Within the EU, for EU nationals, there is a right to freedom of movement, which (slightly simplified) means you can visit, live and work in any other EU country. Depending on the country you go to, you can't always just rock up and stay there without doing anything, as there are things like Directive 2004/38/EC which means that in some countries, you may have to register. There's also the whole tax thing that gets involved if you stay too long...

I'm thinking of going to France for a few months, which while not long enough to qualify as an expat under our rules, I don't want to find myself in trouble if the French government has different ideas about where that threshold lies!

As an EU national, if you're going to be in France for a few months, but not working for a French firm, what (if any) are the rules that apply to you around registration / residency / tax / etc?

  • 1
    If there's more than just a couple of trivial to explain rules this might be more of an expat question anyway. Jan 9, 2014 at 11:53
  • I'm not after the rules which affect you on 6 month + stays, just any that might trip you up if you decide to stop in France for a few months
    – Gagravarr
    Jan 9, 2014 at 12:12

1 Answer 1


As a national from an EU country you do not have are any obligations as regards residence permits. However, if you want, you can apply for one at the préfecture, the town hall of the place of residence or the police station. You are not subject to work permits.

You have to fill in a tax return if you are over 18 and if 

  • you live in France permanently with your family; 

  • that is where you have your main place of residence; 

  • that is where you perform your main professional activity; 

  • the core of your economic interests are in France

For more information you can have a look at http://ec.europa.eu/eures

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