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Moving to France from UK – 2022 Complete Guide

Moving to France from UK – 2022 Complete Guide

Are you moving to France from UK?

In this article, we offer you all the tips and tricks needed to make moving to France from UK run smoothly in 2022.

If you are moving to France from UK, some wonderful things await you!

This beautiful country is home to some of the most sought-after locations in the whole of the continent.

France offers its own unique and rich history alongside a culture that is distinctly French!

Is moving to France from UK easy?

Before you go, you must know as much about the country as possible.

Therefore, White & Company have created the complete guide to moving to France from UK.

Moving internationally has also been made increasingly difficult during the last year thanks mostly to the impact of the global pandemic!

The impact that COVID has had across the globe will certainly have huge implications on any upcoming international moves you may have.

It is therefore essential that you are sure that moving to France from UK is right for you.

House Prices

House Prices in France

Homes come in all sorts of shapes and sizes in France, so you are sure to be able to find one that suits your individual taste, budget, and purpose.

There is no doubt that house prices in France are much cheaper than those in the UK. Unless you are searching for a house in Paris, or another city in the country.

Try before you buy is the best advice. You can rent in several locations before you finally take the plunge and purchase a home.

Prices vary hugely from region to region, but France has bargains galore if you take time to search well.

Some of the cheapest locations in the country are the Limousin, Auvergne, and Burgundy regions, where you can expect to pay around £55,000 for a 4-bedroom house sitting on very large plot.

As a price comparison, in Limousin it is possible to buy a 5-bedroom home which you can move into immediately for £125,000.

In Auvergne a similar property would cost around £150,000 and in Burgundy you could pay as little as £75,000 if you are prepared to do a little renovating.

If you are searching for land, unlike the UK, France is overflowing with plots for sale, the more remote the cheaper it gets.

It’s not unusual to purchase several acres of land for as little as £12,000. Of course, before you buy you need to do your research to check you can in fact place a dwelling on the site.

Buying a home is a big step financially but, each year literally thousands of Brits take the plunge and relocate to beautiful France and never look back.

Accommodation and Buying property

Once you have the appropriate documentation in place, you can begin the search for your new home.

Pre Brexit, buying a home in France was easier, however, it is not impossible even today. Far from it, but the process is much lengthier.

What accommodation are you interested in?

A small cottage, a house with lots of land surrounding it such as a traditional French Longère, or long house. A Fermette/Ferme or farm. Or are you chasing the ultimate dream of owning your own Chateau?

All these types of accommodation are available in France.

Rather than arrive and have no idea what you are looking for, take time well before you move to decide what, where and how much you are able to spend on a home.

It pays to visit in person the areas you are interested in rather than just view them on-line.

Are you looking for a “move in”, which needs no work? Or are you among the many who relocate to the country in search of a renovation project?

There are of course rules and regulations to be followed as with any country.

Renovations are subject to applications which are submitted to the local town hall or (the Mairie) for approval before starting any work. A

Building Permit is required, and you will need the services of a registered architect or building foreman (maitre d’oeuvre).

Of course, this is a simplified explanation.

Here are some helpful websites which go into the process with far more detail:

Weather

Weather in France

The warmer climate is perhaps the biggest attraction and reason so many people move to France, especially so for the British.

France happens to be the largest country in the European Union which results in huge differences in weather conditions from north to south.

In the south of the country, summers are longer and taking averages into account, much warmer than the UK. The winter season rarely sees frost, the health benefits of warmer weather to many are priceless.

That said, even in the South, it can be wet and cold at times too, whilst locations situated in mountainous regions such as the Alps, will have snow sometimes for most of the year, hence the regions popularity with skiers.

The weather may be a deciding factor for you, so knowing where to find the best weather will be important.

As a guide to temperatures across the country at all times of the year, visit this handy website.

Multilingual Greetings Languages Concept

Language Barrier

This is one issue where you cannot compromise if you want to make a long-term success of your relocation.

Learning French is absolutely necessary in order for you to fully immerse yourself into local culture.

Being on holiday and managing with a few phrases is actually part of the vacation experience but, it is not until you arrive full time and face all manner of day-to-day situations such as shopping, doctors, dentist or hospital appointments, that you realise how vulnerable you are without a decent command of the language.

Learning to speak a foreign language is easier for some than for others.

But with patience and repetition, speaking French is definitely doable and it can be fun.

In a perfect world, learning before you move is ideal, however, this is not always possible.

Many of the main towns will hold lessons for newcomers and often without charge. When you arrive, speaking to others who have gone through the same situation is always helpful.

If you are going it alone, there are some great online or app courses that can assist you.

Babbel is a good one.

Once you start you will surprise yourself at how quickly you pick up the basics, it’s a great feeling and locals will appreciate your efforts. Bonne chance (good luck)!

Visas/Residency

Unfortunately, since the UK left the EU, getting a French visa or applying for permanent residency is a little more complicated than it used to be, but not impossible by any means.

There is a visa for every situation, long and short term or for some a holiday or study visa is sufficient.

For those who intend to settle permanently one of the first steps to acquiring citizenship by naturalization in France is to obtain a permanent residency permit known as a Carte de resident.

The permanent residence permit is valid for up to 10 years and can be renewed if the beneficiary chooses to.

Once your visa application is accepted, you and any of your family members above 21 years will have to apply for a carte de séjour before they are allowed to live and work in France.

A number of documents are required to complete your residency application such as your passport, birth certificate and proof of sufficient financial stability along with several others.

You are required to take these documents to your closest Town Hall to lodge your application. The process generally completes in around 8 weeks whereupon you will be notified of the outcome.

There are exceptions to the rule, and it is imperative that you do plenty of thorough research before you arrive.

The French government have a great website in English about visa applications.

Transporting Your Belongings to France

Once you have everything in place the next issue to tackle is getting your worldly goods to your new home.

Moving to another location in the UK is stressful but moving to another country makes it even more of a challenge.

You can save yourself a great deal of time and worry by hiring a reputable and experienced international moving company such as White & Company. They have been moving people all over the globe for many years, well over 100 years in fact.

Now is a good time to decide what you are or aren’t going to take. It’s an opportunity to have a really thorough sort out of all your belongings, disposing of broken items, selling those you don’t want, or giving others away to charity. There is absolutely no point paying to transport what you are not going to use.

When it comes to used household effects, you can export most to France provided you have owned and used them for at least 6 months in the UK. Brand new purchases may be liable for tax and duties fees.

Prohibited goods such as drugs, firearms, weapons, indecent material, or goods threatening health and environment etc, are prohibited.

Your international moving company will be able to assist you with all things custom related.

As with all subjects related to moving abroad, there is a swathe of information regarding customs.

Familiarising yourself with custom requirements will avoid any nasty financial surprises when your personal belongings arrive.

  • uk.ambafrance.org/Importing-personal-goods-into-France
  • french-property.com/news/french_property/brexit_moving_goods_to_france

Sunglasses and passports on map

Passports and travel

Just having a valid passport is not sufficient to ensure you will be accepted into France.

You need to ensure that your UK passport is valid for at least 3 months more than the intended stay and that the passport has at least 2 blank pages.

If you fulfil the above, you won’t have to apply for a new one until your current one expires.

With regard to travel in France. There are a number of factors to consider and high on the list at the moment is the Covid situation.

This is yet another area you need to investigate thoroughly to ensure you meet the strict French entry requirements.

The rules surrounding Covid can change with very little warning and what was OK today may not be by tomorrow.

By monitoring the situation carefully, you can at least keep up with what is expected thereby eliminating any problems on the day of your move.

The UK Government website is incredibly helpful as it posts the most up to date information not just surrounding Covid but other travel advice as well.

It is wise to visit the site regularly.

Healthcare

Healthcare in France

The French healthcare system is one of the most advanced in the world.

You might be one of the lucky ones and negotiated as part of an employment contract private health care cover which will give you access to the best hospitals in France.

For most of us, it is coverage through the state health insurance program, run on a subsidised basis.

The French health service is called L’Assurance Maladie.

The system is managed by the government and supplemented by private insurers. Anyone living in France needs to obtain a basic level of health insurance through the French Social Security office. You can also choose to add additional coverage from a private French insurance provider.

As with everything else, you must be a legal resident in France, before you are eligible to apply for cover and obtain a Carte Vitale.

When you need treatment, you as the patient pay the costs upfront and the state will reimburse 70% of the cost. The remaining 30% is paid by the patient.

Top up insurance is a really good idea as you can cover the 30% via your top up.

This is a very basic outline of the system.

The L’Assurance Maladie has its own website, printed in English with much more specific information on how to apply and what documentation you will need to provide to do so.

Working in France

The first thing to state is that in order to be able to work in France, you need to have applied for the correct permit. Either permanent residency or a working visa is required. Without one or the other you cannot legally work.

Salaried employees need the Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour – Salarié.

The self-employed need a Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour – Entrepreneur/Profession Libérale.

A proportion of immigrants will have already secured a position which makes a number of things a lot easier. Your employer will have organised the appropriate healthcare cover, visas/permits, and hopefully eventually, assist with permanent residency.

If you are planning to arrive first and then look for work, what is the best way to go about it?

This is where learning to speak French beforehand will prove invaluable as it will open up so many more opportunities.

French employers will almost always employ a French person for the job first.

But thousands manage to obtain their dream job even without being fluent in French.

Whereas in Britain employers tend to rely on an interview to size up their candidate, the French rely heavily on certificates and diplomas when it comes to hiring, so make sure you have the certificates to back up your experience.

Ensuring your CV is up to date and the best it be can help.

Plus, to be one step ahead of the British competition, have it typed in French. You will also need a covering letter, and to provide proof of your work permit also translated in French.

Check out this handy website, it is full of practical information such as free CV templates, and good advice as to what or not to include in it.

After You Find a Job

When you find a job in France, you will be issued with two numbers.

A tax ID number (SPI number) and a social security number (INSEE number).

The French tax authorities use the SPI number to keep track of your tax payments in France.

Whereas the INSEE number is used for social security purposes and is necessary to claim unemployment benefits or French health insurance.

Working hours are roughly the same as in the UK and the country has 11 official public holidays.

Keeping time and punctuality is one thing that French people value and appreciate in business.

French businesspeople are usually conservative.

Most of the time they like being formal and there are strict hierarchal systems with clearly defined positions and power.

Once you are used to the way the French operate at work, they are friendly and courteous and welcome new people readily.

euro coins

Banking

Opening a bank account should be top of your list when moving to France.

Once you have arrived in your new home it is important to set up a local bank account.

By doing so you will be able to avoid the high exchange rates that you would be paying otherwise.

Amongst the best banks for expats in France are BNP Paribas, CIC, Societe Generale, La Banque Postale.

Exchange Rate

When moving to France from UK, or any other country with a different currency, ensuring you get the best exchange rate is a vital starting point for your new life abroad.

It could even be the defining factor between purchasing your dream home or not.

White & Company has an exclusive arrangement with an FX Firm, Currencies Direct.

Simply follow the link to see what additional savings you can make compared to using your high street bank.

Ginger Cat in a Cardboard Box

Bringing Pets to France

If you are moving to France with a dog, a cat or other pet, there are several criteria you must meet.

Your beloved pet will be required to have a pet passport before you are able to bring them to France.

It is also vital that your pet is microchipped before moving abroad.

Make sure they have all their vaccinations up to date!

These vaccinations include those preventing rabies, they will not be allowed to travel without this.

You should also guarantee that your pet has all of its up-to-date health certificates before moving to France.

Following all of these guidelines will go a long way to ensuring you are able to bring your beloved pet with you when moving to France.

Professional qualifications

You will need to produce all the relevant qualifications for the position you are applying for.

The French are very particular when it comes to qualifications and hold great store by them.

Now that the UK is no longer part of the EU, you will be required to have your qualifications “recognised”. This is carried out by the appropriate regulator for your profession in France.

Recognition of your qualification confirms that it is comparable to French equivalents.

In order to have your qualifications recognised, and to find out further information regarding this matter, contact the UK Centre of Professional Qualifications (UK CPQ)  (www.ecctis.com).

This site provides plenty of information covering the subject of working in France and other useful information pertaining to employment in the country.

School supplies on blackboard background

Studying in France

These days studying abroad is commonplace.

France has one of the most prestigious educational systems in the world, boasting more than 3,500 institutions of higher education.

Thousands of student’s flock to France from all over the world.

They come to study and soak up the culture and lifestyle the county offers in abundance.

Whether you are an individual seeking undergraduate studies, postgraduate schooling, or something else, an amazing education can easily be found in the country.

The downside is that it is rather a lengthy process however it is well worth the effort.

You need to apply to your chosen place of study.

In order to do this, there are a number of documents to be submitted.

These depend on which establishment you choose and what course you are looking to apply for.

One of the best places to begin is by visiting the Study in France website. You will find all the necessary information you need to start your adventure:

  • studying-in-france.org/how-to-apply-to-study-at-a-university-in-france

If you are at the very early stages of your journey and just deciding whether or not studying in France is for you, visit Campus France.

Campus France is an excellent resource, it will assist you to find a university, select a course and how to finance your studies plus much more.

Studying abroad is not all about academics.

It is a wonderful opportunity to hone your language skills.

You can also experience a different way of life, learn new cultures and perspectives and maybe most important of all, impress future employers.

White&Company Truck in Transit

Are You Ready to Get Moving to France from UK?

Are you thinking of moving to France from UK?

Moving abroad can be hectic for all involved.

That’s why White & Company are here to help your move to France be as stress-free as possible.

Over the years, White & Company has positioned itself as the international removals firm of choice for removals worldwide.

Our experience is second to none. As members of BAR, FIDI and OMNI, White & Company have been relocating people to destinations worldwide for 145 years.

Our experienced teams located across the UK will pack and prepare your valuable, fragile and bulky furniture ready for export

To find out more about how we could get your dream move underway, don’t hesitate to give us a call today.

Alternatively, fill out a quick quote form or chat with our Bot and we’ll get in touch with you straight away.

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