Moving to France: Expat Guide to Living, Working, Life, and Costs |

Expat Guide: Tips For Your Move to France

International and local relocation experts Santa Fe answers your moving questions in this comprehensive guide to France

Posted on

19 February 2020

Last updated on 19 February 2020
Expat Guide: Tips For Your Move to France

Planning on or you're moving to France as an expat? Find out what you need to know about the country...

Moving to and living in France provides expats a life that is rich with culture and entertainment. With 22 administrative regions and a capital city that houses 1/6 of the entire population, France is a country that is renowned for its cultural significance.

With a number of world-class activities in the local arts, education, history, and cuisine scene, it is one of the most interesting countries to visit in the world. Many expats choose to relocate to France due to the low crime rate, enjoyable pace of life, an excellent education system, and a relatively low cost of living.

If you’re considering moving to France, then relocation professionals Santa Fe's quick guide to some of the things that you should know before you move can really help when it comes to settling in.

Expat destination

Rural France is a popular expat destination for those looking only to live there for a few months at a time and as a second-home destination. However, the major cities and towns provide excellent work opportunities.

Over 15% of the total population living in France is over the age of 65, and many retired expats tend to move to the country for the slow pace of life.

Expat Guide: Tips For Your Move to France

With 4.3 million foreign residents in France, most of whom are from elsewhere in the EU, you are certain to find an excellent expat community in the country.

Cost of living

While there are high levels of value added tax implemented within the price of consumer goods, prices are still generally on par with the rest of Europe.

This is due to the hugely competitive retail market in the country.


Due to the large expanse of land in France, there are three types of climate that you can come across depending on which part of the country you are looking to move to.

Firstly, Western France provides an Oceanic climate that features large amounts of rainfall, cool summers, and cool winters.

Expat Guide: Tips For Your Move to France

Cancale in the Brittany region of Western France.

Eastern and Central France provides Continental climate, such as warm summers but cold, snowy winters.

Expat Guide: Tips For Your Move to France

Strasbourg in Eastern France.

Southern France, on the other hand, has a Mediterranean climate of cool winters, hot summers, and limited rainfall.

Whether you’re looking to move to Paris, or you’re looking for life on the coast, you are certain to find a varied lifestyle of expats and locals.

Expat Guide: Tips For Your Move to France

Permits, visas, and local language

Even if you are looking to move to France from another EU country, you will still need to apply for a permanent residence status and the Securite Sociale. In 2014, official estimates put the number of Britons living in France at around 300,000 taking into account both full-time expats, and these are dispersed across the entire country.

Before setting up home in the country learning the language is one of the most important factors as, while a lot of French nationals will be able to speak at least basic English, daily tasks will be made a lot easier if you can speak conversational French.

If you are considering moving to France and you’re looking for help with finding a home, a school, or simply learning your way around the country and settling in, then get in touch with a member of Santa Fe's expert local team in France today by clicking "contact" below.

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Santa Fe Relocation
Santa Fe Relocation is a global mobility company specializing in managing and delivering high-quality relocation services. Our core competence is providing services that assist you and your family in relocating and settling in a new country.

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