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living off savings, how to be legal???


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We are moving to france in march, hopefully, and should have enough money for a year, as an emergency. We have found some work, all be it on the black, as im told its called.

In six months we will receive some more money to enable us to do the gite ready for renting.

During this time, we work on the black or live off the bank account, how do we cover our selves for doctors, hospitals, pensions etc?

I have been told to use the E111, by english that are living in france, and to 'just dont worry, it will all work out' also, that for the first two years, we are covered under the english social security system??? and to continue to pay into the english systen to cover our pensions.

I am concerened that every thing  I have now read, just seems to be confusing as to the right way of doing things.

please help, we also have a little girl who will be six.

thanks. Bev

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>>>please help, we also have a little girl who will be six.<<<

If you really want to do the best for your daughter you will not follow the course of action you are suggesting. If you are going to be so concerned about finances ( I know you have said they will be tight) maybe you need to wait a while longer before making this move.

The liklihood is that 'something will NOT turn up' ( One of the myths mentioned in a recent Living France article) and the certainty is that ignorance is not seen as an excuse.

Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I am sure you want to make a success of this move, forewarned is forearmed.

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How to be legal...............don't work here illegally. You could be in a lot of trouble. Not only you but the people you work for. Which would be nice for your six year old if you are carted off to jail, ne c'est pas!


An E111 is for holiday makers, not for you, contact Newcastle and get the right E form for you. You have been told a load of merde by these people about the two year thing, it is not an E111 that works like this. If that is the sort of advice they are handing out, then I would steer clear of it.


Live off savings?  I hope that you have enough to keep you and enough to do your place up. And the earnings from 'a' gite will not be enough to keep a family will it? The season is not necessarily that long.


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Is this a wind up? just about every subject the poster has covered has been discussed as recently as today...Health ,E111 to name a couple.

there is a search button at the top right hand corner ,please use it before you pose any more silly questions!

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This has to be one of the most naiive and stupid questions I have ever seen on this forum. Whats happened to common sense and reading other contributors threads or does the poster think they are immune to all that.If you work on the black here without any proper health insurance then you deserve everything you get and those of us who have to pay very very high social charges and work hard will get even more embittered about the type of people coming to live in France now.
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I am sorry if I have offended people, but this was not the intention. I  am trying to ask for help to be legal.

(I was too upset with the response to answer last night)

I do not want to be illegal, that was the whole point of this posting. I have read all the articles I can find, but can not seem to get the answers I need.

I want to declare the work we get and pay taxes, etc., to be part of the system. We are hopeing to make this a permanent move, but there seems to be no benefit being 'self employed' so, is there any information on how to declare earnings, i.e. setting up a business etc

I dont know how things work, which is why I am asking this forum, we have enough money for a year to get settled, but the health / doctors etc side of things seems to be a mystery, or at least to me. How do we get cover?

We just want to move and get into the system correctly. Any work we get we would declare, or is it not that simple?

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beani, You are not going until March ? You have plenty of time to do some research. Sadly at present the search facility here is not working properly so you may just have to re phase your question.

As posted in another current thread, working in France on your own account is not cheap and you need to be sure you are on the correct regime.

The expression 'working on the black' will always raise hackles I'm afraid - many brits who post on this forum and pay into the system get pretty fed up with people moving over and taking 'short cuts' because they feel it reflects badly on them too.

Why not post again, say a little more about what sort of work your husband will be doing and ask for advice as to the right regime?

There is a good thread by Iceni at present, which might be useful reading.

Just take things step by step

Bon Chance

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What you have been told is a lot of half truths and a couple of much-repeated lies - I wouldn't ask those particular English people anything else.

Lots of people, French included, work on the black. It's a chance you take. If caught you can be heavily fined or even imprisoned - there are a lot of properly-registered people, including your fellow Brits, who take delight in shopping you to the gendarmes if they discover what you are doing. As I say, lots of people get away with it, you must take your chances.

The E111 will cover you for emergency medical treatment if you pretend that you are not living permanently in France. What it won't cover you for is things like repeat prescriptions, most follow-up treatment in case of accident or illness, and other routine health care.

There is nothing to stop you protecting your UK pension by continuing to pay into the UK social security system, but this will not entitle you to health cover in France.

You may be able, as a European citizen, to get an E form like E106 from DSS in Newcastle which will allow you official access to the French health system. This will depend on things like your NI contribution record. There are others which will cover you if you intend to work officially, continuing your UK employment or self-employment either temporarily or if you are unsure about how long you will stay in France. These E forms are nominally valid for two years (it's a very complicated system) which is no doubt where one of your bits of doubtful advice came from.

Otherwise, as far as the French authorities are concerned if either your main home, your family, or your main economic activity is in France you will be regarded as French resident and expected to pay tax and social security in France. The amount of time you spend in France is not relevant like it is in UK - the two countries have different residence qualifications which can mean you are tax resident in both, though because of the dual taxation treaty any particular item of income should only be taxed in one country.

If in doubt a good first point of contact is your local mairie (town hall - every commune, even the smallest, has one), tax office (hotel des impots) or URSSAF (roughly equivalent to a social security office). You will need to talk to the mairie about education for your child - this is compulsory in France at her age.

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Poor Beani - no wonder you are confused.  I've been reading this forum for a number of years and don't often contribute.  I'm a person who wants to do things the right way and if you get advice from this forum you will usually end up somewhere near right.  Unfortunately, real life just isn't quite that simple.

I'm still waiting for all the people who live near me to be carted off by gendarmes etc.  I know we are the only English people in the area with carte de Sejour (they were still obligatory when we arrived) and I know this because the mairie were astounded when we applied.  Some English neighbours have lived here for nearly 7 years - child at school etc - car still registered in UK father and son working on black and frankly their life is a great deal simpler than mine.  When I asked other B & B owners about licences they thought I was mad 'You don't want to bother with that'.

As Will says you take a risk and frankly I'm too cowardly to take one.  But, at the risk of bringing flak down on my head, how great is that risk.  As I struggle on with various French bureaucratic procedures (and I speak very good French - God help those who don't) I often wonder if I wouldn't have been better off if I had never registered with anyone for anything.

My advice would still be to do things properly, it is a bit frustrating but you will find people to help you and to make sure you have a real plan and enough money - don't be tempted to borrow for any venture.  However, be realistic and don't expect to find that everyone is playing by the rules.  

Good luck, and keep asking the questions, don't be put off by negative answers - after all most of it is only someone's opinion.



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[quote]Good on you Cerise. And for those around you, well, I don't understand why they are being left alone by the authorities. I have been told that some regions do next to nothing about this....... but o...[/quote]

In our very small hamlet of 7 or so houses, one family is ignored and sometimes spoken about with a bit of an edge to the voice.  They have a daughter the same age as the farmers niece who also lives in the hamlet but although they speak at school, they never talk in the hamlet and both seem rather lonely as we are remote.  Both this family and the farmers family were born in the hamlet.

We are led to believe that the reason is due to the way the head of the family works.  Now if they will treat someone who was born in the hamlet this way, I dread to think how they would treat me - a ruddy foreigner - if I stepped out of line.

I am doing everything legal, I have been told that they know when you change your socks in the Lot and trust me, I believe that - we often say, we have done this, we are doing that and they say, 'yes we know, so and so told us'.

We used a local mason to knock the holes in the walls for the windows, guess what, he has just signed off our final plans that we put in on behalf of our local Mayor - he is obviously a 'fonctionaire' (?sp).

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First of all buy a couple of books about living in France but dont beleive everything you read.

Second think long and hard about how you are going to earn a living One gite will not give you a sufficient income to live our neighbours have a gite with swimmingpool cost them about 100000 euros to renovate and that was with him doing all of the roofing work and carpentry work himself.Yes he got a grant from Gites de France but only 20000 euros He has done quite well this year about 14 weeks rental income of 8000 euros take off taxes and expenses for electricity running swimmingpool etc probaply left with 6000 euros.

Your dogs which I saw on another tread Get pet passports for them inclusing rabies jabs,bloodtests etc.I know of 2 families with children who came out to France with their dogs on an export certificate both gave up after a year a combination of not being able to find work and children being unhappy in school not able to get to grips with language Both have had to leave their dogs behind in France because they did not have pet passports

About working on the black The french in this area are curious to know how people are making a living yes they realise that some have retired here but the younger ones with families who appear not to work are objects of suspicion One person I know has just had a visit from the gendarmes and all work on a barn has now stopped ,a combination of no permissions for work and a suspicion that the other workers were working on the black

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  • 1 month later...

[quote]Is this a wind up? just about every subject the poster has covered has been discussed as recently as today...Health ,E111 to name a couple. there is a search button at the top right hand corner ,plea...[/quote]

There is no such thing as a silly question!

If you don't know the answer how can it be silly?


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I would suggest that you purchase a book called 'Living and Working in France - A survival handbook' by David Hampshire. This book covers everything that you need to know (or just about everything!) in detail. It is not perfect but the best that I have read. It is available from Amazon for about £9. Also we have 2 children here in France and run 4 large gites and are just about making enough money to survive. One of you will need to be working full time unless you have another source of income.
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