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Can my British mother come live with us in France?

British residents with a withdrawal agreement card in France can bring over a parent to live with them in specific situations

There are a number of options post-Brexit of allowing family members join you to live in France Pic: wavebreakmedia / Shutterstock

Reader question: I am a British citizen, French-resident, living permanently in France, married to a French national. 

Is it possible to have my mother, now 80, come to live with us in France and what would be her entitlement to healthcare? 

There several ways your mother could be allowed to come. 

The first is if she is considered dependent on you. 

As a British citizen, if you were living in France before January 1, 2021, and obtained a Withdrawal Agreement (WA) residency card, a dependent parent will be eligible to apply for a five-year carte de séjour

In this case, your mother would have to apply for a WA carte de séjour at your local prefecture within three months of moving to France. 

She would have to provide supporting documents, including your carte de séjour, proof of your relationship, and proof that she is in your care. 

The latter will usually include proof of your income and an attestation sur l’honneur (signed declaration) that you are responsible for her. 

There is no clear definition of dependency, but Justine Wallington of the Rift group, which defends the rights of Britons in France, said “long-term financial dependency” is generally a better fit with the EU and WA rules than “physical or medical dependency”. 

Having said that, a French decree relating to the WA rules does also refer to people who urgently need personal help from their family member due to serious medical reasons. 

You may be asked to prove that you have been providing your mother with financial support – for example, through regular bank transfers – and that you have the funds to support her while in France. 

If your mother is financially dependent on you, she could also qualify for a carte de séjour ‘ascendant à charge’ as the mother-in-law of a French citizen. 

Otherwise, there is no automatic right for UK citizens to bring their parents to France. 

If your mother is financially independent, she will therefore be in the same situation as other retirees looking to settle in France. 

The option in this case is to apply for a long-stay visa equivalent to a residence permit – a visa lasting up to 12 months, which requires holders to apply for a temporary carte de séjour ‘visiteur’ before it expires. 

She will also have to show she has regular income equivalent to the net French monthly minimum wage (€1,383/month). 

UK state pensioners can use the S1 form system to access healthcare in France. 

There is also a general principle that permits anyone living long-term to apply for healthcare under ‘Puma’ residency rules.

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