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Moving to France For Members

How much money do British people need to move to France in 2023?

The Local
The Local - [email protected] • 17 Feb, 2023 Updated Fri 17 Feb 2023 13:57 CEST
How much money do British people need to move to France in 2023?
Photo by Philippe HUGUEN / AFP

Since Brexit, the rules for British nationals moving to France have changed - and many visa types include minimum income requirements. Here's how much you will need if you want to move to France in 2023.

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Before you arrive

Anyone who is a citizen of an EU member state enjoys freedom of movement into and out of France, so doesn't need to worry about visas.

However, just about everyone else - including post-Brexit Britons - coming to France will usually require a visa for anything longer than a short break (usually 90 days or less, although citizens of some countries require a visa for a trip of any length of time).

You can find more information on the types of visa available and how to apply for one HERE.

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There is usually a fee to process the visa, and you may also need to pay to get supporting documents translated - but on top of that some types of visa require you to prove you have a certain amount of money.

The basic principle is that you need to prove that you will be able to support yourself during your stay, and will not become a burden on the French state. All visa applications are decided on an individual basis and other circumstances – such as owning a mortgage-free home – can be taken into account, but here are the broad guidelines around income.

Retired or otherwise economically inactive

If you don't intend to work in France, for example if you are retired or you just want to take a year off work, then you need to prove that you can support yourself.

The guideline figure for people to be economically self-sufficient is based on the French minimum wage (known as the SMIC). This is regularly reviewed but at present stands at €1,353.07 after taxes per month.

So if you intend to live off a pension or other form of regular income, you need at least €1,353.07 per month. 

If you do not have an income but your partner or spouse does then this can be taken into consideration, but your partner then needs to demonstrate that they have enough for two - or €2,706.14 after taxes.

If you do not have a pension but intend to live off savings then you need to demonstrate that you have enough in your bank account to cover €1,353 for every month of your visa. So to cover the daily living requirement to have a one-year visa that would be €16, 236. 

You will be asked to provide your last three bank statements showing that you have at least this amount in your account.  

On top of this, you will need to prove you have full health insurance cover for the duration of your visa - and give an undertaking that you will not exercise any professional activity in France.

If you have a job to come to 

If you are coming to France as an employee, then you don't need to give any financial guarantees, but you do need a confirmed job offer in place before you start the visa paperwork.

The company or person hiring you needs to justify hiring a non-EU national and you will then have to apply for an employee visa – the length of which will be determined by the type of contract you have: permanent (CDI), or temporary (CDD).

If you are self-employed

If you intend to start a business in France you will need to be able to demonstrate the economic viability of your project.

If you intend to work as a freelance or contractor you will need to prove that you have sufficient financial resources to cover at least the French minimum wage of €1,353 a month after taxes.

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If you intend to freelance in one of the regulated professions in France you may also need to provide proof of appropriate qualifications – this government site, in English, explains more and lists the regulated professions.

Visa fees

There is a fee to apply for the visa (non-refunundable if your application is rejected) and this must be paid every time you apply - so annually if you have a regular one-year visa. Fees vary according to visa type, but average is €100.

On top of this, you may have to have certain documents translated into French - if this is required (and it isn't for all visa types) you must use a certified translator. They generally charge around €40 per page.

Your visa will also include an in-person appointment at the visa processing centre, so factor in travel costs to London or Manchester, if you are applying in England. 

Moving costs

Moving house is always expensive and moving countries more so, but of it depends on individual circumstances such as whether you are bringing furniture or not.

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A couple of things to note - there's the prospect of possible customs duties on certain items you may want to bring over.

READ ALSO EXPLAINED: Do you have to pay duty if you bring furniture from the UK to France?

And if you want to bring your UK-registered car with you, you will need to re-register it with French plates. That is both complicated and expensive (for the necessary certificates).

READ ALSO Reader question: How can I import a car from the UK to France?

Once in France

Once here, you will of course need money to live on.

Living costs vary quite a lot between Paris (crazy expensive), other cities (more reasonable) and rural France (cheaper, but you will almost certainly need to run a car).

We've put together a breakdown of how much you need to live in various areas of France;

https://www.thelocal.fr/20221125/map-the-20-cheapest-french-towns-and-cities-to-live-in/

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