Paris is a place that attracts artists, creatives and culinary connoisseurs alongside career minded corporate types who appreciate the hustle and bustle of the beautiful city. If you’ve always dreamed of living and working in Paris for a little or a long time, you may be thinking of making a move before the Brexit vote on June 23rd. This post pulls together some of the must-dos and need to knows to help you plan a move from London to Paris. There’s a lot to take in, so read it closely!
The legal list
At the moment, if you’re a UK or EU citizen you can work in France without a permit. However, depending on your individual skillset and the goals of your trip, you’ll likely want to secure employment before you arrive. Not only will this make things decidedly less stressful, it will also help you choose an appropriate area in which to live and help you arrange a suitable rental contract or house purchase. You’ll find lots of online job sites dedicated to helping EU job seekers find new roles throughout Europe.
When you take a new job position in the UK you’re usually required to give proof of your citizenship to your employer and this is the case in France too. In addition, in France everyone is required to be able to provide proof of their identity within four hours to a police station if requested, so you really don’t want to lose your passport or driving licence. You will also need to apply for a Carte Vitale to receive healthcare, you should do this at your local health insurance office (CPAM).
Getting a job, getting paid
There are some jobs you won’t need great French language skills for, so if your French needs a little work you may be able to worry about improving it when you arrive. For example, employment as a nanny doesn’t usually require extensive French nor does working as an estate agent selling to other Brits, an English tour guide or a bar tender.
For those who already have a career path and dream job in mind, Paris is home to several European banks, many colleges and universities, governmental organisations and has a burgeoning hospitality industry. Beyond Disneyland Paris, which employs many English speakers in all kinds of roles, many chefs see training in the hotels and restaurants of Paris as a rite of passage.
If you’re hoping to train in a French kitchen you’ll likely be used to working in a multilingual environment and while for the first few weeks it may feel like a bit of a baptism of fire, as we all know, immersing yourself fully in a culture is the best way to get your spoken language levels up to scratch. This is a great excuse to explore the city, eat out in its café and restaurants, visit museums and practice your French as often as possible.
When you arrive in a new country it can be tricky to open a bank account. France has very few banking brands that cross over with English banks, so you may want to think about opening an account before you leave London. If you leave it until you arrive, you’ll need the usual things to open an account – proof of ID and proof of address, which may be tricky if you haven’t yet sorted a permanent residence. Don’t forget to let HMRC know you are leaving the country to avoid any issues. In France you will need to pay the equivalent of our income tax and council tax and depending on your circumstances, you may also need to pay homeowners tax or wealth tax.
Finding a home
As with moving anywhere in the world, you’ll want to experience the city and get a feel for where you may fit best before committing to living in a particular area. Buying a home in France differs greatly from making a purchase in the UK, so make sure you read ‘How to buy a property in France’, which is a guide written by the UK government. It’s common to rent properties in Paris, though to snag the best deals you should avoid arriving in tourist season. Like London, expect to pay a deposit, particularly on furnished accommodation and to sign a rental agreement – just don’t sign anything you don’t understand!
Moving you and your belongings
With Paris connected to London by the Channel Tunnel, you might have pictured speeding off to your new life on the train. While this will work for you and a few bags, you’ll need to think of more appropriate means of transport for your other worldly belongings. For furniture and heavier items you can seek out a specialist international mover, SW London Removals are one example operating in the capital. When it comes to transporting furry friends such as dogs and cats, you’ll need to be aware of the rules around pet travel. Finally, if you are brave enough to drive in Paris, it’s worth noting that your UK registered car will need to be registered with the French authorities if you plan to stay for six months or longer and it’s worth registering your UK driving licence at your local town hall too.
Is Paris your dream location to live and work in? Or are you dreaming of relocating somewhere a little more exotic? Have you worked in Paris or France? If so, we’d love to hear any tips you have to share!