France is a popular destination for tourists from all over the world and is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful countries in Europe, if not the world, to visit. There is plenty to fall in love with from the majestic peaks of the Alps and the Pyrenees to the long stretches of beaches along the Atlantic coastline. The breathtaking countryside with chateaus and vineyards is also worth exploring as are the many historic cities, the vibrant culture and the world-renowned, mouth-watering French cuisine
Tourists aren’t the only visitors who fall in love with France but many tourists do become residents. In fact, the country is popular among expats all in search of that French joie de vivre. However, it is worth noting that moving to a new country, even one as fabulous as France can be complicated with a long list of requirements before you leave your old life behind.
Prepare Your Documents
Before you take off for France, it is essential to know the legalities of becoming an expat and have them ready for your move. Here are some of the documents you should have ready:
A Current Passport – This one is a bit of a no-brainer but quite often, people find out the hard way that their passport must not only be current but must not expire within 3 to 6 months before you travel. Check the expiration date of your passport and renew it early if you need to.
A Visa – In most cases, you can visit France for 90 days without a visa but if you plan on staying longer, make sure you visit your local French consulate for the right visa. Arriving in France and hoping you can obtain a temporary residency visa within the 90-day grace period is a bit of a gamble and the wise choice is to ensure you have your visa approved before you leave.
A Work Visa – If you’re like most expats, you will need to work in France if you plan on living there for an extended period. If you can secure employment before you arrive, your future employer will confirm your employment and then getting a work visa is relatively easy. If you are a remote worker, this process may be a little more complicated.
Medical Insurance – Healthcare in France costs less than in many other countries but this is one thing you definitely want to arrange before departing. At the very least, get yourself a travel insurance policy to cover you until you get settled into your new residence.
Find A Place to Live
If you’ve been to France then you may already have a city in mind to start your new life. Finding accommodation is your biggest challenge after obtaining all the legally required documents but it can be easier thanks to online platforms that advertise different types of accommodations. The best online platforms offer filtering options so you can choose the city and suburb as well as your choice of furnished or serviced apartments. You can also decide on your budget and other filters to further refine your options. Using a reputable platform can make moving to Paris much less stressful.
Depending on your circumstances, settling into your new home in France will require a little extra work. You’ll need to register your new address with local authorities. You’ll also need to connect utilities in your name. These include electricity, phone and internet, water supply, etc. If you are relocating with your family, you will also need to enroll your children in a school. Other essential services you will need is a mobile phone plan and you’ll need to open a French bank account.
Don’t Do It Alone
While there is plenty of information you can make use of online, such as official government websites, one of the best sources of information for your moving to France checklist is to ask other expats. Not only are expats full of useful information that will help you become another happy expat, but quite often, they also know the best places to shop, eat and simply enjoy France like a local.