Current employer asking would I consider relocating to France

Hi Guys, I’m not entirely sure I’m posting in the right category, I think it’s near enough as it’s about living in France inc health & Carte Vitale etc.

So cutting to the chase out of the blue my boss asked me today would I consider living in France, moving to France since I have a house there and switching to a French contract. Idea being that France is more centrally placed allowing easier accessibility to my customers both in France and other parts of main land Europe. My boss isn’t knowledgeable about French law he’s only thinking pragmatically about the geographical location of his team. My employer is a global company with offices and several factories in France. Asking my employer was something I hadn’t considered since my focus is merely on retirement, selling up in UK and moving to France (subject of course to all the post Brexit hurdles etc).

So the question is, how difficult would it be for my employer to relocate me? If this was possible would it make things easier for me and the wife in the long run to make the move full time to France, would it make it easier the fact I’m employed there rather than moving there as a retired person with all the post Brexit hurdles that exist now.

Ultimately would my employer relocating me, make life easier for me to get residence permit, carte vitale etc.

As always I appreciate any advice.


Others with more knowledge will be along shortly - but what a great opportunity! Bon courage. I’d jump at it - I can see you’re already on the starting blocks in your mind’s eye - especially if I had your long-term goals.


If your employer already has factories in france, couldn’t their HR people advise? Sorry, personally I’ve no idea what hoops you (or your employer might need to jump through) but it sounds like a great opportunity .


French Consulate in London could probably point the OP in the right direction regarding visas,being self employed etc.


Me three.


Presumably you would be transferred to become an employee of the French arm of the company. How easy that will be in practice will depend on a number of factors such as your role within the company, your salary etc. If you meet the criteria for an inter company transfer you should be good to go.

Your employer needs to discuss it with the French HR people.

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I have moved to France twice, once courtesy of my employer, once under my own steam. The employer route was far less stressful. Your employer should take care of the visa issues, at their expense. They should also pay for your relocation costs. Post Brexit this can be considerable. It cost us about £7,000 in 2021, inflated by the additional Brexit requirements. Your employer might consider offering you, at their costs, tax advice and tax compliance both in the UK for your departure year and France for your arrival year…You may also be offered language training of required for your job…Again not cheap if you attend an immersion course (several thousand £) even if your French is good, it’s still worthwhile . Finally some employers will offer cultural training to prepare you/your family avoid making faux pas in the business world.

Go for it! Ask for all of of the above from your employer if not volunteered.


If you are already employed by said company it makes things so much easier. As George says it’s an internal transfer. So they don’t have to jump through hoops and advertise to show that a non-european is the best person for that job.

However they do have to get a work permit for you (their HR department). And with that work permit you can get the visa for a salaried job which I think you have to do but should be staight forward with the work permit. What I don’t know is how to ensure contract parity as moving to a French contract will obviously be different and with different conditions.

As a salaried worker you will join the French health service straight away, and will also paying into French pensions so do make sure they compensate you as this may well cost you more than your NI did. If you stay with this company(or another french based company) until retirement France will be your competent state so you will loose the eligibility for an S1 and the partial exemption from social charges. But then your pension may be better. Something also to discuss with HR as this may not be true depending on your age, salary and how many trimestres you can clock up,

They should also pay for your mutuelle

If it had been offered ro me I would have jumped for it. But maybe wait until July 7the before sign on dogted line.

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Bite their hand off.

See what package and conditions French HR comes up with - nudge now via your boss on ‘things you will be asking’ such as Jane mentions, plus car if you’d like them to provide/keep providing one, provision for wife (eg can they help set things up so she can work if she wants to), how does HR suppprt children getting into education, etc.

I’d defo make it clear it could fit well.

Where is the power centre of the company? Does this take you nearer, or further away?


There is an option for a temporary postings (up to 24 months - may be extended?) which allows the UK posted worker to continue to pay social security contributions only in the UK - an A1 certificate would be issued. Careful consideration would need to be given by the OP (and any international tax adviser) as to their future international retirement plans and retirement income as to which options might prove to be the most favourable in the long term.

A quick google to remind me of the A1 certificate brought up this website - added just for (one) reference.

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Wow what a fantastic response guys, I shouldn’t be surprised though from such a good bunch of chaps and chapesses😊

So addressing a few points from the various posts, my employer is a Belgium company with factories in France. I wouldn’t necessary say I’m closer to the power centre but I’m certainly geographically better placed for managing my responsibilities - European business and the African continent. It’s still a long way off being a definite offer, quite a few internal barriers would need to be overcome, so I may not even get the offer, it was merely my boss making the suggestion, for me to ponder on for a few months as he looks to restructure his team in 2025.

The actual remuneration package (remuneration parity) really isn’t the be-all and end-all for me since I was planning to retire early, selling up entirely in UK and making the move maybe as early as next year BUT if residence permit, carte vitale etc is easier to secure through relocating my job to France then it’s a no brainer as many of you have pointed out, added to that I’d still have an income by carry on working indefinitely since I’m only (he says only) 56 later this year. Since we’ve had our properties in France for 10 years now and are obviously fully set-up there, it means there’s no real need for a relocation package, this can only make it more attractive (cheaper) for my employer to consider relocating me. My contribution to the state old age pension is fully paid up over 35 years so I believe that’s locked in now and UK private employer pension would be frozen I guess.

What I’m not clear on is, my end game is to secure a full residence permit, carte vitale etc, is this correct, am I missing something ? Will full time employment, French contract, becoming a French tax payer etc give me this immediately?

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If you are working (legally) and living in France, as an employee, then you have to be “in the system”. You will have the appropriate visa, you’ll be paying taxes, you’ll be covered by the health system. You’ll also be contributing to the French pension scheme, which is different to the UK one. It would be worth finding out more about that.

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Put it this way - you cannot live and work in France without a residence permit.

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If your plan is to be in France longer term, then grab this with both hands and get the Company to make the process much simpler for you.
It’s a great life out here, much better healthcare, food quality and fresh air.
Trying to get into France after retirement will be significantly harder than when employed in France.
Bon chance !!!

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The French state pension is indeed different (and better, imo) to the UK one. However, I think to qualify for even a pro-rata pension in France you need to have contributed for a certain number of years… I can’t remember if it’s 10 or 15 for France. Some countries have schemes to allow credits for a state pensions accrued in one country to be recognised in France but, as I understand it, this doesn’t apply for the UK sadly.

To be honest I wouldn’t bank on me making it that far anyway, 10 years not a chance lol.

I presume you’d be entitled to a refund for any contributions made, in that case.

By the way, I also work for a Belgian company with factories in France… you don’t happen to work for a large chemicals manufacturing company that’s recently split in two, by any chance?

I get three french pensions and its worked out on the number of full trimestres you work and pay into, not years like the UK. One which is a complimentory pension is small so paid in a lump sum once per year, one of the other ones is a reversion which is part of my deceased husband’s allowance and you have to be a min of age 56 to claim it and then I have my worked and paid into pension which is not the full lot obviously but a decent sum paid monthly. Everyone who works or is employed here has to pay in and their employer pays part too! My UK state pension was not taken into account by the french side and remains apart and I am not entitled to any S1 as France is my competant state and where I last worked. I also have the raising of both children in both countries taken into account seperately too for the payment.

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10 trimestres…andyou can accumulate 4 a year

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It sounds like a great opportunity on the face of it, but I think more research is needed to see what your company will offer, and whether you’re going to be better off being fully in the French system versus having healthcare entitlement in retirement via the S1 system.