Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / Europe / France

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old Sep 7th 2017, 8:49 pm   #1
Just Joined
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
jnorman is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Hello All,

New to this forum, so will introduce myself briefly - I am British and will be starting a postdoc in Grenoble shortly. My partner who is doing her PhD in London but can work remotely will be joining me, and we can't wait to make the move there One think we have been a bit stuck on is what sort or rights she will get living in France, to do with healthcare, renting, etc etc.

As a PhD student funded in the UK she will not be earning money from a french source, and so as far as I can tell may have some issues getting healthcare (carde vitale).

For renting an apartment, declaring her income if she is also an official tennant at the property (co-locataire) could also be an issue. We have already looked at apartments, where the estate agents stated that the tennants must be earning at least 3 times the monthly rent, which my salary would cover for cheaper apartments but not nicer apartments. They seemed to have some issue with my partners 'uk' earnings ( but this could have just been the individual agent we were speaking to ), but we don't know the laws around this kind of thing.

In summary, we think it would be possible to 'unofficially' live in France, since I will be earning in France, and since her EHIC card should cover most medical possibilities (at least till Brexit, eek...!) and she will be travelling back to London a lot - but it may also be very helpful to be more 'official' to try to have access to healthcare and the benefits that being a tennant could bring.

Our situation seems to be quite unique and I haven't found much info around this, so any info/advice would be very much appreciated!

Thanks,
Jaime
jnorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8th 2017, 7:15 am   #2
cyrian Male
BE Forum Addict
 
cyrian's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Scotland & Touraine [37]
Posts: 2,046
cyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Hi Jaime,
Welcome to the forum.
If you rent an apartment in a "student" area then the agents will be used to non-French students renting apartments.
I acted as guarantor for my DD when she studied in France and perhaps her parents could do likewise.
The agents perhaps have not mentioned that option because it is not their preference.
The EHIC card is for temporary visits to a country not for someone who is resident. You may think that healthcare for a young healthy person is not a big issue but an accident or broken leg can happen to anyone. The EHIC card gives you access to the same rights of healthcare as the locals. The French healthcare system cover 70% of the cost of treatment. French people have an additional "mutuelle" insurance to cover the other 30%.
I do not understand what you mean by "unofficially" living in France - if you are living in France as an EU citizen then you are living in France and you would both have to complete French tax returns and pay taxe d'habitation.
HTH
cyrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8th 2017, 8:07 am   #3
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Dépt 61
Posts: 2,969
EuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

I take it by "unofficially" you are envisioning your partner using a UK address with officialdom - banks, tax authorities, health authorities, her sponsor, her university - and regarding herself as being a visitor on an extended holiday in France.

As pointed out and as no doubt you knew anyway, there are dangers in that, because the authorities may take a different view and decide that actually she has outstayed visitor status therefore she's not eligible to use her EHIC card and nobody will pay for her healthcare/she is penalised for failing to submit a declaration of income in France/I don't know if her sponsors or her institution would have an issue with her not living in the UK. The rules set obligations on both sides, and if you meet certain obligations then you have certain rights and entitlements in return. If you don't or can't meet those obligations, then you have to be prepared to take the consequences. Maybe there will be no consequences.

Please don't get infected with the national disease of cherrypicking. Either you live in the UK and you have free NHS cover and you deal with HMRC and the UK looks after you BUT you can't spend all your time in France, and while you are in France then France has no obligations towards you, you are a UK resident here as a visitor and as such, you're not France's responsibility. OR if you want to live in France you have to find a way to meet France's residence criteria which are very clearly set out, and you declare your income here, leave the NHS safety net and join the French social security system instead, and France will look after you.
The conditions under which EU citizens are entitled to stay in France for over 3 months (ie resident rather than visitor) are set out here https://www.service-public.fr/partic...vosdroits/N105 and to be honest I don't see how your partner will meet any of the criteria, but that's for you to work out.

EDIT Actually, thinking about it, if your income is sufficient then I don't see any reason why she can't apply for healthcare in France as your concubine. In that case becoming officially resident in France would be perfectly possible, but this would also mean officially leaving the UK which would mean giving up certain rights (I won't even mention cake).

Last edited by EuroTrash; Sep 8th 2017 at 8:17 am.
EuroTrash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 8th 2017, 8:11 am   #4
Just Joined
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
jnorman is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Hello, thanks for the reply!

We looked into getting guarantors but our parents are retired or don't work so don't have any current earnings.

I have some experience with using my EHIC card when I was living in Switzerland last year and broke my foot - I found the EHIC covered everything sufficiently.

By unofficially living in France since she will be back in the UK quite a lot and still earning in the UK we thought it may work to not declare her residence status in France, though this of course is not ideal/(naughty..). She does not pay tax on her PhD stipend in the UK, and I was wondering how the french tax returns would work on UK 'earnings' that aren't taxed as employment income ( https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-man...anual/eim06265 ). And I guess if I am the only official tennant at a property I could pay the taxe d'habitation, though again it would of course be better to have us both as tennants.

Thanks,
Jaime
jnorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 9th 2017, 7:05 pm   #5
BE Forum Addict
 
Joined: Jan 2012
Location: Dépt 61
Posts: 2,969
EuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond reputeEuroTrash has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
I am the only official tennant at a property I could pay the taxe d'habitation, though again it would of course be better to have us both as tennants.
Why would it be better?
Seems to me it would just complicate things for no advantage whatsoever (assuming you can get a tenancy on your own).
EuroTrash is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10th 2017, 8:08 am   #6
cyrian Male
BE Forum Addict
 
cyrian's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Scotland & Touraine [37]
Posts: 2,046
cyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Hello, thanks for the reply!

We looked into getting guarantors but our parents are retired or don't work so don't have any current earnings.

I have some experience with using my EHIC card when I was living in Switzerland last year and broke my foot - I found the EHIC covered everything sufficiently.

By unofficially living in France since she will be back in the UK quite a lot and still earning in the UK we thought it may work to not declare her residence status in France, though this of course is not ideal/(naughty..). She does not pay tax on her PhD stipend in the UK, and I was wondering how the french tax returns would work on UK 'earnings' that aren't taxed as employment income ( https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-man...anual/eim06265 ). And I guess if I am the only official tennant at a property I could pay the taxe d'habitation, though again it would of course be better to have us both as tennants.

Thanks,
Jaime

Hi,
You do not "declare" residency.
You cannot choose residency.
It is a matter of fact regulated by domestic laws and an international treaty.
https://www.gov.uk/government/public...e-tax-treaties

You may choose to "live under the radar" and not declare your or your OH's income but be aware that France is much more efficient than the UK at finding people who do not complete tax returns.

Last edited by Rosemary; Sep 11th 2017 at 8:58 am. Reason: corrected quote
cyrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 10th 2017, 7:31 pm   #7
vote to get Ian back
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 4,431
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

This article may be of interest to the OP

French Residency - Dispelling the Myths | The Spectrum IFA Group

It is written by someone I knew from my time in Toulouse and I always found her to be pretty spot on.

"When anyone has interests in various countries, it is often found that they satisfy the internal criteria for residence of more than one country. Understandably, this can be confusing. In France, you only have to satisfy one of the following four conditions and you will be resident in France:

(1) France is your ‘home’: If you have property in France and another country, but the latter is not available for your personal use (for example, because it is rented to tenants), then France is your home.

(2) France is your ‘centre of economic interest’: Generally, this means where your income is paid from. In addition to pension, salaries, etc., this can include bank interest and other investment income.

(3) France is your place of ‘habitual abode’: Notably, no reference is made in the law to the number of days that you actually spend in France and this is where many people are caught out, believing that if they do not spend at least 183 days in France, then they can decide that they are not resident. This is not the case and your place of ‘habitual abode’ is, quite simply, where you spend most time.

(4) Nationality: If your residency has not been established by any of the above points, then it will be your nationality that determines your residence, however, this is very rare. "

So, it would make sense for your partner to spend more time in the UK than in France each tax year. French tax year end in December btw.
petitefrancaise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 12th 2017, 10:52 pm   #8
Just Joined
 
Joined: Sep 2017
Posts: 3
jnorman is an unknown quantity at this point
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Thanks for the useful replies. My questions about 'choosing' residency only came from the fact that my partner will still be studying affiliated with a uk university, and as such may still spend extended periods in the UK, so the lines seemed a bit blurred. It is useful to know exactly what qualifies you as a french resident (no 'having my cake and eating it' expected, despite all the recent talk and all the Great British Bake Off we've been watching)

having said that, some of this information seems conflicting, for example, article 4, 2a in the France and UK double taxation convention states:
" he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the Contracting State in
which he has a permanent home available to him; if he has a
permanent home available to him in both States, he shall be
deemed to be a resident only of the State with which his personal
and economic relations are closer (centre of vital interests); "
If somebody also has a home in the UK AND economic relations based in the UK, does this not suggest that person would not qualify as a resident in France?

In addition, assuming she qualifies as a resident, how should/would the tax on her bursary be decided? Would it just be based on her net annual income from her bursary, regardless of how it is taxed in the UK?

I think health insurance for us both can be covered by my employer as well, this is something I can check with them.
jnorman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 13th 2017, 7:39 am   #9
cyrian Male
BE Forum Addict
 
cyrian's Avatar
 
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Scotland & Touraine [37]
Posts: 2,046
cyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond reputecyrian has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post
Thanks for the useful replies. My questions about 'choosing' residency only came from the fact that my partner will still be studying affiliated with a uk university, and as such may still spend extended periods in the UK, so the lines seemed a bit blurred. It is useful to know exactly what qualifies you as a french resident (no 'having my cake and eating it' expected, despite all the recent talk and all the Great British Bake Off we've been watching)

having said that, some of this information seems conflicting, for example, article 4, 2a in the France and UK double taxation convention states:
" he shall be deemed to be a resident only of the Contracting State in
which he has a permanent home available to him; if he has a
permanent home available to him in both States, he shall be
deemed to be a resident only of the State with which his personal
and economic relations are closer (centre of vital interests); "
If somebody also has a home in the UK AND economic relations based in the UK, does this not suggest that person would not qualify as a resident in France?

In addition, assuming she qualifies as a resident, how should/would the tax on her bursary be decided? Would it just be based on her net annual income from her bursary, regardless of how it is taxed in the UK?

I think health insurance for us both can be covered by my employer as well, this is something I can check with them.
Residency is a complex issue.
For most people it is clear cut - the problem arises for the relatively few who fall in between.
France has its rules and the UK has its rules which they will both try to apply.
The Treaty overrides both national tax laws and can be applied when the two countries can't agree.
As it says in post #7 point #4, the nationality rule is rarely applied.
You only have to trigger one of the other rules to decide residency.
A bursary may not be high enough to trigger a significant tax bill if any.
HTH
cyrian is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 13th 2017, 9:14 am   #10
dmu Female
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: Apr 2008
Location: Hérault (34)
Posts: 6,380
dmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond reputedmu has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Quote:
Originally Posted by jnorman View Post

I think health insurance for us both can be covered by my employer as well, this is something I can check with them.
If you are "partners", i.e. not legally bound by marriage or a PACS, then your gf won't be covered by your health insurance, and will have to sort her own out separately.
Take a look at the "Partner Status" thread in the Read-Me: Moving to France FAQs above, there are several other aspects to take into account.


Sorry, just read your first post and see that you're renting. The "Partner" thread is mainly to warn property buyers about the risks.
On the other hand, unless you take out the lease in your own name, your gf would be "colocataire", subject to the same financial conditions. And if the lease is in your name only, she wouldn't have any jusification of domicile which is demanded oh so often in France. Ensure that all Utility Bills are in both names, to avoid this problem....

Last edited by dmu; Sep 13th 2017 at 10:02 am.
dmu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Sep 13th 2017, 12:35 pm   #11
vote to get Ian back
 
petitefrancaise's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 4,431
petitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond reputepetitefrancaise has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: Funded PhD in UK, living in France

Contact cleiss.fr for information regarding social security (including health cover) for your girlfriend. This is the official organisation charged with informing EU citizens on their cross-border rights.

As a registered student at a UK university, she may not be in a normal category for all the french social security and tax stuff in France, see this Droits et obligations des boursiers - etudiant.gouv.fr

I would also contact the tax authorities in France and ask them what her situation would be - specifying that she is a full time student receiving a bours(bursary) and wishes to pursue her research in france.

Her situation is a bit out of the ordinary but the key points are that she is a registered student at recognised university within the EU. I would start with Cleiss, then see about talking to an assistante sociale perhaps at a mairie in Grenoble where there are a large number of students. The questions that need to be answered are can she live in France and receive cover from the social security for health and what are her tax liabilities.
petitefrancaise is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Go Back   British Expats / Living & Moving Abroad / Europe / France


Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT. The time now is 1:27 pm.


Powered by vBulletin: ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1999-2010 BritishExpats.com