You are moving to Paris. Atlas Movers will get you there.
So you are thinking of moving to Paris? Bonne chance! The beautiful city, gorgeous scenery and great food, all that and much more! Paris has a lot to offer and you’re probably already thinking about a long walk along the river seine with a baguette. Or a picnic under the Eiffel Tower.
And yes, living in Paris is probably going to be a wonderful experience. But before you start your life in the French capital, you will first have to move to Paris. And that will take some professional knowledge and you will have to arrange certain important things.
But this page is not to discourage you! Thanks to our many years of experience and good collaboration with our local partners, moving to Paris is a totally hassle-free process. So you can start enjoying your life in this new country!
Atlas International Movers is here to facilitate your journey from door to door. We will make sure your household goods are safely delivered on location! Do you have any questions? Our experts would be happy to help!
Are you moving to Paris, France? These are the important things you need to take care of
French visa requirements
If you want to move to Paris and you’re not a Swiss national or from a country in the EEA (European Economic Area), you will need need a visa. We advice you to start applying for one before moving day, because getting a visa can take up to two months.
If you want a French long-stay visa, then there are four reasons for which you can apply:
- Tourist/personal reasons
- Business reasons
- To join family members
We advise you to take a look at the the official visa website for France, here you will find all the right information. It shows you the requirements for each visa.
It even helps you with taking the right steps! And don’t worry, the website is available in multiple languages, including English.
Can i get a residence permit?
If you are a Swiss national or from a country in the EEA (European Economic Area), you don’t really need a residence card. But if you really want one, you can get one, free of charge and valid up to 5 years.
If you wish to settle in France for an extended period of time, you already have a visa and lived in France for at least 3 years. Then you can apply for a a resident card. If you need more information about this subject, this page gives you detailed information about the resident card.
Can you still move to France after Brexit?
Of course you can still move to Paris! But it’s just a bit more difficult.
As stated under “French visa requirements”. You will need a long-stay visa to live in France for longer than 90 days. After you arrive in France with your obtained visa, you will have a year to apply and get a residence permit. You can arrange this at your local prefecture.
If you are gonna apply, you may use these flow-charts made by the French government for British expats. It will give you simple instructions on how to obtain a residence permit.
Job hunting & Work permit
If you are not retiring or obscenely rich, then you will probably need a job in Paris. But that’s okay, because Paris is one of the ten Global Power Cities. This basically means they have more than enough opportunities in all the major industries.
Do keep in mind that if you’re moving to Paris from outside the EU you will need a work permit. The easiest way is to find a job in Paris and they will help you with the work visa process. Click on the link if you need more information on visas and work permits for France.
Are you looking for a job and don’t know how to start? We always recommend looking at those large job database websites. The accounts are easy to set up and they give you acces to many jobs. A few handy websites to find a job in Paris are:
Also try to ask your own network, ask around on LinkedIn and maybe you will get in contact with the right person.
Organizing your tax identification number
So you got a job in Paris, now you should check with your employer if they will set up your tax number. Most of the time they will do this for you, but if they don’t you can apply for a tax number online, beware this page is only in French. It is also possible to fill in a 2043 form and take it to the local tax office.
French healthcare system
France really stepped up their game when it came to their healthcare system. It’s known to have great public healthcare facilities. In 2000, they were named the best healthcare in the world by the World Health Organisation (WHO). Of course this is over 20 years ago, but this was the last time the WHO have looked into it.
So you moved to Paris, you’ve been living there for three months and you intend to stay there for more than 3 years. Then you’re eligible to be covered by France’s public healthcare system.
All you have to do is register at your local healthcare provider, then you will receive a carte vitale. You will need this card every time you see a doctor.
The healthcare system in France will pay for 70% of all your medical costs. The other 30% procent you will have to pay yourself. Almost everyone’s healthcare costs are covered by a compulsory, state-controlled social security system known as L’Assurance Maladie. This is funded by multiple taxes, like employer payroll taxes (50%) and an income tax (35%).
If you’re working in Paris, your employer will most likely offer you insurance. This is something you need to discuss, that way you will be covered immediately. You’ll need to purchase public health insurance that will cover you in France for any other situation.
Setting up a social security number
As discussed above, if you’ve lived in Paris for more than three months then you’re eligible for the public healthcare system. But in order to do so, you will need a social security number.
This is a personal identification number that you will use for the French healthcare. Getting this is social security number can be difficult. The forms are all in French and it can take up to 6 months to receive the number. We advise you to get some help with.
Registering with the French Authorities
Wether you’re an EEA citizen or from anywhere else in the world, you will need to register with the French authorities within three months of arriving in Paris. For this registration you will need to undertake an interview and a medical. This whole process can take a while. So make sure you start immediately.
French bank account
Are you moving to Paris and planning on staying for a longer time? We advise you to set up a bank account in France. This will help with everyday purchases, like groceries. But also with getting paid by your employer, or if you have to pay your utility bills.
Having a new bank account in France will give you easy access to your money through the right ATM’s, online banking and the actual bank. You can get cash money without problems. You’ll also avoid any foreign conversion fees, which can stack up considerably over the year.
If you want to set up a bank account in Paris, we advise you to do it before moving day. Larger international banks may operate in Paris and in your home country. That will make it easier to set up a new account. Don’t forget to bring the right documents.
If you have problems with setting up a french bank account when you first arrive, you can also try an online bank. This type of bank, like Monzo or Starling, has waived international charges completely.
Keeping your own bank account
You will probably use your new bank account more frequently in France, but we still advise you to keep your own foreign account. This can help you in multiple ways, from online banking, transferring money, shopping online. Or when you’re going back for a holiday.
Living in paris
Finding out where you want to live in Paris
So where in Paris do you want to live? Well, Paris is large city with multiple arrondissements, the French word for districts. The lower numbers are closer to the city centre, and the double digits get further out.
The best way to find out where you want to live in Paris is to visit the city. Walk around the different areas and arrondissements. That you way you know what location feels right to you. Wether you want to central and part of the café culture. Or with more space and a more relaxed scene.
We will give you a short description of a couple arrondissements, so you will know what to look for and how to get started. Our list is numerically, so one is not better than the other. It has to be right for you!
The arrondissements 1 – 8
The 1st or 2nd are in the city centre, they are in the financial districts and often busy with tourists. The 3rd arrondissement is more stylish, with beautiful buildings. It has boutique shops, theatres and museums. Housing is classically French in style, and space is minimal.
Students mostly live in the 4th arrondissement, the Latin Quarter. It’s a lively area with great restaurants, bars and clubs. Perfect for the younger expats. The 6th arrondissement, Luxembourg is more peaceful, quiet and expensive. A neighbourhood for an expat family.
The 7th arrondissement, Palais-Bourbon is perfect for families, your kids can go to a nice school and it has the American University in Paris. This is where the Eiffel Tower is located, it has great connections to the city center.
The 8th arrondissement is Champs Elysees, this is quite expensive and with a lot of tourism and nightlife. And the traffic can be bad.
Arrondissements: 10, 11, 19, 20
If you’re an expat and you’re not super rich, it is more likely that you will live in the double digit arrondissements. You will find nice apartments, with more space and it’s still well connected to the city centre.
It is much more likely that you will choose to live somewhere in the double digit arrondissements, which, whilst being further from the city centre, are well connected, better value for money and offer more space.
The 10th and 11th arrondissements are named Popincourt and Saint-Laurent. These are more multicultural and lively areas. This is where the Gare du Nord lies, it has great transportation all around. Then there is the 16th arrondissement, Passy, very popular with expats. Because this is the location of the American college.
The 19th and 20th arrondissements are a lot cheaper, and the homes are more modern. These areas are well populated and busy. There are a lot of bars and restaurants, and an active nightlife. The areas are well connected, and multicultural, with a great range of shops available.
Finding an apartment in Paris
One of the biggest problems for expats is finding a home in Paris. Even finding a one bedroom apartment in the city is going to be difficult. Paris, like most big cities, is in a housing crisis. The rent is quit high and most landlords demand a French guarantor to co-sign the tenancy agreement.
A french guarantor is a person that will be held responsible financially for the tenant in case he or she cannot pay the rent. In France the person has to French, this can be challenging to find for expats.
So if you’re looking for an apartment, make sure you start on time and be patient. Don’t aim too high, you will probably not find an apartment with the perfect view of the Eiffel Tower and low rent. Try using multiple big platforms and of course your network for finding a home.
A few helpful websites to find a home in Paris are:
Getting a cell phone plan in Paris
Getting a cell phone plan is not as important as it used to be, technology made communication much easier. But getting a good cell phone plan is still a smart move and it can safe you money.
Just make sure you’ll find a plan that covers your costs when you’re calling home, or when you use your data roaming often. These plans are not that expensive, but this way you know what you pay for.
Are you going to bring your pets to Paris?
You can easily bring your pet to Paris. If you follow these steps, you probably won’t have any problems. The most important thing you’ll need is a valid EU pet passport, your pet needs to be microchipped.
If you’re moving from inside the EU your pet needs proof of an in-date rabies injection. If you’re moving to Paris from outside of the EU, you will also need to get a non-commercial EU health certificate from a licensed vet. You will need to get this within ten days before moving to Paris.
If you’re flying into France, remember not all airports will accept you pet, but the ones in Paris do. Also you are only allowed to bring 5 pets per person.
Useful information about the French capital
The French education system
If you’re a student or if you have kids you will have to learn about French schools, whether is for yourself or for your kids. France has an excellent public school system, just make sure you do your research so you know which school is perfect for your kids. Paris also has great universities for students, some of the best in Europe.
Public transport; how to get around
Getting from point A to B in Paris is very easy. The city has great public transportation. With nice weather you can use the Velib bikes. The city has nice bike lanes. The Velib app can also help you find the nearest bike stations. Check out the Velib website, for the best deal.
The Paris Métro is one of the best in the world. It’s fast, cheap and easy, with enough stations throughout the city. There is also the bus, this is more for sightseeing and slower than the metro.
A navigo card
A navigo card is a public transit card that works on all public transport (except Velib) in Paris. You can apply online, here you can find all the different navigo cards.
Cost of living in Paris
Paris is a famous global city, thus an expensive city. It’s one of the most expensive cities in Europe. Most utilities cost the same as in other big cities, the average rent varies it depends on the location you’re gonna live.
With all the great restaurants in the city, dining can be very expensive. But with more than enough nice supermarkets and good ingredients, you can make a perfectly good meal at home. You can buy the best wine, bread and cheese without going to restaurants.
The costs of traveling are as high as you want them to be. Don’t buy in tourist areas and find your own local supermarket. This way you’ll spend less money on food.
Curious about what your average costs will be? Here you can find an overview of average prices in the French capital.
The expat life can be scary or overwhelming. That’s why finding fellow expats tend to make life easier in another country.
Many expats go online where you can find an expat community. Of course this is different for every person, maybe you like the adventure and want to hang out with the locals.
Still this wouldn’t be a great “Moving to Paris” page if we didn’t include information about the expat life in Paris. So most expats look at online forums like Internations and ExpatArrivals. Check them out so you can connect with fellow expats in Paris.
French culture & language
The French culture is about good food, wine and style. They are a bit obsessed with great cuisine, in a good way of course. That’s why French food is famous all around the world. The French also value style and sophistication, and they take pride in the beauty and artistry of their country.
Family is also highly valued in French culture. Mealtimes are often shared with family, and extended-family gatherings and meals are common over the weekend.
Should I be speaking French or learn French when moving to Paris? Well most French people in Paris do speak English, so there is not really a language barrier. But they prefer to speak French. So to make yourself feel truly at home in France, we advise you to start learning the French language.
The French are proud people. So if you want to immerse yourself into their country and culture. Then having some French language skills is a must. It will help you making friends, doing everyday tasks and make you feel at home.
Moving to Paris with the help of your own relocation coordinator
Atlas International Movers guides your relocation from door to door. If you have any questions during the entire process, please contact your personal relocation coordinator. This person can answer all your questions about moving to the capital city of France.
This way you can prepare for your life in Paris without any problems. If you would like storage for your inventory whilst moving to the Paris, this is also possible. Still not sure if we’re the right company for you? Check out the reviews our customers wrote, we’re very proud of our satisfied clients!
If you want to know more about Atlas International Movers, read more about our moving company here! If you are moving to Paris and you want to make an appointment with us or one of our partners, please feel free to contact us or take a look at our website!