2 luglio 2020

A guide for moving to France

A guide for moving to France

Moving to France can seem like a romantically simple idea. The country is rich with history and culture, with each city offering a unique feel to its residents. Moving to Paris appeals to many, with its capital charm and expensive lifestyle, whereas moving to Saint-Étienne in east-central France is a great option for others looking for cheap rental costs and warm weather.

Whatever your chosen city is in France, there is no denying that France is a country many people of varying nationalities are drawn to. With a successful public healthcare system and excellent education facilities, it is the perfect destination for individuals looking for a new chapter in life!


Can I move to France after Brexit?

UK nationals are currently free to move to another EU country, including France, with the same rights as any other EU citizen. This can continue post-Brexit, provided a deal is agreed. With a deal, UK citizens can continue to live in France and benefit from free movement rights as they have done thus far. Without a deal, however, the UK will become a third country. This means it is not an EU member and citizens are required to apply for long-stay visas to be present in France for longer than 90 days. UK residents would need to meet stricter guidelines for moving, including language expectations. They would then need to follow these steps:

  1. Apply for a long stay visa to the French Consulate in London for a long-stay visa
  2. Receive validation of the visa
  3. Apply for the correct TNC carte de séjour once in France


What’s the average cost of living in France?

Your living costs in France will depend on what kind of lifestyle you adopt when you move. If you decide to shop in local grocers then you should expect to pay more. On the other hand, if you visit supermarket chains in the suburbs or cheap markets, you will benefit from much lower prices.

The property market is much the same. Those who select one-bedroom apartments in the centre of Paris will pay premium figures for that luxury. Residents who chose to live in the suburbs of Paris can pay significantly less, as well as those who select districts 18th - 20th.

Don’t forget though, moving to Paris is not the only option! Renting a one-bedroom apartment in Paris can set you back by roughly €1,400 a month, whereas renting in Lyon is around half this price. In fact, although Paris may seem expensive, it is not the most expensive capital city to live in. According to Expatica, the living costs of Paris are 22% cheaper than in New York and 17% cheaper than in New York. When transferring money for your rent, using Paysend for an instant transfer can save you money with excellent exchange rates. The fixed transfer fee of 1.50€/£1 will save your hard-earned money and the fast rate means you can instantly sort your finances, even whilst living in France!


How to get a short term visa for France

Citizens from the EU, EEA countries or Switzerland do not require a short or long stay French visa or residence permit to enter France. Residents from Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Republic of Korea, New Zealand and the US also do not require a short term visa to enter France.

Citizens from countries outside of these areas do require a short term visa when they want to enter France, and so they must apply for a Schengen visa.

France is part of the Schengen area which makes up the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.

These countries don’t have border controls between them, with a single visa linking the countries. If you wish to enter France and are not from one of the exempt countries, you can apply for a Schengen visa which will permit you access to any country in the Schengen list. You are able to stay for up to 3 months in the countries but cannot work during this time. To apply for a Schengen visa, you can consult the French embassy in the country where you reside.


Do I need a long term visa for France?

To stay in France for longer than 3 months, you require a long-stay visa. This is something you must apply for through the French embassy or consulate in your country of residence. This should be done before you enter France. There are different visas which you can apply for and certain requirements to fill before you are permitted to obtain a visa. For example, if you intend to work in France, you must obtain a contract from your employer before you can be granted a visa. To get a long-stay visa in France, you need to fulfil one of the following:

  • Be employed by a company operating in France (a one year contract at least)
  • Have a temporary worker contract (three months to one year)
  • Be a student or intern
  • Have the spousal privilege to a French citizen or foreign national legally in France
  • Be a non-working visitor with housing, insurance and sufficient funds


Working in France

France currently has a skills shortage in the engineering, health and IT sectors. If you are a foreign national seeking a role in these areas, you may be able to aid the current employment issue. The government is willing to allow visas for these sectors in particular since the existing population of France is unable to fulfil many of these roles.

Many foreign citizens are interested in working in France because of the generous employment laws which currently exist. Specifically, the working week stands at 35 hours and workers are entitled to take five weeks off every 12 months. Foreign citizens flock to France each year to benefit from these working rights. To find out more about these enticing laws, check out this article on the finer details of working abroad in France.