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PRACTICAL HELP ABOUT LIVING IN FRANCE

A sample from our frequently asked questions file

Q. As a British citizen living in France, or visiting France, what kind of help can I expect from the UK authorities?

A. The competent UK authorities are the British Consulates in Paris, Bordeaux and Marseille, which is why we list their addresses and contact details in the “where do you live in France?” pages of this website. You will find full information about what the consulates can and cannot do, and whether any fees are payable, at http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals

Q. I’m told the British in France no longer need a carte de séjour, but the French keep asking me to produce one? What should I do?

A. It is true that according to articles L121-1 and L121-2 of the Code de l'entrée et du séjour des étrangers et du droit d'asile, EU citizens coming to live in France no longer need to be issued with a carte de séjour, but must register with the Mairie of their town of residence within 3 months of arrival. Article L121-2 says that a carte de séjour can nevertheless be issued on demand:

"Les ressortissants visés à l'article L. 121-1 qui souhaitent établir en France leur résidence habituelle se font enregistrer auprès du maire de leur commune de résidence dans les trois mois suivant leur arrivée. Les ressortissants qui n'ont pas respecté cette obligation d'enregistrement sont réputés résider en France depuis moins de trois mois.

Ils ne sont pas tenus de détenir un titre de séjour. S'ils en font la demande, il leur est délivré un titre de séjour."

If you are often asked to produce a carte de séjour, you may find it useful to download and carry around with you the text of articles L121-1 and L121-2. They are quite short, and can be obtained from http://www.legifrance.gouv.fr/affichCodeArticle.do

If you live in Paris, the Préfecture de Police de Paris says it will issue a carte de séjour on application by e-mail to prefpol.dpg-7eb-cellule-postale@interieur.gouv.fr or by telephone to 01 53 71 51 68 (Mondays to Fridays, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.) two or three months before your current card expires. They then send you an application form and a list of the documents to be presented. If you live elsewhere and have difficulty in getting the local authority to issue you with a carte de séjour, you could try telling them what the Préfecture de Police de Paris does.

Q. What has to be done if a British citizen dies in France?

A. A very detailed document on this subject has been drawn up by the Royal Air Forces Association, which is our source (with thanks!) for what follows.

As for any death in France of a person of any nationality, a doctor must be called. The doctor certifies the death (certificat de décès), which must then be reported to the mairie within 24 hours. If violence or suicide is suspected, the police or gendarmerie must be informed. The mairie then issues the acte de décès. The British Consulate can of course assist, especially if it is desired to repatriate the body to the UK. Further information can be found on ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/when-things-go-wrong/

It is possible, though not normally necessary, to register the death of a British subject in France at the British Consulate General in Paris. You should contact the Consulate for further details, or go to http://ukinfrance.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/when-things-go-wrong/help-if-someone-dies

Q. Do I need a special subscription if I want to watch British TV in France?

A. No, you don’t. It is now possible to receive by satellite, free of charge, a large number of BBC and ITV television stations, as well as Channel 5. Additionally, you can receive BBC Radios 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 Live, several local BBC radio stations, the BBC World Service and some Irish stations – all in excellent quality.

No special box or contract is needed, but your satellite dish must be at least 80 cm in diameter (larger is better, especially in the south) and it must point towards the ASTRA 2D satellite, which is located at 28.2° East (not to be confused with Astra 1, a different satellite which does not carry BBC and ITV, and which is located at 19.2° East).

Q. Is it still necessary for my pet to go into quarantaine if I take it back to the UK?

A. Things are much easier nowadays. Domestic animals meeting the necessary requirements are able to move between EU Member States if they are accompanied by an EU “pet passport”. Well over 80,000 pets have entered the United Kingdom without having to go into quarantine. Preparation with the vet takes approximately seven months, (after the age of five months), and includes micro-chipping, vaccination, and for dogs only, tapeworm treatment [before entering the UK, all pet dogs (including assistance dogs) must be treated for tapeworm. The treatment must be administered by a vet not less than 24 hours and not more than 120 hours (1-5 days) before its scheduled arrival time in the UK] before a “pet passport” can be issued. Detailed information can be found on http://www.defra.gov.uk/wildlife-pets/pets/travel/pets/pet-owners/#from1jan"