Three things to think about before moving to France
A simplified guide of some of the first things you should be thinking about (i.e. they take time) when considering a move to France.
- Moving to a different country can be difficult.
- Understanding Your Residency
- Your Visa Application
- Your pet(s)!
Moving to a different country can be difficult.
If you're British (like me) then the recent geo-political decisions will not have made this any easier for you! The regulations and laws are different in France, it's more important than ever now to conduct a thorough research of visas, permits, insurance, vaccines, even getting to grips with the taxes on shipping your household items is something you should be thinking about. We're only scratching the surface here of course. The main 'jist' of this guide is to get you thinking about the elements of your move that take the most time to implement, get the ball rolling on these and once they're in motion you can move on to other equally important, but less time sensitive aspects of your move. If you're looking for a more in depth 'checklist' on everything else to consider before relocating to France I recommend Anglo Info's guide, which has a plethora of useful information if you’re considering a move.
Understanding Your Residency
According to French Law, staying in the country as a resident in any capacity depends on a person’s nationality, the motive for entrance, residency period and income statement. Getting French citizenship is relatively simple for EU nationals and relatively complicated for non-EU citizens. Any non-EU national who plans to stay in the country for more than three months should get a residence permit – a Carte de Séjour (a Titre de Séjour). And the visa should be stamped in the passport before leaving the home country.
EU and EEA citizens can live and work in France without any residency permits. However, the rule has an exception. A non-EEA/EU spouse or an underprivileged family member of an EU citizen living in France, has the same rights as an EU national. But they still need to apply for the residence permit within the first two months after their arrival.
Your Visa Application
An expat should start the visa application process as early as possible; it can take a long time to get visa stamped in the passport. Similarly, the visa renewal process should start early as well. All the important documents need to have official copies which requires couple of weeks to receive. Probably, some of the documents will likely need to be translated in French too. Other things to put on the moving to France checklist are:
Notary approved passport, proof of citizenship or a green card
Certificates of marriage and birth
Social security cards
International driving license
Medical file for prescribed drugs (if applicable)
Needless to say, one should cancel all their insurance agreements and subscriptions services, change the residency address and contact their bank to inform them of the move etc.
If you have a beloved furry friend you’re hoping to bring with you, they should get all the necessary vaccinations and an ID well in advance. The European Pet Passport allows domestic animals to enter and cross borders within Europe. While the Pet Travel Scheme allows a pet to travel to and from the UK without any quarantine (definitely check this out or you risk having quarantine periods of up to 6 months!). For more detailed information on moving pets to France, check out the French Customs Authority website.