Key changes for British expats in France post Brexit

Written by on January 4, 2021 in Financial

Map of France

The deal agreed between the EU and the UK after January 2021 brings changes and clarification to some key points. Beacon Global Wealth have summarised some of the key changes for British expats in France post Brexit:

Pensions for UK expats in France post Brexit

The European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, states:

“The provisions on Social Security Coordination will ensure that individuals who move between the UK and the EU in the future will have their social security position in respect of certain important benefits protected.

“Individuals will be able to have access to a range of social security benefits, including reciprocal healthcare cover and an uprated state pension.”

The deal also states that ‘pension aggregation’ will continue. This refers to the ability for the UK and EU states to consider periods spent paying into the other’s pension system when working out pension entitlement.

Healthcare in France post Brexit

The country that pays a person’s state pension will also continue to pay for their healthcare if they retire abroad in the UK or EU, the deal summary says.

Protections ‘akin to’ the EHIC system will also continue for travellers between the UK and EU. This includes second homeowners.

“This means individuals who are temporarily staying in another country, for example a UK national who is in an EU member state for a holiday, will have their necessary healthcare needs met for the period of their stay”.

People will also retain the right to seek authorisation to receive planned medical treatment abroad, funded by the home state.

French Residency Card WARP Applications

The French government have published regulations on the rules that will apply for residency applications made under the Withdrawal Agreement.

During November 2020, two regulations were issued setting out the details of the application process for a residence permit (WARP) by British nationals living in France prior to the end of 2020.

Much of what they contain merely sets out in a legislative form the published guidance already available, albeit with more precise definition.

Resources Test for residency in France

Perhaps the most significant piece of news is a single low minimum income threshold has been set for WARP households to meet. It is confirmed as €565 per month, equivalent to the social security benefit, the Revenu de Solidarité Active (RSA).

The French government previously hinted that a higher income test would apply for those aged 65+. This has been dropped.

The RSA test has also been relaxed as the minimum threshold applies to the whole household. It is irrespective of size, not per person.

The French Government has been generous.

This test will only apply to those with under 5 years residence in France.

Those who can show at least 5-years residence will not be subject to a test of resources.

It is also noteworthy that even with the income bar set so low, the regulation states that ”the adequacy of resources is assessed considering the personal situation of the person concerned’. The minimum threshold is the ‘maximum’ sum that will be used to determine whether an applicant meets the resources test.

The use of the term ‘resources’ rather than ‘revenus‘ suggests that capital resources can also be used in the test if the monthly RSA figure cannot be reached directly from income.

In addition, the regulation does not exclude the income test being satisfied by financial support provided by a family member, in or outside of France. Although some evidence would probably be required that it be stable and regular.

International Driving Permit

If you are visiting France from January 2021 you do not need an international driving permit (IDP) except under specific circumstances as follows.

You might need an IDP to drive in some EU countries and Norway from 1 January 2021 if you have:

  • a paper driving licence
  • a licence issued in Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, or the Isle of Man


Letters and large letters containing only correspondence, commercial invoices or shipping documents do not require a customs declaration, the rest do. They can be downloaded from the following sites.



Jennie Poate is a UK expat who has lived in France for several years and is a qualified financial advisor who has helped many expats to organise their finances and tax in France.

Schedule your free no obligation consultation to find out if Jennie and her team at Beacon Global Wealth can help you.

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The financial advisers trading under Beacon Global Wealth Management are members of Nexus Global (IFA Network). Nexus Global is a division of Blacktower Financial Management (Cyprus) Limited . All approved individual members of Nexus Global are Appointed Representatives of BFM (Cyprus) Ltd, which is licenced and regulated by the Cyprus Security & Exchange Commission (CySec) and bound by their rules under licence numbers (IDD) ICCS-Licence 5101 and (MiFID) Licence 386/20.

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