Long stay visa towards citizenship and UK work visa


I have a question about French residency which is slightly complicated. We are a South African family who entered France on long stay visas. My husband simultaneously moved to the UK head office of the company he worked for in SA, on a UK work visa. Under normal circumstances (pre-epidemic) he was commuting weekly to the London office, where he works 4 days per week and returns to our home here for 3-day weekends.

My questions are as follows :

  • as a South African citizen and a UK work visa holder, is he a frontalier ?

  • is he entitled to an S1 form so that we can be registered on the French healthcare system, considering he has a NI number ?

  • we would like to ultimately obtain French citizenship, which will be fine for me as I will have been living here continuously, but my husband will have been roughly splitting his time between the 2 countries. Are there allowances made for frontalier workers in terms of obtaining citizenship ?

Thank you in advance for any light you can shed on these questions.

Hi Samantha and welcome to the forum…

I’m sure folk will dive in with ideas and advice…

Just one thought… to be clear… are you talking about becoming French Citizens (taking French Nationality)
or seeking the right to reside here… aka Carte de Residence… ???

:relaxed: :relaxed:

Hi Stella

Thank you so much!

Yes, we would like to adopt French Nationality. Having been here just over a year, we are in the process of applying for the first of our Cartes de SĂ©jour to enable us to reside legally until we are in a position to apply for citizenship. :slight_smile:


Asking for French Nationality can be quite a long winded affair (with good reason)… and there is no certainty that an applicant will be accepted.

Have you taken a look at the French government site regarding this ???

it’s not just the length of time you have lived in France… it is much more indepth and complicated than that.

On the other hand Permanent Residence… that is easier…

As Stella said, naturalisation is a very long affair with 5 years residency needed before you can apply and at curent dossier treatment times you’re looking at 2 to 3 years so possibly another 7 years for you and difficult to say for your other half. He needs to produce eveidence of living here and normally working here too (your centre of economic interest) but not sure how frontalier are treated.

La notion de résidence est plus large que la notion habituelle de domicile .

Elle implique que vous devez avoir en France le centre de vos intérêts matériels (notamment professionnels) et de vos liens familiaux.


L’insertion professionnelle constitue une condition essentielle de l’assimilation et de l’intégration en France.

More info here

Courage ! :wink:

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I didn’t think that citizenship had much influence over whether or not you are a frontalier, the main focus is where you are resident and affiliated, and where you work. But the fact he has been posted to the UK from SA may make it different.

I suggest you need professional advice as this is not straightforward.

My thoughts on reading you posts are around a couple of issues that might be helpful for you to question.

My first question is whether the statut of frontalier exists between France and the UK? I know there are formal agreements with Germany, Italy and Switzerland, and sort of with Belgium. But I’ve never seen a UK:France frontalier agreement mentioned?

The next question is the worker’s S1 which are more generally for workers who are posted to work somewhere other than their resident country (frontaliers are a special sub-set). So a UK resident can get an S1 for healthcare in the country where they are sent to work. But if your husband works and is resident in the UK (spending over 183 days there) then why would the UK give him an S1 just because he chooses to live in France? I don’t mean to sound mean about this, but I’m struggling to see the logic from the UK health service perspective.

Does your husband just have the UK visa? Or if he also has French visa was it made clear he also has a UK one? As apart from a couple of exceptions you are only resident in one country, and my guess is that he would be considered to be resident in the UK prior to covid. Have you tested this?

And where do you pay your taxes, and how is your healthcare covered at the moment? As this needs to be clear for you to get resident cards.

Hi all

Thank you for your offers of information - it is quite a complicated situation and I guess I should probably consult a specialist in these matters as they are not straightforward.

Just to clarify; there’s no room for rule bending or allowances in the naturalisation process, if you don’t meet all the conditions and have all the documantation needed, your dossier is just thrown out, end of story. This may seem a bit hard but it’s far more than a carte de séjour or visa and far more to be demonstrated/justified. (I’m talking about naturalisation par décret, not marriage, which is still a bagger deal but less so than par décret) :wink:


Don’t I know it - had my dossier returned because translator had made a mistake on one page! 25€ postage down the drain, plus having to redo documents as then out of date…