The Ultimate Family Guide: Moving to France
Why move to France?
Thinking of moving to France? France holds such a special place in our hearts that French has become known as the very language of love. Its wines captivate connoisseurs and wine markets across the world, while its fashion houses (Dior, Yves Saint Laurent) watchmakers (Cartier) and perfumers (Chanel, Givenchy) are household names in each of their industries. France was the most visited country in the world in 2018 based on overnight stays, with nearly 90 million people seduced by its charm. Disneyland remains France’s most visited tourist attraction, followed closely by the Louvre Museum (home of the Mona Lisa), the former home of France’s kings in Versailles, the iconic Eiffel Tower and the Centre Pompidou housing Europe’s largest modern art museum. Millions visit the Alps and the world’s largest ski area of The Three Valleys in winter, while southern Provence and the French Riviera attract an equal amount seeking sun, sand and high culture.
Where do expats live in France?
Government statistics say 148,000 British expats were living in France in 2016. A third of these UK citizens were retired and without children, with another third working in skilled jobs in France’s larger cities (Paris, Toulouse, Nice, Lyon) and the final third made up of young expats seeking seasonal work or one of the 86,000 British citizens with a second home in France. The majority live in sparsely-populated areas of western France (Charente, Dordogne, Haute-Vienne, Limoges) with high numbers on the French Riviera (Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez) in southern Occitanie (Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier) in northeastern Brittany (Rennes, Huelgoat) and Normandy (Domfront, Flers) and in Alpine regions in the east (Lyon, Annecy, Chambery, Courchevel). The same spread is true for Belgian, German and Dutch expats, except for these preferring the French Riviera in the southeast above all.
Moving to France: The Ultimate Family Guide & Checklist
Do you crave the heat, culture and blue Mediterranean views of the French Riviera, frequented by the likes of Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Elton John and Brigitte Bardot? Are you looking to relax with your young family or for retirement in the sun-baked south and west of France, with its dazzling summers, fine food and wine? Are you relocating permanently, or just moving to France for year? Perhaps you’re still looking for your je ne sais quoi? In this MumAbraod Ultimate Family Guide we’ll cover 9 hurdles to moving to France, so you make the best decision for you and your loved ones. For a rapid overview, view the Moving to France checklist at the end:
Relocation services in France
Visas and residence permits
Opening a bank account
Finding a house in France
Healthcare in France
Cost of living in France
Driving in France
French school system
Moving to France with a dog or cat
French language and culture
Moving to France – CHECKLIST
Attention anyone considering a move to France!
This blog will help you understand all the steps you need to take to move to France.
But we often hear that expat families hit a roadblock with the actual move, or finding a house, getting a visa, choosing a school, and much more.
That’s why MumAbroad has partnered with leading specialists who speak your language and can save you time and stress.
In case you get stuck, don’t hesitate to contact one of the specialists below!
Relocation Services France
Visas let you visit France, while residency permits let you stay in France. If you’re dreaming of moving to France permanently, you’ll need to start off with both visas and residence permits. The visa you’ll need to enter France depends on your nationality, age, length of stay and purpose in France. Most visas allow you to stay for 90 days with a 180-day period. After 90 days you’ll need to a Carte de Séjour (residence permit) to live, work, study or retire in France. Rules are continually changing for UK citizens after Brexit. All information below is from the French government as of December 2021.
Do I need a visa to enter France?
Here’s an overview of the visas you need to visit France as a tourist.
EU citizen (or Switzerland)
You do not need a visa to visit France, nor is it a requirement to register within three months at your local mairie (town hall) or even apply for a residence permit.
You do not need a visa to visit France, and may stay up to 90 days with a 180-day period. Note: counting begins as soon as you enter any of the 26 Schengen countries, including neighbouring Belgium, Spain, Germany and Italy. You do not need a temporary work permit if travelling for a sporting, cultural or scientific event, a seminar or trade show, the production and broadcast of cinematographic and audiovisual works, modelling, IT or asset management/ insurance/ finance/ design/ engineering audit or expertise assignments. If you’re staying for more than 90 days you’ll need a long stay visa, whether you’re working or own a second home in France but aren’t a resident. Long stay visas can last no more than one year and allow you to apply for French residency (Carte de Séjour) sometimes within two months (see below). You can use the wizard on the French government’s website to figure out what your visa requirements are.
You do not need a visa to visit France, and may stay up to 90 days with a 180-day period. Note: counting begins as soon as you enter any of the 26 Schengen countries, including neighbouring Belgium, Spain, Germany and Italy. If you’re staying for more than 90 days you’ll need a long stay visa. Long stay visas can last no more than one year and allow you to apply for French residency (Carte de Séjour). You can use the wizard on the French government’s website to figure out what your visa requirements are.
Citizen of other nation (non-EEA)
You will need to apply for a Schengen visa which allows to visit and stay in any of the 26 Schengen countries for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. If you’re staying for more than 90 days you’ll need a long stay visa. Long stay visas can last no more than one year and can function as a temporary residence permit. You can use the wizard on the French government’s website to figure out what your visa requirements are.
What kind of long stay visas are there for France?
The most common type of long-stay visa is the “visa long séjour” (VLS). Different categories of VLS include “salarié” for those who are employed, “visa long séjour visiteur” for those who plan to stay in France on a long term holiday or as a retiree, “étudiant” for students or “vie privée et familiale” for those joining a relative or family. Newly arrived international residents from non EU countries with a VLS should obtain a Carte de Séjour in person from their local authority (préfecture) within two months of arriving in France. The visa itself will usually have the words ‘carte de séjour à soliciter’ to indicate that this French residence permit is required.
The exception to this is those with visa-type known as the visa de long séjour valant titre de séjour (or VLS-TS for short!). This type of visa acts as a temporary residence permit valid for up to one year. Those with a VLS-TS should make an appointment to register with the French Office of Immigration and Integration (OFII) within the first three months of arriving. A routine medical examination, basic French language test and a criminal background check may also be required upon arrival as conditions of your France visa application.
There is more detailed information on obtaining visas in France on the France Diplomatie website (in English) as well as the Accueil des Étrangers website, literally translated as “Welcoming Foreign People” (in French only).
How do I get a French residency permit?
If you’re thinking of moving to France to live, work, study or retire then you’re going to stay beyond 90 days. If you’re not an EU citizen, then you’re going to need to get your Carte de Séjour within or upon a year of living in France. The temporary VLS-TS visa is an exception that lets you stay in France up to you, providing you validate it with the OFII within three months of arrival.
The Carte de Séjour is a renewable French residence permit issued by a local Préfecture Administratif (see a map divided by Préfectures here). Expats moving to Paris should apply directly to their Préfecture de Police instead. The permit is renewable each year for three years. Residents are then eligible to apply for a permanent Carte de Resident (valid for 10 years). There are exceptions to this such as the Carte Compétences et Talents, which is valid for three years. Children are covered by their parents’ permit until the age of 13. Some expats seeking retirement can also get their Carte de Resident immediately, as well parents of a French-born child or spouses of French citizens.
Each Préfecture has a specific set of requirements for each type of Carte de Séjour, and usually require:
- Passport with long stay visa stamped in it
- Birth certificate
- Proof of residence (utility bill)
- Proof of income if employed, self-employed or retired
- Health insurance
Applicants should make sure to bring originals and photocopies of every document on the list. All foreign documents should be translated into French prior to submitting the application, and each town hall (Mairie) will have a list of official translators for this purpose. The Service-Public.fr site has further detailed information about applying for Cartes de Séjour (in French).
Adequate medical insurance is often a major visa application hurdle, with most long term visa types requiring coverage comparable to the local national healthcare system. Official websites mention this requirement, but policy details are vague, leading many applicants to discover during the interview that their policies are non-compliant. Rejected policies include travel insurance, Schengen insurance, repatriation plans, those with any excess, and emergency-only plans. You can obtain expert advise and assistance on health cover to make sure your visa application in France goes smoothly with Fab Insurance.
Read more on our blog – 7 must know facts about applying for a French long term visa
France began transitioning from francs to Euros in 2002. Exchange rates as of December 2021 are:
- US$1 – €0.89
- GBP£1 – €1.18
- AUS$1 – €0.63
- CAD$1 – €0.70
French banks generally charge fees for withdrawals at a French ATM or cashpoint. You may be asked if you want to be charged in your home currency or in euros. Always choose to be charged in euros, as banks will give you mid-market exchange rates. Your home bank may charge you for foreign withdrawals or transactions, however.
What will I need a French bank account for?
If you’re planning on paying rent, receiving paychecks, paying taxes or buying a property in France, a French bank account will make your life a lot easier. Many French phone providers, internet providers and gas or electricity suppliers will only accept a French IBAN. You’ll be looking for a compte courant (current account) which you can request from one of France’s 266 private and international banks. To get a French bank account you’ll need:
- Proof of address
- Proof of residence/ visa status
Can I open a French bank account without an address or residency?
Many French banks offer a non-resident account. This helps you with commissions and transactions but there’s considerably more paperwork and rules of operation. You’ll be asked about your assets, your income and might have to maintain a minimum balance. This process might be easier if your existing bank has a branch in France. These are the major international banks operating in France:
- ABN AMRO
- ANZ France
- Axa Banque
- Banco Sabadell Paris
- Bank of India
- Deutsche Bank
- Lloyds Bank
- Nat West
Are there online banking alternatives in France?
You can easily open an online bank account in France in just a few minutes and generally for free. Through most providers you’ll get a French IBAN, which is what you’re looking for to smoothen payments, transactions and paperwork after moving to France. The disadvantages of an online bank account is that you can’t deposit cash and you have monthly withdrawal limits at ATMs or cashpoints.
Online banks offering French accounts include:
TV shows in the UK have broadcast many successful programmes about expats undertaking home renovations in France, like Channel 4’s Grand Designs Abroad and Escape to the Chateau. Famous renovations like a five-storey former WWII headquarters made headlines when it was on the market in rural Limousin for just £495,000 (€580,000). Many expats dream of moving to France and doing up an old French farmhouse or chateau in the countryside, where average house prices were €180,000 in 2020. Foreign buyers make up over 15% of all property transactions primarily in rural areas in the following regions:
- Brittany & Normandy in the northeast (Rennes, Huelgoat, Domfront, Flers)
- Around the Dordogne and Loire rivers in the west (Charente, Dordogne, Haute-Vienne, Limoges)
- Occitanie region in the south (Carcassonne, Toulouse, Montpellier)
- The French Riviera in the southeast (Nice, Cannes, Saint-Tropez)
- The Alpine regions in the east (Lyon, Annecy, Chambery, Courchevel)
What’s the paperwork like to buy a house in France?
Most foreign buyers will use an estate agent (agent immobilier) in France to find houses and process the purchase. Once an offer on a house is accepted, you’ll be invited to sign a compromise de vente that fixes the price and keeps the sale open for a two or three month window. The seller cannot pull out, and a buyer only has seven days or will thereafter lose their deposit. You’ll likely need a local notaire for the sale, and to investigate other claims on the house during the two to three month window. Once all checks are done and a mortgage or purchasing funds are in place, then you’ll sign an acte de vente to complete the purchase.
What taxes and fees will I need to pay to buy a house in France?
Deposits on a house need to be paid when signing the compromise de vente and are typically 10%. Estate agent fees average at 5% of the house price, and are some of the highest in Europe. You may need to pay the notaire’s fees which are fixed by the government as follows:
- €0-6,500 – 3.945%
- €6,500 – €17,000 – 1.627%
- €17,000 – €60,000 – 1.085%
- €60,000+ – 0.814%
You’ll also need to pay stamp duty. Houses over five years old are charged at 5.8%, with newer homes charged at 0.7% plus 20% VAT. There are then two taxes on residential property in France: taxe d’habitation (local taxes) and taxe foncière (land tax) which are due on January 1 each year.
What are the most popular online property portals in France?
If you don’t want to use an estate agent or just looking to explore houses in France, these are the most popular online property sites:
- LeBonCoin (France’s biggest online classified ads website has published over 50 million real estate ads – it’s also top-rated by expats)
- SeLoger.com (France’s biggest online property portal has published over 14 million property ads)
- Leggett Immobilier (a popular online property portal in English specifically for expat buyers and sellers)
How can I explore where in France is best for me?
Renting could be a great solution to let you explore different areas in France before deciding on buying a home. You can adjust filters in the above links to look specifically for rental accommodation.
Another solution could be to undertake a home swap with Love Home Swap, a members-only platform that lets you holiday in another members’ family home in over 100 countries across the world. There are over 18,000 homes to choose from, which you can either pay for or save hundreds by inviting someone to stay at your home.
The French healthcare system came in 1st place during the World Health Organisation’s first-ever review of healthcare in 191 member states. The French government generally refunds patients 70% of most healthcare costs, and 100% if costly or for long-terms ailments. If you’re not registered with France’s public health insurance, however, you’ll have to pay all costs up front. Expats are able to access French state healthcare and use a French health cart (Carte Vitale) to avoid paying costs upfront, or otherwise pay and receive a refund with 5-10 business days. If you’re working in France, you’ll generally pay about 8% of your income in social security contributions. If you’re not working in France and not from the EU, you’ll have to start paying into France’s social security system before accessing healthcare – or pay comprehensive private healthcare. On average, a French worker will pay €40 a month towards public health insurance and typically take out private health insurance to get 100% of medical costs reimbursed on the public health system. Private care only accounts for about 3.7% of procedures in France.
How can I access state healthcare in France?
In theory, public healthcare in France is available to anyone who has been a permanent resident for over three consecutive months. In practice, it’s a lot easier if you’re employer can take care or it or if you’re self-employed and register on France’s régime social des indépendants (RSI). You can find a useful guide in English on France’s social security website ameli for a range of expat scenarios. Depending on the nature of your care, you can be charged between 20% to 85% of medical costs. Scenarios that let you easily apply for French state healthcare include:
- Resident in France and receiving retirement pension
- Resident and working in France
- Resident in France and rent out gites or B&Bs
- Resident in France and working in a different EU country
- On holiday or staying temporarily in France
The majority of practitioners working in healthcare in France sign an agreement with the Sécurité Sociale, which regulates any fees they may charge for certain treatments. It’s important to be aware of this and be clear about charges for procedures or treatments, as anything charged out with this agreement will not be reimbursed by the French healthcare system (though it may be covered by private insurance in some cases). Occasionally, anaesthetists and surgeons in private clinics will charge a fee for their services, known as dépassements d’honoraires, which are not covered by social security. Also in the event you are hospitalised, there is a fixed daily fee (forfait journalier) of 20 euros per day after the first 24 hour period. Most French people still pay a small sum into a private health insurance plan called a mutuelle, which allows for 100% refunds even for emergency care. State insurance in France typically doesn’t cover consultations with psychologists, osteopaths, chiropractors and other specialists, for example.
What if I’m not paying social security in France?
If you’re a resident in France and not paying social security in any EU country (and you’re not studying, receiving a pension or a disability pension) you can still apply to a scheme called PUMa and pay a monthly contribution to register for state health insurance.
If you are not from the EU (including Britain after Brexit) and can’t access state health insurance in France, you’ll need to take out comprehensive private health insurance. Here’s a list of popular private health insurers in France:
Access to medicine and pharmacies in France
For all over-the-counter medicines and prescriptions (une ordonnance), go to a pharmacy (pharmacie), as medicine is not stocked in supermarkets. If you present your prescription and health card (Carte Vitale or a valid European Health Insurance Card), you won’t need to pay the full up front cost, and if you have a mutuelle (top-up insurance), the whole up front cost will be covered. Without a Carte Vitale or proof of health insurance in France, you will be given a form to fill in requesting reimbursement from the relevant body. Certain medicine is covered 100% by the state.
Outside of normal opening hours, you should go to a night-time pharmacy (pharmacie de garde). The location of the nearest pharmacie de garde will always be listed on the door of any chemist that is closed, or alternatively, phone 32 37 and enter your area postcode for details of available chemists.
Most dentists in France operate in private practices, but the majority of the most routine procedures are reimbursed up to 70% by social security under the French healthcare system.
The average monthly salary in France is €2,356, which is €300 over the European average. The average disposable income per household in France is €27,800, which is below the OECD average of €28,965. Meanwhile, comparison site Numbeo puts the monthly cost of living at €812 per person and €2,903 for a family of four (rent not included).
How much is rent in France?
Rent in France is dependent on where you live, as rent can vary dramatically within regions depending on a town’s popularity. Below are the average monthly prices for a three-bed apartment in the countryside in the following popular expat destinations in France (as of Dec 2021):
- Annecy, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – €1,070
- Avignon, Provence – €770
- Bergerac, Dordogne – €600
- Cannes, Provence – €1,760
- Chambéry, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes – €740
- Flers, Normany – €600
- Limoges, Haute Vienne – €580
- Nice, Provence – €1,350
- Toulouse, Occitanie – €890
- Montpellier, Occitanie – €1,160
- Rennes, Brittany – €820
- Perpignan, Occitanie – €870
- Piotiers, Vienne – €600
How much are utilities in France?
The cost of electricity in France is below the EU average at €0.1933 per kWh. Monthly bills for electricity, heating, water and waste disposal for an 85m2 apartment are around €153 according to Numbeo. Internet can cost around €28 a month.
How much is food and drink in France?
A study comparing the prices of 78 basic products in major French supermarkets found that Leclerc, with 720 locations, was the cheapest in France. The supermarkets ranked according to price were:
- Leclerc €295
- Géant-Casino €300
- Hyper U €307
- Intermarket Hyper and Carrefour €311
- Auchan and Simply Market €330
- U Express €334
- Monoprix €362
According to Numbeo, the most important items of food and drink in a supermarket are more expensive in France compared to UK. Milk, wine and cigarettes are significantly cheaper in France than the UK. Meals out are on average much cheaper in France than the UK, as are coffees and cappucinos.
Taxation and in France
You’re liable to pay tax in France on the following conditions: France is your main place of residence; if you live in France fore more than 183 in a calendar year; if your main occupation in France; or if you own substantial assets in France. There are three types of taxation in France:
- Income tax (impôt sur le revenu)
- Social security (charges sociales/cotisations sociales)
- Tax on goods and services, or VAT (taxe sur la valeur ajoutée TVA)
Personal income tax in France for earnings or salaries from employment, investments, dividends, bank interest, pensions, and property are taxed at:
- Up to €10,084: 0%
- €10,085–€25,710: 11%
- €25,711–€73,516: 30%
- €73,517–€158,222: 41%
- €158,223+: 45%
Since 2019, France uses a pay-as-you-earn system to pay taxes on income and pensions in monthly payments, rather than at the end of the year.
Social security contributions are typically 8% of annual income.
Value added tax
VAT is 20% on goods and services in France, with 10% for medicines, public transport, hotels, restaurants and sporting/ cultural events. Food and books are taxed at 5.5% and TV licences and newspapers at 2.1%.
If you’re a US citizen moving to France, you will need to file a US tax return regardless of obtaining residency in France. Read our MumAbroad guide from Taxes for Expats here.
Tax and Insurance Specialists
If you’re thinking of moving to France and need tax and insurance services, MumAbroad has a network of specialists to help you:
Do I need to change my driving licence in France?
Driving licenses from EU/EEA member nations (and Switzerland) can be used indefinitely in France. All non-EU/EEA (including UK after Brexit) driving licences become invalid one year after the holder’s date of arrival and should be exchanged for a French license within this first 12 month period. France currently has agreements in place with a number of countries, allowing for a straight exchange. However, nationals of countries without a reciprocal arrangement must resit both the theory and practical driving tests in France to obtain a new, valid license after an initial 12 months. The legal driving age in France is 18 (even if a foreign driver’s home nation allows them to drive from a younger age).
Can I drive my foreign car in France?
Under EU law, you’re allowed to drive a foreign plated car on French roads for six months in any 12 month period. You’re not obliged to register your car with French authorities unless you become a resident in France. If you want to continue using your car you will need to officially import and register your car with French authorities, paying relevant taxes and charges.
Schooling is compulsory in France for children aged 3 to 16 years old. Public schools in France are free of charge provided you can prove residency status. Attendance is based on catchment areas. If you’re moving to France with a young family, many expats take advantage of local free nurseries which also help their children learn French quickly. Here’s an overview of the French school system:
- Ecoles Maternelle (3-6 years)
- Ecole primaire or Ecole élémentaire (6-12 years)
- Collège (11-15 years)
- Lycée (15-18 years)
- Lycée professionnel (15-18 years)
If you want to see a deeper overview of the French school system visit our Education in France page.
Will my child learn English at a French school?
Education in France is centralised and French the dominant teaching language. If you’re keen to have your child learn English or another foreign language you’ll need to look at bilingual or international schools. You can find a list of top-rated bilingual, expat friendly and international schools in France on our Education in France page.
Top International Schools & Education Specialists
If you’re thinking of moving to France and need educational support, MumAbroad has a network of education specialists to help you:
A large 29% of France is covered by forests and woodlands, making it a great place for expats moving to France with a dog. France has also ranked as the no. 1 most dog-friendly nation because restaurants and bars are more than happy to let your dog in. Dogs, cats and ferrets in the EU are given an ISO pet microchip in order to obtain a European pet passport. This document is essential for travel into or within the EU, and contains a description of your pet, its microchip code and its rabies vaccination record and is valid for life – so long as rabies vaccinations remain in date. If you’re moving to France from another country, you might need other documents to enter France with your pet.
EU citizens should be able to get an EU pet passport from any authorised vet within the EU.
UK citizens (after Brexit)
After Brexit, you can no longer use a pet passport issued in Great Britain to travel to an EU country. You will need to ask your vet for an Animal Health Certificate (AHC) and obtain the document within 10 days of your departure to the EU. The document is valid for four months but only covers a single trip into the EU. It’s likely to cost £100 – £150. Once you have moved to France with residency, you can check with a local vet that you’re following the rules.
If you’re bringing your dog from the United States or Canada, you’ll need a USDA accredited veterinarian to complete official health certificates before moving to France.
Are there any banned dog breeds in France?
The following dogs are prohibited from entering France: Staffordshire Terrier, American Staffordshire Terrier, Pit Bull Terrier, Japanese Tosa Inu, Boerbull Mastiff. Restricted breeds may be allowed entrance to France with a pedigree recognised by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry in France.
Do I need to Learn French?
France has a reputation for not speaking English. The 2012 Eurobarometer Report found that 39% of the population have some proficiency in English. English speakers will be most concentrated in the bigger cities of Paris, Lyon and Toulouse. French is the fifth most widely spoken language in the world, with more speakers worldwide than Arabic. Because of this French translations are easy to come by and most foreign films and dubbed into French. France also has an official Académie Française whose job is to actively find French alternatives for popular English words – for example baladeur instead of walkman, logiciel instead of software and courriel instead of e-mail. France also has a reputation for being unfriendly to foreigners, with Cannes in southern France rated the second-most unfriendly city in the world after Johannesburg in South Africa. Marseille came in fifth place.
For the vast majority of expats moving to France permanently, or for those who know French, this is not the case. If you want to improve your expat experience in France, you should definitely consider learning French to break through the language barrier and start feeling at home.
Will I struggle with culture shock in France?
If you’re moving to areas in France popular with expats, you’re bound to find expat shops of large hyper-marts that cater for international customers. The British Corner Shop also delivers over 80,000 boxes of British food products all over the world each year.
Joining a local Facebook group can also be a great way to get plugged into a region and not feel so alone. Like the MumAbroad Facebook page and feel free to ask our community for the top expat Facebook groups in your area.
American expat counselor Karen Rigatti in Milan spoke to us in an interview about how logistical problems can lead to emotional overwhelm, and the importance of setting goals to make your overseas dream come true. If you do struggle with culture shock or lose direction in your business we have a directory of therapists and coaches in Spain to set you right.
What is France famous for?
France is world-famous as a centre for winemaking and perfumes, and these two industries feature in France’s top 10 export products annually. Cars are also a major export from the major French carmakers Citroën, Peugeot and Renault. France’s remaining top export industries include machinery, aircraft and medical apparatus, but it’s likely French culture and the arts that’s got you dreaming of moving to France. Here’s a few interesting facts about what makes France famous:
- France is not the world’s biggest producer of wine (that’s Italy) but France makes the lion’s share of export profits with a 29.9% portion of sales. France’s best-known wine regions are Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Loire, Beaujolais, Provence, Côtes Du Rhône and Languedoc-Roussillon.
- French fashion houses make up five of the world’s top 10 most valuable brands, with Louis Vuitton, Chanel and Dior taking the top three spots.
- France is the largest country in the European Union.
- The Renault Clio is currently the top best-selling car in Europe.
- France has more Nobel Prize literature winners than any other country, with 15, including Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus and most recently Patrick Modiano.
- French inventors have had a list of success, being behind tin cans (Pierre Durand), Braille (Louis Braille) and the hot-air ballon (Montgolfier brothers).
- ‘Liberté, égalitié, fraternité‘ or ‘liberty, equality, fraternity’ is the national motto of France, first appearing around the time of the French Revolution (1789–1799).
- France’s football team are the reigning FIFA World Cup champions, and have won the trophy twice.
- At 4,807m Mont Blanc in France is the highest mountain in the Alps.
- Paris’ Louvre Museum is the most-visited museum in the world.
- The most expensive bottle of wine ever sold was a 73-year old French wine from Burgundy selling for $558,000.
zur) is known as the home of one of the Big Three European annual film festivals, alongside Venice and Berlin.
For a quick moving to France checklist, these are the 9 hurdles when moving to France in brief:
- If you’re not from the EU, you’re going to need a visa before you start moving to France.
- Find a solution to transfer money without expensive fees, or use an online banking app.
- If you’re investing in property, prepare for at least a three-month wait after an offer is accepted and to pay for a notaire, 5% estate agent fees, stamp duty and a 10% non-refundable deposit.
- If you’re not from the EU, working in France, receiving a pension, or paying social security contributions in France you’ll need comprehensive private healthcare.
- Means to pay an average of €1,600 a month if paying rent and monthly living costs.
- If you’re not from the EU, you’ll need to exchange your driving licence with a French one. Check if your country has an agreement with France.
- Find a private school that teaches in English or another foreign language, or prepare for private English lessons, or your child might have difficulty accessing higher education in their home country.
- Make sure your dog or cat is microchipped and your dog has had a rabies jab. You’ll need an Animal Health Certificate if from the UK and USDA accredited health certificates if from the US.
- Learn French or hire the services of a translator or expat specialist to organise initial administrative tasks.
We hope you enjoyed the MumAbroad Ultimate Family Guide to moving to France. Bon voyage!