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  • 2nd January 2020 at 6:37 pm #517781

    Hi everyone,

    I was just wondering if there’s anyone else out there in the same predicament as my wife and I are in.

    After arriving 29years ago we waited the set period of time to qualify for residency.

    When we applied we were told we couldn’t because our house was a “Maison secondiare”, as we have a house still back in the UK.

    So we just carried on living, we don’t pay income tax because we’re retired and it’s paid in the UK which the bank and so on seemed ok with. All other taxes etc are paid up-to-date.

    I could be that after the 31 Jan we could be well in the proverbial.


    A Very Happy New Year to one and all.

    2nd January 2020 at 7:19 pm #517786

    Do you split your time between here and the UK or are you perminently resident here in France?

    2nd January 2020 at 7:29 pm #517792

    Residency depends on whether one pays, or declares your tax in France. I am often astounded that people are too frightened to declare their”earnings” and if it applies, Worldwide incomes, in France but still want to get the best out of France. What have you done about healthcare whilst here? The only thing to fear about declaring taxes here and sorting out health care is fear alone, there is nothing to fear, seriously.

    What did you mean by set time for residency? As I said, unless you declare for tax, you will never been seen as a resident of France. So if you wish to be resident and make your UK house the maison secondaire, then go to your local Impots and get the forms for filling in. Usually sent out around May time but as you have never declared before, you will have to go and collect the forms for declaring your incomes.


    2nd January 2020 at 7:38 pm #517809

    Residency is a matter of fact, where do you spend the most time.

    The following link might help, the same principals are applied in France as part of the OECD agreement on these matters.


    2nd January 2020 at 8:14 pm #517844

    Yes it is similar:

    This can be translated on the opening page to English….

    2nd January 2020 at 9:32 pm #517847

    If you have been living here in France,then you should have been filling out a French Tax Form regardless of where your income comes from,if you haven,t been living full time in France,then you shouldn,t have much to worry about,except you will probably be restricted to the amount of time you can spend in France as a non EU citizen.

    3rd January 2020 at 10:23 am #517858

    I’ll answer all your questions together if you don’t mind.
    We spend a minimum of 10 months a year there, 2 weeks holiday in Spain, the rest in the UK.
    We generally have 1 week in April, 2 in September and sometimes Christmas and New Year, the main reason for this is all our medication and checks are done there, so we are not at the moment a burden on France.
    We were told “Set time for residency application” was a minimum of 5 years living in France before application.
    When we went to apply we were told we couldn’t because of the house in England, I suggested changing the UK house to maison secondaire, “you can’t do that just to suit ourselves”, so it had to stay as it was.
    I’ve never worked in France for a salary or otherwise, I spent the first 4 years completely gutting our house to 4 walls, a roof and 2 sets of floor joists 1 for upstairs and 1 for the roof floor and then renovating the whole thing. Sold that in 2003 and bought the present one.
    This problem has all come about when we changed all our insurances to AXA in Dinan and I was enlightened.
    With the advice I got my UK pension is now paid into our French bank account and when I went to see the tax people, I was told that I had to wait until this year then they would be ready to see.
    Unfortunately my wife and I mainly associate with our French friends within the community and only have a couple of English friends. I didn’t learn French at school and lots of the village people want to speak to us in English (it’s like mobile English lessons) so I’m not that good with the language but I get by, my wife is much better.
    I haven’t had time to look up that web page yet, sorry.

    3rd January 2020 at 10:34 am #517859

    This first line should have read…
    We spend a minimum of 10 months a year HERE

    3rd January 2020 at 11:12 am #517863

    Well it is difficult to answer your queries as January 31st is just the start of leaving the EU. There is still a lot to be negotiated.

    What is without doubt is that you spend more time in France than anywhere else and therefore should have been declaring your tax return here in France and that is the only document the French autorities will except as proof of residence. You need to sort that as soon as possible. Your health cover is also very important. If you have been here all these years you must know that if you are resident here, your UK EHIC card is not valid for anything other than emergency treatment if that.

    There is still a lot of negociations ongoing as regards future health cover, S1 intitlement, movement of citizens within the EU, etc etc. dependant on the outcome of these talks we may or may not require some kind of residency permit from the end of the year with a period of grace to aquire one.

    I suggest you get your tax affairs ready and the forms to submit your return as soon as possible. This year’s submission will be for Jan 1st-Dec 31st 2019 and it is normally done online. You will need to register with the Impot initially and declarations are generally submitted from April each year for the previous year.

    hope this helps.

    Just in case you don’t realise, if you have a car that must be registered and insured here too.

    3rd January 2020 at 11:43 am #517866

    I fear there are many many more people in the same situation as the OP.   I will assume the OP has been unaware of his responsibilities as a 29-year resident here.   Others who have been living under the radar, in the “grey area” interpreting the rules to suit their own agenda are now in a very weak position.  The Brexit nightmare is worrying enough for those who have played it by the book but people who haven’t need to get up to speed as soon as they can.

    3rd January 2020 at 1:29 pm #517870

    I fear there are many many more people in the same situation as the OP. I will assume the OP has been unaware of his responsibilities as a 29-year resident here. Others who have been living under the radar, in the “grey area” interpreting the rules to suit their own agenda are now in a very weak position. The Brexit nightmare is worrying enough for those who have played it by the book but people who haven’t need to get up to speed as soon as they can.



    Quite ; however all is not lost.


    Remember 31 January is not your deadline; it is 31st December.

    That is because between those dates the UK will still be in the single market and free movement still applies.

    As such you have this year to file a tax return (one is better than none), arrange health cover, register car etc with none of the hassle or bureaucracy non-EU citizens have.

    Crucially that will also allow you to prove you were resident before the end of the transition (31.12.20), essentially securing your current rights for life (with a couple of exceptions, such as free onward movement and standing in local elections).

    If the transition is extended you may have even longer, but nothing changes until 2021 at the earliest.

    3rd January 2020 at 7:24 pm #517883

    If I were you I would go for you informing the Impots that you have just arrived to be a resident and before you came on holidays. If you admit to spending ten months a year here for many years, they may well ask for your details of the years you have lived here without making a declaration. So be careful. The people at Axa in Dinan are you talking BML near the racecourse? if you are, they will try and help you, or should do.
    So why not ask the Impots to take declarations off you for 2019, that will mean declaring everything and I mean everything, if you go to the local Impots to you, you suggest it might be Dinan and ask for a rendezvous with a conseiller who will help you fill in your first declaration.

    Be warned you have been quite illegal here for many years, I guess that means health care and motor not being registered as French. Once Brexit is confirmed we leave with or without a deal many people here that have lived under the radar and are without a Carte de Sejour, or Nationality you will eventually be found out. Some have already been informed when applying for their C de S that they don’t have sufficient funds to allow them to stay in France.

    3rd January 2020 at 10:15 pm #517903

    It baffles me people have already applied, especially given the website the government has set up is the ‘no deal’ website that requires proof of income; something the withdrawal agreement does not require.

    I also still see talk of leaving with or without a deal; I do not know why.

    The PM will get the withdrawal agreement passed now he has a large majority.  That means ‘no deal’ will not happen.  The citizens’ rights protections in the agreement that Theresa May negotiated will become law.

    Even if there is no trade deal at the end of this year, that will not – categorically not – mean ‘no deal’ in the way that was threatened before.   That kind of ‘no deal’ no longer exists.

    Sadly the UK will leave, but with a deal; and hopefully, the transition will be extended and extended for long enough for the next government to start ‘rejoin’!

    3rd January 2020 at 11:27 pm #517909

    It is the French government themselves that will make up the requirements and regulations for people to live here, no matter what you may, or may not have read. Witth he UK leaving thus making themselves TCN’s (Third Country Nationals) as regards living in the EU, ask any American or Australian to name but two what hoops they have had to go through and the costs involved. Many thousands of people sitting with current Carte de Sejours have put in a claim online to continue with the new (possibly the old style but….) style of C de S. We will have to wait and see but to be honest, this is a chance for France to sort out the illegals who work here without declaring their tax or even their existence. By ensuring people will require to either go for Nationality or a C de S they can gradually narrow it down to people that will not be a burden on their system. Seems fair enough to me….

    4th January 2020 at 12:40 am #517912

    Again that’s not right.

    There is a large section of the Withdrawal Agreement that applies to all UK citizens in the EU (regardless of country) and which preserves, for life, the right of residence, employment, home ownership, business ownership etc (and which can also be passed on, for instance to children one may be yet to have).

    This will become law in the next couple of weeks and will apply from 2021 (at the earliest).

    Unlike the “no deal” applications, for which the French government set up a premature and pointless website in October, these applications (as a residency card will be required) are free (as opposed to 119 euros) and requires much less documentation.

    The subsequent permits will *not* be the usual third party ones (such as Americans or Australians get), but specific permits for any British citizen resident in the EU as of 31st December.

    You’re right this may prove tricky for people who have sought deliberately not to appear to exist, but I do know what I am talking about, and for anyone not in that category the WA provides some security and an avoidance of “no deal”.

    4th January 2020 at 1:16 am #517915

    The situation is indeed complex and it is fluid at the moment. I do have some compassion with those who genuinely don’t understand the system but none for the many who have been living here actively avoiding taxes, not registering vehicles and generally enjoying the life here while paying nothing into the system. If brexit clears those parasites out of France, that can only be a good thing.

    4th January 2020 at 1:35 am #517917

    Sorry it is quite correct. No one said that people already in France from the UK had to leave, sure the WA protects their interest but the French will be fully allowed to sort out anyone they feel has not lived here legally nor have sufficient funds to remain. Those people applying for a C de S will need to prove sufficient funds, or have a business, or a job this is how it was in the late 80’s through to around mid 1990’s. In those days you had to declare everything you were bringing over, new stuff had to be declared for TVA purposes , you had to go to the French consulate to sort out how many were leaving with you to live in France and as the wife said, it was not as easy as the ensuing years have been since. To put it from the UK side they had thought to put in to motion that people arriving in the UK would have to prove their worth and have skills the UK require and they even suggested the lowest salary they could come in the country for. Now that doesn’t fit in any agreement but you can be sure after another year many things will come to light and will differ from any WA and that’s regardless of any legality. Boris will be making things up on the hoof, as they say and the French and other EU countries will decide how the UK apply as TCN’s. We keep thinking of France and the UK but there are another 26 countries that will have their say as regards what they want to happen to them.

    One thing for sure, I doubt 12 months will be enough to sort all this out and to get many new contracts sorted out, that’s without any further WA being sorted out and having read it a few times it becomes over bearing in what will, or will not occur. It’s a mess and more than once the UK government has changed both leaving dates and regulations as talks continue they have had to change certain pages.

    4th January 2020 at 10:42 am #517919

    I think this is probably the best summary of the agreement I have read:


    Some important things to remember:

    This is an EU wide treaty.   Every member state must abide by its rules.

    It lasts forever; a breakdown in trade talks this year will have no impact.

    People have until 31 December to move to an EU country and enjoy full protections.

    The WA overrides any subsequent national immigration or other policy changes; these will only effect people planning to move after 2021.

    Some form of permit will be required (every other EU country bar the UK and France does this anyway now), but with no more burden of proof than now (for instance, self employed people won’t have to hit an income minimum as was the case with the “no deal” website).

    4th January 2020 at 11:31 am #517937

    So if what you say is the case, what do you recommend people do?  Apply for a CDS on whatever website they find, try to apply for something at their local prefecture, wait and see for some specified period of time, or just carry on as usual with fingers crossed and ignore all the confusion.

    When there is so much at stake it is only natural that we want to sort something out before it is too late.

    4th January 2020 at 12:12 pm #517942

    Jamie do not rely on other peoples explaination of what the WA says read it for your self and then you may understand what it really says.

    In true terms it says nothing definitive, all of it is subject to agreement.

    The WA has still to be ratified,  as in the case of Belgium one region in that country could refuse to ratify and then the entire thing goes back for negotiation.

    As with a recent trade agreement and the Canadian agreement.

    At that stage the UK has left the EU so what happens then.

    The UK government have put out the following guidance notes, but they are heavily affected by the opinion of the now ruling party


    The following may help you understand why you cannot rely on other peoples interpretation.

    from https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8713

    “Citizens’ rights. Free movement will continue until the end of the transition (or implementation) period enabling EU and UK nationals to move between the UK and EU Member States as is currently permitted by EU law. EU citizens living in their host state before the end of transition will have permanent residence rights under the withdrawal agreement, subject to certain requirements. The UK and the EU27 have discretion under the agreement to require EU or UK nationals to apply for a new residency status.”

    from https://researchbriefings.parliament.uk/ResearchBriefing/Summary/CBP-8713


    Citizens’ rights are covered in Part 3 of the Bill (clauses 7-17 and Schedules 1-2). Clauses 7-17 and Schedule 1 are unchanged from the Withdrawal Agreement Bill introduced in the 2019 session.[1] A couple of changes have been made in Schedule 2 (highlighted below).


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