Newbie looking for advice re: potential move to France

Hi all,

My name’s Angel, I currently reside in the UK with my wife and daughter of 19 months.

Since a trip to France last year, we have been toying with the idea of buying a house and making the move to Provence, France some time in early 2022.

As I’m sure many of you on this site will have had some experience of this, I thought you’d be the audience to help with the myriad of unanswered questions rattling around in my head. Here goes.

I live in the UK, born here. I have a UK passport and I have a Spanish passport.

Question number 1: I assume my “freedom of movement” still applies to the EU with my Spanish passport, albeit I reside and pay my taxes in the UK?

My wife and daughter both hold UK passports only. I know they can join me and apply for a carte de séjour within the first 3 months of us arriving.

Question 2: Is there anything I’m missing, do we need to apply for anything else? Do we need health insurance for example, even if we have a GHIC card?

Question 3: Can my wife work once she has her carte de séjour? Do we need to register as an Auto-entrepreneur?

Those are my top 3 questions to kick off proceedings, I felt these were specific to my situation. I do have many many more questions but I’m hoping to find answers to these in other posts.

Any help, top tips or dos and don’t prior to the big move it’s all hugely appreciated!


Hi Angel

interesting post.
there are so many more knowledgable than me - but here’s my euro’s worth:

your wife would need to apply for a Spanish passport to have equal rights with you.
otherwise she will be like any other British person coming to france.
restricted in travel - time wise…I think its 90 days across the whole of Europe - per year.
work is out the question for her. im not sure about you.
Carte de Sejour does not give the right to work - I have one, and cant. which is why im still a frontier worker…travelling weekly to the uk - which is nice on a sunny day like today.

health cover - YES - get some good health insurance. very good.

I would do your homework very well, before you buy a dream that maybe difficult to realise.
you will get many more replies, better than mine.

It is all here
Séjour en France de la famille d'un citoyen européen |
Click époux, enfants et ascendants, then famille d’une autre nationalité, then moins de 5 ans.

Basically as long as you, as the EU member of the family, apply successfully for your own CdS first (which means you will need to meet the normal EU Freedom of Movement conditions for whatever your status will be), your wife and daughter can then apply for theirs and it will be pretty much automatic.

Yes, as the spouse of an EU citizen your wife will be able to work

Yes, you will need to sort out your health insurance. Your GIF cards are irrelevant once you’ve left the UK.

“We” cannot register as “an” auto entrepreneur. But there are options.

Hope some of that is helpful.

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It depends on the type of cds. Mine does let me carry out all professional activities.

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Hi Cat

thanks for the correction.

maybe I should have said Brexit CDS -.
im preety sure I cant, ive lived in france for 3 years prior to obtaining my BCDS
if I want the right to work I need to apply via different means - I believe.
mine is a 5 year one, due to the time im lived here before applying.

I knew I should have left it to the experts !

We’ve all got Brexit ones Rob - those of us who arrived before 31/12/2020 that is! Does your CdS actually say that you are non-actif? My EU one did and my Brexit one is still in the post so I can’t check what it says. If it doesn’t specifically say you are non-actif then you can work as I understand it. Others will surely correct me on this if I am wrong :smiley:

On the back of mine it says ‘Sejour Permanent Toutes Activities Professionnelles’.

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im just checking mine…when I find it !

Thanks, very helpful!

Appreciate the speedy response Rob - and you’re right, today certainly is a cracking day in the UK. Long may it last!

Thanks Angel - but apparently dont listen to anything ive said !!!
everyday is a school day…

This is not correct. The limit is 90 days in any 180 day period.

Surely as a Spanish passport holder the OP has no need to apply for a CdS?
Freedom of movement still exists for those countries sensible enough to have stayed in the EU.


If the whole family was Spanish then as you say none of them would need to apply for CdS.
But the non EU family members do need CdS, because FoM is a personal thing and your personal FoM doesn’t cover non EU family members. The way it seems to work is that the CdS for the non EU family members of an EU citizen kind of mirror the EU citizen’s CdS, because their right to reside is dependent on the EU citizen. The expiry dates of their cards will be the same as the expiry date on his. So he has to get his first. At the end of the first year (or whenever his first provisional CdS expires) he will have to renew his, and then his family members will be able to renew theirs for the same period. It’s just how it works, I don’t think I have explained it very well but it is all on the website link.

If you look on the back of your WA Carte de Sejour you will see something like “toutes activités professionelles” ?

Having now read the Service Public link your reply now makes more sense. As you say, it’s just the way it is…

no this is not the case, you need to go to the prefecture with her and apply for a spouse CDS within 90 days of arriving in France to live. You do not have to have a CDS.

Not the case at all.

Well yes but will only be needed until you cna join the CPAM 3 months after arrival.

ALL Brexit cards are

regardless of what pathway you have applied under. I think you will find you are perfectly entitled to work here and not have to commute!

I’ve not heard of or read that, I’ll have to do some research! My understanding is as I wrote above.

right…found it !
appreciate the advice on whether I can legally work…in france…
it may change a lot for me…as im currently travelling to work in the UK…
ive obviously made a very big mistake if I can…


Cross posted but yes you’ve made a big boo boo and you are fine to work here / set up a ME etc! At least you have found out now and not 5 years down the track :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: what a shame you never mentioned your reasons for commuting before!

wow - shot down today…be kind, doesnt cost anything.
ive already said to the OP - dont listen to what ive said, and you will get far more expert advice than me.
its a friendly place right ???

Sorry if I came across as being unkind, wasn’t my intention at all :smiley: :smiley:! I was just trying to clarify the various points made for the OP / others reading trying to get accurate info, was not meant as a dig at you at all!

Yes!! :rofl: :rofl: Perhaps less so on screaming hot days like today :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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