How to move to France? - Required Documentation, Costs Of Living, Setting Up Bank Account

Basic Information

Name: République Française (French Republic)

Population: 67.2 million people

Capital: Paris

Language: French

Currency: Euro

Flag: blue, white and red

5 Reasons To Move To France

There has to be a reason why almost 20,000 Brits move to France each year. Whether it’s a search for a better job or one simply wants to retire by the Mediterranean Sea, France has a lot to offer.

1. Mediterranean climate, sea and the Alps

For many people the main reason to move out to another country is to change the surroundings. In France you can experience both hiking and skiing through the freezing peaks of the Alps, as well as sunbathing at the sunny beaches by the sea on the French riviera.

2. Land of fashion and good wine

Paris is without a doubt one of the few world’s capitals of fashion. If you are into fashion you will feel like in heaven. And you can save money on international shipping, as you will be able to now buy clothes directly from top designers and visit a great variety of luxury stores

To add to this, one can also enjoy one of the finests wines without importing it. You will be surprised how cheap good-quality wines are when you don’t have to pay additional fees like duties, import tax, your country’s alcohol taxes and other costs for transporting and logistics which went into getting you this fine wine on the other side of the globe.

3. A variety of places, tourists attractions and museums to visit

Well, France is a popular tourist destination not without a reason. There’s ton of things to see, visit and experience. You can look at the Eiffel Tower as long as you want, visit and spend hours in the Louvre Museum, which stores almost 40 thousands pieces of art including items from Ancient times. If you happen to see all of them, there are still 200 other world-class museums with the rarest items, as France is well-known for its artistic nature. Then, you can see Cathedrale Notre Dame, iconic Champs Elysées or Arc de Triomphe. And it’s all just in Paris! There is still a whole country to explore.

4. Balance between work and life

The working week is officially set at 35 hours, anything above this time will be counted overtime. Therefore, there is enough space to focus on your own well-being and enjoy the leisure activities. While on average French employees work less total hours than workers in other countries, they are statistically equally or even more productive. Maybe that’s because they are well-rested?

5. The French food

There are thousands kinds of cheese for you to try. And don’t forget about all of the croissants or baguettes, which are often jokingly mentioned when talking about France.

How to get a visa To France?

If you are EU, EEA, or Swiss citizen you don’t have to worry about any legal requirements. If you are from a country outside of Europe it’s best to start by securing a job in France. That way, your employer could get you a work permit and temporary visa. Stable income and address are required for you to stay in France.

Also be prepared to pay up to 100 EUR for your visa application. The work visa can last you up to 90 days, then you will have to apply for a long stay visa.

What is French Currency?

Euro is the official currency of France.

Costs of living in France


Basic lunch in a restaurant$18
Average meal in a fast food$10
12 eggs$5.00
1 kg of potatoes$2.15
0.5 l beer in the supermarket$2.65
1 bottle of red table wine, good quality$9.00


Monthly rent for 3 rooms in expensive area$2,500
Monthly rent for 3 rooms in the suburbs$1,400
Utilities (heating, electricity, gas…) for 2 people per month$170
Average monthly internet bills$30


Monthly ticket public transport$80


Dinner out for 2 in a local pub$40
Beer at pub$7
Coffee in a cafe$5
2 tickets to the cinema$20
2 tickets to a theatre$70
Average monthly gym membership$40

Setting up bank account in France

It’s not obligatory to have a bank account, however technically it will be very hard for you to receive salary or pay the rent without one.

Popular Banks in France

Banque Populaire

They offer services such as good cross-border transfers and let you operate the account from abroad, which may be convenient if you want to move between your home country and France often.

BNP Paribas

They are one of the biggest banks in France and you may have seen their branches even in your home country, as BNP Paribas operates worldwide.

Credit Agricole

They also can be found all over the world, which may be convenient if you already have an account with them in your home country. The bank is known for being flexible with their offer. Whether it’s money management tools, payment services or some digital banking options. They run a global english-speaking call line which makes it easy to set up the account from abroad and talk about the details.

Apart from these top 3 banks, there are also few popular international banks, which have their branches in France, it includes:

  • Axa Banque
  • Barclays
  • Citibank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • HSBC

If you already have an account with them, talk to your bank’s representative how moving out to France will affect your offer. As don’t forget that they might start charging you for “international payments” once you are in France. Therefore, it’s best to let them know and change your tariff.

There are also some online bank accounts worth considering:

  • bunq
  • Hello Bank
  • LeoPay
  • N26
  • Revolut

They can offer you features such as multi-currency wallets, cheaper money transfer rates and convenient mobile app to handle all of your finances with a few quick taps on the screen on your smartphone.

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