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Living in France: What you Need to Know

France is famous for its exotic culture, cuisine, climate and numerous historical attractions, attracting millions from around the world. Paris is not only one of the most romantic places in the world, but is also a renowned fashion hub. The French Riviera offers picture perfect luxurious living with its diverse selection of wines and food. Despite its diversity, France has experienced serious immigration problems in the past, which necessitated stringent laws. For anyone hoping to live in the country, below are some tips that may come in handy.

See also: How to Relocate to France

Finding a Job

Unemployment in France is quite high considering that its economy was one of the hardest hit by the Eurozone crisis. For any job opening employers always give priority to qualified French citizens and then those from the European Union before considering anyone else from other parts of the world. Indeed, for a foreigner to get a job in France, you have to prove that you are more qualified than the French citizens or those from the EU. Most foreigners working in France are highly specialized in their relevant fields. However, investment opportunities are available in plenty.

Getting a Work Permit

In France, you must get a work visa from your country of origin. In essence, a French company will only hire you if you produce a work permit from your home country. Ideally, a French employer is supposed to do all the necessary paperwork to get you a work permit. However, this is not practical considering you need to get a job first to get the permit. To make it easier to get this valuable document, you can either get a job in a multinational that has branches in France so that they can process the permit for you. Alternatively, you must produce proof that you are highly specialized in a certain field and more qualified than the French and EU citizens; thus a company needs to import you to do the job.

Speaking French

Despite joining the EU, French has remained the official language for conducting business in France. Over 80 percent of the population speaks French and minority languages, such as German, have no legal recognition. Clearly, anyone hoping to live and work in France must be able to communicate fluently by possessing intermediate-level French. Even for simple jobs, such as a teaching assistant, you need to learn French to ease communication with your colleagues and bosses. In fact, even students planning to join any learning institutions in France must learn the language as it is used in delivering instructions.

Finding a Place to Live

You can find an ideal home or apartment by looking at the listed properties from various agencies. A majority of real estate agencies have several offices spread throughout different cities in the country. Better still, they also have websites that make it easier to locate both properties for rental and for sale with the option of fully furnished apartments. It is advisable to look through the property websites and compare prices before making a decision.

Getting a Student Visa

If you want to stay in France for more than six months, you can apply for a student visa. The beauty is that the government does not have any age limitations in issuing student visas. One of the easiest ways to get this visa is by registering for French language programs targeting foreigners from your home country. Once you get this visa and move to France, you are eligible to work for a certain number of hours on a part time basis to cater for your expenses.

Health Coverage

In France, it is mandatory for all residents to have some form of health insurance. A majority of the residents in the country whether unemployed, foreigners, salaried or retired are eligible to benefit from the state’s health insurance. If you want to get coverage from the public health system as a resident, you must register with Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM). If you fail to qualify, you must get private health insurance coverage.

See also: Top 10 Employers in France 

France is an enchanting country with both old school glamour and new school hype. It offers exciting opportunities for visitors looking for a quick getaway or a new home.


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