using Workers S1 to get Carte Vitale for dependant spouse

Hi everyone,

I know that in theory this possible.... I have had some discussion on another forum with someone who did it and it is also mentioned on a fact sheet of another well known ex-pat site. However, you chaps are (usually) so friendly and helpful that i hope you don't mind me asking the question here.

My husband came/went out to our house in France in March to cut the grass and shows no sign of returning..... maybe that's a slight exaggeration, he did come back in June to get another three month prescription! However, both he and the dog are now settling so well into french life that it seems pointless and possibly expensive to keep coming back every three months just to go to the Doc's. (Blood pressure pills). Also, technically he now over the time limits for tax/the car but lets not go into that, its a grey area and who can say how long a holiday is etc etc.

Ultimate intention is for us both to live in france but at the moment I am working more than full time in Uk and visting every 4-6 weeks. We are thinking of getting everything on a more official footing, starting with getting the car onto french plates which we are doing at the moment.

I understand that I can get a workers S1 which will entitle him to a carte vitale off my national insurance contributions. Is it that simple?Have any of you ever done it/ are doing it? My particular concerns are:

1. I am the female breadwinner - not the usual traditonal way of things a la francaise

2. We are married but I have not adopted his surname - do I need to get marriage certificate transalated?

3. I am employed at the moment and pay masses of NI however I would like to reduce hours and go self employed, would it still work? Is there a minimum amount of NI you have to pay?


I'll answer to 2. A lot of French women do not take their husbands' names and my Swiss wife has not taken mine. You do not need translations of marriage certificate, birth certificate and as I recently joked to someone, your death certificate if you can get it a few years in advance in case somebody asks. Seriously though, the Single European Act, supplemented by the 2001 Treaty of Nice that came into force in 2003 says that no translations are required inside the EU. So do not fall for that one if some hard-necked official insists you MUST. We did not for our children and me, although my swiss wife has French in her equivalnt anyway so no problem at all.

A bit of 1. Female breadwinners are pretty common in France because of a) retirement age and b) the fact that many men marry women quite a bit younger than they - or conversely women marry older men.

Number 3. Pass.