US/UK Dual Citizenship & Spouses Rights


i am hoping someone can help, as all info read online thus far is a little confusing.

i am a US/UK citizen currently living in the US, my husband is a US citizen, and we are looking to move to france this year.

as i understand it, we should not have a problem getting into france (as long as i have proof of citizenship and insurance). additionally, my husband should have the same rights. and upon arrival i should apply for a residency card within a couple of months, as should my husband.

now this is where i am having a hard time understanding next steps.

based on what i have read, once my husband has applied for residency, he no longer has the same rights as me. what does that actually mean? and how does it affect our goal of settling in france?

any help is much appreciated.



My pleasure and it definitely is worth the effort - even if a little daunting at first. Bonne courage!

hi jacquie,
this is really, really helpful, thank you! and we will add your ideas to our to do’s before we leave on our adventure, as i have heard that the paperwork can be a bit of a problem sometimes. it is encouraging to hear you gone through a similar situation, successfully.

thank you again,


Hello Joanna, I can help a little, but my experience is a little dated.
My late husband was British, but had resided in the US for 22 years before we moved to France in 2003. I am American. I believe that the laws have changed in around 2008 and you would not or could be granted a residency card, but your husband would have to depending upon where you settle, it could take up to about 6 - 8 months unless you apply during the holiday times - allow more time.

Once you arrive, the best thing to do is to go and introduce yourself at the Mairie, I live in a small village in Burgundy and they did much of the paperwork for me, but others I know were not so lucky and had to travel further afield. No matter what anyone says havng some level of French is certainly helpful not only in getting the practical things done, but also in becoming settled within your region/area - it can be done without it, but it is much more difficult.

You are correct, he would not have the same rights, for instance he could not vote, but I believe would be able to work (I was able to). Health care issues change all of the time, but you would have to look into this closer. One good paper that may help you is called the Connextion, you can get their online copy at It keeps one current in English and does a very good job of it.

I would also suggest that you call the Embassy either British or American for further information. All of your birth certificates, divorce (if there are any) and marriage certificates would need to be translated by CERTIFIED translators and again either of the embassies or a search on-line could help you with this. We found it was very useful to have these done and ready prior to leaving the US as when you arrive there is so much practical things need to be done in setting up house.

Hope this helps and good luck.