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I left France aged 18 straight after my Baccalaureat and have lived in the UK for 32 years. I am now planning a return, not to my own region (Bretagne) but to the South (around Nice). Having never worked in France, I now feel like a foreigner and feel quite lost as to where to start.

I don't fall under the typical 'expat' category as such since I speak fluent french, have a french bank account, french passport and INSEE number (although no carte vitale).

I have worked, contributed to NI and pension in the UK and initially my income for living in France will come from rental of properties in the UK although I would like to eventually top that up with a small job if I can.

Initially, I am giving myself a year and if I don't settle or things don't work out, I may decide to come back to the UK so where do I stand in terms of taxes, social security, health? What do I declare and where? I just feel nervous about 'cancelling' everything in the UK if I end up coming back.
Sorry if this is a little long winded!
 

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In relation to health there will be no problem joining as you are a French citizen although I suppose you will be assessed for your cotisations on your rental income so you wil need to have your P60s from the UK available.And do nt forget you will also need a mutuelle top up.
In relation to taxes the eneral rule is that income from property is taxed in the country where the property isSo you will need to do a UK self assessment form..When you complete your French tax return you will need a blue form 2042 and a pink form 2047 on which to declare your uk income;you may like to take a look at the Double Taxation treaty between UK and France available on the HMRC website and there are plenty of accountantcy firms in the UK who can give advice on this subject.You can google dual taxation accountants and you should find one
 

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Until you are working you will not have access to social security. In terms of health cover, you should have a look at the CMU de base website Presentation de la CMU de base. Note that this is contributory if you have an income over 9601 Euros, and that you have to establish that you are living in France. I would suggest you visit CPAM on your arrival - here is the page that sets out the steps you need to take Démarches : CMU de base. Contributions are based on the previous year's income but if you were to make your application prior to October in any year, it is the year before that. It could take a month or so for CPAM to process your application, and they may well require 3 months of residence in France to establish that you are living here on a regular basis. That essentially means that you may need 3 months or more of private health cover. They will normally back date your cover to the date they accept your application. Just being French does not give you immediate cover, rather it means that it would be highly unusual for your application to be refused.

Be aware that, even if you have family here, they could well have difficulty in advising you unless they have been in the same situation.

Hope this helps and that your return works out well. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you both. I hate bureaucracy so much and France are the expert at complicating things :(

This double taxation looks very complicated too :( I guess one step at a time!
 

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Thank you both. I hate bureaucracy so much and France are the expert at complicating things :(

This double taxation looks very complicated too :( I guess one step at a time!
There is a tax agreement between France and the UK which you should check out (sorry, I don't have the link).
 

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As has already been said, unless you are in receipt of a UK pension, you can't just "transfer" your social insurance eligibility from the UK to France. If you're under the retirement age in the UK when you arrive, you will need to have some sort of private health coverage until you either find a job and have made the minimum contribution or you become eligible for an S1 from the UK (i.e. based on your pension). Your French nationality will do nothing for you in terms of benefits until you're contributing to the system.

And there isn't really a double taxation problem. There is a tax treaty between the UK and France which takes care of things. As a French resident, you'll be obliged to file a declaration based on your worldwide income, but in very general terms, you'll pay income tax on your rental income to the jurisdiction in which the property is located (i.e. the UK), even though you will have to declare the income on your French returns. There is the matter of the "cotisations" on income from outside France on which you have not paid social insurance - but despite the label, this does not count toward your eligibility for the French sécu system.

Clear as mud? But this is still France, after all - and these things tend to work themselves out once you get settled here.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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As has already been said, unless you are in receipt of a UK pension, you can't just "transfer" your social insurance eligibility from the UK to France. If you're under the retirement age in the UK when you arrive, you will need to have some sort of private health coverage until you either find a job and have made the minimum contribution or you become eligible for an S1 from the UK (i.e. based on your pension).
Or until such time as the OP is accepted into the CMU, which doesn't preclude subsequently getting an S1 from the UK. :)
 

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The potential problem being getting an S1 from the UK, although perhaps that is easier for non-UK Europeans. Certainly worth a try :)
although the uk government has stated that , like other EU countries , they will no longer issue S1's except to those with a state retirement pension it seems that there have been cases where they have done so ...well worth a try !

and as you don't have to declare yourself for tax purposes until the following year just hang on to your EHIC to start with and claim on that , the systems won't be aware of what you are doing , at least not to begin with
 

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The problem with claiming through your EHIC is that you get treated by the system as being French I.e. for the majority of cases and illnesses an 80:20 split. 80% being paid through the state I.e. the DWP and the remaining 20% should be passed on to the mutuelle but which you, being British, no longer get back from DWP as of July 14. Only if you have private overseas insurance are you likely to be able to recover that amount back.
 

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No comment on tax, carte vitale etc - others here know much more than I.

I don't know if the original poster CatherineG has visited France often. Perhaps she should be prepared for shocks? I've been in France for 15 years and now the UK is very definitely a foreign country now. The language, law and general culture have change a great deal. Whether I like the UK now or not is not the question, it's just that for me it's not the same country that I left 15 years ago.

Perhaps the occasional visits to family in France are not the same as living in France. We often talk here about the problems of tourists liking what they see in France and then wanting to live in France based on a very small slice of information.

Anyway good luck, Catherine G, and I hope you like completing the French tax déclarations!

DejW
 

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The problem with claiming through your EHIC is that you get treated by the system as being French I.e. for the majority of cases and illnesses an 80:20 split. 80% being paid through the state I.e. the DWP and the remaining 20% should be passed on to the mutuelle but which you, being British, no longer get back from DWP as of July 14. Only if you have private overseas insurance are you likely to be able to recover that amount back.
when registered with the french system the OP will need to be mutualised to get complete cover anyway , nothing to stop her contracting to one earlier if she so wishes
personally , on the basis that an insurance company can make a profit from me I act as my own insurance company
 

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No comment on tax, carte vitale etc - others here know much more than I.

I don't know if the original poster CatherineG has visited France often. Perhaps she should be prepared for shocks? I've been in France for 15 years and now the UK is very definitely a foreign country now. The language, law and general culture have change a great deal. Whether I like the UK now or not is not the question, it's just that for me it's not the same country that I left 15 years ago.

Perhaps the occasional visits to family in France are not the same as living in France. We often talk here about the problems of tourists liking what they see in France and then wanting to live in France based on a very small slice of information.

Anyway good luck, Catherine G, and I hope you like completing the French tax déclarations!

DejW
The OP's case is different, though - she lived in France until she was 18, then she moved to the UK, so she has some experience, albeit 32 years ago, of making such a move and successfully adjusting. I myself was a Third Culture Kid, having lived in the UK, France and Australia for various periods whilst growing up, then living in Spain for over 3 years, then in Australia for 42 years and I know I have found the adjustment much easier than many expats. In any case, her fall back plan is to move back to the UK. :)
 

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The OP's case is different, though - she lived in France until she was 18, then she moved to the UK, so she has some experience, albeit 32 years ago, of making such a move and successfully adjusting. I myself was a Third Culture Kid, having lived in the UK, France and Australia for various periods whilst growing up, then living in Spain for over 3 years, then in Australia for 42 years and I know I have found the adjustment much easier than many expats. In any case, her fall back plan is to move back to the UK. :)
I'm sure Catherine will be fine! :)

I've lived in the UK (both as a child, and returning later, as an adult), Australia, and Germany on a couple of occasions, and I do think that her having made that move, even long ago, helps enormously. Perhaps expats are more open to change, expect it and accept it more easily, having experienced it. And Catherine has the huge advantage of being French.

A lot depends too on your flexibility, your own ability to adapt, to know when to accept things, to keep a good outlook, to be a happy person generally. I suspect, EH, that for many people such as yourself, your abilities in these areas have more to do with your success assimilating in different countries, although your actual experience of course no doubt helps those abilities! ;)

Having said that, I know many times people do return and as DejW says, find that too much has changed for them to be happy. Sometimes Brits return to retire in the UK from Australia - for some, it's too much. They though they were going "home" only to find that Australia had become home, and they never realised it. Not only had the UK changed in their absence, but they had changed too. They'd become used to blue skies or just a different culture, over decades.

Another example for me was Greek people from Melbourne (biggest Greek city outside Greece) returning to Greece to retire to find everything different, and the Greek people all thinking they spoke Greek like someone from decades ago - the language, and the culture, had changed, but the Greek expats in Australia had never known, or grown through those changes.

I see that with my German wife sometimes, and even get surprised myself, when we return to Germany, even on a visit. And sooo much has changed in the UK in the 30+ years since I lived there!

Add to that that we can sometimes just remember the good things from decades ago, and if they have changed we may not see the new good things, or perhaps we just remember why we wanted to leave in the first place, and it can be awkward for some. For myself, I know I have to give myself time. I tend to move quickly, and I've had to learn a little patience.

With any move, there's always the new struggle with officialdom. I think as we only deal with that now and then when we were in our old country, we forget all that was involved there! I know many people curse the bureaucracy in their new country - then again, if we returned to your own original country to start again, we would have (as Catherine will) plenty of hoops to jump through. I console myself with the thought that this too - well, mostly anyway! - will pass! :)

Still, her having the language and the background makes it so much easier, if perhaps not much less tiresome! :)

Having an option to return can provide both a feeling of protection, a fall-back position, but also sometimes be an impetus to to try harder to beat any obstacle too, before falling back on that last resort. Seems to me that the fact the Catherine has mentioned her possible concerns shows she's a thoughtful, sensible person.

For me, and some others too, I think, it's often not about practical things so much. A successful move (or not) is as much about feelings - whether you're comfortable where you are. Apparently minor things can really have a cumulative effect, and it doesn't always have to be logical.

I think, for me, it's like changing jobs to some extent - after several months to a year, I can say, yes, I've adapted nearly as much as I'm likely to - so I then feel I can make my own assumptions about how things are working out for me in a more fair and balanced fashion.

The last thing I'd be concerned about now is starting again if the move didn't work out - re-starting can be done easily enough, annoying as it might be to have to go through some of it again. If we were to need to do that, we'd just do it, wouldn't we? But even then, again Catherine has the background and experience to do this more easily than most, and would have existing records, and recent familiarity with life in general in the UK, should she return.

While I think that how she feels she fits in over time will be something only she can decide, and she is very sensibly prepared to give that time, I do think that Catherine will be fine wherever she ends up, and I don't think she should worry too much about what would happen in the event of a possible return to the UK - it would not be that hard a thing to do if needed! :)

You'll never, never know, if you never, never go! :)
 
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