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Considering moving to France need guidance please

Considering moving to France need guidance please

Old Jan 5th 2020, 12:48 pm
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Default Considering moving to France need guidance please

Hello Guys

Hope you are all well.

We are wanting to leave the UK later this year; around August, we are considering a couple of countries but France is probably where we want to be. We are after some advice from other people who know more than we do.

My partner and I have 3 children: 2, 1 & 0 years old so we believe they should be able to learn the language fairly quickly and integrate into French life. For any others who have moved to France we would be interested to know if you enrolled your children into state or private schools?

My partner and I speak no French so for us it is a little daunting but we plan to take lessons soon and hopefully learn all we can before the move.

I have had an interesting job for the past few years so I spent large parts of the year working in France and other parts of Europe, so I am familiar in a limited way with the country but unfortunately still speak no French.

Ideally we would like to rent a house (not apartment) and would like to know of any differences in renting in France when compared to the UK, what are the typical length of contract, is renting expensive when compared to the UK, are there any fees we need to be aware of etc etc. Assuming all goes well with the move, I guess we would like to buy probably 12 months or so after completing our move and again we would like to know how the house prices compare to those in England, we current live in the West Midlands so house prices are middle of the road for the UK.

We don't intend on bringing much furniture when we move, we intend to buy when we are there, the only things we will be bring is our clothes and things like that. Which I will drive over myself in our van.

My partner and I own our own business in the UK, which will continue to run in the UK, therefore I need to be able to get back to the UK easily and probably twice per month for about 10 days.

We would love to be somewhere in France, that is multicultural, a low crime rate, good place to raise children and good weather and with a few other English people living nearby. We are not from a big city and as previously mentioned we have young children so the likes of Paris (whilst we love it) is ruled out. We have a friend of a friend who lives in Toulouse with his family and he has nothing but good things to say, we have visited and this seems like a nice place to settle but of course we are open to suggestions.

I know things have changed since Brexit and things are still yet to be finalised so if anyone care to let me know how they understand the effects of it Im happy to take it all in.

If I have missed anything or made any glaring mistakes or assumptions please correct me, better now than later

Thanks

Mike


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Old Jan 5th 2020, 1:42 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by Emer1tus View Post
Hello Guys

Hope you are all well.

We are wanting to leave the UK later this year; around August, we are considering a couple of countries but France is probably where we want to be. We are after some advice from other people who know more than we do.

My partner and I have 3 children: 2, 1 & 0 years old so we believe they should be able to learn the language fairly quickly and integrate into French life. For any others who have moved to France we would be interested to know if you enrolled your children into state or private schools?

My partner and I speak no French so for us it is a little daunting but we plan to take lessons soon and hopefully learn all we can before the move.

I have had an interesting job for the past few years so I spent large parts of the year working in France and other parts of Europe, so I am familiar in a limited way with the country but unfortunately still speak no French.

Ideally we would like to rent a house (not apartment) and would like to know of any differences in renting in France when compared to the UK, what are the typical length of contract, is renting expensive when compared to the UK, are there any fees we need to be aware of etc etc. Assuming all goes well with the move, I guess we would like to buy probably 12 months or so after completing our move and again we would like to know how the house prices compare to those in England, we current live in the West Midlands so house prices are middle of the road for the UK.

We don't intend on bringing much furniture when we move, we intend to buy when we are there, the only things we will be bring is our clothes and things like that. Which I will drive over myself in our van.

My partner and I own our own business in the UK, which will continue to run in the UK, therefore I need to be able to get back to the UK easily and probably twice per month for about 10 days.

We would love to be somewhere in France, that is multicultural, a low crime rate, good place to raise children and good weather and with a few other English people living nearby. We are not from a big city and as previously mentioned we have young children so the likes of Paris (whilst we love it) is ruled out. We have a friend of a friend who lives in Toulouse with his family and he has nothing but good things to say, we have visited and this seems like a nice place to settle but of course we are open to suggestions.

I know things have changed since Brexit and things are still yet to be finalised so if anyone care to let me know how they understand the effects of it Im happy to take it all in.

If I have missed anything or made any glaring mistakes or assumptions please correct me, better now than later

Thanks

Mike
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
A lot of questions, but you've done well to ask on this forum!
For a start, your eldest would be able to go to Maternelle and immediately learn to speak French like a native (not to mention make life-long friends if you stay put in the same place). You'd have to hope for places in a crêche or with Assistantes Maternelles (childcare in the carer's home) for the two younger ones if you're both working and/or absent.
As for your work, some one more in the know will come along concerning living in France and working for a UK company. The main issue being your employment status and consequently your healthcare coverage. Meanwhile take a look at thread #20 in the Read-Me: Moving to France FAQs above on the subject.
Furnished appartments are possible for short-term rentals, e.g. gïtes; leases for unfurnished properties are for 3 years (which you can easily terminate earlier provided you take the proper steps). Be aware that most French landlords for the long-term rentals require proof that your joint income is 3-4 times the rent. If you aren't married, you'd be considered as unrelated joint-tenants and both must provide this proof. More details in the "Renting" thread in the above FAQs....
Can't advise on the location front, everyone will say their area is best! But with 3 young children and the fact that you'll need to fly regularly, I'd avoid a rural area. I would advise coming over in Feb/March for a holiday, to experience a French winter (some towns are dead), and research where the recent-years' heat-waves were the worst, before deciding on a location.
As for speaking French yourselves, you would be advised to start learning as from now! Even if you do find English neighbours to help out at the beginning, I for one wouldn't want them to know my personal business when dealing with all the Bureaucracy, opening bank accounts, health issues, etc......
For the moment, no one knows how Brexit is going to affect new British expats...
Hope this helps!
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 1:44 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Just one small point, Brexit HASN'T yet happened, and it may even happen in a way that could fundamentally effect anyone moving to any EU country, there are currently, according to reports, lots of Brits moving back due to perceived problems, and I do suspect that Johnson may well go for a 'no deal' Brexit, it would certainly suit him and his croneys who are hoping for a crash in the value of the pound.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 1:49 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by Emer1tus View Post
Hello Guys

Hope you are all well.

We are wanting to leave the UK later this year; around August, we are considering a couple of countries but France is probably where we want to be. We are after some advice from other people who know more than we do.

My partner and I have 3 children: 2, 1 & 0 years old so we believe they should be able to learn the language fairly quickly and integrate into French life. For any others who have moved to France we would be interested to know if you enrolled your children into state or private schools?

My partner and I speak no French so for us it is a little daunting but we plan to take lessons soon and hopefully learn all we can before the move.

I have had an interesting job for the past few years so I spent large parts of the year working in France and other parts of Europe, so I am familiar in a limited way with the country but unfortunately still speak no French.

Ideally we would like to rent a house (not apartment) and would like to know of any differences in renting in France when compared to the UK, what are the typical length of contract, is renting expensive when compared to the UK, are there any fees we need to be aware of etc etc. Assuming all goes well with the move, I guess we would like to buy probably 12 months or so after completing our move and again we would like to know how the house prices compare to those in England, we current live in the West Midlands so house prices are middle of the road for the UK.

We don't intend on bringing much furniture when we move, we intend to buy when we are there, the only things we will be bring is our clothes and things like that. Which I will drive over myself in our van.

My partner and I own our own business in the UK, which will continue to run in the UK, therefore I need to be able to get back to the UK easily and probably twice per month for about 10 days.

We would love to be somewhere in France, that is multicultural, a low crime rate, good place to raise children and good weather and with a few other English people living nearby. We are not from a big city and as previously mentioned we have young children so the likes of Paris (whilst we love it) is ruled out. We have a friend of a friend who lives in Toulouse with his family and he has nothing but good things to say, we have visited and this seems like a nice place to settle but of course we are open to suggestions.

I know things have changed since Brexit and things are still yet to be finalised so if anyone care to let me know how they understand the effects of it Im happy to take it all in.

If I have missed anything or made any glaring mistakes or assumptions please correct me, better now than later

Thanks

Mike
Hi Mike,

Welcome to the forum.
I think that you should take a couple of steps back and examine the issues that you have raised one-at-a-time.
First of all, France is not "partner friendly". Partners do not have any legal status in France and it can cause complications.
You should consider either getting married or a civil partnership (PACS'd in France).
Secondly, you cannot simply run your UK business from France like you could in another region in the UK.
France is not business friendly and you would probably need to set up a business structure in France to operate your UK business.
Your French business would pay social contributions which would allow you access to the French healthcare system.
Depending on the business structure, the social charges could be considerably higher than in the UK.
You need to take advice from an accountant who understands both UK and French accounting regarding this.
Thirdly, you do not speak French and speaking from experience, everything in France is very different from what you know in the UK.
Understanding in detail what you have to do to set up a new lifestyle in France is challenging.
My OH is fluent in French and I do not think that it would have been possible for me to have made the move to France without her.
Even so, there was vocabulary that she didn't understand because it was very specific to dealing with a notaire and buying a property.
She was able to simply look up the word and therefore understand the meaning.
She was also able to ask questions to clarify anything that she didn't understand.
We also had to get "re-married" in France - a simple declaration of a change of marriage regime which we chose to protect our assets in France from their punitive inheritance tax laws.
This is especially important for "partners" where their rights are not protected.
Renting in France is more common than in the UK and is generally cheaper but the landlord will want to verify that you have sufficient income before offering you a lease.
France is not english friendly. I mean many people do not or will not speak english unlike Spain.
What you are proposing is possible but if you don't take your time and get the planning right then it could be the most costly mistake of your life.
Please ask specific questions on each of your topics and others will be able to give specific advice.
Good luck with your plans.

PS Posted crossed with #2 and #3

Last edited by cyrian; Jan 5th 2020 at 1:50 pm. Reason: PS
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 2:48 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Have a look at this post on BE
Moving back from France to UK
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 3:18 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
Hi Mike,

Welcome to the forum.
I think that you should take a couple of steps back and examine the issues that you have raised one-at-a-time.
First of all, France is not "partner friendly". Partners do not have any legal status in France and it can cause complications.
You should consider either getting married or a civil partnership (PACS'd in France).
Secondly, you cannot simply run your UK business from France like you could in another region in the UK.
France is not business friendly and you would probably need to set up a business structure in France to operate your UK business.
Your French business would pay social contributions which would allow you access to the French healthcare system.
Depending on the business structure, the social charges could be considerably higher than in the UK.
You need to take advice from an accountant who understands both UK and French accounting regarding this.
Thirdly, you do not speak French and speaking from experience, everything in France is very different from what you know in the UK.
Understanding in detail what you have to do to set up a new lifestyle in France is challenging.
My OH is fluent in French and I do not think that it would have been possible for me to have made the move to France without her.
Even so, there was vocabulary that she didn't understand because it was very specific to dealing with a notaire and buying a property.
She was able to simply look up the word and therefore understand the meaning.
She was also able to ask questions to clarify anything that she didn't understand.
We also had to get "re-married" in France - a simple declaration of a change of marriage regime which we chose to protect our assets in France from their punitive inheritance tax laws.
This is especially important for "partners" where their rights are not protected.
Renting in France is more common than in the UK and is generally cheaper but the landlord will want to verify that you have sufficient income before offering you a lease.
France is not english friendly. I mean many people do not or will not speak english unlike Spain.
What you are proposing is possible but if you don't take your time and get the planning right then it could be the most costly mistake of your life.
Please ask specific questions on each of your topics and others will be able to give specific advice.
Good luck with your plans.

PS Posted crossed with #2 and #3
Hi, I didn't mention the Inheritance Tax issue, as the OP will be renting first, and will have time to find this out before they buy property.
Another point - When they set up Utilities, they should make sure that both names are mentioned on the bills, as both partners will have to justify their domicile to the various Administrations (in addition to producing rental receipts).
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 4:05 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
Have a look at this post on BE
Moving back from France to UK
That's a sad post. But although the poster does initially say it is "principally because of Brexit", it does sound as if there is more to it than that.

To get back to this post:
Originally Posted by Emer1tus View Post
My partner and I own our own business in the UK, which will continue to run in the UK, therefore I need to be able to get back to the UK easily and probably twice per month for about 10 days.
This could be the stumbling block.
If you live in one EU state and work exclusively or almost exclusively in another, you're what's termed a cross border worker or frontalier. At present it's not a problem because the UK is part of the EU social security coordination arrangements and there are special provisions for cross border workers. You apply to HMRC for a workers S1 form, and if you meet the criteria and your application is approved, you continue paying NICs in the UK and the UK will cover your healthcare in both France and the UK.
Remains to be seen what will happen to frontaliers after Brexit. If you read the UK government Brexit website it basically just says wait and see. If you read the French Brexit website it clearly states that the UK will no longer be part of the EU soc sec coordination rules after Brexit. So it could get complicated.
https://www.gov.uk/government/public...k-after-brexit
https://brexit.gouv.fr/sites/brexit/...-d-emploi.html

It's not clear from your post what you're hoping to gain from moving to France. A thing that's often said on these forums, and I think it's true, is that moving in order to get away from something is not the best reason to move. Every country has its own set of problems so if you exchange one set of problems for another, it helps if you have positive reasons to offset the new challenges and make up for the advantages the UK has over France - "free" healthcare, low social contributions, minimal red tape for businesses, cheaper cost of living... familiarity... no language barrier...
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 5:12 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by Emer1tus View Post
I need to be able to get back to the UK easily and probably twice per month for about 10 days.
Just coming back on this - do you mean 10 days in total over the month, or do you mean 10 days twice a month ie 20 days?
If it's 10 days a month working in the UK and the rest of your working hours spent working in France, would that be enough to qualify you as a cross border worker? If not, either you'd be obliged to set up some kind business structure in France through which to pay your dues and taxes, or your company could register you as a French resident employee in line with the French labour code.
On the other hand if you spend on average 20 days per month outside of France, ie approx 240 days in the UK / 125 days in France, would that qualify you for a carte de séjour at the end of transition (assuming you need one)?
I don't know the answers, but in your position I would want to find out before making any commitment.

Last edited by EuroTrash; Jan 5th 2020 at 5:36 pm.
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Old Jan 5th 2020, 7:29 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Just coming back on this - do you mean 10 days in total over the month, or do you mean 10 days twice a month ie 20 days?
If it's 10 days a month working in the UK and the rest of your working hours spent working in France, would that be enough to qualify you as a cross border worker? If not, either you'd be obliged to set up some kind business structure in France through which to pay your dues and taxes, or your company could register you as a French resident employee in line with the French labour code.
On the other hand if you spend on average 20 days per month outside of France, ie approx 240 days in the UK / 125 days in France, would that qualify you for a carte de séjour at the end of transition (assuming you need one)?
I don't know the answers, but in your position I would want to find out before making any commitment.
Thanks, I was hoping you'd post all the above useful info!
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 5:50 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Frankly there are so many unknowns at present that I would wait until the Brexit dust has settled What may be possible now may change and when Johnson cocks Brexit up for ordinary people it could change radically.The last thing you want is to move then have to move back especially with kids In the meantime it will do you no harm to really start learning French in a structured way
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Old Jan 6th 2020, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by Listen Very Carefully View Post
Frankly there are so many unknowns at present that I would wait until the Brexit dust has settled What may be possible now may change and when Johnson cocks Brexit up for ordinary people it could change radically.The last thing you want is to move then have to move back especially with kids In the meantime it will do you no harm to really start learning French in a structured way
I would totally agree if the OP was inactif or retired because losing freedom of movement is really only a major issue for workers. But he does still need to work, and if he waits too long he may find that he and/or his wife needs a work permit to work while their bums are in France, but they're not entitled to one; which could put a spanner in the works. So in his case there could potentially be an advantage in getting established before the end of transition.
It's a right bugger, isn't it.
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Old Jan 8th 2020, 11:44 am
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by Emer1tus View Post
Hello Guys

We would love to be somewhere in France, that is multicultural, a low crime rate, good place to raise children and good weather and with a few other English people living nearby. We are not from a big city and as previously mentioned we have young children so the likes of Paris (whilst we love it) is ruled out. We have a friend of a friend who lives in Toulouse with his family and he has nothing but good things to say, we have visited and this seems like a nice place to settle but of course we are open to suggestions.

Mike
The Bearn, like Salies de Béarn, is an ideal area: good weather but not too dry, so no risk for fires.
In the winter it is warmer than the mediterranean area and in the summer not as hot as the mediterrenean area!

Very international with a large expat community.
Salies de Béarn with thermal spas, golf and casino. Not too busy in july and august. Very low crime!!
Plenty of doctors and specialists, because of the thermal hospital. TGV and hospital at 10 km in Orthez.
It is between the mountains (Pyrenees) and the coast (Biarritz). Airports: Pau, Lourdes and Biarritz.

Schools nearby and plenty of houses for rent. Prices to buy are very cheap.

Toulouse: ask them about the mosquitos: tiger and normal mosquitos.
In the area Salies and Sauveterre de Béarn we hardly see mosquitos and there are no tiger mosquitos. maybe because there are a lot of bats.
Toulouse is hotter than hot in the summer, but when you like 40+°C than Toulouse could be a good area.



Last edited by Pilou; Jan 8th 2020 at 11:54 am.
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Old Jan 8th 2020, 12:28 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
...and I do suspect that Johnson may well go for a 'no deal' Brexit, it would certainly suit him and his croneys who are hoping for a crash in the value of the pound.
Any evidence for this rather reckless statement? Just because he's the PM doesn't mean you can casually slander the man on a public forum.
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Old Jan 8th 2020, 1:38 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by tooboocoo View Post
Any evidence for this rather reckless statement? Just because he's the PM doesn't mean you can casually slander the man on a public forum.
It happens to be MY opinion, there has been a lot of speculation in many reas that that is what he really id hoping for, a lot of his close friends and other cabinet members have a lot of money in hedge funds, and plenty of those have been shorting the pound in the hope of a no deal Brexit and collapse of the pound which would make them a lot of money. Remember there is only 11 months AFTER Brexit date to arrange all these trading deals which was originally to haave taken at least 2 years, and a number of those countries he wants to set up deals with have already said NO. The USA is the country he really wants to set up a deal with, but that means he will be somewhat unpopular as the US will want us to have chlorinated chicken, hormone injected meat, and, of course, a big interest in the NHS, so they can sell their hyperinflated drugs to.
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Old Jan 8th 2020, 5:04 pm
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Default Re: Considering moving to France need guidance please

Originally Posted by mikelincs View Post
It happens to be MY opinion, there has been a lot of speculation in many reas that that is what he really id hoping for, a lot of his close friends and other cabinet members have a lot of money in hedge funds, and plenty of those have been shorting the pound in the hope of a no deal Brexit and collapse of the pound which would make them a lot of money. Remember there is only 11 months AFTER Brexit date to arrange all these trading deals which was originally to haave taken at least 2 years, and a number of those countries he wants to set up deals with have already said NO. The USA is the country he really wants to set up a deal with, but that means he will be somewhat unpopular as the US will want us to have chlorinated chicken, hormone injected meat, and, of course, a big interest in the NHS, so they can sell their hyperinflated drugs to.
My opinion is that the USA cannot import items that do not comply with our standards.
It is illegal to import haggis into the USA because it does not comply with their standards.
If chlorinated chicken was ever allowed to be imported then it would have to be labelled as such on any product containing it.
In that case, the EU would probably totally prohibit imports of chicken meat from the UK.
The NHS negotiates the prices for drugs with manufacturers - do you really see the NHS paying 3 - 4 times current prices.
These were scare tactics by Labour and the Remain camp with no possible factual backup because no negotiations have taken place - just each side laying out its opening stance.
Now back to the OP's situation - trade agreements and EU citizens and UK citizens moving to work or live in the other countries are not necessarily linked.
There were treaties and agreements before the EU existed and there will have to be again.
An example would be the double taxation treaty.
At this moment in time it is unclear what mutual rights will be agreed with the EU but I would imagine that the transitional rights would be a good starting point whatever trade deals are agreed.
The OP has other personal issues to address prior to moving to France before he considers the effects of Brexit.
cyrian is offline  

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