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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
  • If you have chosen to move to France, advance planning is recommended. Start by enquiring about relating conditions and formalities.

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  • 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
  • The French republic is known for its protection of workers rights and its active trade unions. Expats should learn French to improve their employability.

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  • Though the French economy has slowed, there are still opportunities in a range of sectors for expats looking to work in Paris.

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  • France is known to be one of the top destinations to perform an internship abroad. Relating conditions and formalities are rather simple.

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  • There are various ways to establish your business in France, however there are number of steps you must complete in order to do so.

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  • If you wish to work in France, you have to be patient. Given the local labour market's conditions, finding a job there might not be as easy as it seems.

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Accommodation

How to rent a house or an apartment, leases and rental agreements
  • Young and dynamic city, Lille is very welcoming to expatriates wishing to discover and settle in Northern France and provides a range of accommodation.

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  • The capital of France, Paris is popular with both tourists and expats. Its impressive history and interesting culture make it a top destination.

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  • Being one of the biggest student cities in France, Bordeaux provides a range of accommodation options for all tastes and budgets.

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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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  • 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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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:

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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?

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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
  • As the biggest French city, Paris hosts an extensive transport network which will allow you to get anywhere during your stay at affordable rates.

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  • By moving to Lyon, you can choose from several means of transport to travel around the city, namely buses, tram, subway, etc.

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

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  • 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
  • As a capital of fashion and arts, Paris has a vibrant culture and nightlife. You can spend your free time soaking in all the best Paris has to offer.

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  • You will not get bored in Lille, with all manner of culture, sport, nature and family activities to engage in.

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  • Sports enthusiasts are in luck, as Paris has excellent sports infrastructure, so whether you want to go for a run or swim, there are plenty of options.

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  • No matter how you enjoy spending your leisure time, you are sure to find something to suit your taste in Lyon.

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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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  • 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