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.
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.
First Steps upon arrival in France
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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%.