How to Move to France

France is a beautiful country full of culture and excitement. Many people want to immigrate to France, whether it is for the short term or for a permanent move. With some simple and practical steps and proper preparation, a move to France can be made easier than you may imagine.


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    Contact the French Consulate or the French Embassy in your area. You will need to request paperwork for the type of French visa that you wish to apply for.
    • Unless you are European Union citizen, the first step for a move to France will generally be to request a tourist visa. This type of visa will allow you to stay in France for up to one year. #*When the tourist visa expires, you will be allowed to apply for a one-year permit and renew that yearly. (After one year you will be required to pay French income taxes and will need to obtain a French drivers license if you wish to drive).
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    Mail the completed visa paperwork to the French Consulate closest to the city where you live. Retain at least one personal copy of all paperwork that you fill out in connection with your move to France, as you may need to provide this as identification later.
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    Go to the closest French Consulate office to you and pick up your visa in person when you have been informed that it is ready. French visas are not mailed and must be picked up in person as of 2010.
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    Arrange your accommodations. You may wish to stay in furnished housing, or if you are shipping some items you may prefer to get an unfurnished flat.
    • The Internet can be a good source of accommodations, especially sites that cater to those emigrating to France.
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    Arrange for your flight to France. You will be entering France on a visa, and since visas often are closely examined by the French government officials it may take you some extra time upon entering the country so expect to spend some time verifying paperwork upon your arrival.
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    Ship valuables that you cannot take with you on the plane ahead to France. Be aware of restrictions on shipping personal items.
    • These restrictions may vary, but as of 2010 include: Firearms, ammunition, meat, dairy products, plants, narcotics, psychotropic substances, pets, medicine, precious metals, cash, counterfeit items, and wild animals.
    • Before shipping any items to France, check with the French Consulate to be sure that you have the updated shipping restrictions.
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    Start looking for a job. First thing, you need to provide a French resume and a French cover letter to potential employers. These have to be adapted to local standards, which can be different from your own country. Start surfing the internet to find some examples. Whether you want to do it yourself or ask a professional to do it for you, you can review the different options online.


  • Try to schedule your arrival in France for an off-peak time. Flying into France on a major holiday will mean flying into a crowded airport and may significantly increase the amount of time that you will need to spend in customs.

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Categories: Moving House and Packing | France