HomeUnited KingdomGuidance: Living in France

Guidance: Living in France

What you should do

You should:


You should follow the advice of the French Government and your local authority. You can also read our France travel advice for our latest guidance.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in France, see our coronavirus travel advice.

Stay up to date

You should:

Attend a virtual citizens’ outreach meeting

The British Embassy holds virtual events for UK nationals in France. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in France.

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

If you were legally resident in France before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement. You must apply for a new residence status by 1 July 2021 to secure your rights.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

If you were legally resident in France before 1 January 2021, you must apply online for the Withdrawal Agreement Residency Permit (WARP) before 1 July 2021. You need to have your WARP before 1 October 2021. Do not delay applying.

All UK nationals resident in France need to apply for the Withdrawal Agreement Residency Permit. This includes UK nationals:

  • with a European carte de séjour (even if it is marked “permanent”, or has no expiry date)
  • without a European carte de séjour (it was previously optional)
  • in the process of applying for a second nationality
  • married to or in a civil partnership with (known as PACSed) French or other EU nationals

Each person must make a separate application. Children under 18 do not need to apply, unless they need a residency permit to work or will turn 18 close to the application deadline.

Read the flowchart on the application website which shows what documents you need to provide.

Regularly check your email and spam folder for contact from your Prefecture. They will contact you if anything is missing, or incorrect, or if they have any questions on your file. Respond promptly to requests to help prefectures process applications quickly.

You should:

Additional support

If you need additional support to complete your residency application, read the guidance on the UK Nationals Support Fund.

Moving to France

Check the entry requirements for France and read the French government guidance on moving to France (in French).

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence permit (EU permit or Withdrawal Agreement permit) as well as your valid passport when you travel. If you have applied but not yet received your permit, carry your certificate of application. You will have received this as an email.

If you have not yet applied for a residence permit, you should carry evidence that you are resident in France. This could include a tenancy agreement, property rental receipts, or gas or electricity bills in your name dating from 2020.

Make sure you show your residence permit, or other residence proof, any time you are asked to show your passport at border control.

If you cannot show that you are resident in France, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in France.


Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from France.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Renew your passport before booking your travel if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket.

Entry requirements

You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.

To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.

Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Travel to the UK and Ireland has not changed.


You must register for healthcare as a resident in France, and in addition, you can sign up for top-up health insurance (mutuelle).

If you are legally resident in France, you can get a French social security card for healthcare (carte vitale). To get a French social security card, you will need to register with your local Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM). They can tell you which documents they need for your registration. Top-up insurance cover (mutuelle) also exists to cover the cost of healthcare not covered by a Carte Vitale.

If you have been resident in France for more than 3 months you can apply to be covered by the French healthcare system (PUMA).

Read our guidance on accessing healthcare in France and make sure you are correctly registered for your circumstances.

Read the French government guidance on access to healthcare.

You can also read guidance on:

State healthcare: S1

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in France and you:

  • are receiving a UK State Pension
  • are receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • are a frontier worker who lives in France and commutes to work in the UK
  • have been sent to France temporarily by your UK employer

Read our guidance on using an S1 form in France to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC)

If you are resident in France, you must not use your UK-issued EHIC or GHIC for healthcare in France, unless you are a student or a detached (posted) worker. Current EHICs will remain valid until the expiry date on the card.

If you live and work in France, you may be able to get a French EHIC to get healthcare when you travel to other EU countries.

If you are living in France you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC if you’re:

  • a UK student in France
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

The card you receive will depend on when you moved to France.

Apply now for a new UK EHIC or GHIC.

An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

For more information read our guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe and advice on foreign travel insurance. 

You should also read guidance on:

Working and studying in France

If you were legally resident in France before 1 January 2021, you have the right to work, as long as you remain legally resident.

Read the French government’s guidance on EU exit and working in France.

To apply for a job you may need to provide a:

If you are planning to come to France to work, you may need a visa.

Read the Department for International Trade’s guidance on:

and sign up for their updates.

Read the French government’s guidance on:

Frontier workers

If you live in France and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country, before 1 January 2021 you may need a permit to show you are a frontier worker. You must also apply for a residency permit in France.   

If you live in the UK or another EU of EFTA country and commuted to work in France before 1 January 2021 you need a permit. You must apply for this permit from the Prefecture where you work before 1 July 2021.

To apply, you need a valid passport, a recent facial photograph; a certificate of employment or proof of self-employed activity on French territory. See more detail in the Ministerial Order. We will update this page once more information on the application process is available.

Studying in France

You will be eligible for broadly the same support as French nationals, as long as you were legally resident in France before 1 January 2021. You must apply for a residency permit in France.

Read our guidance on:

Moving to France to study

If you are planning to study in France, make sure you meet all visa requirements before you travel.

Contact the relevant higher education provider in France to check what fees you may have to pay.

University tuition fees for UK nationals coming to France to study from 1 January 2021 may be higher due to the French government’s reforms to public university tuition fees.

Increased fees will not apply to:

  • UK students already enrolled on a course of study when the reforms were announced (September 2019) for the duration of that course
  • UK students starting a course during the transition period, for the duration of that course

Check with your grant provider for any continued eligibility for student support (in French) and read the Campus France guidance on tuition fee reforms. (in English)

For more information read studying in the European Union.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with France to ensure you do not pay tax on the same income in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in France have not changed.

Read the guidance about:

You should get professional advice on paying tax in France. Find an English-speaking lawyer in France.

National Insurance

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in France.


Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes for more information on cross-border banking.

Declaration of assets

All residents must declare any assets held outside France, including bank accounts, securities, rights, insurance, annuities and property. This declaration is separate to the annual tax return.


Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in France.

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire in France, you can claim:

You can read the French government’s guidance on French social security including pensions.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on pension and retirement changes for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t. Or you can ask your local town hall (mairie) to fill in a French life certificate (certificat de vie) (in French) instead.


Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in France

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC, if you are asked for this.

French unemployment benefit

For French unemployment benefits, you should:

French disability benefit

Contact the Maison Départementale des Personnes Handicapées (MDPH) (in French) about disability allowance – there are several disability allowances so it’s best to seek advice from them before applying.

French family allowance

To apply for child allowance, family income support, single-parent allowance or housing allowance, contact the CAF (Caisse d’Allocations Familiales) (in French) if you need help applying, request an appointment with the social worker at your local town hall (mairie).

Driving in France

If you are resident in France, you can continue to use your UK licence until 1 January 2022, if it has not expired.

Valid UK licences do not need to be exchanged during this period, until a reciprocal agreement is reached between the United Kingdom and France. We are working with the French government to finalise this agreement and will update this page when information is available. 

The provisions allowing UK national residents in France to continue using their UK licence until 1 January 2022 do not extend to UK nationals resident in France whose licence has already expired. We are working closely with the French Government to find a solution for those with expired licences and will update this page when information is available.

If you are visiting France and you have a UK photocard licence , you do not need to carry an additional International Driving Permit (IDP).  

For information on driving in France, read the guidance on:

Driving in the UK with a French licence

You can use your French licence in the UK for short visits, or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test. We will update these pages if there are any changes to the rules, as soon as information is available.

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to France

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in France. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so, you will need certificates of exemption.


You cannot vote in elections in France or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections. You can:

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in France, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in France you can:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services in France

You may also need:

Accommodation and buying property

Read our guidance on:


If you have a pet passport issued by France or another EU member state, you can use it to travel with your pet to Great Britain and elsewhere in the EU.

A GB-issued EU pet passport is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. You should speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary pet travel documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Read guidance on:

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.


You can dial the European emergency number 112 in France, or dial:

  • 17 for police
  • 18 for fire brigade
  • 15 for medical

Find the full list of emergency number in France.

If you have been the victim of a rape or sexual assault, you can find guidance on rape and sexual assault in France.

If you’re the victim of a crime, have been arrested, or are affected by a crisis abroad, contact the British embassy in Paris.

Returning to the UK

You should tell the French and UK authorities if you are returning to the UK permanently.

You should tell your local French tax office (in French) that you are changing address and the date you will leave.

You’ll need to tell your local social security office (in French) and benefit office you’re leaving if you’ve been getting unemployment benefit (in French) or child and housing benefit (in French).

If you get a UK State Pension, you must tell the International Pension Centre. If you get a French pension, contact your pension provider.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

If you return to the UK permanently and meet the ordinarily resident test, you’ll be able to access NHS care without charge.


This information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the French authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) is not liable for any inaccuracies in this information.


Stay Connected
Must Read
Related News