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Is a certain income required to gain French residency?

Several readers have asked about the income levels required to stay in France under the terms of one of the new “Brexit-deal” residency cards for Britons – and the amount needed to move here next year after the transition period ends.

For Britons established as living in France before Decem­ber 31, and thus able to benefit from the With­drawal Agreement (WA) deal, precise requirements in terms of proof and documents are expected to be released this month.

The WA deal allows states to give residency without proof of income and French officials have told Connexion they will be flexible and expect that very few, if any, people to be rejected for a card. Serious security concerns would be a likelier reason than financial issues for rejection, they added, saying people will also not be penalised if their incomes have dropped due to Covid-19.

Under EU rules, where a means test is applied, it cannot be stricter than rules that theoretically apply to EU citizens living abroad in the EU. Countries should not require a set amount but be flexible and look at personal circumstances. They should not ask for more than the level at which nationals are eligible for income support.

Last year, when there was a risk of no WA deal being signed, France planned to set an income test at no more than the level of the RSA French income support benefit for working age people.This is €564.78/month for a single person, €847.17 for a couple without dependent children, or €1,186.04 for a couple with two dependent children. Requirements for the Brexit-deal cards are expected to be no more onerous.

New British residents arriving next year would apply for one of various cards of differing lengths, depending on work status. Early retirees and retirees would apply for a ‘visitor’ card, whose requirements include income of €1,219/month per person, equivalent to the net monthly minimum wage in France after social charges. The self-employed would need to show a business plan and employees would need a job offer. A visitor card is renewable annually but can be converted to a 10-year card after five years on conditions including having the monthly equivalent to the gross minimum wage, €1,539.42.

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