Post Brexit Residency

You can’t apply for permanent residency after 1 year. For permanent residence you need to demonstrate 5 years legal residence. Provided you can show you were resident on the cut off date you will be given a temporary titre de séjour to allow you to stay and accumulate the necessary 5 years, after which you apply for the titre de séjour permanent.

What is not clear, is what will be required to prove residency before Brexit. (You keep mentioning “fiscal residency” but AFAIK the rules are not concerned with fiscal residency, they are concerned with residency in the broader sense, ie France is your foyer/the centre of your economic interests/etc. Fiscal residency is in any case not a thing you can “declare”, it’s something that is established as a consequence of meeting certain criteria over a period of time, so it is normally established retrospectively, ie after you have submitted your first tax form.) Up to now, for intial applications préfectures have been wanting to see evidence of “stable and regular” residence including for instance justicatifs to show that applicants are in the French healthcare/social security system, either via an S1 or via paying cotisations, stuff like that. However I just checked the Brexit legislation and I didn’t see any reference there to “stable” so probably you are right and they cannot insist on all these documents. The question is, what dossier will they require from people who arrived immediately before the cut off date, because obviously they will want to be able to distinguish between people who live in the UK and who popped over to France the day before Brexit for a brief stay at their holiday home or in rented accommodation in the hopes of blagging a titre de séjour (because you can bet there will be people who will try their luck), and people who genuinely have moved their country of residence and their move just happened to coincide with Brexit? I am not suggesting that you are trying to blag anything, all I am saying that if I were in your situation I would be looking to cover my back by establishing myself here asap. France has a track record of going through paperwork with a fine toothcome because it is keen not to leave its systems open to abuse, and that means that sometimes genuine applicants have a hard time convincing the authorities that they are genuine, simply because for whatever reason they don’t have paperwork to prove their situation.

Of course it could be that I am being over cautious and there will be very minimal checks for the temporary titre de séjour, but that may depend on how accommodating or otherwise the UK is with its EU residents.


Well explained Anna, in my opinion.

Even now, the New Arrivals that I am “helping”, are being put through the mill, to ensure they are not “trying it on”.

Having said that - although the questioning is fierce - it is friendly - and very, very searching. Anyone who has not thought their situation through sufficiently - might well be in for a rocky-ride and perhaps a disappointment. :thinking::pensive:

We won’t be trying to blag it.
We put off moving earlier as our daughter required surgery which isn’t available in France just yet. The previous model is here (france) but the one our daughter needed isn’t. She had the surgery 4 weeks ago and won’t need another for 3-5 years. We couldn’t risk the move until that was done (she has a vagal nerve simulator for her epilepsy)
We have been here since beginning of Aug and will return to the UK next Thursday in order to manufacture stock for our business and get our bungalow ready to rent out, then we will be back for good - except for visits to see older daughters and granddaughters e.g. it’s youngest’s baptism in February 2020, so we will be there for that.
We have been paying the usual taxe fonciere and habitation for 2 years in our names.
We will definitely be residing in France as our UK property will be occupied!
We have opened bank accounts in France.
I may be worrying about lots of inconsequential things to some but they are important to me.
We will need to be in the health system quickly for our daughter’s medications.
We have lots to still do, but I am overwhelmed as to where to start.
It would be useful if someone could point me in the direction of a step by step guide of what needs doing.

Hi Karen (don’t forget to tell me which Registration to close)

Frankly, until you have severed/arranged your major ties (business and private) with UK and brought yourselves over to France - you will not even be starting on the Permanent bit… in my opinion.

I fear (going by past and present experiences with Newbies) it may not be possible to get yourselves into the Health System quickly - it all takes time (months in many cases, and sometimes longer).

(I had not realised until now, that you have not actually got here yet - 'cos it’s been discussed for the last few years. )

Keep calm - do what is best for your family re health etc…
In France you will need a Private Medical Insurance while waiting to see if you can get into the State Health system (and then you will need Top-Up Ins.) As your daughter will have ongoing needs and this could be a difficult area in the meantime. Whatever, it is an expense to take on board - as even in the system, the state only pays a percentage, in the main.

When you do, finally, get here, you will need to decide if you are working or retired and move forward with the necessary bureaucracy.

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The first thing to be clarify is, what each of your individual statuses is. The conditions for excercising FoM are different according to whether the person is employed, running their own business, economically inactive, a student, retired, etc. Likewise each person’s route to healthcare also depends on their status. Workers access the French healthcare / social security system through cotisations based on their earnings. Economically inactive people may need to look at private medical insurance in the first instance, as Stella says, although that may be difficult with for anyone with pre-existing conditions.

Again as Stella says, one person can only be primarily resident in one country any one time, so you also need to exit the UK system if you want to be classed as resident in France.

In a previous post you mentioned self employment. A self employed person and their business are one and the same entity, so it’s not possible for the person to live in one country and their business to be based in a different country. You also mentioned salaries from your UK company,; so if you move to France you need to read the guide mentioned above, about the process your company must go through to register you as employees in France and start paying contributions in France.

There is a lot to do, it is all pretty logical once you start the process but where businesses are involved, it’s not always simple and you may need to get professional advice.


I have a feeling that for anyone who has not started the process by 31st July, ie having 3 months residency by Brexit, it might be wise to look at requirements for 3rd country nationals.

You can’t get a titre de séjour without health insurance. And you can’t join the French health service until you have been here 3 months. So it is a bit of a catch 22 as regards Brexit. Anna points out that the ‘stable’ bit is missing from Brexit legislation, but it’s still there in requirements to join health service. So if you want to go straight to get a titre de séjour then you will need private health insurance.

However, depending on where in France you will be you might find that your prefecture will not give appointments to british people for a titre de séjour, so you can’t get one anyway!

But people have been moving to France from all different places in the world, so it will still be possible after Brexit. it will just require more paperwork so don’t stress too much about it. If you have a reasonable income then you should be accepted.

I would say the most important thing to do is to sort out how you can run your business from here. And then as soon as you arrive register with a GP and find the right specialist for your daughter. If she does need regular visits then start process as sometimes waiting lists are as long as in UK. If you have health insurance then this should all be covered.


Inactifs can’t.
Employees are covered by French social security from the start date of their contract. In practice it may take a while to get everything sorted out, but their ouverture de droits should start on the day they start work. Anyone coming to France to start work doesn’t need private health insurance, that is the whole point of the EU social security coordination scheme, to ensure that workers never fall down the gaps between different countries’ social security systems (provided they follow the rules of course).

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Yes of course! Forgot to specify that as made assumption -always dangerous! :neutral_face:

Yet again, this afternoon - a would-be employer said “sorry” no contract can be given without the SS number… go back to CPAM and try to push things along…

We are trying to co-ordinate one EU country with another (France), but things have fallen into a void at the moment … and no, I’m not talking about UK for once. :upside_down_face::thinking:

We will be employees of a uk company, but it’s a very small company. We can work anywhere as it’s mainly online retailing, with occasional trips back to uk to manufacture more products and ensure the other employees are managing everything correctly.
I will also be setting up as self employed in France as I have my own separate online retailing business.
I have seen different figures for earnings levels and it’s a little confusing as to which we need to have, but I believe we meet that requirement.
The waiting lists to see specialists in us are ridiculous! Our daughter “dropped off” the neurologist list when the old one retired and hasn’t seen one since 2013. The epilepsy nurse put in an urgent referral in 2017 and she didn’t get to see one until June this year! So much for urgent!
We have been trying to get everything in place in order to make our permanent move, but we didn’t want to rush into it and “fail”
We have our property already. We are going to be working and not inactifs.
We do have a disabled daughter who will need support, but I hope this won’t go against us in our application to live here.
A move to France isn’t a pipe dream for us. We are able to support ourselves on our own incomes from the hard work and incredibly long hours we put into it!
We are not fluent in France, but are able to converse with neighbours and we are definitely improving.
Once here full time, our neighbour has said she will help me with my French, as has another French neighbour who speaks multiple languages (very clever lady) An English lady who lives locally has also offered to help as she is fluent in French.
We don’t expect it to be a bed of roses, but it also isn’t going to be awful because we are English and have had to leave the permanent move so late!
Thanks for your help

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Mine isn’t as I can’t remember my password for the email I’ve been using for 14 years and it’s stored on one device and not the other!
I also have a separate email address to keep all of the similar emails together, as well as one for work

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If you are employees then there is no income requirement. (That’s an example of what I meant when I said you seemed to be worrying about things you didn’t need to worry about.) The criteria are different according to your status. Inactifs need a certain level of income. Self employed people need to show that their work is “genuine and effective”. Employees simply need to show their employment contract because by definition they will be earning a minimum of the SMIC, because employers cannot pay them less.

I hope you’ve had time to read the link above, because your company will need to get its head round various aspects of French employment law and make sure it is doing everything it needs to do. The company needs to declare you as employees to URSSAF; you need to get your sécu numbers; then the company needs to put in place a system for generating your monthly payslips and paying the various contributions. This can be done online but it can be time consuming because the company will be asked for a lot of information before the registration process is complete. It is nothing at all like the process of informing HMRC that you have a new employee; for instance French labour law is very precise on what information has to appear on your payslip, and the company can be fined for not including it. Also for some professions there is an obligatory collective bargaining agreement that has to be respected, and if that’s the case then the name of the agreement has to appear on the payslip, again there is a fine if it doesn’t. So please be aware there is a lot to find out and you are unlikely to complete the registration process in a day or even a week, and it could turn out to be absolutely essential that you are registered with URSSAF as having started your contract before 31 October.

That will be easier than falling off a log after doing the employee formalities. Of course, having registered with URSSAF as an employee you don’t need a sideline business in terms of legal residence, but obviously once you have moved you can’t trade and earn any money from that activity until you have set yourself up in France.

Not officially, though - standard working hours in France for employees are 35 per week, after that you are paid overtime, and employees aren’t allowed to work more than 48 hours under any circumstances, except in exceptional circumstances and with prior permission from the labour inspector. Goes without saying that there are fines for the employer if they don’t comply.

If your daugher is over 16 she will need to register for healthcare in her own right. I’m sure there will be a way to do this but that is another thing you will need to find out.

Good luck with it all and please start looking at the rules for employing workers in France because it is a bit of a minefield and will need your full attention.

EDIT - just to be clear, because there are several links in this thread, this is the one that explains what your company has to do to set you up as employees in France

EDIT 2 - Wasn’t sure whether to add this next comment or not but at the end of the day it’s better to be safe than sorry so I will, and please don’t bite my head off if I am underestimating how much research you have done: One or two of your comments kind of suggest that you think there is an option for your UK co to bypass French labour law, keep you on the payroll as if you were still in the UK, pay you your salaries into your bank without deductions each month, and you simply declare your salaries on your personal tax form at the end of the year and pay tax and social contributions at that point. This is not an option. URSSAF has to know about everyone who is working in France as soon as they start work, and the appropriate employer / employee contributions must be calculated and paid over to the various collection agencies in advance of payday each month.


Hi Anna, I wasn’t looking at a way to bypass things, I just wasn’t sure how to go about registering the company in France.
Your link is incredibly helpful, thankyou.
My friend is going to take me to the chambre commerces when I get over in a couple of weeks to register the company in France as a uk employer. I don’t work full time for the company as I run my own self employed business. The same friend is going to help me register for that, but I think I could use some advice to choose the correct structure - I resell goods I buy on eBay. I therefore need some allowances made for the amount I spend on purchases. To 5/4/19 50% of my sales were the cost of my goods sold. Will the official at the chambre advise me?

Glad the link helped.

Have you double checked that your Chambre de Commerce will be able to help? CdeCs have the mission of supporting local businesses, so they will not necessarily see their remit as covering a British business that isn’t part of the area’s economic fabric, doesn’t operate anywhere in France and doesn’t pay taxes here, and AFAIK they can’t themselves issue a non French business with a siret. The process is different because foreign busnesses don’t adopt a French business structure, don’t register on infogreffe, etc. I believe all administrative procedures for all foreign businesses with no place of establishment in France go through URSSAF Bas Rhin. You start by applying to them for a siret/reg no, which most people do online because it’s quicker but I believe you can also apply by post, and once you’ve received your siret you can then open an online account for the business and declare employees etc. Many of the processes can only be done online these days. It could be that your local CdeC offers a service of applying to URSSAF BR for a siret on behalf of foreign businesses, as an extension of its mission, but I don’t think you can assume this without checking.

Just make sure you don’t accidentally let the CdC register it as a French business, if that’s not your intention! because if you go along and say you wish to register a new business, that is what they will assume you want to do.

Re your own business, certainly the CdC should be able to give advice on that, but at the end of the day it’s your decision. There are advantages and disadvantages to every choice, so it will depend on your own priorities. I believe the vast majority of eBay sellers use micro enterprise. ME has a fixed expenses:turnover rate built in, and it’s designed so that a business that has exactly that level of expenses will pay the same level of charges whether it operates on micro or whether it operates on réel. For resellers the fixed ratio is 70:30, if I recall correctly, because that is what has been calculated as average for businesses in that sector of activity. The way it works in practice is that everyone on micro pays cotisations as a percentage of turnover, but resellers pay only around 12% whereas artisans pay around 20% because artisans’ expenses are reckoned to be correspondingly lower (these figures are from memory so probably not accurate, just to give you an idea). So if as you say your expenses come to less than 70% of turnover you would in any case be better off on micro. If your expenses were above 70% you would potentially pay more in charges than if you were on réel, but you would still have the advantage of simplicity and no need for an accountant. In your case, if you are the one who will have to deal with all the payroll/cotisation/income tax admin for your employer business, I would have thought simplicity would be a big attraction, but the decision is entirely yours.

Being a cautious person, especially where DIRECCTE is concerned (and DIRECCTE will be automatically notified of the registration of the UK business), I would recommend being ultra careful that you can’t be shown to have made any income at all from your own eBay business in the period between the date you declare that you arrived in France, and the date recorded on INSEE as the start date of that business. The sole function of DIRECCTE seems to be to look for even the tiniest discrepancies in how companies operate, and then hit them with fines. France must have decided this is a good way to plug the hole in the public purse, because DIRECCTE’s interventions have escalated massively over the last couple of years; a few years ago hardly anyone knew what DIRECCTE stood for, and now it seems to be rapidly taking over from URSSAF as the acronym that makes business owners tremble.

PS Sorry it’s such a long post but this strikes me as a very daunting thing for a newcomer to France to try to do on their own, there are so many things to get your head round :exploding_head:


When a company registers a part time employee, there must be a signed contract that is fully compliant with the Labour Code, and there are specific obligations in terms of recording working time etc; full details here:

Thanks Anna.
I am very fortunate as I my friend lives in next town and has registered as both an ME and has a up Ltd company. She is fluent in French and has offered to take me along. I’m most worried about having to take my disabled daughter there with me as she has a tendency to scream, but I can’t exactly leave her home alone and have so far found the French to be so very accepting of her!
The area we will be living doesn’t have many English speakers, so I’m hoping my French will progress more quickly than it is with apps and cds. My friend has also offered to help with my slow coming French!
I will definitely be in France within a month and I just have to get the paperwork side of it right as I need to be paying the correct taxes and social charges and get my daughter into health system quickly.
I’ve approached a specialist advisor and am hoping he will guide me in the right direction!
Thanks again,

All good then :grinning:
My main concern was whether you had taken on board that registering a UK company in France is a totally different procedure from setting up a French company, with different hoops to jump through. Relieved to see that your friend also has a UK Ltd Co and knows how it works and I needn’t have worried :+1:

It’s nice to know people care!
There are a lot of things I need to get sorted and things are rushing ahead quicker than anticipated!
I thought I had until end of October, but it looks like I will be there by end of September.
I am incredibly lucky to have a friend who is already in the system and is also fluent in French. She’s also offered to come along to appointments with my daughter as she has knowledge of medical terminology too - she teaches English to medical students!
I just wanted to make sure I do things the right way, rather than come a cropper later.
The structure for her business in France May be different from what I need as she isn’t in the same line of work.
But I will soon find out

A UK Ltd Co has no structure in France… it is a UK Ltd Co.

If your friend operates under any French structure at all then that will be different from being a business with no establishiment in France, or have you changed your mind and decided to register it as a French business? Previously you said


which is why I have been banging on because I thought that is what you were aiming at, but maybe not.

I think I’m just creating confusion so I’m unsubscribing from this thread, hope it all goes smoothly whichever way you decide to do it.

My friend has a uk Ltd co and is also an me.
I will work for a up Ltd company and also register either as an me or eurl for my own business.