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January 14, 2021

All You Need to Know Before Moving to France

After moving to France you will learn a lot more about the unique culture and history of the land. At Hercules Moving Company we have compiled this guide to help you get ready for the move. Moving overseas can become the most effortless move if hiring a professional international moving company.

France is not only Paris, the Eiffel Tower, famous bakeries and frog legs. It is also social security, high incomes and beautiful landscapes. When moving to France, you are not only choosing an economically and socially developed country but interacting with the amazing people that inhabit it.

When relocating to France, it is advisable to prepare months in advance. Of course, it is necessary to learn French to solve everyday problems but understanding the legal system in order to be able to protect your rights and interests is equally important. Legislation is very friendly to immigrants, however, there are certain nuances discussed in this article.

How to Immigrate to France

Many people strive to get an education here, work in France or organise their own business. It is quite realistic to migrate to the country, as the requirements for migrants are quite loyal. But there are also many refusals due to the amount of applicants wanting to move for a better life in France.

To legally immigrate to the country, you need to obtain a French visa and meet certain requirements. If you speak French, it will be easier to manage the documentation.

Education
Employment
Family Reunion
Business Owners
Investment

Education

The desire to study at French establishments is largely because the state provides significant financial assistance to students. Ten thousand euros are allocated annually from the state budget for each student at the university.

Thanks to this budget funding, studying at a state-owned university is virtually free. The costs incurred by the student range from €200 - €400 for registration fees and €200 for social insurance. After receiving the letter of acceptance, get ready to apply for a student visa.

Employment

Foreign nationals wishing to immigrate to France on the basis of employment are required to obtain a work permit and a visa to work. More precisely, it is not the employee himself who has to apply for the permit, but the one who hires him. The employer must submit the documentation to the Ministry and OFII.

Signing a work contract with a foreigner is possible only if there are no potential employees for the job in the French labour market and if such specialists do not exist in other countries of the European Union. Only when there is authorization, you can apply to the consulate for visa documents.

Family Reunion

The residence permit can be obtained by the family members (spouse and children) of a French citizen or a resident living in France for 18 months and intending to stay for another 12 months. In order to do so, they must submit an invitation for the reunion and fulfil the following criteria:

  1. Absence of serious illnesses
  2. The minimum monthly income of the host is €1,458
  3. A host must provide a living space of sixteen square metres per couple and nine square metres for each subsequent resident.
  4. Have a minimum knowledge of French
  5. No Criminal Record

Business Owners

The owner of an existing company must provide proof of:

  • Ownership of a business in France generating an annual income of at least the minimum wage in France
  • No criminal record or bankruptcy in France or other countries
  • In the case of regulated activities, proof of compliance with French law and the existence of the necessary permits

A new company founder must provide proof of:

  • A level of education corresponding to a French Master Degree or at least 5 years of professional experience in a relevant field
  • Proof of a serious, feasible and viable economic project in France
  • Investment of at least €30,000 in the proposed economic project
  • Financial means or source of income sufficient to cover personal expenses while living in France
  • Proof of no criminal record or bankruptcy in France or other countries
  • In the case of regulated activities, proof of compliance with the requirements and availability of the necessary permits

Investment

Foreign investors wishing to obtain a residence permit in France to participate in their project must meet the following criteria:

  • Making a direct investment - either personally or through a controlled company in which they have at least 30% of the shares (stakes)
  • The investment project must involve the creation or retention of jobs or a commitment to create or retain jobs during the first four years of the investment project.
  • The amount of the investment made (or the obligation to make the investment) must be at least €300,000 in tangible or intangible assets.

First Steps upon arrival in France

  1. Open a Bank Account in France.

    As a non-French resident, you can open a bank account online before the move. Some banks will allow you to use the account directly after your arrival but others require you to visit them in person to initiate the operation. Do not forget to bring these documents: proof of identity, proof of income, proof of address and initial deposit.

  2. Buy a French sim card.

    For a short trip, we recommend purchasing a prepaid sim card, it allows you to be more flexible. Consider an Orange holiday Europe SIM Card from amazon or SFR. As a long-term solution, choose a phone plan that fits your needs the best.

    Simply speaking, each of your documents is equal to a certain value of points, an Australian visa, for example, is 40 points, driver’s license equals 60 points. You can apply to open a bank account outside of Australia, providing that you will be coming in the next 12 months.

  3. Get your Driving License set.

    With a valid driving license, you can drive for up to 12 months from arrival with a valid French driving permit. After 1 year, you must exchange your driving license for a French. The EU/EEA citizens can use their license till expired.

Healthcare in France

The French healthcare system is of high quality and is largely financed by the state, with an average of just over 10% of the GDP allocated annually. Usually, with a residence permit in France, a foreigner is given a Carte Vitale health insurance card, which gives access to free health services, including many medicines. Even in the case of hospitalisation, patients are not charged more than 18 euros per day.

Since January 1, 2016, France has had a Protection Maladie Universelle (PUMA) program, which replaced the old French health insurance system Couverture Maladie Universelle (CMU). Now all French residents, including expats in France who are legally in the country for more than 3 months, have easier access to medical services. Otherwise, you can always get private health insurance.

Earning and Spending in France

Income in France
Taxation System
Cost of Living

Salary in France depends on education, qualifications, experience and place of work, region of residence, and the demand for the profession in the labour market. In France doctors, lawyers, financiers, and sales managers are highly paid: they earn up to €5,000 - €6,000. The minimum salary for financial specialists is around €2,500, while highly qualified engineers earn €2,500 - €2,700 per month. Good lawyers are paid up to €2,000 a month.

Every January, the minimum wage in France (Smic) increases due to automatic indexation based on inflation. In 2022, the increase is 0.9% and the Smic is now €1,603 per month before tax and social contributions (gross) and €1,269 after deductions.

The state has a two-tiered system of taxation because taxes in France are levied both at the national and local levels. This is typical of many European countries.

Corporate income tax in France is 25%. Capital gains tax is 30% (17.2% social contributions and 12.8% income tax).Income tax ratio in France:

  • up to 10,225 euros - 0%
  • from 10 225 to 26 070 EUR - 11%
  • from 26,070 to 74,545 euros - 30%
  • from EUR 74,545 to EUR 160,366 - 41%
  • over EUR 160 366 - 45%

According to Numbeo, a single person living in Paris would spend on average €952.73 ($1,277 CAD) without rent. A family of 4 is estimated to spend on average €3,412 ($4,574 CAD) per month without rent.

A public transportation monthly pass costs €75 ($100 CAD), monthly utilities for an 85m2 apartment cost €184 (€248 CAD) and groceries from €200 - €600 per month.

Renting vs. Housing in France

Moving to a place where you would feel comfortable, - is the main ingredient in the meal called relocation. Whether you are short-visiting and checking out the ground or long-term committing to move to France, finding a perfect home is the principal.

Renting

As a rule of thumb, most European countries’ real estate is expensive and France is not an exception. About 36% of the population in France rents their accommodations, and the vast majority of that number comes from big cities. Rent prices in France largely depend on the city, location within and type of property you are renting.

The most expensive city to rent in, as you might have guessed, is Paris. The average cost of a 1 bedroom apartment in the city centre is about €1,271 per month and €927 outside. A 3 bedroom apartment in the city centre will cost about €2,742 and €1,845 outside. For example, In Lyon, the costs go down by 35% for a 1 bedroom and 21% for 3 bedroom apartments, in Nice for a 3 bedroom 41% less.

The period between May to July might be the best time for renting in France. You can choose to work with a real estate agent which will charge an equivalent to monthly rent but will significantly reduce the waiting time.

Housing

In the cities and the outskirts, the majority own their homes. Some properties are freshly built and bought while others have been passed through generations in the family. Thus, although the market is quite competitive, you can find a house to your liking.

Buying real estate in France for foreigners will be not only a theoretical source of passive income but also a good reason for the future registration of a residence permit. The fact that a foreigner has property will be an advantage for naturalization in the country. After successfully obtaining a residence permit for real estate in France, you can apply for a permanent residence card, and then citizenship in the EU.

Buying an apartment in France is a promising investment in one of the most developed countries in the world. Among the disadvantages of buying French real estate, foreigners call high prices - in 2022 it is one of the most expensive in the world. Also, this country has a lot of bureaucracy, taxes depend on the level of income and can reach 47%.

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Kavaleo Bram
We had never used movers before and did a lot of research before deciding on Hercules Moving Company. The Calgary movers showed up early and were ready to go on time. They worked quickly and diligently and moved our entire house in 6 hours. I was very grateful for not having to do the heavy lifting ourselves and that everything was moved without damage and in good time. I would definitely use them again!
The Hercules moving team conducted themselves in a very professional manner. Upon their arrival they were quick to introduce themselves. My piano was carefully wrapped before moving it. Once at its destination the moving team decided on the best way to move my piano into its new home. They laid mats along their route to protect my flooring. They had to move some furniture out of their way. Throughout the entire process of moving the piano they were very careful with the piano and my home. They recommended putting some coasters (which they had on hand) under the wheels of the piano to protect my flooring before taking it off of their mats. After unwrapping and disposing of all of the wrap they made sure I was happy with the placement of the piano before considering their job complete. Even took the time to move back all of the items they moved out of their way, no matter how small. Overall I was very happy with my experience with Hercules Moving Company. I highly recommend them.
Hercules rescued my move when another Toronto movers cancelled on me days before the big day. They were professional and knew exactly how to protect all of my belongings during the move in terrible rain.
Really patient and dedicated guys! They treated all of our furniture and belongings with the utmost care while still being incredibly efficient. I would recommend them to anyone and everyone!
I was very satisfied with these Calgary movers. They made it easy and stress free for us. Movers arrived on time and packed and professionally covered our furniture to go into storage, since we are in between houses. I was amazed by how these Calgary movers were able to efficiently pack and store a 5 bedroom, 2 living room, office and a gym into a storage unit where they organized everything to fit perfectly. I was 100% satisfied with their service and would recommend them to anyone looking for good quality movers. Thanks Hercules Moving company for helping us move!
Foodmachinery
I had to move my entire food operation in a day. With Edmonton movers quoted me quickly and showed up on site 2 days later ready to move. I was worried about all my expensive and sensitive machinery but they pulled it off safely and without issue. Very reasonably priced and highly recommended. Great company.
This company has some of the best customer service I have ever experienced. From the moment I received my initial quote provided by Igor, the company ensured that my needs were fully accommodated. Having previously dealt with other moving companies in the past (I've had to move a few times due to the nature of my job), I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of care Hercules takes in handling my furniture. The movers were very friendly, professional, and did not waste any time (in my previous experience, movers would take their time, which resulted in a large bill for me). The moment the staff arrived at my door, they immediately began working. In summary, this is my go to mover in GTA from now on. I would highly recommend this company to anyone who is looking for a professional service, hassle free.
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