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Relocating & schools

Relocating & schools

Old Feb 13th 2024, 12:13 pm
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Default Relocating & schools

Hello. This question has probably been asked a lot but I can’t find anything. We’re looking to relocate to France as soon as we can. Realistically how soon could this be possible & what about the school situation, with an 11 & 13 year old non French speaking girls? We know we need working visas, as we want to buy a property with Gites. It’s all quite new to us & a bit confusing in where to start! Thank you for any information.
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Old Feb 13th 2024, 3:14 pm
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

OK welcome--You obviously understand the need for Visas-however do you really understand what you are going to be required to do to get the Visa? You will need a business plan showing anticipated turn over profit etc.Obviously you will need to pay into the French system and the contributions plus tax are higher than in the UK.As a general rule the French like to see an income equivalent to their minimum wage called SMIC approx €1767 per month prior to deductions so as not to be adrain on the French State>Every day living costs in France are high.
You do realise how many gites there are in France? Where would you buy? Rural or Urban? Seaside or Country? What state will they and the house be in? The cost of doing up property in France is high and you will need trades to do the work in order to get insurance.
Can you speak French at a high enough level to cope with bureaucracy and the garbled phone call from someone with a Provencal twang wanting to make a booking?
And then there are the girls-they will be leaving their friendship groups and being plunged into a world where they do not speak the language and yes they will absorb a lot,but how will they cope with lessons?.They are unlikely to get much language help and support What about the school qualifications and looking further ahead degrees?

This may all sound a bit negative but these are all things you need to think about before you apply as post Brexit Brits are in a totally different situation and I would hate for you to end up with all sorts of problems
You can get help with business plans in France from the French Chamber of Commerce www.cci.fr
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Old Feb 13th 2024, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

Thank you for your reply. We’re looking rural/semi rural & would want to buy somewhere that already has a up & running gite business. Hopefully they would have current business accounts showing income/expenditure? We won’t need a mortgage, as the sale of 2 properties over here will more than cover what we’re looking for. I would look at applying for a working visa & my partner would be receiving an income from his business in the UK. I am already looking into language courses for us all. Schooling is still a concern though & if we wait until they finish school, we could be looking at another 7-8 years before we can go.
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Old Feb 13th 2024, 9:15 pm
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

Why the sudden rush??? where's the fire?
How soon could it be possible, well if you're intending to apply for a visa on the basis of having bought a suitable gite business, you will need to have completed the purchase before you apply. They don't give visas on the basis of a business you hope to buy, they need to see proof you've actually bought it. (And yes, it is a catch-22 because you want to be sure you'll get the visa before you buy the property, but you can't apply for the visa until you have bought the property. You see a lot of people on various forums agonizing over this, and I don't know how they resolve it but presumably there are ways.) Property purchase in France can take several months for a house, for a house plus business it will likely take longer because you will have accountants involved. Have you identified a property yet?
Re your husband's UK company, If he obtains a visa as a self-supporting inactive, he will sign a promise not to work in France and therefore any income he receives in France must be 100% passive income. He's not permitted to do any remote working for his business, iincluding communicating with his managers or customers, taking business decisions etc. Also obviously on an inactif visa he's not allowed to help you with the gite either. Sounds like he's going to be the lucky one, he gets to live the dream while the girls work hard at school and you work hard at the gite
Kids take their bacs at 18 normally, It is asking quite a lot of a 13-year-old to settle in and learn enough French to understand the lessons and sit the examis in 5 years tops, but it's possible. Is your 13 year old good at languages? It will depend where you are but in many rural areas, schools struggle to provide extra help to individual students. They are supposed to of course, they have a duty, but like everywhere, if they don't have the staff resources they can't do it even if on paper they must. Class teachers have to focus on teaching the syllabus, they can't slow the pace down to the detriment of the rest of the class. Has your daughter thought about careers yet? Bac results are important because they sit on your CV for ever, and a poor bac result limits your future options.
The 11 year old has a couple of extra years to get her French up to speed before she starts the bac syllabus so it should be easier for her. And it's good there are two of them, they'll be able to help each other.
As LVC said, none of this is intended to put you off, but nobody wants you to end up saying "I wish I'd known that earlier, then I would have planned things differently"..
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Old Feb 14th 2024, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

Your partner can't just come to France and work.
Working is highly regulated in France and the fines for breaching their rules are high.
His UK company could register for the French social security system and make contributions because of his employment. They would have to register him in one of the permitted categories e.g. cross border worker??
Talking on the phone/internet and emails are classed as work.
Partners are not recognised in France unless they are married or PACS'd (civil partnership).
If one of you were to die (think car accidents etc) then the remaining partner would be required to pay the highest level of inheritance tax within 6 months - whether they had the money or not.
He also could not claim that he was tax-resident in the UK if the family home was in France.
What you are proposing is one of the most complex situations for a proposed move to France.
You will need to do a lot of research into each of these issues.
I suggest that you look at this site in english:
Notaires de France
HTH
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Old Feb 14th 2024, 7:20 am
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

See here as well:
Moving to France
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Old Feb 14th 2024, 7:43 am
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

Originally Posted by saralhobbs
Hello. This question has probably been asked a lot but I can’t find anything. We’re looking to relocate to France as soon as we can. Realistically how soon could this be possible & what about the school situation, with an 11 & 13 year old non French speaking girls? We know we need working visas, as we want to buy a property with Gites. It’s all quite new to us & a bit confusing in where to start! Thank you for any information.
Hi, and welcome to the forum!
I agree with all the comments above, esp. re schooling and your "partner" status. You would be considered as separate individuals on the Visa and French Administration fronts and the surviving partner would have a considerable Inheritance Tax to pay.
Take a look at the "Schooling" thread in the Read-Me, FAQs section above. It will give details on what's expected of pupils in Collège and Lycée and you'll understand that they'll both have a hard time not only understanding the lessons, but also settling in and making friends without speaking French. Being English won't help much in English classes, as you need a thorough knowledge of French Grammar (French pupils are masters of this at the end of Primaire) to follow the lessons. Remember that there's always a second language (usually Spanish or German) which will be taught in French. If you intend to be semi-rural, they won't have any special treatment.... One solution would be to send them both to an International School, but you'd have much less choice for your location. Please consider your daughters' future - will they want to go to French Uni after the Bac, or return to the UK to get a Degree? As hinted above, how do they feel about leaving their friends and the rest of the family?
All of our advice is to avoid future regrets due to ignorance of the facts (we've been here, done that...). We're here to help!
As I usually say, fore-warned is fore-armed! Good luck with your research and final decision
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Old Feb 15th 2024, 7:57 am
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

Originally Posted by cyrian
His UK company could register for the French social security system and make contributions because of his employment.
A Brit can't be registed as an employee in France unless the employer has successfully applied for work authorisation, and I don't see how this could be achieved in these circumstances.
But the OP didn't say that her husband would necessarily be working remotely. He may be a sleeping partner, or he may be a non executive director who will return to the UK whenever his input is required. Failing all else there's nothing to stop him being a de facto cross border worker, spending weekends and holidays in France and returning to the UK each week to work. I don't think he could officially acquire frontalier status (as far, as I know, Brits haven't been able to use the EU scheme to set up new cross border arrangements since the end of transition) but in theory he could do this on an inactif visa since he wouldn't be working in France, although in practice I don't know whether an inactif visa would be granted on that basis. In reality though, if he returns to work in the UK during the week, the time he spends in France would probably be covered by the 90/180 visa waiver and could remain UK resident which would simplify things vastly. But this may not be what the OP has in mind.
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Old Feb 16th 2024, 7:04 am
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

Originally Posted by EuroTrash
A Brit can't be registed as an employee in France unless the employer has successfully applied for work authorisation, and I don't see how this could be achieved in these circumstances.
But the OP didn't say that her husband would necessarily be working remotely. He may be a sleeping partner, or he may be a non executive director who will return to the UK whenever his input is required. Failing all else there's nothing to stop him being a de facto cross border worker, spending weekends and holidays in France and returning to the UK each week to work. I don't think he could officially acquire frontalier status (as far, as I know, Brits haven't been able to use the EU scheme to set up new cross border arrangements since the end of transition) but in theory he could do this on an inactif visa since he wouldn't be working in France, although in practice I don't know whether an inactif visa would be granted on that basis. In reality though, if he returns to work in the UK during the week, the time he spends in France would probably be covered by the 90/180 visa waiver and could remain UK resident which would simplify things vastly. But this may not be what the OP has in mind.
Would an inactif visa/visa waiver work, with his children being resident in France with their mother?
Sorry to harp on about their partner status, but it's an important factor on more than one front. It might be simpler if they get married...
If the OP's partner is planning to work from home, the Law of the Bum (as you describe it!) governs - where you're sat working, you pay your dues (unless the UK company agrees to take on the responsibililty of applying for his Visa and paying his French S.S. costs).
Whatever, IMO the schooling issue should take priority.....
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Old Feb 16th 2024, 12:12 pm
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Default Re: Relocating & schools

Originally Posted by dmu
Would an inactif visa/visa waiver work, with his children being resident in France with their mother?
Sorry to harp on about their partner status, but it's an important factor on more than one front. It might be simpler if they get married...
If the OP's partner is planning to work from home, the Law of the Bum (as you describe it!) governs - where you're sat working, you pay your dues (unless the UK company agrees to take on the responsibililty of applying for his Visa and paying his French S.S. costs).
Whatever, IMO the schooling issue should take priority.....
Since his kids are (presumably) not French he has no residence rights through them, and his partner's visa won't give him any rights either - I think even a passeport talent only covers legal partners, and I doubt that a passeport talent for a gite is possible.

I have never heard of a foreign company with no establishment in France successfully obtaining a work permit to employ somebody to work in France. I don't know for sure whether in theory they could apply,, but in practice it would be compliqué. But it's something the OP might want to look into.

So if he wants a visa, the only option I see would be an inactif visa if he can satisfy the visa authorities that he can support himself without working whilst on French soil. Obviously they will look carefully at his sources of revenue and the circumstances and make their own decision. That route might work out a bit expensive if he has to pay French tax and social charges on foreign income. Also for the visa application he would need to show full private health insurance for the first year, but would be able to apply to CPAM after 3 months. in France.

Alternatively if he can work round the 90/180 he'll remain UK resident for tax and social security purposes, so obviously no French tax or social charges and as a visitor he'd use his GHIC for healthcare whilst in France, so financially advantageous but obviously less quality time as a family.

You're right about the partner thing, I hadn't noticed that in the original post. Owning property jointly with an unrelated partner is very unwise. Plus in the event that they're not the natural mum and dad of both girls, arranging succession is going to be complex so that also needs thinking about before any property purchase.

However the OP appears to have gone away discouraged which is a shame. There is usually a way if you're prepared to compromise, but situations like this need careful planning, there's so many different aspects to consider and a lot of research to be done upfront, The danger is that in a rush of enthusiasm people don't look beyond securing a visa, confident that if they can get to France then they'll find a way to work things out; tso they get a visa based on a unicorn plans that they manage to make sound plausible, sell up in the UK, and half way through the year they realise there's no way they're going to meet the conditions for renewing their residence at the end of the year.

Easiest of course would be for one of them to dredge up an Irish or other EU ancestor, and apply for an EU passport. Then sort out adoption if necessary, get pacs'd or married, and away you go.
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