Brexit and your life and property in France
After Brexit, there will be some changes for British people moving to France. Buying property will be unaffected, but if you’re moving permanently, some new rules may apply. Here are your need-to-knows.
Why Brexit is not the end of your overseas property dreams
With the UK having left the European Union, some new rules will apply to British people moving to France and other EU countries.
The good news is that property buyers will be completely unaffected by Brexit. It is only if you are moving permanently that new rules will apply.
With the Brexit deadline approaching, it’s vital that you protect your money from moving exchange rates. Don’t spend any money on your move abroad until you’ve read The Currency Guide to Emigration, free to download.
Here are your essential need-to-knows.
1. The right to buy and own property
You will continue to be able to buy and own property in France after Brexit, just as before, even after the transition period. Property ownership comes under French, not EU control. You will also be able to rent it out, just the same as an EU citizen.
2. Access to health services
Holiday home buyers
Your EHIC will no longer be valid, and most people will opt to take out travel health insurance. If you don’t take out insurance you will be treated in an emergency by the French health services but may face a large bill afterwards.
If you are resident by 31 December, you will have ‘life-long healthcare rights’, as long as you remain resident. It is likely that there will be further healthcare cooperation, but it remains to be announced.
Therefore, in the meantime you should take out comprehensive health insurance.
3. Right to residence
Staying less than 90 days
You will not need a visa. Most non-EU citizens are allowed free access without a visa for 90 days.
Staying more than 90 days
You will probably need a visa. There are many variations of this, for whether you are working, investing or retiring. Procedures for applying from the UK have not yet been announced.
Download your comprehensive France Buying Guide for everything you need to know about purchasing a property
You can receive your pension in France if you are retired, whether you moved before or after the Brexit transition period. You may also be able to claim certain French benefits, if you qualify.
You will still receive your UK pension in France. However, whether it will be up-rated each hear has not yet been settled. The latest from the UK government is that it will be uprated until March 2023 at least.
If you are a resident in France, you can change your UK driving licence for a French permit up till the end of the transition period.
After the transition period, British travellers wanting to drive in Europe may need an international driving permit (IDP). These are available at any British Post Office over the counter for just £5.50.
“What about me?” Your questions answered
I’m buying a holiday home
No problem. Nothing will change.
I’m moving to the EU to retire/work/study, BEFORE 31 December 2020
No problem. You will not need a visa, but you can optionally apply for a European carte de séjour. A new system will be launched after Brexit for people who arrived by 31st December 2020, and you’ll have until 31st July 2021 to obtain a residence permit.
I’m moving to the EU to retire/work/study, AFTER 31 December 2020
You may need a visa. A renewable visa ‘de long séjour’ will let you live in France for a year without working. You can also work on a visa ‘salarié’ for an employer, or, in some cases, start your own business with an investment of 30,000 under a visa ‘passeport talent/créateur d’entreprise’, which is valid for four years.
Remember, if you are simply buying a property and not planning to spend more than 3 months of the year in France, there is no change! You can press ahead with your plans.
We’d love to help along the way. Get in touch with us any time on 020 7898 0549 and don’t forget to download our free guide to buying in France.