Residency, visas and healthcare made simple

Diana Nyerges, a Relocation Specialist from French Connections HCB, talks to us about the three hottest topics as the final pre-Brexit residency deadline approaches.

The deadline for the pre-Brexit residency agreement is midnight on June 30, only weeks away. What happens if you miss it? Will it really make a difference?

The answer is yes!

People who arrived in France before December 31and have been here permanently ever since are entitled to apply right now for a residency permit (Carte de Séjour) that is valid for 5 or 10 years. One major advantage of the Carte de Séjour is that you don’t have to leave France when it expires, you can renew it from here. That’s a big plus!

Be careful though. If your residency application isn’t filled in correctly or there are supporting elements missing, it could result in delay or refusal. The deadline is very close so it’s worth getting professional help to make sure you get it right first time.

What happens if you miss that deadline?

If you miss the deadline, no matter who you are or how long you have been here, you’ll only be legally allowed to stay in France for a further 90 days. You won’t be allowed to return for another 90 days after that, and you will need to apply for a visa before you do.

This is where the transition from EU to non-EU starts to be felt.

Is there a way back in?

Yes, but it’s more complicated.

You cannot apply for French residency if you are not in France. First you will need to apply for a relevant visa at the French Consulate in London, Manchester or Edinburgh. Depending on your rights with that visa, either you will be entitled to apply for residency soon after you have arrived in France or you will need to wait until the following year. 

What’s the best French visa to apply for?

That really depends on your personal situation, because each visa has different implications on how long you can stay and whether you are allowed to work here. Rules can also change depending on which department you are moving to and where you’re coming from. You can see why it starts to become a bit confusing!

The Short Stay Visa gives you 3-6 months, but you can’t work.

The Long Stay Visa lasts 6-12 months and allows you to enter France and reside in France throughout its validity period without the need for you to apply to the Prefecture for a residence permit. However, it does not allow you to work.  

The Professional Visa is for people who specifically want to come here to work, but there are many subsections including the Salaried Employees Visa, the Visa for Creating or Running a Business, the Independent Workers Visa and the Sports Visa…

There are also the Working Holiday Visa, the Study Visa and the famous Talent Passport, which is probably is the most challenging because unless your skill is going to directly benefit France financially or culturally, you are very unlikely to qualify. 

Many people contact me asking about the Family Visa. That one has no golden rule, because each applicant’s situation is different and anybody wanting to join a family member must first contact the local prefecture, which makes the ultimate decision. My advice to anyone considering the Family Visa is to take advantage of our free 15 minute consultation so we can look at your specific situation and advise you from there.

What’s the rule about healthcare? And who does it apply to?

Between arriving in France and successfully applying for Social Security, you are responsible for covering your own health care costs and you must show proof of this on any application.  You will need your own health insurance for the duration of your visa. 

People often make the mistake of thinking all French healthcare is free, but that’s not true. Having a French Social Security number automatically entitles you to a Carte Vitale, which covers some but not all of your health care. Some people choose to pay the difference themselves, but that can become expensive in the case of hospital stays. The most popular solution is to take out a ‘mutuelle’ which is a top-up insurance policy that reimburses the costs not covered by Social Security.

At French Connections HCB, we’re always looking for solutions for our clients, so we’ve been working with one of France’s largest insurance companies to create affordable bridging and top-up health insurances for people moving to France. We’re very happy to put you in touch.

If people want to live in France, what should they do next?

If you arrived in France before December 31, you still have time to submit your residency application before the deadline. We can help you do that quickly and efficiently if you contact us now.

If you arrived in France after December 31st, you’ve missed the pre-Brexit deadline, but you can still move here. It just takes a bit more organisation as you may need to leave France after 90 days, as outlined above. The best thing is to get in touch with us and we can help with next steps, advise you on which type of visa to apply for and even submit your application for you.

If you haven’t arrived in France yet, you can still move here but there’s an extra step of applying for an initial visa that will allow you to apply for residency at a later stage. Here at French Connections HCB, we can help with all the administrative procedures and any other aspect of your move. A good way to plan ahead with confidence is to click on this link to book a free 15-minute consultation to discuss your situation.

One last question. What is French Connections HCB?

We’re a team of bilingual people passionate about helping people make the move to France. Some of us are French, others (including me) moved here years ago, but what we share is a desire to take away the stress of relocating and use our own knowledge and experience of French administrative procedures to smooth the way. In my case, I’ve spent the past 14 years helping families from over 80 nationalities to start their new life in France and I love it!

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