Changing resident country within EU

Does anyone know the procedure for transferring permanent residency from Spain to France?

As I understand it under the WA as a permanent resident of Spain for over 5 years in 2021 with the same rights including admittance to French NHS…

I just have no idea how to go about making this change and would be grateful for any advice.

& thank you for allowing me to join the group!


Hello Michael and welcome to the forum.

Please can you give us your Full Name… First and Last Names as per our T&C’s… then I can amend your registration.

Or you can amend your Registration yourself…


Are you british? Is so why would having been an eu (british)citizen resident in Spain give you any more rights in France than having been an eu (british) citizen resident in the uk? The process for moving to a new country is the same whatever other country you move from? I think you would have to start from scratch in France. As an eu citizen if you are inactif you can apply to join puma after three months legal residence in France.

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Well according to the WA if a UK citizen has been resident for more than 5 years in a EU country (eg Spain) they retain the right to re-locate within the EU to another country…
I will do this next year and exercise my right as a UK citizen permanently based in Spain for more than 5 years to move under the WA and EU law, to France.
I just do not know in practical terms how to do this, where in France to do this… Which state office?


Full Name please…

Michael Edwin Briant but I seldom use my middle name!

sounds as if you will need a Carte de Sejour… and this is done online…

You retain the right to freedom of movement.
That means you have the right move to a new country.
I was not aware that the wa gives you any additional rights over and above whst all eu citizens have. No eu citizen has immediate permanent residency rights when they move to a new eu country. There is always an initial 5 year period. Thst is written in the freedom of movement directive.

Ha ha… maybe I will have to use your middle name to draw your attention… !!! :grin: :thinking:

My request for your First and Last Name appeared to be unanswered… :thinking: but you did respond with alacrity when I asked for Full Name… :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Do you have official text that says that? All I can find is that you have to make the change before 31/12/20

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. This is a time-limited period before changes relating to the UK leaving the EU take place.

During the transition period, you and your family members will be able to continue to live, work and study in the EU as you did before 31 January 2020.

The rules on travelling to the EU will remain the same during this period. You can move to a different country in the EU in the same way as you could before 31 January 2020.

But in general these sorts of things are dealt with at a Préfecture level. From October there will be an online process, but not sure this will be appropriate for you if you don’t have French documents.

Geoffrey I agree… I am happy about the 5 year initial period but was not aware of that.

The question is - how do I start the process of internal EU movement of residency here in France?

As a supplementary the Spain NHS will continue to work for me next year. In the circumstances of internal EU transfer to France will I be able to clock into the French NHS or will I need to pay a monthly fee in order to get a Carte Vital.

Sorry. I was washing up my breakfast things… :slight_smile:

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“You retain the right to freedom of movement.”

But do we after 31/12/20? Happy to be wrong as makes life much better for working people who move around. But I thought after end of transition we become third country nationals with a right of residence in one EU county, not all of them. So if you move you start from zero as a TCN.

I read something the other day (can’t find it now needless to say!) but my understanding was that we will retain FOM to work and resettle too but as you say, starting from scratch in whatever country concerned.

This is the official text from the EU site:
The Withdrawal Agreement guarantees these citizens and their family members broadly the same rights as they have now: they can continue to live, study, work and travel freely between the UK and the EU.

The same applies to any EU citizen who moves to the UK or UK nationals who move to an EU Member State during the transition period.

Who is protected by the Withdrawal Agreement?

The Withdrawal Agreement protects those EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom, and UK nationals residing in one of the 27 EU Member States at the end of the transition period.

It also protects the family members that are granted rights under EU law (such as current spouses and registered partners, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and a person in an existing durable relationship) to join their family member in the future.

I only found all this quite recently and for me appears to be perfect! Most of the French online system is aimed at UK residents wanting to move to France. I am a UK citizen, permanently resident in SPAIN wanting to move to FRANCE. My Spanish residency entitles me already to all the rights of an EU citizen/resident and will continue to do so after the end of the year… As I understand it :slight_smile:

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But not if one, as I am, is already an EU resident albeit Spain…

The WA does not cover onward movement does it? I did read in the uk media a week or so ago that the negotiators had agreed to the continued right to onward movement for brits. I do not know if this was true or a misunderstanding or fake news because if true I would have expected to see more coverage than I have seen. If it is true you will start from scratch in france but as an eu citizen not as a tcn.
Michael when you talk about a transfer do you mean your employer is transferring you? if so is it a permanent transfer? You have not made you situation very clear.

Geoffrey I am retired… Lived in la Rochelle for a decade or more then moved to Spain where I have been resident for over a decade. Following the death of my partner Louise I have decided to live closer to UK friends and family by moving to Boulogne sur mer where I have an apartment in addition to a small Spanish Apartment… the 90/180 is a pain and I cannot be resident in 2 EU countries so I think I will make France my my permanent residence… Driving licence requirements less stringent than Spain… Tax (albeit double) more user friendly and Spain and once upon a time I was married to a Française… Like both countries equally but my spoken French is better than my Spanish… My life in a nutshell …

The news story a week of so back was in the express so I did not read it, but I couldn’t find reference to it anywhere else so I fear fake news.

One suggestion is to ask the British Embassy in Paris, they have responded to emails from me before. Or there is a new team set up specifically to help with Brexit residency issues. You could contact them for clarification

“The team consists of Elizabeth, who works as the case worker and previously worked at the British Embassy in Paris, and her colleague Loïca Fauchard the legal adviser who has a masters in European and International law with a specialism in Human Rights and has worked for many years in supporting asylum seekers in France.

You can contact them on email at or by phone [0 809 549 832](tel:0 809 549 832)Monday and Tuesday 2pm to 4pm or Wednesday and Thursday between 10.30am and 12.30pm. Calls are charged at the local rate.

Do let us know if you find anything definitive, as may be relevant to others.

The text is ambiguous. It could mean your spanish residency entitles you to all the rights of an EU citizen IN SPAIN, not more broadly. There was a big campaign to allow british nationals resident in europe to retain FOM rights within Europe - championed also by Guy Verhofstadt and his european passport. But I think that failed. So I’m not convinced you are right, but happy to be wrong,