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Living in France guide

Find out all you need to know to relocate and live in France with the expat guide

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Generalities

General information

Formalities

Visas, passports and entry requirements
  • Nationals of the European Union, European Economic Area and Switzerland do not require a visa to travel to France. A valid passport is enough.

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Visas

Work visas, work permits, working holiday visas and residence permits

Work

Labour market, how to find a job
  • Known as the Pink City, Toulouse attracts not only tourists but also expatriates who wish to live and work in France.

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  • Expats seeking to work in France might want to consider the popular tourist destination Nice, located on the Côte d’Azur in the South of France.

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  • A popular expat destination in the South of France, Marseille has employment opportunities for foreign job-seekers in France.

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  • In addition to it's impressive scenery, Lyon is also one of France's major economic hubs, making it ideal for expat job-seekers.

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  • Located in the Pas-de-Calais region, Lille is very welcoming towards expatriates. It provides various career prospects for highly-skilled job-seekers.

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Accommodation

How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • Expats looking for accommodation in France will find a wide range of options. Naturally, renting will be more expensive in cities than in rural areas.

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  • If you wish to settle in France, but without the hectic lifestyle of the capital, you can turn to Toulouse to look for accommodation.

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  • Nice is a popular destination amongst expats and tourists located on the French Riviera. It has stunning vistas with ocean and mountain views.

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  • Marseille is considered to be an idyllic French seaside city, comprised of over 100 villages, with a range of accommodation for expats.

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  • Lyon is a popular with expats and students alike. As a result, there is an abundance of rental accommodation available.

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Study

Student visa, University registration
  • France is a top destination for foreigners wishing to pursue their higher studies in Europe thanks to its prestigious universities.

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  • It’s also a great time for you to asses what the students level is, this will give you a good idea of what to and what not to focus on during the course. Here are a few tips to help you out in your first lesson:

    Article written by i-to-i

Health care

Public and private health systems
  • France is renowned for its impressive socialised healthcare system that provides quality care to all French citizens.

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Bank

Open and manage a bank account
  • There are international, national and online-only options when it comes to banking in France, so opening an account should be fairly straightforward.

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  • The Importance of getting Independent Advice for your French Mortgage. How far will your bank go to get you the right deal?

    Article written by chrisclifford

Tax

Tax system, income tax
  • There are several types of tax you will need to pay if you are a resident in France, such as social security, VAT, and income tax, amongst others.

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Transports

Train, bus, plane, car rental
  • Travelling has never been easier in Toulouse, thanks to its well-developed transport network that will allow you to get around, day or night.

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  • If you aren't keen on travelling around Marseille on foot, there are various transport options from the subway to shuttle boats.

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  • In addition to an airport for international travel, Bordeaux's transport network includes buses, trams and water taxis to help you get around.

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  • Lille is not only connected to other major European cities such as London and Brussels, but it also hosts a developed internal transportation network.

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  • Whether you opt for public transport, car rental or cycling, Nice offers a well connected transportation network.

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Driver's licence

Driving requirements
  • If you are a non-EU national, you will be required to convert your driving licence to a French one within certain timelines. EU nationals can drive with

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Removal

moving, formalities and useful tips
  • If you are moving to France you should consider hiring removal experts who will be able to handle moving your belongings over.

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Communications

Phone line, internet provider, post office

Leisure

Sports, leisure and cultural activities
  • You can spend your leisure time exploring all that Toulouse has to offer, be it skiing or visiting museums.

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  • Nice's heritage and beauty is not limited to its beautiful beaches. Many leisure activities are available for all tastes and ages.

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  • The famous French wine region of Bordeaux has a plethora of leisure of activities to keep expats busy, from dining to sports.

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  • Marseille is a dynamic city, ranking as the European Capital of Culture in 2013. In fact, the Phocaean city offers a wide range of leisure activities.

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  • One of the world's most beautiful cities, Paris holds a huge historical and cultural heritage which you can discover during your leisure time.

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  • Travelling to France with your pet involves several health formalities under certain conditions. Make sure to enquire about these beforehand.

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  • The French lifestyle is oft romanticised and, for the most part, it lives up to expectations. With great food and rich history, France has a lot to offer.

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Expatriate health insurance in France

Free advice and quotation service to choose an expat health insurance in France

Moving to France

Find tips from professionals about moving to France

Travel insurance in France

Enjoy stress-free travel to France

Flights to France

Find the best prices for your flight tickets to France