Some kindly advice please

Firstly apologies if this info that I’m looking for has been covered somewhere on here.

I find myself very much at a crossroads in my life. I own a house in Brittany (Nov 2011) which I have been renovating on and off since it was purchased with my then wife. We parted in 2014 and in 2017 I brought her out of the property, I am divorced, 65 yrs young, with no UK property to call mine. I have been spending increasingly more time over there for the past 15 months since I was made redundant Oct 2018, keeping just under the 180 days to not be a French tax resident, part of this was to draw down monies from my pensions one of which my redundancy payment went into . I have not been in paid employment since being made redundant and I survive on 3 small company pensions + savings.
It feels like I’m making a huge leap of faith here, as the original plan was to do this with my ex, my alternative is trying to sell the house and buy something in Blighty, using the house sale and pension pot, but I digress. :roll_eyes:

Now that Brexshite seems to be finally agreed and the WA signed off, the advice I seek is I will attain state pension age in early Oct, therefore I believe I am right in saying I can apply for my S1 If I am living in France at that point? Do I need to be resident for 3 months before I can apply for the S1 (Jul 20)? I believe I am around the RSA minimum requirement for income based on being 65 and being non activ, I will certainly be over on receiving the OAP. Just need to know timelines to make it fit before 31st Dec. I realise I will need to get 100% health insurance for the period between arriving and getting onto the healthcare and then top up insurance.
Many thanks in advance and apologies once again, I’m afraid my brain is somewhat addled by all the info flying around and whether some of it is to be believed



Sending you some ((((( Hugs ))))) until someone comes along to help you with your questions…:heart:


To take advantage of the withdrawal agreement, pensions uplift, S1 provision etc you need to be well installed by the end of December. Ok so it is theoretically possible if you “arrive” on the 30th September, giving you the 3 months necessary for residency, and applying for your S1 the first moment you can in October. Personally I would feel that was cutting it too fine.

I would want to move at the beginning of June, so would have the three months residency by 1st September when things start up again after the summer. And would then be turning up with my dossier at the various admin offices. Things like registering with the health services can take a while.

The S1 system is separate from gaining residency rights. You just have to be here and in receipt of your State Pension, as the UK doesn’t ask your status. Remember you have to apply to get your pension, it doesn’t happen automatically. And it can take a while to get one after the start of your pension, so if you wait until you have it that could well be end November and little time to sort everything out. So I would be applying to CPAM in my own right, and adding the S1 on later.

With us, our CPAM accepted that we were covered for the mandatory minimum for the first three months with our EHIC card, and we didn’t need private health insurance. Not all areas are as obliging.


Many thanks Jane for taking the time to provide this information :slightly_smiling_face:


To take advantage of the guarantees of the Withdrawal Agreement you need to be resident by 31st December 2020 there is no requirement for 3 months residence by that date so you could literally arrive on 31st. The conditions in the WA are that you have exercised you right as an EU citizen to freedom of movement by the end of the transition period ie 31/12/2020 not by 30/09/2020.

We applied for our S1 before we left.

Hi Nigel,

Welcome to SF :slightly_smiling_face:

Many thanks for your reply, although that may be true, me being the slightly cautious person I am i wouldn’t want to tempt fate with what is one of the bigger decisions in my life that I’ve made for a long time. Therefore I would go along with Jane’s advice and get over sooner rather than later

1 Like

Hi Jane,


Is that something I could do before my 66th?

Whilst waiting for Jane’s reply - I suspect you can’t apply before you are in receipt of your pension.

Whereabouts is your house Michael? (We are right in the middle of Brittany, near the abbaye de Bon Repos and the lac de Guerlédan.)

1 Like

Seriously, I would advise folk NOT to wait until the last moment… there will be more information on the French gov site by the end of this month…with, hopefully better steps to follow…

but at the moment the cut off date for already being Resident (with proof) is the date Brexit actually happens (ie 31/01/2020)… that is the date Britain leaves the EU

Anyone thinking they can simply arrive on 31/12/2020 and say they are now Resident in France… mmm… I cannot see that working somehow. Yes, that might well be the date one sets foot in France… but there is a heap of difference between setting foot here and actually being Resident.

Would hate anyone to become unstuck… let’s wait and see what useful changes, if any, come out of the mists… :thinking: roll on February…


Hi Anna,

That was my take on it too

Hi Geoff,

Blimey :+1:, we’re almost neighbours, I live near Mellionnec, which is south of Rostrenen

Thanks Stella, sound advice :slightly_smiling_face:

seriously, wishing you well Michael… it takes courage to take the plunge…any chance you could be in France before the end of this month… perhaps you are here already???.. :thinking:

We came to France a few years before retirement (that was a big leap of faith) and simply claimed our Pensions and S1 when the time was right…

1 Like

I definitely think it’s safer to get your 3 months in before 31/12.
But, I guess that technically if you arrive on 31/12, then that should count as having started your period of residence before Brexit - as long as you do actually stay here, of course. Obviously you wouldn’t try to apply for your CdS on 3rd January or whenever the offices open again, but you don’t need to apply for your first CdS until July 2021 so you have plenty of time to establish yourself and gather paperwork before then. If when you do apply you can provide proof of continuous “stable and legal residence” as from 31/12/20, that should be fine. But If you don’t have a document that clearly proves the exact date you arrived, or if you can’t demonstrate continuous residence directly subsequent to that date, it might easily not be fine.

Currently, France mentions 31/12/20 as possibly the end of the transition period… not the date of UK exit from EU … and the site talks about folk being resident before the “exit date”… being given time to fulfill requirements… but the exit date is 31 January

this is why I am concerned and hoping more clarification will emerge…

of course, folk who arrive after the exit date but still within 2020 will have slightly different criteria … let’s hope it all works out ok

Can you give a link?
AFAIK - Exit date for no WA. End of transition for WA.
Avec accord de retrait
Les ressortissants britanniques présents en France avant le 31 décembre 2020…
Sans accord de retrait
Les ressortissants britanniques résidant régulièrement en France avant la date de retrait du Royaume-UnI…

That is not my understanding.

Hi Anna…

looks interesting and much better than the last time I looked… which was some time ago…

what date is this information… ???

I admit to being more involved with the bumpf on the CdSejour online site…

I don’t think anything has changed. If we fall over the cliff edge with no WA, the cut off date for everything is the date of withdrawal because that’s the only date there is. The point of transition I thought is to avoid the cliff edge scenario and give everyone a period in which to prepare for a cut off date at the end of transition.
Saying that, apparently Spain won’t allow its resident Brits to wait until the end of transition to change their driving licences, which if my understanding was correct, Spain ought to. So who knows.