Relocate to the France

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An All-Inclusive Guide on Relocating to France

France is the perfect destination for those who love to be around cathedrals, museums and the Eiffel Tower. It is a beautiful country rich in culture and history. If you are planning to move there, you would require to organize yourself as well as your items appropriately.

Anywhere in France, we will be there to help you move with ease. Our guide will also help you identify the visa you require and whether you have a work permit or need to apply for one, about social security, education, healthcare and other benefits.

Many expats have expressed their interest in moving to France because the country has the best education system in the world. Joining the public schools is allowed for all residents that are legal.

Information on banks, taxes, healthcare, education and more are all included in our comprehensive guide.

Relocating

When moving to a new country, you would be required to know the rules and regulations as well as the step by step process of relocation. Our guide provides you with details on how to segregate your items and ship them through the mode feasible to your budget.

In case you are moving to France, from outside the European union, clearing your goods from the customs can take up to a month as it involves paying taxes and duties on all items included. Citizens of Europe would be required to provide detailed records stating that they have paid the necessary taxes on the items. Nevertheless, it is advisable to keep all documentation ready before you ship your belongings.

Your furry friends need another set of documentation to be kept ready for their move. Vaccinations, micro-chipping and pet passports will be required based on the country you are traveling from and the type of animal. Mixed breeds of Pitbulls, Mastiffs, Staffordshire terriers and Tosas are banned in France.

READ GUIDE ON HOW TO SEGREGATE YOUR ITEMS AND TRANSPORT YOUR PETS CONVENIENTLY.

Visas & Work Permits

Getting a visa to France is quite direct once you have all your documentation in order. Expatriates from within the EU, EEA, or the Swiss citizens do not require a visa or work permit to move to France. If you are traveling from outside the EU, you would be required to do the following:

  • Start the visa application process before arriving in France.
  • Register your address with the local authorities.

After applying for a suitable visa, you may have to apply for something called a carte de séjour, which is the official France residence card. You would also require a work permit, applied for by your employer, in case you plan to work in France. For a long term stay, you may be required to give medical exams, cultural lessons and language tests.

READ OUR GUIDE ON VISAS AND WORK PERMITS

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Housing

In France, many find it easier to rent rather than buying properties as there are various types of renting options existing all over the country. There are furnished as well as unfurnished apartments available, though unfurnished ones provide a better protection legally and a longer minimum lease period. The rent, like in many places, will depend on the region, city, size of space, etc.

Looking for a place to rent should be done around May to July as the holiday season and new semesters thereafter can slow down the process or lessen the options available. While looking for the suitable home, you can stay at one of the houses that have short term rentals of up to 3 months.

An advantage about the renting process is that France has strict tenant protection laws that make it almost impossible for landlords to simply evict tenants. The selection process is quite strict so you have to get your documentation (proof of identity, a home or liability insurance certificate, a guarantor in some cases, proof of employment, financial resources, etc.) sorted before going to sign the agreement.

Your costs to buy or rent would depend on various factors but you would have to consider a separate budget for utilities like gas, water, electricity and internet services.

READ OUR GUIDE THAT WILL HELP YOU ARRANGE FOR HOUSING IN FRANCE

Healthcare

Calling the US health system complicated is an understatement. Billions of dollars are spent on it each year by both the government and individuals, yet it still seems to be a headache for many locals and expats that live in the country. Additionally, the laws regulating the system are in a constant state of change which adds to the general feeling of confusion. However, we aim to clarify most uncertainties by introducing you to the healthcare and health insurance system in the US in this section.

To start off, public healthcare does exist in the US but it is not universal. That is why having private health insurance is vital if you wish to avoid high medical bills. The good news is that most employers do cover health insurance bills for their employees. Still, the plans they provide are not always sufficient, so you might need to pay for additional coverage.

There are also pros and cons further down the line. For example, your health insurance provider will help you find a doctor, but also will limit the choice of professionals you can see.

Giving birth in the US is likely to be a good experience with professional medical staff attending to all your needs; however, the price of this luxury can make one go bankrupt.

Learn to navigate your way through the most expensive healthcare system in the world with the help of our guide’s healthcare section.

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Banks & Taxes

Money is an important part of US culture. That is why it is not a surprise that many banks are quick to accommodate anyone who wishes to open a bank account in the US.

The US is home to a lot of the world’s best banks, offering the most suitable bank account options to clients no matter if they are locals or non-residents living in the country. However, no matter your residency status, you will need to be in the country to open a bank account there.

Once you get to the US and make your first purchase you are bound to notice one significant detail: The price that is on the price tag does not correspond to the price you are charged at the counter. This might be your first encounter with the US tax system that, most likely, will not be the last.

The good news is that tax rates in the US are fairly low. Want to know how much taxes are exactly? Read our banks and taxes section of the guide.

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Education

It is the US school curriculum that might encourage parents to choose a local international school instead of a typical public one for their expat children.

The school system in the US is split into preschool, primary, middle, and high school and is followed by undergraduate, graduate, and further degree programs in higher education institutions.

The biggest problem in the US education system right now is the cost of higher education. Many students that wish to study in universities cannot afford to choose schools that best suit their abilities and if they do, they end up with a large student debt after graduation.

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Working

Work is taken very seriously in the US. Employees do not typically take more than two weeks’ vacation per year and working overtime is so common it is an essential part of the business culture. Americans often put their careers as their main priority and the same is expected from expats who come to work here as well.

On the plus side, the rewards are usually worth it. The average salary in the US is high for a skilled worker and if you land a job that is in high demand, you can expect to receive enough money to live better than comfortably. However, government-provided social security is rather limited.

Setting up a business is the only way of becoming self-employed in the US and while for locals it is generally easy, foreigners might struggle with obtaining the right visa that would allow them to work for themselves.

Still wondering how to get a job in the US? Proceed to read this section for more information.

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Country Facts

Is it expensive to live in the US? It depends on the prices you are considering and what you are comparing to. For example, groceries are usually more expensive than in many other Western countries. On the other hand, fuel is significantly cheaper, which is very important to one of the cultural phenomena of the US –– driving.

Driving in the US is such an important asset that some states legally allow 14-year-olds to operate vehicles. Driving is often taught at schools and is a highly demanded skill for most job postings.

The driving culture might be one of the many reasons why public transportation in the US is so underdeveloped. While the big cities of the country enjoy safe and reliable public transit such as metro and buses, when it comes to interstate travels, the US leaves a lot to be desired.

Apart from the cost of living and transportation options, the country facts section of our guide also introduces you to the practicalities of the country, such as emergency phone numbers and celebrated public holidays.

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