Official information for UK nationals moving to and living in France need to know, including guidance on residency, healthcare, driving and the Withdrawal Agreement.
What you should do
You should follow the advice of the French Government and your local authority. You can also read our France travel advice for our latest guidance.
Stay up to date
Attend a citizen outreach meeting
The British Embassy regularly holds events across France for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in France.
You can also:
- read the French government’s guidance on your rights in France
- sign up for the Embassy’s newsletter, Voisins Voices. Read previous newsletter editions
The Withdrawal Agreement
The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.
If you are resident in France at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in France.
Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.
We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.
You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.
Visas and residency
Check the entry requirements for France.
If you are resident in France before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020, you will be able to stay.
All UK nationals resident in France will need to obtain a new residence permit in line with the Withdrawal Agreement. This includes:
- UK nationals with a European carte de séjour (even if it is marked “permanent”, or has no expiry date)
- UK nationals without a European carte de séjour (it is currently optional to have one)
- UK nationals applying for a second nationality
- UK nationals married to or PACSed to (in a civil partnership with) EU nationals
- UK nationals recently arriving or well established in France
You will need to apply using the updated online residency portal, which will open from the start of July 2020. You must apply before 1 July 2021.
If you applied for residency on the previous ‘no–deal’ portal, you will not need to re-apply using the new one. Your application will be processed by the appropriate Préfecture before the deadline.
Read the French government’s guidance for UK nationals (in English), most recent announcement (in English), and the French Interior Ministry’s website on how to secure your residency rights (in French).
Passports and travel
The rules on travel will stay the same until the end of the transition period on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay.
You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.
We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available. You should sign up for updates to this guidance.
There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.
You must register for healthcare as a resident in France, and in addition, you can sign up for top-up health insurance (mutuelle).
If you are legally resident in France, you can get a French social security card for healthcare (carte vitale). To get a French social security card, you will need to register with your local Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM). They can tell you which documents they need for your registration. Top-up insurance cover (mutuelle) also exists to cover the cost of healthcare not covered by a Carte Vitale.
If you have been resident in France for more than 3 months you can apply to be covered by the French healthcare system (PUMA).
State healthcare - S1
If you live in France and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.
You can apply for an S1 certificate through the Business Services Authority.
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are resident in France, you must not use an EHIC from the UK for healthcare in France.
When you travel from France for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:
- EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home
- an EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance
- for more information read our travel advice page and advice on foreign travel insurance
If you’re living in France or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in France as you do now, provided you remain resident.
You should also read guidance on:
- healthcare and studying abroad
- checking your prescriptions are legal in France
- mental health in France
Working and studying in France
If you are resident in France on or before 31 December 2020, you will maintain your right to work, as long as you remain resident in France.
To apply for a job you may need to provide a:
- UK police certificate
- UK equivalent of a casier judiciare
- International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) criminal records check from the ACRO Criminal Records Office to work with children
Studying in France
If you are resident in France on or before 31 December 2020, your right to study in France will stay the same, as long as you remain resident. You will maintain equal access to education, including higher education, on the same terms as domestic students.
University tuition fees for UK nationals coming to France to study from 1 January 2021 may be higher due to the French government’s reforms to public university tuition fees.
Increased fees will not apply to:
- UK students already enrolled on a course of study when the reforms were announced (September 2019) for the duration of that course
- UK students starting a course during the transition period, for the duration of that course
Money and tax
The UK has a double taxation agreement with France to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.
Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in France have not changed.
Read the guidance about:
- tax if you leave the UK to live abroad
- tax on your UK income if you live abroad
- paying income tax in France by the European Union
You should get professional advice on paying tax in France. Find an English-speaking lawyer in France.
Declaration of assets
All residents must declare any assets held outside France, including bank accounts, securities, rights, insurance, annuities and property. This declaration is separate to the annual tax return.
Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.
If you are employed or self-employed in the EU or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.
You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.
If you retire in France, you can claim:
- your UK State Pension or new UK State Pension. Please contact the International Pension Centre to claim
- your French pension if you worked in France, by contacting your local pensions office (Caisse d’Assurance Retraite et Santé au Travail or CARSAT) – see CLEISS and Sécurité Sociale (in French)
- pensions from abroad, if you’ve worked in other EU countries
You can read the French government’s guidance on French social security including pensions.
Life certificates for UK State Pensions
If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible - your payments may be suspended if you don’t. Or you can ask your local town hall (mairie) to fill in a French life certificate (certificat de vie) (in French) instead.
Pensions after 31 January 2020
There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.
If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions explained in the new State Pension guidance.
If you are living in France by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.
If you work and pay social security contributions in France, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your French pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after 31 December 2020.
You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.
You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in France. You can:
- read our guidance on which benefits you can claim if you live, move or travel abroad
- use our tool to check which benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them
Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.
You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC, if you are asked for this.
French unemployment benefit
For French unemployment benefits, you should:
- check if you’re eligible on the French government’s website
- contact Pôle Emploi (in French) to claim
French disability benefit
Contact the Maison Départementale des Personnes Handicapées (MDPH) (in French) about disability allowance – there are several disability allowances so it’s best to seek advice from them before applying.
French family allowance
To apply for child allowance, family income support, single-parent allowance or housing allowance, contact the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) (in French) if you need help applying, request an appointment with the social worker at your local town hall (mairie).
Benefits after 31 January 2020
There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.
If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.
If you work and pay social security contributions in France, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for French contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after 31 December 2020.
Driving in France
Driving licence rules will remain unchanged until 31 December 2020.
To exchange your UK licence for a French one, you can apply to the Agence Nationale des Titres Sécurisés using their online platform (in French). You must be able to prove that you have been living in France for 185 days.
You must apply to exchange your UK or other EU licence for a French one in the following cases:
- it needs to be amended to include a/several new driving categories
- it needs to be exchanged because you committed a driving offence under the French Highway Code resulting in penalty points or a driving ban
If you are in the process of exchanging your UK licence for a French licence, do not try to renew in parallel with DVLA because this will invalidate your application. Applications in the UK with a French address cannot be processed.
For information on driving in France, read the guidance on:
- driving licence exchanges and renewals (in French)
- what you need to drive abroad
- driving rules in France
Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to France
Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.
Read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in France. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so, you will need certificates of exemption.
Please contact your local prefecture or read the French government’s guidance on driving in France with a foreign licence (in French).
You cannot vote in elections in France or European Parliament elections.
You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:
Births, deaths and getting married
If your child is born in France, you will need to register the birth abroad.
If someone dies in France you can:
Find out how you can get married abroad.
Find out about notarial and documentary services in France
You may also need:
Accommodation and buying property
Read our guidance on:
- what to consider when buying a property abroad
- legal requirements and advice on buying a property in France
Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.
If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.
You can dial the European emergency number 112 in France, or dial:
- 17 for police
- 18 for fire brigade
- 15 for medical
Find the full list of emergency number in France.
If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault, you can find guidance on rape and sexual assault in France.
If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British embassy in Paris.
Returning to the UK
You should tell the French and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.
You should tell your local French tax office (in French) that you are changing address and the date you will leave.
If you get a UK State Pension, you must tell the International Pension Centre. If you get a French pension, contact your pension provider.
Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.
If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test, you’ll be able to access NHS care without charge.
This information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the French authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.