BEATING THE BREXIT DEADLINE - ITS ALL STILL VERY DOOABLE IF YOU ARE UP FOR IT
HOW TO GIVE YOURSELF ANOTHER 6 MONTHS UNTIL END JUNE 2021 TO SECURE YOUR FRENCH RESIDENCY WITH ALL OF THE EXISTING EU RIGHTS AND BENEFITS
NEW CLARITY ON HOW TO DO THE ABOVE ADDED 25th October 2020
With Additional new clarity added 11th November 2020 - scroll down the page for this additional information
Several more people have said they are very keen to find a way to Beat the BREXIT deadline of 31/12/202 despite the Covid problems. AND, this week (19th October 2020) the French authorities have released to new web site that makes it very easy for UK passport holders to secure their residency under the EU Withdrawal Agreement. And, after digesting the detail, there is still plenty of time to achieve this very valuable status if you plan to move to France from the UK. The prize of residency under the Withdrawl Agreement is that the UK will guarantee to pay, forever, your French State health care and your UK State pension with annual inflation increases. And there are more advantages, for example you can live in France for as long as you want each year and your children and family members are able to join you in France at a later date.
So, for those of you who would like to secure the prize, this is how to proceed. And, if you are considering buying my property, I will help you every step of the way.
The requirements vary slightly depending on your exact circumstances. Most of the people interested in my property are similar to me when I came out here. Wishing to semi retire in this wonderful country and to supplement any pension/savings income they have through holiday rental using my two existing cottages and perhaps increasing the income further by one of the several ways possible. So, what I have set out below concerns people that fit into that category. If your circumstances are different, I have included at the end the links to the various web sites so you can research your own specific requirements.
This is what you need to do by the deadline:
Come to France for a short visit before the 31/12/2020. Yes, I know your government has set a 14 day quarantine on your return but, that might be a small price to pay for the prize on offer. And, with the way Covid cases are rising in the UK, it may not make sense to keep the UK quarantine rule for much longer. Where I am in rural Charente Maritime, there is no covid problem and no restrictions besides wearing a mask inside shops etc. Just be careful with the usual hygiene we are all now used to. Probably best to travel in your own car via the channel tunnel but flying is an option - just be careful.
When you are in France, undertake the following :
- Get a French address. There is still time to buy a place but time is getting tight so, plan to find a rental place for a few months to take the time pressure off yourself. This will provide you with an address until you are ready to move into your new home in France. The rental you find can be a small and cheap place. You wont need to use it much unless you want to as, after you have done what is needed by 31/12/2020, as described below, you are free to return to the UK and can do most things from there - especially with me in France to help with things that need someone "in country".
- Get proof that you were living in France before the end of 2020. If you have a rental agreement that commenced in 2020, that is likely to be sufficient. But, I suggest it is a good idea to have at least one other document to prove you were actually living in France during 2020, even if it was for a fairly short time. The usual way to do this is a utility bill (electric, water, gas, landline phone, fixed internet) for the same address as described above. If you complete a purchase, you will need to arrange your utilities anyway. Many places you rent will require you to take on at least one of these utilities. If that is not the case and if you are only in France for a short visit, I recommend keeping all the receipts for your travel into and out of France ( Airline tickets, cross channel tickets, car hire). Further details on this aspect are being researched with the authorities and they will need to decide on other acceptable documents besides a utility bill as some people will be staying with family or friends and not formally renting.
Open a French Bank Account - this is not a formal requirement for securing your residency BUT, you will need a French Account to sign any formal rental agreement and to do most financial things in France like sign a utilities contract. So, you need one anyway. I had a quick look and it may be possible to do this on line but usually, the banks want you to go to a branch to open an account.
Personally, I used the French HSBC bank:
They are better organised than some and have a very good on-line banking system in English. But, the nearest Branch to me is at Royan so you might like to consider something more local. Many local xpats recommend Banque Populaire, there is a branch in Pons, 15 mins from me:
Dont be phased by a French web site - just use Google translate to translate anything you are not sure of:
And that is all you require before the 31/12/2020 deadline. There are further documents you will need to successfully apply on line for your Formal French residency document . I describe these below but, you have until 30th June 2021 to secure these documents and make your on line application.
And, whilst you are in France, why not view some properties to find your new home. I will be delighted to welcome you to view my property:
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Once you have done what you need to do by the deadline 31/12/2020, you can return to your home in the UK if that is where you prefer to be. Equally, you can live in your French rental accommodation until you are ready to move into your new home. From the UK or your rented accommodation in France, you can progress the process of finding and buying your permanent home in France including:
Finding a Property you are interested in
Organising a viewing
Discussing and agreeing an offer.
Commencing and managing the Notaire led conveyancing process.
Translating, and digesting the preliminary and final contracts
Even the signing of the contracts can be done from home in the UK if you prefer.
All of this I will be delighted to help with if you are considering my property.
After you have organised the few things you need by 31/12/2020, you can start to focus on securing the other documents that the French Authorities require to give you your formal document of French Residency that secures all of your pre BREXIT freedom of movement rights. BUT, you have a further 6 months (until 30/6/2021) to secure your French Residency so, you have gained an extra 6 months to beat the BREXIT deadline.
DOCUMENTS YOU WILL NEED TO APPLY ON LINE FOR YOUR FORMAL FRENCH RESIDENCY DOCUMENT.
The French have done a very good job to make the whole process as simple as possible. I have just used it to apply for my own French Residency as it was never necessary before BREXIT. Once I had all of the necessary documents scanned, the online process took about 5 minutes and virtually all of it in English. Well done the French, they have really worked hard to help the UK people who want to remain part of Europe.
For the category of people I describe above, this is the complete list of the documents you will need before 30/6/2021 so you can apply on line for your formal residency document:
Proof of residence in France before 31/12/2020. - Your French address As already described above.
Proof that you were living in France before the end of 2020. As already described above
A valid UK passport
Proof of sufficient resources - If you are ‘inactive’ for instance, retired or an early retiree, you need to show you have sufficient resources not to be a burden on the French state at the time you make the application. If this is not your situation, then see the links at the end so you can research your exact circumstances.
Both the French Ministry and British Embassy have indicated to us that income which meets the French minimum income level (currently 564.78 euros per month for a single person ).
‘Resources’ does not only mean regular income. Home-ownership and savings will be taken into account in determining your overall circumstances.
Documents that will be acceptable to prove your resources include:
Statements of income from pensions, investments, UK rental etc.
Proof of health cover
The easiest is if you are eligible for and have a copy of the form S1 from the UK authorities. S1 is a form that says the UK will pay for your French State health cover. S1 does take several weeks to arrive, so best get this underway earlier rather than later. There is lots of useful information on French Health cover here:
If you do not feel you are eligible for form S1, there are other options:
- Full private health insurance - available on line - this is a good temporary option to buy yourself time under full cover whilst other options are explored.
- There are options available to have your health cover paid by your economic activity in France. For example, you can register to be running holiday rental as an Auto Entrepreneur. This means that you pay a percentage of your income to the French State for health cover.
- You can pay a percentage of your pension income to pay for your French State health cover.
- There may be other options but I am not up to date on this subject. Loads of information available on line of course.
And that is it - if you have all of the above documentary proof, you will be able to make a successful application for French Residency and, if you do this before 30th June 2021, you will secure all of your existing EU Freedom of Movement rights.
Really not that difficult, probably the most difficult thing is coming to terms with the fact you do have to bite the bullet and visit France before 31/12/2020 and work out a way around any Covid restrictions. I will certainly help if you are interested in viewing my property.
CONTACT LINKS FOR FURTHER INFORMATION.
So you can do your own research on your own specific situation, here are links to key web sites and documents, But, if you are interested in viewing my Property, email me a specific question, I will be delighted to help as much as I am able.
UK Government guidance on Residency in France:
The new French Web Site for UK passport holders to apply for French Residency:
French Government guidance on documents needed to apply on line for residency
Further information on what will be regarded as acceptable proof for applying on line for residency. Please note WA Permits is shorthand for EU Withdrawl Agreement French Residency Permit
I do hope the above was helpful and provides you with what you need. If you need more information, there are plenty of experts on these Facebook groups. And, if you are interested in my property, I will always do what I can to help.
If you want to keep the dream of moving to France alive, its time to put in a bit of research effort and be prepared to find a way to visit before the end of the year.
I will be delighted to help you find a way to visit France and view my property.
Good luck with your plans and watch out for that virus!!
Best wishes, Tony
THERE NOW FOLLOWS ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ADDED 11th November 2020 including a draft of a recorded letter to send to your local Mayor to get proof that you were legally resident before the deadline.
IF YOU WANT TO BEAT BREXIT - USE THE UK LOCK DOWN TO GET READY TO VISIT FRANCE IN DECEMBER 2020 - LAST CHANCE
- UPDATE FROM TONY DEARSLEY - LE MANOIR - HOLIDAY RENTAL WITH MANOR HOUSE
I expect you are thinking - our dream of moving to France is just not possible with the bloody virus and silly Brexit deadline. And that is very understandable so, if you want to put your plans on hold, possibly for a very long time, you now have every reason to do that and hunker down for a long lock down.
But, for those of you who are determined, adaptable and inventive, there is still plenty of time to visit France before the Brexit deadline and so keep all of your existing EU rights. You dont have to buy a property by the deadline. All you physically need to do is spend some time in France and agree a cheap rental contract so you have a French address and proof that you were in France.
Then, you can return to the UK and complete everything else from there if that is more convenient than staying in France.
The finding and purchasing of a property can come later. But, whilst you visit to secure your residency rights, if you have any time free, you can use it to search for a suitable property. I would be delighted to welcome you and show you this wonderful place. The sooner you find and buy your future French property, the sooner you can move in and stop paying rental on your temporary accommodation.
So, if you are still determined to find a way to beat Brexit and keep your UK funded health care and UK pension inflation increases, here is the latest on how to make it happen before the Boris Brexit deadline:
Use the UK lockdown period to research everything and refine your plans so, as soon as the UK and French lock down's are lifted at the beginning of December - you can make the all important short trip to France that will give you the proof you need to allow you to make a successful on-line application for French Residency and beat the Boris Brexit deadline of 31/12/2020.
The Lock down in France is scheduled to be lifted 1st December, possibly sooner. It is unlikely that the lock down will be extended as the Government will loose support from the population if they cant get organised for Christmas. The UK lock down is scheduled to finish on 2nd December, for the same reason explained above, it is unlikely that the lock down will be extended.
So, if you get organised, there is every opportunity to make the necessary trip to France during December. Most airlines and ferry companies are aooering free cancellation in the event of Covid travel restrictions, so, you
As soon as you are able to travel again the France, come down here by whatever means you prefer, stay for a few days - long enough to get the proof you need for your on-line residency application - and then. if you want to, you can go back to the UK until you are ready find and buy your property in France. All of the rest of the process to apply for pre Brexit residency can be done from the UK.
I believe I have sent you all of the information on what proof you need, how to obtain it and how to make a successful on-line application for your pre Brexit residency. If you have any questions, or need more information I will be delighted to help and I have added a new link at the end to an article explaining the very easy and helpful new French on-line residency application. Remember, the French want to make things as easy as possible for you to become a European.
Do be aware, that to secure your residency, you dont need to have an address near to where you finally intend to buy your new home. The address can be anywhere in France. For convenience, and to make your trip to France as easy as possible, you might choose to rent temporary accomodation somewhere near to the channel ports. This is perfectly acceptable.
The only new information to emerge is an additional way to make absolutely certain that you have the proof you need that you were resident in France before the 31/12/2020 Brexit deadline.
When you have arrived in France and settled in to whatever temporary rental accommodation you have arranged, SEND A RECORDED DELIVERY LETTER to your local Mayor ( Marie) telling them that you are in France and are living in accomodation in their community (Commune).
Here are some details to help make that as easy as possible:
- Finding the address of your local Marie - ask the people you have rented accommodation from or, search on goggle with the address of the property you have rented. If you have any concerns or problems, email me and I will find the information for you.
- Below is a draft of the information you should include in your letter.
- Do keep a copy of everything you send :
- Once you have written the letter - its easy to translate here: https://translate.google.com
Or I can help.
Do remember. you may not have a printer with you in your rented French accomodation.. You can ask you rental host to help or, you can prepare the letter before you leave your UK home. Or, if you are renting near me, I can print the letter for you. Or you can write the letter by hand.
Here is my suggested Draft of the letter to the Marie of the commune you have rented accomodation in:
Bonjour mon Marie,
I am writing to you to notify you that we are resident in France before the BREXIT deadline of 31/12/2020 and we would like you to record that we are resident and send to us a recorded letter stating that you have received and recorded this letter.
Here are our details for your records:
Your Full Names as shown on your passports
The address - of where you have rented (temporarily) in France - do this as it is done in France - your host will help
- Name of the property (If it has one)
- Number of the house on the street (If it has one)
- Street name
- Post Code
- Name of the local village / town/ city
Your Passport Full Details including:
Issuing Authority - near the bottom of the page with your photo and details - on the right side - often it is HMPO
Include a print of your passports if that is possible for you - just pile on the documentary evidence!!
Finish the letter in the traditional French way:
Bien Cordialement - literally best regards
Add both of your full names and sign next to them
- Take your letter to any local post office and send it recorded delivery. In France you ask for
Recommandé avec accusé de réception
You can read about it here https://en.paperblog.com/how-to-send-a-registered-letter-in-france-1586557/
But, usually the person at the post office desk will help you and usually in pretty good English. They are a very helpful people in my experience.
Lastly, here are 3 links that I hope will provide you with useful information to progress your plans
I do hope that helps but, if you need anything more and you are interested in my property then, just email and I will get right to it.
With best wishes Tony DEARSLEY ( Owner Le Manoir)