Been in France for 6 months... now what?

I moved to South France with my wife in August 2018. We’ve been here 6 months this month, and I’m not too sure what next steps are. We’re planning to be permanent residents.

I’m registered as a self-employed Micro-Entrepreneur - have my own SIREN number and all that. My wife does not work at all (living the dream!).

Now we’ve been here for 6 months, and given Brexit is looming, I’m wondering if there’s anything we should be doing in regards to registering? Do we need to register with the Mairie, or get any sort of residency card?

How does healthcare work for my wife, as she doesn’t work at all? We’re a bit naive to everything I guess. Probably worth mentioning our french is tres mauvais at the moment! (We’re working on it!).

Also, side point: Is everything like this still done locally with a Mairie or another French prefect? Feels like it would be easier (for a bad French speaker like me!) to do this sort of stuff online.

Thanks for any advice!

Hi Russell…

Mmm… 6 months already… time flies… do you live in a town, village… or in the sticks??

In smaller communities, it is general for folk to introduce themselves at the Mairie… At the very least this lets the Mairie know when a property changes hands and, should someone (or the Postman) try to deliver and not find you… they will often ask at the Mairie for directions. It pays to become known and to join in with local happenings.

Re HealtH: If you trawl through the forum… there is loads of info about Health Care, Carte Vitale… and, of course, Health Insurance.

Carte de Sejour is also a hot topic… so trawl and devour all you can find…


Thanks Stella - Anyone been in the same situation recently and got any quick tips/things to bear in mind?

I regularly trawl the forums, but not sure if I’m missing something obvious that we should be doing at this stage :slight_smile:

Well if you arrived last calendar year then you will have to do a tax return this year as the year runs Jan - Dec. So you need to prepare for this. The forms don’t even appear until May, but you can organise yourself. Local tax offices are usually remarkably friendly and helpful so don’t be afraid to go see them especially as in your first year it will be a paper form.

You also need to register yourself with health services. So you each need to fill in the attached form and take it with the necessary documents to your local CPAM office. As long as you meet the financial threshold it doesn’t matter if your wife works or not.

As for Carte de Sejour…depending on where you live the wait for an appointmemt could be so long that hardly worth bothering to try before Brexit. People have mixed views on whether or not to push to get it now or wait anyway. But as long as you have proof that you were resident before then there shouldn’t be a problem. So keep things like utility bills safe. And worth poppimg into your local Marie to say hello.

Otherwise settle in, enjoy, and say Bonjour to all & sundry.

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Hello Russel,
I am no expert but as a British immigrant living in Luxembourg I have seen a and learned a great deal and still learning everyday.

What has always helped me was in 1983 when my wife as she is now joined me in north London. (N20) Having a French mindeset she had De-registered from her commune in Luxembourg and she was determined to register in London. I did say I thought this was not necessary but she could not imagine a world or country where it was not necessary.
She therefore visited the local Police Station (in those days there were such places inEngland) They were very nice and welcoming. Offered her a cup of tea and told her it was not necessary.
This long story just to tell you that you are going to play catch up after 6 months in France.
Don’t worry they are used to it.
May I suggest that you do everything as advised by those much more knowledgeable thank I but in addition make sure your wife’s name is on every utility bill and rental contract and that you keep every piece of paper that you have been given in France until you know twice over you do not need it.
Good luck.
We have a holiday home in 83 where are you.

Hi guys

I am in a very similar position to Russell. We came in Sept 2018. However, we currently do not have too many footprints (other than a Carte Grise!!).

We are staying with friends, so do not have a rental agreement and are looking to buy a property so not currently working (although looking to set up as an auto-entrepreneur as will be setting up something).

Where does this leave us? Any practical information would really help as I am aware that the clock is ticking…

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What’s the address on the carte grise?

Anyway, if you look at the form I attached above you can see that the friends you are staying with can do an “attestation sur l’honneur” that you have been staying with them, accompanied with their utility bills etc etc.

So the hurdle for you could be showing your are financially stable and meet minimum income requirements.

So bundle up your documents and head off to CPAM… you may also be asked tricky questions about how your health has been covered since you arrived. In theory you should have taken out private health insurance as your EHIC isn’t valid once you leave the UK. If yiu haven’t then I don’t know how you answer that one. We weren’t asked thankfully.


Thanks Jane

In terms of the EHIC we have been back to Britain twice within this time. So we last returned to France in early Feb after a 2 week break. Could this have made a difference?

You can only be a resident in one country, and within the social security system of one country.

So either you are a French resident, in which case you are not entitled to NHS care or a UK EHIC, or you are a UK resident visiting France then your UK EHIC is valid for stays of up to 90 days. Sometimes they don’t ask - well I turned up on CPAMs doorstep three months to the day of having arrived and they didn’t ask me…

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Thanks Jane

Was it quite an easy process? From what I understand the following are required:

1.) Attestation from friend/EDF Bill from friend/Their ID (Passport picture)
2,) Birth Certificates
3.) Marriage Certificate
4.) Copy of passport
5.) Proof of income/proof that we can live here on our current funds while we buy house and set-up business
6.) French bank account details??

Is there any else that anyone can think of that we will need before registering?



I think you might need to do your own attestation sur l’honour about the date you became resident in France, as well as info from your friend.

The financial threshold is an income of 827€/month for a couple who are not working. Again you may not be asked this by CPAM but you certainly will be when you request a carte de séjour (either now or after brexit) so be prepared.

There’s a lot of good info in english on this site

Thanks Jane

This is all a great help!

I seem to recall that the EU agreement in the event of a deal makes provision for subsequent changes of status, but does France’s arrangements for a no deal scenario? I can’t remember and don’t feel inclined to re-read the text, but I thought it said that inactifs who’d been here for under 5 years would be issued with a visitor’s residence card. Which wouldn’t allow the person to set up a business.
Could be wrong, hope I am, but best check. Otherwise, set up business pronto!

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Thanks Jane

So, I spoke to a few authorities today both in the UK and France and the current status is this…

I have been fully informed of what is needed in terms of ID to apply for the Carte Vitale. The good news!

However, me and my wife are not of retirement age. I spoke to HMRC (I think…) and they advised that they can issue both of us with a letter of legislation confirming that we are receiving no healthcare from the NHS. I was advised that this may or may not be accepted to get accepted into PUMA.

Our current situation is that we have reasonably good savings in order to live and to eventually buy a house. However, we are currently not working as buying a property is the priority as our business will very much revolve around this.

With this in mind…

1.) What are the potential problems of getting accepted?
2.) What is the cost for those not currently working? I saw a figure of 8%. Is this based on earnings or savings?
3.) Is this the only viable option or can anyone enlighten me on a better one?

It is all a bit confusing if I am honest and just trying to get my head around things. I am a bit wary of rushing in at this critical time. Any help or guidance off anyone would be sooo much appreciated!!



And sorry Anna- called you Jane!!

  1. You will need to show that you will not be a burden on the state. Living free with friends will help. As will havimg the DWP (not HMRC) letter about you not beimg eligible for Uk healthcare.

  2. Annual cotisation is 8% of income above a threshold of about9k/person.

  3. viable option for what?

Jamie, healthcare is obviously important but it’s only one part of the bigger picture. What would concern me in your position is this:;jsessionid=AE9A29FCE6BF437AF123BD8472CED0E5.tplgfr29s_2?cidTexte=JORFTEXT000038100655&dateTexte=&oldAction=rechJO&categorieLien=id&idJO=JORFCONT000038100449
7° La carte de séjour temporaire prévue à l’article L. 313-6 du même code portant la mention « visiteur » est délivrée au ressortissant britannique qui ne remplit pas les conditions de délivrance des titres mentionnés aux 1° à 6° ci-dessus. Il doit justifier de la possession d’une assurance maladie. Les conditions de ressources dont il doit justifier sont précisées par décret.

As far as I can see, this is the para that relates to inactifs who have been living in France for under 5 years at the time of Brexit, in a no-deal scenario.
So my main concern would be whether it will be possible to set up a business if you hold a carte de séjour “visiteur”. Because I don’t think it is. Being classed as a visitor in France normally means you don’t have the right to work here.

Re the income, normally inactifs are expected to be able to show a secure regular income (eg pension/investment income/rental income). I don’t know how it works if all you have is a lump sum in the bank.

Thanks again guys. It is all a concern if I am honest but will have to find a way.

Thanks Anna. I guess setting up as a micro-entrepeneur is the surest option. Out of interest, I hear you need to take a 4-day course at your local prefect costing about 300 Euros before you can. Is this correct?

I was just thinking Jane- as someone not currently working is this the best option for getting onto the healthcare system or is there any other way?

@anon27586881. The remaininframce website is good on how income requirements are looked at. And also quite blunt that if your lifestyle doesn’t mean you meet the grade then unlikely you will be given residency right.

Jamie needs to look hard at his finances to see what case they can make. Or get healthcover now, and then wait till business is set up and earning before seekimg a CdS even if this is post brexit.

If you can set up a business that will generate a decent turnover then certainly that would seem to be the surest option and the obvious way forward.
But, bear in mind that France does distinguish between a hobby business and a main activity. A very low turnover micro entreprise wouldn’t get you classed as a worker; you would still be classed as inactif, who happens to have set up a hobby business. So although you might initially have the illusion of it having “got you onto the healthcare system” because you have a carte vitale in your hand, come the end of the year when you submit your income declaration and they tot up what you earned and what cotisations you paid, if you haven’t met the cotisation threshold for the year they would be looking to charge additional cotisations on the rest of your income. Likewise, for your carte de séjour you would still need to meet the threshold for inactifs. The simple fact of having set up a business, doesn’t automatically make you a “worker” under the EU definition of the term for the purposes of FoM…

Also, you don’t mention your wife/partner a lot - just wondering how is (s)he planning on meeting the requirements?