FOREIGN RESIDENTS ORGANISATION GUIDE
Living & Working in the Corrèeze (France)
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CONTENTS 4. Foreword by Mr Guy Mascrès the Sous Prefet of the Corrèze 6. Introduction by Corize van Rensburg the Corrèze Delegate for the F.B.C.C.I. Living in the Corrèze (France) 8. 12. 17. 19. 23. 26. 30. 32.
Visas & Naturalisation a. Visas b. Naturalisation Driving in France Opening a bank account Accommodation Health & Insurance Nurseries & Schools Building & Renovating Personal Tax
Working in the Corrèze (France) 44. Employement Law 45. Setting up a business 46. Business Tax
47. 48. 50.
Glossary Useful Numbers Thanks
FOREWORD Je suis particulièrement heureux de partager la concrétisation de l’effort collectif pour faire naître ce guide destiné à toutes celles et ceux qui ont le projet de s’installer en Corrèze et souhaitent ainsi conjuguer ambition, personnelle ou professionnelle et tradition de nos terroirs. Vous trouverez dans ce Guide de l’Organisation des Résidents Étrangers - F.R.O.G. - à la rédaction duquel ont contribué les membres de la FBCCI, les bénévoles de tous horizons et les représentants des administrations. Il a pour objectif de vous offrir les outils nécessaires pour cheminer le plus facilement et le plus efficacement dans vos démarches administratives. Nos plaines verdoyantes, nos coteaux ensoleillés et nos rivières ondulantes recèlent des richesses que les Corréziennes et Corréziens mettent aujourd’hui au service d’une croissance dynamique et maîtrisée. Du vicomté de Turenne à l’artechnopole de Brive, des plateaux de Haute-Corrèze à l’industrialisation forestière, forts de leur passé et résolument tournés vers l’avenir, ils vous invitent à partager avec eux l’aventure d’un développement ambitieux et respectueux d’un environnement exceptionnel.
I am delighted to share this collective effort was created to guide all those individuals a professionals who have the ambition to sett down in this territory of the Corrèze.
This guide, aptly named F.R.O.G – Foreign Residents Organisational Guide has been cr by the FBCCI Corrèze and its members, vol teers of all horizons and administrative repr tatives. The objective of this guide is to prov the tools necessary to allow an easy and effi pathway through the administrative proces
Our lush plains, our sunny hillsides and our undulating rivers hold wealth that has cont uted to the dynamic growth of the Corrèze a its inhabitants. From the Viscount of Turen to the Artechnopole of Brive, from the plain the Haute-Corrèze to the vast forest planta standing strong on their past and resolutely ing towards the future, invite all to particip in an ambitious adventure in a respectful an exceptional environment.
Then as we say on the doorstep of the Corrè house that welcomes you: “ finissez d’entrer
Alors ainsi que l’on dit ici sur le seuil de la maison qui vous accueille : « finissez d’entrer ».
Guy Mascrès Sous-Préfet de Brive-la-Gaillarde
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FRANCO BRITISH CHAMBER
DELIVERING BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES THROUGH OUR GLOBAL NETWORK Founded in 1873 and with a membership network of over 700 companies and organisations, the Chamber is the principal voice of Franco-British business community in France. The Chamber’s objectives are: • To promote business trade be tween the UK and France • To drive and promote the Franco-British business community • To help its members to promote and develop their activity in France and in the UK • To provide members with information and expertise via its network of specialists.
For more infomation please contact Corize Van Rensburg +33 06.84.89.93.51 or visit :
This project was born out of my own serious ad Préfet’s office…let’s not go into detail, because
After being reprimanded by Mr Mascrès and his and we needed to find some way to help all Eng sation Guide was born.
The first meeting was held with participants fro in the Corrèze. In this meeting each participant system. This first meeting laid the foundation fo
Due to the nature and complexity of all the info as a work in progress. The first leap has been ma ute towards its growth.
Many people have contributed to this guide and make this a reality.
The Corrèze attracts individuals and profession tion for favourable economic development will c
“If you talk to a man in a language he understa language, that goes to his heart.” - Nelson Man
“Si vous parlez à un homme dans une langue qu dans sa langue, cela va dans son cœur.” - Nelson
dministrative errors here in the Corrèze that resulted in me ending up in the Souse I am sure most of you have experienced the same challenges.
s administration we soon realised that these administrative errors where very common glish speaking nationalities. And so the idea of the F.R.O.G Foreign Residents Organi-
om four different nationalities and the administrative heads of the various departments t had the opportunity to express his or her difficulties in understanding the French or many more successful meetings that led to creation of the F.R.O.G.
ormation that has been collected and still needs to be collected this guide will continue ade and F.R.O.G. now relies on all willing participants of all nationalities to contrib-
d I would just like to thank each and every one of them for their time and effort to
nals of all nationalities and with its beauty, diversity, quality of life and strategic locacontinue to do so!
ands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his ndela
Corize Van Rensburg Delegate - Corrèze Franco British Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Int ro du c t i on
u’il comprend, cela va dans sa tête. Si vous lui parlez n Mandela
VISAS & NATURALISATION TWO TYPES OF VISAS EXIST The short stay visa “visa de court sejour” that enables the holder free passage within the Schengen countries for a maximum of 90 days. These can be in the form of single or multiple entries and do not authorize residence in France. In exceptional cases this visa can be extended but this must be done with the prefecture in Tulle. This visa is obtained from the French consulate in your country of departure. A long stay visa “visa de long sejour” is when the period required exceeds 90 days. The principle motives for this type of visa are for students, work and to reunite families. This type of visa must be requested at the French consulate in the country that you will be leaving from. The holders of a long stay visa must make contact with the prefecture in Tulle in order to obtain a “carte de sejour” in the 2 months following their arrival in France.
Vis as & Natu ra l is at ion
THE FRONTIER POLICE
The Frontier Police are a direction of the National Police in charge of combatting illegal immigration. There is no service in the Corrèze but an investigation antenna in Limoges and Haut Vienne. The person responsible for the Limousin is: M. Rémy Marcillaud; In charge of the Police Aux Frontiers in the Limousin Tel: 05.55.04.04.92 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please find below a table of the entry conditions for Anglophones entering the French territories. Key: V stands for “visa required” under the various passport caterogies.
Australia Canada USA Fiji
British Virgin Islands
New Zealand Pakistan UK
Vis as & Natur a l is at i on
NATURALISATION BY DECREE Any individual with a foreign nationality has the right to obtain French nationality through the process of naturalization by decree. This request consists of a double examination with regards to receivability (civil code) and opportunity (conditions imposed by the government). The conditions legal are the following: • Be in possession of a “titre de sejour” (limited residence permit) with the exception of the European Economic Community • Reside continuously and regularly in France in the last 5 years • Have immediate family in France (spouse and children) • Have material interests in France (source of income) • To be able to comfortable converse in French • Accept and understand the rules and values of France • Be an individual of good conduct and sound moral character Exceptions: The period of residence is reduced from 5 years to 2 years if the candidate has passed 2 years of superior studies in France.
Vis as & Natur a l is at ion
The delay is wavered if:
• The applicant originates from a country where the official language is French and his or her maternal language is French or he or she can show proof of having spent a minimum 5 years at a French language learning establishment. • The applicant was born before independence in a country that was previously a French sovereignty. • The applicant is a refugee. The application of naturalization by decree is made at the Préfecture in Tulle.
NATURALISATION BY MARRIAGE Any person with a foreign nationality that marries a person with a French nationality and has been married for at least 4 years and resided in France for 3 years has the right to apply for French nationality. It is necessary that the spouse has French nationality at the time of the marriage. This application for naturalization by marriage is made at the Prefecture in Tulle. MINORS • Minors whose parents are French nationals through naturalization become French at the same time as the parents. • A child born in France to parents of foreign nationality will have the opportunity to have French nationality once the child turns 18 years of age and has continued to reside in France either continuously or discontinuously from 5 years of age to 11 years of age. Article 21-7 du code civil. Contacts: http://www.correze.gouv.fr Mme Véronique Boisseau |Chef de Bureau Tel: 05.55.20.55.72 Email: email@example.com
Madame Chantal Barraud |Renseignements Tel: 05.55.20.55.76 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Services for foreigners |Information Tel: 05.55.20.55.75 Email: email@example.com
Vis as & Natur a l is at i on
M. Philippe Juge | Adjoint au Chef de Bureau Tel: 05.55.20.55.74 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
DRIVING IN FRANCE Driving in France is an absolute pleasure, the AutoRoute’s are in excellent condition and the vast network of routes enables locals and visitors access to all the regions in France. There are certain conditions that need to be followed and respected. Registration/licensing of vehicles purchased in the Corrèze If you purchase a vehicle in the Corrèze you will need to obtain a registration /licensing certificate (certificate d’immatriculation) for this vehicle, this can be done at the: • Tulle Préfecture, service S.I.V (05.55.20.55.57) • Brive Sous-Préfecture, service S.I.V (05.55.17.79.50) Opening hours are : Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 08h45 to 11h45 and 13H15 to 16h00 Tuesday morning from 08H45 to 11h45 Buying a vehicle locally
Dr iv ing i n France
When buying a vehicle locally you will have a month to transfer the registration certificate into your name. The following documents are needed:
• The registration certificate • The cession certificate filled in and signed by the previous owner • Proof of the roadworthy control test within 6 months if the vehicle is older than 4 years • Registration certificate document filled in and signed by the purchaser. • Identity documents of the purchaser • Proof of residence in the form of an utility bill within 6 months • Payment of the registration certificate, the amount is determined by the vehicles power and age.
Changing address If you happen to change address the registration certificate needs to be updated in the month after your change. You will need the following: • • • • •
Registration certificate Proof of the roadworthy control test that is still valid A valid identity document Proof of residence for the new address Registration certificate document filled in and signed
Lost or stolen registration certificates In the case of a lost or stolen registration certificate the first step is to report this to your local police station for a declaration that will be valid for 1 month. To obtain a duplicate registration certificate the following needs to be provided:
Registration of foreign vehicles To register your foreign vehicle in other wards your vehicle purchased outside of France there are two scenarios: Vehicles coming from within the EU The following documents will be needed:
D r iv ing in France
• The declaration obtained from the police stating that it was lost or stolen • Proof of the roadworthy control test if the vehicle is older than 4 years • A valid identity document • Proof of residence in the form of an utility bill within 6 months • Registration certificate document filled in and signed • A payment of forty eight euros and fifty cents (48,50 €)
• The original registration/licensing certificate • A tax declaration from the local tax revenue services • Roadworthy certificate for not less than 6 months if your vehicle is older than 4 years • An invoice or sales certificate stating where and when the vehicle was purchased • A valid passport or identity document • Proof of residence in the form of a utility bill not more than 6 months old • The required document for registration filled in and signed (available from the prefecture or sous-prefecture) • Payment of the registration certificate, the amount is determined by the vehicle type Vehicles coming from outside the EU The documents required are the same as for the above except for the following: • A tax document that needs to be obtained from the custom services (custom certificate) and not from the tax revenue services. • A roadworthy control that must be done locally in France. Using a foreign drivers licence in France (Non EU)
Dr iv ing i n France
If you have a driver’s license that was issued outside of the EU) it has to comply with the following conditions irrespective of your nationality:
• You must be 18 years of age or older • Your driver’s license must be valid • It must be written in French or be accompanied by an official translation • All restrictions, medical notes listed on your license must be adhered to. • Your non-European driver’s license can be used for up to one year AFTER your residency in the country is confirmed. (one year after you receiving your Titre de Sejour or long stay visa) • After this period your foreign driver’s license can be exchanged for a French driver’s license.
• It is important to note that if this is not done within the one year limit allocated you will have to redo your driver’s license that will be both costly and time consuming. • Please note that If you have a carte de sejour etudiant, travailleur saisonniere, travailleur temporaire with a validity inferior of 185 days or a récépisse de demande de titre de sejour you will not be allowed to change your driver’s license. • Also note that the country that issued your driver’s license must have an agreement in place in order to allow the exchange to take place. Using a valid EU issued license in France An EU-member state driver’s licence is valid in France provided the following conditions are respected:
How do I exchange my foreign driver’s license for a French one? This process is done at your local prefecture or sous-prefecture, if you fall under the area of Tulle or Ussel this will be done at the prefecture of Tulle, service des permis de conduire 05.55.20.55.50, if you are in the Brive area this will be done at the sous-prefecture of Brive, service des permis de conduire 05.55.17.79.51
D r iv ing in France
• The licence is valid in its issuing country • The driver is 18 years of age or older • The licence mentions whether a person wears prescription spectacles, or is licensed to drive an adapted vehicle • The driver has not been suspended or barred from driving in the country that issued the licence • The licence was not issued while the person was barred from being issued a license in France • An exchange from an EU license to a French license becomes compulsory if the license holder commits a driving offence in France, this is to enforce the point’s reduction system that France uses. • If the EU license expires or is lost or stolen the applicant will need to apply for a new license with the French authorities.
EU license To exchange your foreign EU license for a French license the following documents are required: • Your original EU driver’s license • The translation of your driver’s license into French by a state accredited translator • Your original valid identity document (ID, passport, carte de sejour) plus a photocopie • 3 recent passport photos • Proof of residence within 3 months in the form of an utility bill • A recent certificate of the foreign authorities that issued the original license translated by an accredited translator into French • Payment of 27€ that must accompany your dossier. • This request must be done in person and not by correspondence NON EU license
Dr iv ing i n France
To exchange your foreign non EU driver’s license for a French license the documents required are the same as for EU licenses with the addition of the following:
• Your original titre de sejour if you do not have the OFFI mark in your passport • If you nationality is different to the country that issued your driver’s license then you will need proof that you lived in the country that issued your driver’s license within a period of 6 months from the moment that you received your license. Please remember that the prefecture will keep your original non EU driver’s license once you have received your French license. This process can vary from a few weeks to several months and if you have no response from the prefecture after 6 months you will most probably be denied a French license. Oh and don’t forgot to drive on the right hand side of the road!
OPENING A BANK ACCOUNT The majority of French banks are closed between 12h00 and 14h00 but this also according to banks and regions. Opening a bank account is a fairly straight forward procedure if you have all the documentation that is required. The following documents need to be provided in order to open an account: • • • •
Passport Titre de sejour or long stay permit Proof of address in the form of an utility bill A copy of your employment contract
Once your documents have been processed you will receive various documents or contracts for each account that you have opened, for yourself, savings account or for your children. You will be issued with a RIB (Relevés Identité Bancaire) that contains all your banking information, account numbers etc. These RIB’s are very useful as they are always asked for when opening accounts or for debit orders.
Bank cards Bank cards, “carte bancaire” or debit cards, “carte bleu” are widely used all over France. These cards have a chip and a pin and are used to withdraw cash from ATM’s and to make purchases, don’t forget to specify that if it is a joint account that you will need an additional card for your partner.
O p e ning a b an k account
Bank charges for bank cards do occur as well as monthly administrative fees that vary according to banks. If you happen to exceed your limits an “agios” fee will be charged.
Cheques Cheques are used often as a means of payment and are straight forward to fill out. The following information is asked for on the cheque: • “Payez contre ce chèque”- this is where you wright the amount to be paid in words. • “À”- this is the person or company that you will be paying. • The amount to be paid in numbers is filled out in the box on the right • “Fait à”- is where the city or town where the cheque is been written. • “Le”- refers to the date that the cheque is written. • Finally the cheque needs to be signed directly under the date. Some important facts to remember is that cheques clear quickly in France, therefore it is important to make sure that you have the funds available in your account to avoid the cheque from bouncing. If this does happen you risk paying extra charges or fines or even worse you could be blacklisted for a period of 3 years.
O p ening a b an k account
To deposit a cheque into your account you will need to fill in a self-duplicating slip, note all the cheques that need to be deposited with their amounts, sign the back of the cheques, place it in the envelope and place it in the box provided.
Direct debit A direct debit is known as a “Prélèvement Automatique”, this is fairly easy to setup with your bank. The RIB can also be given directly to the salesperson who will setup up the debit order on your behalf.
Accommodation Rental Accommodation In renting a property it as at first advisable to do this through a rental company/estate agent that is reliable and reputable. In France it is normal to sign a rental agreement for a period of 2 years, however to get out of a rental contract a notice of 3 months needs to be given in writing preferably sent with an “accusé de reception”, that will give you proof that the letter has in fact been received. This means of postage is available at all post offices. It is advisable to look at a few properties to rent before making your choice as pricing can vary considerably. Some rentals do not have certain facilities such as a fitted kitchen so make sure you know what you are paying for. Before you take acceptance of the property make sure to do a visual inspection with the agent, this is usually the norm for any snags or damages that might need to be noted. At the end of the lease the property needs to be returned in the same condition as that in which you received it. For renting a property the following documentation is necessary: A copy of your passport A RIB ((Relevés Identité Bancaire) A copy of your employment contract Proof of home insurance that is an obligation by law A cheque for the rental deposit (one month’s rent), agency commission and the first month’s rent.
Accommo d at i on
• • • • •
Rental Accommodation With regards to purchasing a property in the Corrèze, this region is generally good value for money. The process of buying a house is a lengthy process and will not take less than 3 months, here again it is advisable for anybody new to the area to make use of a reputable estate agent to make sure that everything is done correctly. There are numerous estate agents in the Corrèze that will be provided to you on request. Here is some basic vocabulary when looking for accommodation: English
French T1, T2, T3, T4 etc
(or F1, F2, F3, F4 etc.)
A measure of the Property size by using the number of rooms as the measurement.
Properties are advertised as ‘Tx’ where ‘x’ is a number (e.g. T2, T3, T4 and so on). This method is essentially just a count of the number of rooms. So a T3 apartment or house will have 3 rooms. Note that this excludes bathrooms and toilets. So a T3 apartment may have a living/dining room, plus 2 bedrooms. A T1 would be a ‘studio’ apartment.
The ‘Tx ‘system is only approximate as it does not provide any information on the size of the rooms. Also, it can be slightly ambiguous; for example a combined living/dining room counts as only one room but if one was to put a solid divider between them it would become two rooms.
Accommo d at ion
2F, 3F, 4F
You may see the ‘Fx’ system instead of the ‘Tx’. Both systems are identical, it is just that some Agencies use the letter ‘F’ and some use the letter ‘T’.
‘F’ stands for the French word ‘face’, which is equal to the English term ‘side’. The term ‘xF’ is completely different than ‘Fx that was explained above. ‘xF’ is a measure of the number of ‘faces’ (or sides) that a house has.
2F = 2 Faces (or sides) = a terrace house
3F = 3 faces (or sides) = a semi-‐detached house
Agence Immobilière Ancien Propriétaire
4F = 4 Faces (or sides) = a detached house Deposit
The previous owner
Bon de Visite
A form that estate agents ask you to sign before viewing a house. It is used to prove that they were the first to show you the house, so that in the event of you subsequently buying from another agent or from the owner direct they can still claim their sales commission.
Carte de séjour Cave
Chauffage Central Fuel Chauffage au sol Cheminée Cuisine
Cuisine Américaine Double Vitrage
Entièrement Rénové Fosse Septique Immobilier Location Louer
Lu et Approuvé
In good condition DIY
Residence permit (only required for non-‐EU citizens) Celler
Oil Central Heating
Chimney. Also sometime used to mean fireplace. Kitchen
A USA-‐style kitchen (e.g. large, open-‐plan, with large modern appliances). Double glazing
Septic tank. Typically found in rural properties that don't have mains sewage. Property Tax
Rental offers To rent
Translates as ‘read and approved’. When signing a contract, one is sometimes asked to hand-‐write this above the signature. It is intended to ensure that the person signing cannot claim they did not know what they were signing. House
Square meter. Used to express the size of a property (Houses in France are measured in Square Meters and Land is measured in Hectare(s). If the plot is small, the size may be stated in square meters instead.
Accommo d at i on
Premier étage Propriétaire Propriété
Rez-‐de-‐Chaussée (RDC) Salle de Bain Salle d'Eau Salon
Salle à Manger Séjour
The first floor (the floor above the ground floor). The Owner Property
Plumbing Close to
To redecorate. Commonly in the form ‘à rafraîchir’, which means it is in need of redecoration.
To renovate. Commonly in the form ‘à rénover‘, which means it is in need of renovation. Ground floor Bathroom
Shower room (or shower with toilet) Lounge (as in living room) Dining room
Living room. Similar to ‘Salon’
The basement. The literal translation is ‘under-‐floor’ (where the basement is located). The amount of living space in a house. The size of the house is expressed in square meters, and is referred to as ‘Surface Habitable’, which translates as ‘Habitable Area’.
Accommo d at ion
Très bon état (TBE) Vendre Vendu
In the French system, only living areas (e.g. bedroom, dining room) are included in the measurements; non-‐living areas (such as the hallways, bathrooms, toilets, stairways, garage, and so on) are excluded from the calculation. Land Roof
Very good condition To Sell (for sale) Sold
HEALTH & INSURANCE In France you have the ability to choose which doctor you register with. There is a charge when you visit the doctor or if the doctor visits you (this will probably be more expensive in the evenings). This charge is partially reclaimable through the French Social Security system (as explained previously). If possible, at your first consultation, take with you documentation from your previous doctor (such as a details of your medical history; allergies, vaccines, operations, family histories etc). You must make an appointment with the Pediatrician as soon as you arrive in the Corrèze, in order for your baby or child to be entered onto the French system, so that you can obtain the ‘Carnet de Santé’. This is a record book that contains the medical history of your child. It is not compulsory to have one, but it makes live a lot easier if you do have one, as it is used in France throughout childhood until 18 years of age. It is also worth noting that when you have an emergency or need to see the Pediatrician quickly it is much easier to get an appointment if you have seen her before. Emergency Doctors (out-of-hour): In France this is called ‘SOS Medecin’: the national number is 0820 332424
If you need vaccinations, you pick up the vaccine from a pharmacy (with your prescription) and keep it in the fridge at home until you go back to the doctor.
He a lt h & Insur ance
In France, blood tests are not performed in the surgery, but at a ‘Laboratoire d’analyses’ within the town. If a Doctor wants you to have a blood test he will give you a prescription to take to the Laboratory, where you simply walk in with your prescription and have the test done immediately.
La Carte Vitale (French Social Security Card) The ‘Carte Vitale’ is a green swipe card, and is your way into the health care system in France. The card contains all your (and your family’s if applicable) details of medical rights to treatment. You are eligible for this card as you will be employed in France and you will be paying your contributions in the same way as any French citizen. The application process takes a few months (the club will arrange this for you). When you finally receive your card, it comes with a paper headed “attestation” which is also very important, so don’t detach the card and throw away the paper. This paper part is required for postal claims, and could be used to prove your right to health care if you do not have the card for any reason.
He a lt h & Insu rance
Once you have received your carte vitale you must use it when you visit your doctor, when you pick up prescriptions from the pharmacy, or when you have other medical treatment such as physiotherapy or if you are hospitalised. It roughly covers 70% of the costs of these situations, although this can vary. There are some medicines that are not covered under the entitlement, such as those considered “luxury” medicines and items, and there are also certain situations and treatments that must be paid for by the recipient. This state health care cover is called Couverture Maladie Universelle or CMU.
When you or your family visit a doctor (excluding the club doctor), you are expected to pay a fee at the time of the consultation, your carte vitale swiped and in the next few days the money will be reimbursed directly into your bank account. Prescriptions are dealt with according to what they consist of, and also according to the type of top up policy you have, if indeed you have one. If you have a ‘Top-up-Policy’ and it has been noted on your card you will not have to pay any money. Contacts:
CPAM (Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie de la Corrèze) http://www.ameli.fr
Address : 17 avenue Alsace-Lorraine, 19100 Brive-la-Gaillarde 06 rue Souham, 19033 Tulle Cedex 20 rue du Géneral Anthony Prouzergue, Maison de Santé Usseloise, 19200 Ussel Opening Hours : Monday to Thursday, 08h30 to 17h00 Friday 09h00 to 16h00 Additional Health Insurance Top-up-policies are bought in order to cover the extra 30% that is not covered by the carte vitale. The cost of the policy and the type of top up you require varies according to your occupation, situation and needs, and it is best to take individual advice on this for example with an insurance broker. There are many different companies offering policies, ‘mutuelles’ or ‘complimentaires’ as they are referred to in France.
He a lt h & Insur ance 25
NURSERIES & SCHOOLS The French educational system is divided into the following different stages:
Nurserie (maternelle); 3-6 years old Primary education (enseignement primaire); 6-11 years old Secondary education (enseignement secondaire ou collège); 12-18 years old Higher education (enseignement supérieur ou lycée); 18 +
Nurs er ies & S cho ols
Primary and secondary education is predominantly public (private schools also exist, but are often networks of Catholic primary and secondary Schools), while higher education has both public and private elements. At the end of secondary education, students take the baccalauréat exam, which allows them to pursue higher education.
France is renowned for having one of the world’s best education systems, which most people attribute to the high standards expected, the rigorous teaching methods and the discipline instilled in the children. A child that has grown up in another country is likely not only to become bilingual but also have advanced personal skills for his or her age at every stage. It is important to remember these significant long-term advantages whilst coping with the initial changes that moving your family abroad has. The vast majority of French pupils enter the very successful state education system. However, the state system may not be the right choice for all pupils. Foreign children and those with special needs may be better catered for in a private school where more individual attention can be given, preventing children with these disadvantages from becoming frustrated as they might be in the state system. As a result, most international parents put their children into the surprisingly affordable private schools to benefit from their more flexible approach to teaching.
State School hours 8.30 until 11.30 am (break for a 2 hour lunch) 1.30 until 4.30 pm There is normally no school on a Wednesday afternoon. Private school hours are slightly different as the school day and the lunch break are shorter than in state schools. Schools in the Corrèze Public schools are allocated to students based on their living location; you are unable to choose which school to send your children to. Useful information:
It is normal for the children to remain in school during their lunch hour and eat in the school canteen; it is not the French culture for children to bring in packed lunches. The children can eat at home if you do wish. There are approximately 25 children per class.
Additional Information In France some pupils may also be required to repeat the year; this is not seen as failure within France. A third of all pupils repeat a year at some time during their school career in France.
Nurs er ie s & S cho ols
At the age of 15, French pupils must decide whether to go down the academic or vocational route. There is still some snobbery attached to the latter option, although attitudes are gradually changing. The French are beginning to realise that those with vocational qualifications are most in demand and that a vocational career comes with greater job security. At age 18, the academic pupils will sit the University entrance exam, which is called the ‘Baccalauréat’. If passed, a free place at any one of France’s 77 Universities will be offered. For pupils that attend an international school they will sit the International Baccalauréat.
Schools in France do not have a school uniform for the children to wear. In France, when working out what year your child should be in based on their age it is useful to know that the school year is calculated from January to December. Academic Calendar in France Holiday dates for state schools vary, dependent on what zone the school is in and then what department it is in. Below are the holiday dates for 2008-2009, however there could be local variations so its good to check with the town hall (hôtel de ville) to confirm the dates: ZONE B This is the zone that the schools in the Corrèze falls within: Crèches
Nurs er ies & S cho ols
There are Crèches available in Brive and surrounding areas, for children prior to nursery age (from babies up until 3 years old). However, these have a minimal hourly rate rate dependent on the area, your salary and if you require additional services such as extra food. Crèches are normally very full and mothers that work get preference.
In France, you have to write a letter to the Town Hall where you live (Brive, Malemort etc.) to request an opening for your baby at the Crèche. This can be a lengthy process, so it is important to send the letter as soon as you arrive in Brive (template letters can be obtained at the club). The Town Hall will reply to your letter with contact details of the school that you have been assigned to (in the town that you live in). You must then phone the crèche and make an appointment for an interview with the principal where you will discuss the cost, the days and times you require etc.
• Salary slip • Your babies birth certificate • Carnet de Sante (medical history book) In South Africa we do not have this; you must ask the Pediatrician for one. • Proof of residence such as a recent utility bill.
Nurs er ie s & S cho ols
Remember to take the following with:
BUILDING & RENOVATING If you are wanting to build a property or renovate an existing property (roof, extensions, improvements or swimming pool) there are certain rules and regulations to abide by, a permit is also needed for this. The following internet sites are very useful in this regard: http://www.extranet.nouveaupermisdeconstruire.gouv.fr http://vosdroits.service-public.fr/particuliers/F19450.xhtml These will provide you with all the possible information that you might need such as:
Bui li ng & R e novat i ng
• • • • • • •
Authorizations needed for the different types of work If your project requires using an architect The preparation and delivering of the dossier The process and probable delay The response of the mayor’s office (mairie) How long the authorization will be valid The various services on line and the associated documents needed
A dossier will need to be compiled and delivered to the mayor’s office (mairie), the type of dossier compiled depends on what needs to be done: • 4 copies of the dossier needs to be delivered • An additional copy is required if the project falls under the ABF (Architects des bâtiments de France) • It is advisable to make contact with this organization to make sure that all processes are correctly adhered to, their advice and recommendations must be respected. • The Service Territorial de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine de la Corrèze (STAP) can be contacted on : 05.55.20.78.90 • It is also advisable to formally request an urbanization certificate (CUB) that will determine if the project is possible.
• This certificate will provide you with information regarding the servitude, risk of flooding, risk of earth movement etc. • The CAUE (le Conseil d’architecture, d’urbanisme et de l’environment de la Corrèze) can also assist in advising and offering recommendations to individuals for all types of projects. • The CAUE enables all candidates to receive free and complete personalized advise and to guide them in their projects. • This can only be done through appointment at 05.55.26.06.48, the CAUE website is as follows: http://www7.archi.fr/CAUE19/ html/particuliers.htm For any other additional information please feel free to contact the following services of the territorial departments of the Corrèze: • Brive (Basse Corrèze): 05.55.18.50.00 • Ussel (Haute Corrèze): 05.55.46.00.80 • Tulle (Moyenne Corrèze): 05.55.20.92.90
Bu i l ing & R e nov at ing 31
PERSONAL TAX Where can I get detailed information and advice on the French tax system? (i) Start by visiting the website of the Government’s Public Finances Directorate (direction générale des finances publiques) – www.impots. gouv.fr. Scroll down to the bottom of the Home page (accueil) and click on International. If you want information on business tax, click on Enterprises étrangères/Foreign compagniess (spelled correctly later) or Investisseurs étrangers/Foreign investors. For information on the whole French tax system, click on Documentation. Scroll down to the bottom and you will find the following: La fiscalite francaise – French taxation Vous souhaitez connaître les grandes lignes du système fiscal français ? Do you wish to know the broad lines of French taxation? Click on - Lire le document You now can download and read a 107-page document on the French Tax System written in bureaucratic but reasonably comprehensible English. There is a caveat on the cover page:
Pers ona l Tax
This document gives a brief overview of the French tax system. It does not in any way constitute a statement of official doctrine.
Fair enough, but it’s a lot easier than trying to read some 2000 pages of the French tax code (code général des impôts) in small print in French. This website also has useful information for new arrivals on wealth tax, inheritance tax and how gifts are taxed. Click on particuliers, scroll down and click on vos préoccupations, click on Installation ou retour en France. Click on - Lire le document
(2) You can contact: Address: Hôtel des Impôts 50 Bd Gontran Royer Brive-la-Gaillarde 19119 Brive Cedex Tel :
05 55 18 31 00
Mon to Frid 9h-12h/13h-16h30
(3) There are a number of accountancy firms in the Corrèze who have English-speaking staff and are used to dealing with expatriates. Unless your tax affairs are very simple, we would strongly recommend employing a local accountant to give tax advice and complete your tax return on your behalf. Their rates are very reasonable (by UK and USA standards anyway!). Do I have to pay tax in France? Yes, if just one of the following applies to you: • your main home (foyer) is in France ; • you spend 183 days or more in France in a calendar year (whether continuously or in shorter periods makes no difference); • your main professional activity takes place in France, whether you are self-employed or an employee; • France is your “centre of economic interests” – i.e. your main assets - investments, savings, property, a business – are in the country.
Pers ona l Ta x
French income tax is levied on the total income of the whole household (foyer fiscal). The household is divided into a number of parts familiales. So, your household’s total income is divided by the number of parts. The income tax scale rates are then applied to this figure, and having calculated the income tax due, it is multiplied back up by the number of parts.
If you are married or in a civil partnership (pacsé), your household has 2 parts. First and second children count as a ½ part each; a third child counts as a full part. So, a married couple with one child is a household of 2.5 parts; a married couple with three children has 4 parts. The income of a child under the age of 25 who is living at home but working can be included in your foyer fiscal. Even married children and grandchildren can be added to your tax household in certain cases. You submit just one tax return for the whole household. However, if you live as an unmarried couple and are not in a civil partnership, you are each required to complete a separate tax return. What income tax will I have to pay? As a French tax resident, you are taxed on your worldwide income (impôt sur le revenu). This includes salary or self-employed earnings, pension income, savings interest, dividends, capital gains and rental income.
Pers ona l Tax
If France has a double taxation agreement with your country (as she does with the UK), any income which continues to be taxed in your home country (e.g. rent from property in the UK) will not also be taxed in France. However, you must declare this income in your French tax return. It will be added to your French income to form the basis for calculating your liability to income tax in France.
Income tax rates are decided at the end of the tax year to which they relate, or sometimes after the tax year is over. This can make tax planning difficult! For the latest rates, go to www.impots.gouv.fr. You need to find the détail du barème d’imposition des revenus 201- (impôt 201-). If you can. Click on particuliers, scroll down and click on vos impôts, then impôt sur le revenu and Calculer. Don’t give up; you are nearly there. Scroll down and under En savoir plus you should see détail du barème d’imposition des revenus 201- (impôt 201-). Things which can result in deductions from your gross income before tax is calculated include:
• outside-the-home childcare for children under seven; • having school-age dependents; • installation of energy-saving systems in the home (a chaudière à condensation or chaudière à basse temperature); • moving more than 200 kilometres to find work; • employing a domestic worker (frais d’emploi d’un salarié à domicile); • giving money to a charitable organisation; • child support costs as a result of a divorce judgement; • union fees Will I get sent a tax return to fill in? Not necessarily. It is extremely unlikely that the French tax authorities will not know of your existence and address within a few weeks of your arrival in France! However, this does not mean that you will automatically be sent a tax return (déclaration sur les revenus). It is your responsibility to tell the local office of the direction générale des finances publiques that you are tax resident in France. If you are resident in France, you have to submit a tax return. Even if you are non-resident but have income from a French property or from work done in France, you must fill in a return. This rule applies even though you may be below the income threshold for liability to French income tax. You cannot plead ignorance. If you claim to the French tax authorities that you did not submit a tax return because you were not sent one, you will be still fined.
Form 2044 - Property rental income Form 2047 - Income from abroad Form 3916 – Bank accounts held abroad
Pers ona l Ta x
Besides the main tax return – the blue Form 2042 Déclaration Préremplie - there are various supplementary forms for different types of income. These include:
For British expatriates: in your first year in France, you should complete the HM Revenue & Customs Form 85, which advises the UK tax authority that you are moving abroad, and will enable you to reclaim any overpaid tax. When you complete your first French tax return you should also complete Form FD5, which the French tax authority then uses to confirm to HMRC that you are French tax resident. When do I have to pay my taxes? Income tax is paid in the year after the income is earned. There is no Pay As You Earn system in France to collect income tax at source. If you are an employee, social security contributions are deducted from your gross salary by your employer, but no income tax is deducted. You are personally responsible for saving enough money to make sure you can pay the tax you owe in the following year. There is a closing date each year – usually 31 May – by which time you must have submitted your tax return for income earned in the previous calendar year. It is very important to meet the filing deadline. You will have to pay a penalty of 10% extra tax at first (majoration) for late filing. You do not pay any money when filing your tax return.
Pers ona l Tax
You will be advised of the outcome of your tax declaration sometime during August or September. If you have tax to pay, the notice is called un avis d’impôt. You will then only have about 3 weeks in which to pay it (so, be ready!). If the tax office reckons that you have no income tax to pay, you will receive un avis de non imposition.
When you pay income tax the first time, you will be asked to pay the full amount owed in a single payment. It is possible that you will receive your tax bill as late as November or December. Once you are in the system, the French tax authorities will use the previous year’s income as a basis to calculate the following year’s taxes. refund of the overpayment
Usually you will be asked to pay tax in three instalments (paiement par tiers provisionnel or prélèvement a l’échéance). You will pay a third of the previous year’s tax in February and again in May. You will then make the final balancing payment in September or October, once your real tax liability has been determined. You can also pay one-tenth of the previous year’s tax by monthly direct debit (paiement mensuel or prélèvement mensuel) between January and October. If, of course, your tax liability is less than you have already paid, you will be given a refund. What other taxes do I have to pay? Social Charges (Prélèvements sociaux) These are taxes levied on income and capital gains. They are another form of income tax and are calculated based on the income declared in your tax return. You will receive un avis d’impôt of the amount to pay in the autumn following the submission of your tax return. Social charges consist of: 1. 2. 3. 4.
CSG (Contribution sociale généralisée) CRDS (Contribution au remboursement de la dette sociale) PS (Prélèvement sociale contribution additionelle) RSA (Revenu de solidarité active)
The amounts are different for each type of income. You can expect to pay a further 8 to 15% of your income in these taxes.
Social security contributions If you work in France, whether as an employee or self-employed, you must be registered with the social security organisation (caisse) which covers your occupation and pay social security contributions (cotisations).
Pers ona l Ta x
If you are an EU national receiving a pension income from a scheme in your home country and you have the healthcare Form S1, you do not pay these social charges.
How much you pay depends on what you earn. For example, cotisations on a salary of €30,000 would be about 13% for pension, health and family allowances before the other social charges - CSG and CRDS. If you are self-employed, you can expect to pay cotisations of between 22 and 26% as well as social charges. Taxe foncière This is a property tax levied by local authorities to cover for such services as refuse collection – taxe d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères. It has to be paid by whoever owned the property on January 1 of the year in which the tax is raised. It is supposed to be based on the rent a property might earn but it is almost impossible to discover what it is likely to be. A 4-bedroom house in a village in the Corrèze might pay around 700€.€ You will be sent un avis d’impôt in September/October. Taxe d’habitation This is a residence tax, also levied by your local authorities, supposedly to pay for local services. It includes payment for a TV licence - contribution à l’audiovisuel public (ex redevance TV). It is payable by whoever is living in the property on January 1 of the year in which the tax is raised. It too is supposed to be based on a notional rent for the property. The owner or tenant of the 4-bedroom house in the Corrèze might pay around 600€.
Pers ona l Tax
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EMPLOYMENT LAW The French employment Law is governed by the French Code de Travail. This is a detailed set of rules that determines the relationship between an employer and employee. The Code de Travail although very thorough can be very intimidating even for the local French people, it is advisable that if the situation arises that you need to consult the code do not hesitate to ask for help, there are many qualified English speaking people that can assist you with this. In addition to the Code de Travail there is a collective agreement in place that serves as another means of regulation, this can differ depending on the working environment and the domain that you are involved in. For more in depth information regarding employment Law in the CorrĂ¨ze you can contact the following: DIRECCTE Assistance by telephone: 05.55.21.80.00 Monday to Friday from 08h45 to 11h45 and from 13h30 to 16h30 Without appointment at DIRECCTE,
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setting up a business The Corrèze Chamber of Commerce and Industry who specialises in setting up new businesses have advisors that will assist those wishing to create or take over businesses situated in the Corrèze. Contact them and make an appointment they will accompany you through all the stages to make the right decisions and help you succeed in finalising your business project. Most of these services are free of charge. Please contact Corrèze Chamber of Commerce and Industry for a 20 min individual appointment with one of our advisors that will meet you in the Tulle, Ussel or Brive offices. Chantal Barbié Tél. : 05 55 18 94 58 CCI Corrèze 10 av. Marechal Leclerc, 19103 Brive Cedex http://www.correze.cci.fr https://fr-fr.facebook.com/espaceentreprendreccicorreze Looking for an existing business for sale. http://www.transentreprise.com/
S ett ing up a Business
BUSINESS TAX This section provides a very broad online introduction to the French taxation regime. It is imperative to work through the tax consequences of your specific project before deciding whether to invest in or move to the CorrĂ¨ze. The French tax regulations and laws are very complex, therefore it is paramount importance to seek professional advice where appropriate. Here is an English written site which explains to business owners how to deal with general corporate taxation.
Busi ne ss Tax
Gl oss ar y
abattement - standard deduction avis d’imposition - income tax statement or tax notice avis de non-imposition - certificate of non-taxable income (you will receive this if your total income is under the taxable income threshold) barème fiscal - tax-rate table (sets out the amount of tax for a given amount of income) un contribuable - a taxpayer contribution à l’audiovisuel public (ex redevance TV) - TV licence un credit d’impôts - a tax credit or a reduction in tax generated by one of many tax saving schemes déclaration sur les revenus - tax return form un expert comptable - accountant foyer fiscal - tax household (The household is calculated in portions, parts. First and second children counts as ½ part; a third child counts as a full part. So a married couple with one child is a household of 2.5 parts; a married couple with three children has four parts. Even married children and grandchildren can be added to your tax household under specific conditions.) impôts sur le revenu - income taxes (as opposed to property taxes, sales taxes, etc) impôt de solidarité sur la fortune - wealth tax (This applies to anyone whose net wealth is worth more EUR 790,000) prélèvements obligatoires - all social charges and sometimes this can include income taxes taken at source taxe foncière - property tax (includes refuse collection – taxe d’enlèvement des ordures ménagères) taxe d’habitation - dwelling tax TVA (taxe sur la valeur ajoutée): value-added tax or sales tax (it currently stands at 19.6 percent on all goods and services except those specifically exempted.) revenu à déclarer - gross income revenu imposable - taxable income after all deductions and credits are calculated revenu foncie - rental income
USEFUL NUMBERS Urgences : Médecins de garde : 0810 19 19 55 Pompiers : 18 (depuis un fixe) ou 112 (depuis un portable) S.M.U.R. : 15 Centre anti poison : 05 56 96 40 80 Vétérinaire de garde : 05 55 17 46 00 (hôtel de Police) Dentiste de garde : 05 55 17 46 00 (hôtel de Police) Hôtel de Police : 05 55 17 46 00 Police et Garde Municipale : 05 55 23 79 22 Aide et écoute : Urgences sociales : 115 Enfance maltraitée : 119 (n° vert non inscrit sur les factures) SOS violences conjugales : 05 55 88 20 02 Alcooliques anonymes : 05 55 74 29 99 Centre hospitalier : 05 55 92 60 00
Us ef u l C ont ac ts
Dépannages : France télécom : 1013 accessible 24h sur 24 Dépannage eau / assainissement : 05 55 18 99 18 Dépannage électricité (ERDF): 09 726 750 19 Dépannage gaz (GDF) : 0800 47 33 33 HLM à votre service 24h sur 24 : 05 55 87 98 50
Mairie (standard) : 05 55 92 39 39 du lundi au vendredi de 8h30 à 12h30 et de 13h30 à 17h30 Mairie service : 0800 50 93 93 (en journée). Pour tous les petits aléas de la vie quotidienne sur la voie publique. Reseau Libeo : 05.55.74.20.13 Centre Meteo : 08.92.68.02.19 Aeroport : 05.55.86.88.36 Office de Tourisme : 05.55.24.08.80
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Gl oss ar y 49
THANKS We would like to thank the following people, companies & organisations who helped make this publication possible: M Guy MASCRèS | Sous-Préfet de Brive-la-Gaillarde M Jean-Louis NESTI | Président - CCI de la Corrèze M Michel PEDAMOND | Directeur Général - CCI de la Corrèze M Simon GILLHAM OBE | Vice-Président C.A.B.C.L. Mme Dominique VEYTIZOUX | Chef de Bureau de la circulation - Sous-Préfecture de Brive Mme Véronique BOISSEAU | Chef de bureau des étrangers - Préfecture de la Corrèze Mme Bernadette BRUNAUD | DIRECCTE UT 19 (Droit du Travail) Mme Karen GORDON | Direction Départementale des Finances Publiques Mme Elsa DE CASTRO | Direction Départementale des Territoires M Rémy MARCILLAUD | Capitaine de police - Police Aux Frontières Mme Lisa SYMES | Digital Marketing Manager (Marks & Spencer) M Clyde LAMBLE | Nine Yards Consulting M Richard POOLEY | Formateur écrivain Mme Sarah POOLEY | Conseillère en marketing Mme Anna HALLEWELL | Conseillère municipale du Le Pescher This guide has been produced in order to provide information as accurately as possible. Neither the Franco-British chamber, the authors, companies, employees agencies or legal entities, accept liability for any errors, ommisions or misleading statements. No warranty is given or responsibility accepted as to the standing of any individual, company or other organisation mentioned.
Than k s
Additonal Sources; France on the move, The authoritive guide to Life, Work and Business in France. Chambre de Commerce Francaise de Grande Bretagne. http://www.france.fr http://www.service-public.fr
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Foreign Residents Organistation Guide: Living and Working in the Corrèze (France)