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It's complicated! (US--> France)

It's complicated! (US--> France)

Old Jul 8th 2020, 2:43 am
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Default It's complicated! (US--> France)

Ok, so I'm 55 and the wife is 48. We have two kids, 17 and 15. We all live in the USA. I'm starting to think about where I want to be when I stop working (5-7 years, the sooner the better). For this discussion let's assume I can continue to be gainfully employed in France by my current employer, and be self-sufficient when I retire. We all live in Portland, OR, USA... I'm from the UK and my wife is French. We have UK, US and French passports for the Kids. I have a UK and US passport and my wife has a French and US passport. I've been with the wife for 30 years so my French is passable. I know a lot of swear words, for sure.... The kids were born in the US. I am unsure what the situation is with BREXIT and living in France. Do I need sponsorship from either my wife or employer for us to live in France? I'd like the kids to get a different perspective on the world and both are fairly(ish) bilingual. Both kids will likely end up going to Uni somewhere. As I said, it's complicated, but are there any major obstacles to living in France, or anything else I need to think about?

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by TimFountain; Jul 8th 2020 at 2:46 am.
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Old Jul 8th 2020, 7:45 am
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

https://www.service-public.fr/partic...osdroits/F2209
This might be the simplest route to moving to France for you.
You may find your wife has to move first, and the rest of you join her a little later.

When you say "let's assume I can continue to be gainfully employed in France by my current employer", are we assuming that because your employer has an office in France and you are confident that they'll transfer you? If not, you need to check out French labour law before you make any assumptions. If you live and work in France you have to be correctly registered and contributing, it's not optional. Employing a French resident can seem an expensive business because French social contributions are higher than in most countries, and foreign employers aren't always prepared to do it.

That is potentially your biggest administrative obstacle. Not sure what other complications or obstacles you think there might be, obviously it is a very different lifestyle and culture and language but whether or not those things throw up obstacles,is very much a personal thing.

Brexit won't affect you unless you're aiming to move in the next few months, and if you're only just starting to think about it that seems unlikely to happen, specially since France currently has travel restrictions in place for the US. Seems like you have a lot to put in place, and it's silly to impose all the stress of trying to meet a tight deadline on yourself when you have the option of the Vie Privée et Familiale carte de séjour.

EDIT - you need to look into the tax situation because I believe that as US passport holders you continue to be taxable in the US even if you live abroad. I don't think it's a massive burden as long as you handle it correctly and fill in all the right boxes, but from what I read the rules can be quite complicated.

Last edited by EuroTrash; Jul 8th 2020 at 8:12 am.
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Old Jul 9th 2020, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Thanks for the reply. My employer has a presence in France, but it is likely I would report to either the UK of Germany head office. The role would cover all of Europe and I can live anywhere. I do not think that my wife would move ahead of me! Culture and lifestyle is not a problem. I understand the requirements of US citizens with respect to worldwide tax reporting. Thank you
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Old Jul 9th 2020, 6:56 pm
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

I think EuroTrash has covered most of the bases, but I would add that the French eduction system is fundamentally different from that in the US, even aside from it being in a different language, and that dropping a 17 year old, or even a 15 year old, into the French system and expecting them to be able to navigate their way to respectable qualifications/ maximize their potential, is probably unrealistic. I would advise either waiting until they have completed high school, or if you decide you really must move in the next three years, look to place them in an American school in France, which would obviously restrict the places where you could live until your younger child completed school.
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Old Jul 9th 2020, 9:02 pm
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

It apears that some of the more important issues have been covered in the above replies.
As you've mentioned connections with offices in the U.S./UK/France/Germany, and glancing at your avatar I was wondering if you are in the aircraft industry?
If that should be the case, you'll certainly be aware that the industry is currently in a tailspin with fears of over 3k job cuts in the Airbus group alone. Together with the many sub-contractors in the similar industry, the near/medium term future looks particularly bleak.
I'm confident however that the industry will pick up again rapidly, hopefully towards the end of 2021, assuming that a Covid19 vaccine becomes available, is distributed efficiently and that during the period there are not a huge number of re-confinements across Europe and elsewhere, which of course would hamper air travel.
I worked in the industry for many years, based in the UK/France/Germany/US and Asia, and certainly hope that brighter times are on the horizon.

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Old Jul 10th 2020, 7:11 am
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Originally Posted by TimFountain View Post
My employer has a presence in France, but it is likely I would report to either the UK of Germany head office.
Having just read the communication issued by the EU yesterday about post-Brexit trade, service provision etc, I think you may find your UK head office will be somewhat less relevant to EU operations after the end of this year
https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info..._inst_en_0.pdf
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Old Jul 10th 2020, 2:23 pm
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Originally Posted by EuroTrash View Post
Having just read the communication issued by the EU yesterday about post-Brexit trade, service provision etc, I think you may find your UK head office will be somewhat less relevant to EU operations after the end of this year
https://ec.europa.eu/info/sites/info..._inst_en_0.pdf
@ET, a very informative link. Thank you!
Of course Boris made most if not all of these points crystal clear whilst pressing for a yes Brexit vote, didn't he. Didn't he........?
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Old Jul 10th 2020, 3:11 pm
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Originally Posted by Tweedpipe View Post
@ET, a very informative link. Thank you!
Of course Boris made most if not all of these points crystal clear whilst pressing for a yes Brexit vote, didn't he. Didn't he........?
Oh he's been very forthcoming I think. Why, just earlier this week he was asked in the Commons to explain what trade barriers with NI businesses should be preparing for, and he replied very firmly that there would be no trade barriers, nothing would change. The question came after Starmer's questions in PMQ and he was a bit rattled and blustering quite loudly, in fact I think he even thumped the table to make his point. Since it's one of the rare occasions when he's answered a question clearly and relevantly, shouldn't we give him credit even if he did give a totally incorrect answer?
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Old Jul 10th 2020, 8:18 pm
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)



If you wish to discuss Brexit...pop over to the Take It Outside forum. Please keep this thread on topic. Thanks.

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Old Jul 11th 2020, 7:51 am
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Sorry Jerseygirl, I let my frustration boil over didn't I But no, I do not want to discuss Brexit, there are few things I want to discuss less.

Although to be fair the OP did say
Originally Posted by TimFountain View Post
I am unsure what the situation is with BREXIT and living in France
so it wasn't totally off topic...
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Old Aug 3rd 2020, 10:08 pm
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Being new to this I was told to go to France Forum, for similar reasons to the enquirer about US to France. I am retired, and my wife retires in about 18 months. We were thinking of a few options. Either moving lock stock and barrel to France or keeping an apartment in UK and partially living in France. We do not intend to work in France, and basically would live off pensions and savings. The problem I have seen so far is that there seems to be a hell of a lot of ongoing annual taxes and insurances etc, and I am wondering if the whole thing is realistic or not. Is there anywhere/anyone who could let us know (if there is such a thing) as an average cost per month/year - say for arguments sake, buying a £150000 house in Brittany, including 'average' gas/electirc/taxes/insurances etc?? If too many questions I could break it down and ask one at a time?
Cheers
David
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Old Aug 4th 2020, 4:49 am
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Hi Dave
I’ve been living in France for 23 years now. Before that we lived in Russia and the UK.When it comes to taxation and paperwork in general we find this much easier to deal with in the UK than in France. Indeed even after all these years, I still find it quite stressful dealing with French admin. As regards tax and social charges, doing my UK tax return is a breeze. Doing the French one on the other hand requires me to lock myself away in the apartment for a weekend with at least one bottle of Bordeaux.I think there are three reasons for this.First, the system of taxation and social charges is definitely more complicated in France. Especially if you have assets outside France. And depending on which tax official you speak to, you get different answers. Second, there’s the language issue. This is entirely my fault. While perfectly serviceable, my French is not brilliant.Third, whereas the default setting when dealing with members of the public on the telephone in the UK is pleasant and helpful, I cannot say the same for France. Sometimes they’re nice, but often they are not.

None of this is going to get any easier as we age. And we don’t have kids to help us once we are deep into our dotage.So our plan, if it’s any help, is to buy a small place in the UK were we will be resident for tax purposes and to buy a small holiday flat in France where we will spend up to six months a year (up to 90 days out of 180).
I am not entirely convinced that it is even necessary to buy a holiday flat as renting a gîte in France these days is so wonderfully easy.Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old Aug 4th 2020, 5:45 am
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Hi David,
I would take Helen's advice at least initially and rent a gite somewhere for a month to get a feel for the area and life in France.
You should also check your chosen location in winter because many towns that are lively in summer are frankly dead in winter.
We have a second home in France and there are many ongoing annual costs. - Taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation (no exemption for 2nd homes); electricity; water; insurance; broadband etc.
If you are covered by the French health service then you are well advised to have additional cover by a mutuelle insurance that will pay the 30% of healthcare which is not covered by the State system.
Retirees in France pay social charges (national insurance) and you may have to pay this on your UK income.
UK Government pensions (police; firemen etc) are taxed in the UK whereas the UK State pension and other pensions are taxable in France.
The France - UK double taxation treaty is not an EU treaty and will continue post-Brexit.
If you are resident in France then you would be no longer entitled to NHS care and any ISAs that you have would be taxed in France.
If you are living off pensions then you need to be aware of the currency exchange rate which could reduce your spending power in France.
If you keep a home in the UK then you need to check that your home insurance covers you for your time in France when the UK home is empty.
There can be some advantages to remaining tax resident in the UK and spending extended holidays in France.
I suggest that you split down your questions and ask them in a new thread.
HTH
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Old Aug 4th 2020, 6:32 am
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Originally Posted by cyrian View Post
Hi David,
I would take Helen's advice at least initially and rent a gite somewhere for a month to get a feel for the area and life in France.
You should also check your chosen location in winter because many towns that are lively in summer are frankly dead in winter.
We have a second home in France and there are many ongoing annual costs. - Taxe fonciere and taxe d'habitation (no exemption for 2nd homes); electricity; water; insurance; broadband etc.
If you are covered by the French health service then you are well advised to have additional cover by a mutuelle insurance that will pay the 30% of healthcare which is not covered by the State system.
Retirees in France pay social charges (national insurance) and you may have to pay this on your UK income.
UK Government pensions (police; firemen etc) are taxed in the UK whereas the UK State pension and other pensions are taxable in France.
The France - UK double taxation treaty is not an EU treaty and will continue post-Brexit.
If you are resident in France then you would be no longer entitled to NHS care and any ISAs that you have would be taxed in France.
If you are living off pensions then you need to be aware of the currency exchange rate which could reduce your spending power in France.
If you keep a home in the UK then you need to check that your home insurance covers you for your time in France when the UK home is empty.
There can be some advantages to remaining tax resident in the UK and spending extended holidays in France.
I suggest that you split down your questions and ask them in a new thread.
HTH
thank you helen and cyrian - very helpful advice - it has certainly made me rethink our position about buying. if one of the reasons to move is to destress then i think it may add to it rather than relieve it! cheers both
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Old Aug 4th 2020, 7:23 am
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Default Re: It's complicated! (US--> France)

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
I think EuroTrash has covered most of the bases, but I would add that the French eduction system is fundamentally different from that in the US, even aside from it being in a different language, and that dropping a 17 year old, or even a 15 year old, into the French system and expecting them to be able to navigate their way to respectable qualifications/ maximize their potential, is probably unrealistic. I would advise either waiting until they have completed high school, or if you decide you really must move in the next three years, look to place them in an American school in France, which would obviously restrict the places where you could live until your younger child completed school.
Agree that the two children are at bad ages for changing education systems and passing important exams. If the OP (timfountain) can wait until both have completed school and have organized their future (University in France or "somewhere"?), all the better. If not, and if everything works out well on the employment front, then best to continue their secondary education in an American school in France.
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