7 things to know before moving to France

7 things to know before moving to France

7 things to know before moving to France

I bet you have many tabs open searching about this topic…yeah. Agree. It's frustrating. I feel you. Calm down, take a deep breath… close all other open pages and start reading the following blog, and I promise you this is everything you need to know if you’ve already decided to start a new life in France.

I won't tell you what a great idea moving to the city of lights is because I assume you are mature enough to take on such a life challenging experience. But, I can tell you what you need to know to make your dream a reality.

For EU/EEA or Swiss nationals moving to France is easy; there is no longer a need for Visas or Residence Permits. If you belong to the rest of the world, then you need a visa regardless of the length of your stay. If you're planning on staying in France for more than three months, a Long Term French Visa is required. A residence permit is a must, as well.

You got it up to here. Right? Now, we assume you have a Visa de Long Sejaour (Long Term French Visa).Upon your arrival in France, you should register at the Office Francais deI'immigration et de l'Intégration (OFFI) to legalize you living in France.

As France is known for its bureaucratic processes, it takes a while to process the registration (interview and medical examination) therefore it's strongly recommended to start as soon as you can.

It's not an easy life in France if you don't speak French. Finding a job without speaking a word of the language could be very hard, or rather impossible. Thus, it should be in your priority list. As per English speakers, you may find them in major big cities, but beyond that, accommodating yourself without speaking French might be difficult. Having said that, it is strongly advised that you have a basic understanding of the language before you move to France. Many apps and online courses can help you learn the basics such as Duolingo, Babbel, Coursera, Udemy etc.

C'est la vie 😊. Let’s move on. 

You may have come across the famous saying that French people "live to work". And yes that's true. Once you're there, you'll enjoy a high standard of living with the average working week of 35 hours and generous holiday allowance up to five weeks of annual paid leave. Yet the French minimum wage is €10.15 an hour, which is one of the highest in Europe. Yet, as mentioned, you must learn the language before you make a move, especially if you are looking for a job. Don't panic, but take it seriously.

As significant contributors to the French economy include tourism, agriculture, energy and technology, there is a shortage of skilled professional workers in those fields. Hence, France is considered an excellent opportunity for engineering industries, IT, construction, hotel workers, and other STEEM professionals.

Renting might be an excellent solution for an initial period of your stay. Prices may vary greatly depending on many factors such as region or neighborhood. The capital city, Paris, understandably is one of the most expensive cities. Renting a three-bedroom apartment there costs up to 1750-2600 euro/per month, while one-bed apartments cost 850-1150 euro/per month. Generally, average rents across other parts of France are 550-650 euro/per month, for a one-bedroom apartment, and 950-1300 euro/per month for a three-room apartment.

You can rent through a property agency, but you should consider that you have to pay an administration fee and pay a deposit of a minimum of one month's rent. Therefore, renting directly from a landlord is cheaper and more comfortable. Rentals are mostly unfurnished, so keep that in mind

The Healthcare system in France is a complicated, yet a very important process. That's why it's ranked as one of the best. What you should know at this stage is that upon arrival, you must have health insurance to access the healthcare system. Healthcare in France is partially funded by Social Security Contributions (security social)deducted from your salary (employees pays 8%, employers 13%) and it covers between 70-100% of costs such as doctor visits and hospital costs. Low income and long term sick patients receive 100% coverage.

The French Education has a high standard and is divided into several stages (primary school, ages 6-11,middle school, ages 11-15 and high school, ages 15-18);

The academic levels and grades of the pupils are a determining factor for which specialist streams they are to follow in their final years in the French school system; It’s Important to know that the state education is free for all citizens and others who have a proof of residence. In Paris there are opportunities for children who do not speak French to attend schools where language courses for beginners are available.

Last but not least, a bank account may be required to pay wages or rent. In order to open a bank account, you would need your passport, proof of address and a residence permit. Here’s a tip: Banks are ideal for your basic needs, but when it comes to international money transfer, I strongly recommend you using OneFor app seeing as it is cheaper, safer and faster. Having a OneFor account is free of charge, and it allows you to keep money in a virtual wallet without any admission fee. See how OneFor works here.