Paywall free


Get everything you need for Moving to France in our new newsletter

Moving to France can be a daunting task - with so many questions around immigration paperwork, finding somewhere to live and learning the language. Our new monthly newsletter will help you get the answers you need. Sign up below.

Get everything you need for Moving to France in our new newsletter
If you are thinking of moving to France then sign up for our new newsletter. Photo by Kin Wai Cheung on Unsplash

The Local France is written by foreigners who are resident in France – which means we have all made that move and know exactly how daunting it can be.

Whether you’re coming to France to study or to work, moving for love or to enjoy a well-earned retirement, there’s a lot that you need to know.

If you’re moving from non-EU countries such as the USA, Canada, Australia or the UK you will likely need a visa, and all new arrivals will need to organise French healthcare – as you’ve probably already guessed, the move will involved a significant amount of paperwork.

Then there’s the issue of finding somewhere to live – whether that’s the difficult process of persuading a landlord to rent to a foreigner or navigating the French system of property purchases.

And finally there are the cultural challenges – from learning the language to making sure you don’t accidentally upset a French person and navigating the thousands of small differences between France and your home country.

That’s why we’re launching a new monthly newsletter aimed at people who are moving to France, or just thinking/dreaming about making the move.

We will look at all aspects of the practicalities of upping sticks and moving countries, and offer some insights in the culture shocks you might expect when arriving in France. We’ll point you in the direction of all our essential articles geared towards people moving to France.

For paying members of The Local, our team will also also be on hand to try and answer your questions and dig into the topics you need to know more about. 

You can sign up for the monthly newsletter by clicking on the link below or by visiting your newsletter options via the “My account” page. If you are reading on the app and the sign up box does not show for you please email [email protected] and we’ll add your email address to the list.


Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Moving to France: Language tests, new immigration law and jobs for non French-speakers

Moving to France - a country famous for its complicated bureaucracy - can be a daunting task. Fortunately, our new newsletter is here to answer your questions - this month we're looking at new immigration plans, acquiring language skills and healthcare.

Moving to France: Language tests, new immigration law and jobs for non French-speakers

Here at The Local we’re an Anglo-American team living in France – which means all of us have been through the simultaneously exciting and terrifying process of moving countries.

Our new newsletter is aimed at people who are in the process of moving, have recently moved and are still grappling with the paperwork or perhaps are just thinking about it – and we’ll share a monthly selection of practical tips. Our team is also available to answer questions from subscribers to The Local.

Let’s start with some news that I know has been worrying people who plan to move to France some day – the new French immigration bill.

The bill is currently making its way through parliament, with a lot of accompanying political drama and some very headline-grabbing amendments from Senators (most of which have now been scrapped).

This seems to be one of those cases where the political drama is in inverse proportion to the actual content of the bill – because it really doesn’t contain a lot that would affect people moving to France. We’ve done a complete breakdown HERE.

It won’t immediately affect new arrivals – but one thing that the bill does contain is a proposal for compulsory language tests in order to gain the long-term residency card (which usually happens after four or five years of residency, depending on your personal situation). We have a guide on exactly what language level would be required and a quiz so you can test yourself against the required standard. 

Language skills

I’m often asked how easy it is to move to France if you don’t speak any French at all. Ideally you would do some studying before arriving, but sometimes circumstances dictate a move while your French is still at a basic level (full disclosure – my French was extremely rudimentary when I first arrived).

Here’s a look at how easy it is to move to France if you don’t speak French – and what jobs you could do while you learn. 

Staying healthy

The other big concern for many people is healthcare – specifically how to access care in France, and whether you need to pay for expensive health insurance in order to move.

In good news, the French system is pretty generous – you can register in the French public health system after three months of residency and the state covers around 70 percent of medical costs, depending on circumstances. It’s worth pointing out, however, that the registration process itself can be lengthy – it’s not unusual to wait a year for your first carte vitale health card.

What you do in the meantime – and what health cover you need in order to get a visa – depends on your country of origin. 

Brits can use their EHIC or GHIC European health card as proof of medical cover, although it’s advised to get a short private health insurance policy too as there are things not covered by the European health card.

If you’re moving from an EU country you would be covered by the reciprocal EU health agreements between member states, but if you’re moving from the USA you will need private cover for your first few months in France (and not all American health insurance covers treatments outside of the US). 


The Local’s Reader Questions section covers questions our members have asked us and is a treasure trove of useful info on all kinds of practical matters. If you can’t find the answer you’re looking for, head here to leave us your questions.

Bon courage !