CdS being obtained by non-resident second home owners

Bonjour Tous,

An anomaly - I know of some who are currently resident in UK with a second home in France have found an agent to obtain a CdS. This is so they will avoid immigration queues, buying visas and the 90 day out of 180 limit. It may also have other benefits ongoing.

The application appears to be using a loophole in that “proof of residency” on the application that only requires evidence of home ownership, not full time residency. What I would like to know is if / when the France tax bureau will connect with such CdS holders? Wealth Tax and other income may apply.

And, if this is so simple why aren’t all second home owners jumping on the bandwagon?


It seems that a number are doing so. France made things deliberately simple - my guess because they wanted all the people who had been living here for a long time illegally to be able to regularise their position. Making elderly pensioners who had lived here for 20 years homeless is not good press.

But in doing so they allowed people to game the system. At first this made me cross - we have paid taxes,established a business etc etc so why should a second home owner get the same rights. But now I am calm about it. The French are not stupid, they know it is happening, so one hopes the system will catch up with them eventually. And penalties could be severe - the statement we each made on submitting an application sets out that we knew to lie would be tax fraud.

It would be good if there were a couple of publicised high profile cases, and the people might hand their cards back!

Bills for increased taxe foncière and income tax landing on their mats might help too…I hadn’t thought of wealth tax but you are right. I imagine quite a few who come from London and the SE may own property that totals over £1.1 million


I haven’t had to use the more relaxed application system, having gone through the (much more onerous) application for the EU citizen card previously so my new WARP card was a simple swap. I say this as I’m therefore not fully aware of what documents poeple have had to supply to the authorities.


Surely all applicants have needed to be French tax payers & declaring their homes here as their “maison principal”?

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The issue is that they didn’t require proof. Your passport, a 2020 utility bill, something to show your earliest arrival date and health insurance (including private) were all that was needed as I recall.

There was a statement saying that in submitting this form you certified that you were legally resident (or words to that effect) amd knew it would be fraud to lie, but I doubt people really read it!

Compared to what we provided way back when in the pre-Brexit days it was a doddle!


Is it known whether any applications were refused, or was it assumed that people knew whether they were entitled to a card and would not claim it if they were not?
Also I believe there were a number of funded expat organisation who “helped” applicants quite aggressively. If prefectures knew that refusals would lead to appeals which would put even more strain on already strained resources, you can see why they would be tempted to take the line of least resistance.

It seems, from anecdotal evidence, that a few applications are being refused. But I’ve not read anything official from the Ministry of the Interior. And I doubt we ever will! It will be left to the Connexion to make up some stories.

The French know perfectly well that some people are scrotes, so you are probably right that lack of current capacity meant they gave people the benefit of the doubt. One hopes that once this phase s over there will be some sort of matching CdS and tax records.


How many people are we taking about 10 100 1000’s seems to me that there is a little bit of self rightous indignation going off.Live with it, these things happen.


For my part I couldn’t care less if people “game the system”. Whoever is here, by whatever means, is adding to the French state by paying (at the very least) TVA on purchases.
My objection to those who think that the rules don’t apply to them is that there are many more who have abided by the them & who have had the freedom to enjoy visiting their properties here severely curtailed. I have first hand evidence of some who have sold up due to this change.


live with it its not worth getting riled up about.

I could have used that and got a 10 year card, as I had all the necessary documentation back to 2007. I chose to use the exact date I actually moved in 2018, because at the end of the day, it’s a privilege that is being extended to us. Also, my mother brought me up to be honest and childhood lessons stick the most.


It is obviously illegal, both here and in the UK, isn’t there an international definition of residency which makes it impossible to be resident in more than one country? And what about car insurance, where do such people insure their cars? A serious accident involving innocent others would soon sort this out, possibly to the detriment of the innocent.


Because it is illegal to state you are resident when you are not! There are fines up to 40,000€ and / or 3 years in prison for making ‘misleading statements’. It is clearly set out in the link to the TandC on the first page of the application.

Nope, as Jane sad none of that checked! Yes they should as if they are declaring that they are resident then they should be ‘legally resident’ not holiday home owners that want to be able to stay 4 months over the summer without visas!

No not even for the +5 years cards! Just proof of arrival, proof of domicile in 2020 and copy of passport! You can see why the cake eaters (as I refer to them!!) have got away with applying! It will be very interesting to see what happens in the future!

There is also the issue of those that have applied for less than 5 years cards and aren’t actually really truly resident who are obliged to spend 183 days / year here. They will be in for a shock when the electronic passport controls come in next year as they will know exactly how many days people spend here! They may well loose their ‘residency’!


What about somebody living here when they applied (in October/November) and at the time intended stay long term, but then six months later decided for personal and family reasons it wasn’t going to work so move back to UK say at the end of this year?
They will have a card so can easily move back here again. Seems they have a permanent residency permit as long as they visit here regularly. There were no questions as to future intentions!


This is a thing I have thought about it and here is where my thinking took me. But first it depends what you mean by ‘visit here regularly’. France does not become a prison once you are given a residency card, you can still spend time in other countries. But, there is quite a tight limit to how long you can spend outside France in the first five years. I think it is 6 months per year. As long as they don’t exceed that, they have not “left” and they have not lost any rights. But if they do exceed six months a year absence, that is a break in the continuity of their residence so although they might get away with moving back as long as they keep their heads down, technically they have lost their rights and they would not be entitled to a permanent card when the current one expires. But I don’t think we know yet what the renewal process for this particular residence card will be. It could be that France is intending to sort out the sheep from the goats at renewal time by checking their tax records etc. Or it could be that they will continue to be tolerant and issue permanent cards automatically. After all there is only one cohort of Brexit card holders, many of whom are already old farts like me, and once the grim reaper has collected us all up the problem will have solved itself, so why waste too much time on it.

Of course those who had already lived here for five years and got their permanent residency card can leave France for up to five years (have I got that right?) without losing any rights, so as you say they can move back. That is what was agreed and it seems only fair that if a person has made their home in France, they should be able to leave temporarily to work or study in another country for a fairly lengthy period of time. It is a poor sort of “freedom” if it means you effectively have to stay in your chosen prison to keep it.

For those who have sufficient anger about this, then just tell the local tax office. But be very, very sure of your facts as to make a false claim against someone is also a crime…. (And perhaps reflect on history of Nazi Germany before you do as well).

Toute personne a la possibilité de dénoncer une fraude fiscale dont il est témoin en renseignant les agents de la DGFIP. Attention aux dénonciations calomnieuse qui peuvent se retourner contre le délateur. A noter, que les petites infractions (comme par exemple ne pas respecter les plafonds du diapositif Pinel ou revendre son bien en loi Pinel avant le terme de l’engagement de location ne sont pas prises en compte par les services des impôts, ce sont plutôt les grosses fraudes fiscales internationales qui les intéressent comme la fraude à la TVA.

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That seems like where @Flocreen’s sage advice comes in.

Unless you know of someone for certain and are happy to report them to the authorities giving their name and yours, it really is probably not worth getting riled up about. Either they’ll get their comeuppance and all will be well, or they won’t and we won’t know about it anyway. Having a good old moan is helpful for the soul at times but unless these people cause a situation where the whole lot of us start being looked at with mistrust and suspicion and everyone with a WA CDS starts getting audited and questioned (which is perfectly possible in theory but seemingly a veerrrrrry long way from where we are today) it’s probably not worth thinking about.:woman_shrugging:

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@Sandcastle …you raise a good point.
I think most people have been preoccupied, like us, in getting a CdeS that little thought was given to what happens and what will be the process once a five year card expires. Ditto the 10 year card. Does the card/residency ever become in perpetuity and need for regular application cease

@kirsteastevenson …agree, just live and let live, be thankful for good health if you’ve got that.


It is my own highly-personal observation that the tax-authorities are under pressure to develop more revenue. Covid has has a very heavy impact upon the France-Treasury.

So, they will be looking wherever they can to generate it. Which means - make sure your tax situation is in good order and you owe nothing …


I believe the 10 year card is renewed quasi automatically as long as you have not left France or committed a serious crime, there are very few conditions attached. But unless you take French nationality it is necessary keep renewing the card, I guess immigration likes to keep loose tabs on immigrants. Hopefully our cards will remain free of charge, unlike the other types of CdS.

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