Leaving London for Paris, What you Need to Know

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 readHow 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!



  1. Nayna Kanabar
    18th March 2016 / 7:51 pm

    This is a great post, with lots of good advice and tips for a smooth move.

    • admin
      19th March 2016 / 1:56 pm

      We went to Paris last year and we loved it, and as it is so close and the journey is not too long, it is something I could seriously consider as not too far from home x

  2. 18th March 2016 / 7:59 pm

    oh some great tips for anyone thinking about doing this, my own brother lives and work is Australia and it is by far so much stricter this gives most a chance to get away ad make a new life

    • admin
      19th March 2016 / 1:55 pm

      My Husband’s dream is to move to Australia, but it is too far for me, I would miss home too much, but Paris is not that far and is so close it really is doable

  3. 18th March 2016 / 8:17 pm

    Oh wow I can’t imagine moving abroad but Paris would have to be a wonderful place to settle. x

    • admin
      19th March 2016 / 1:53 pm

      I could not imagine, especially with how things are personally at the moment, but Paris is an amazing City and it is so close to home x

  4. Liz Mays
    19th March 2016 / 12:18 am

    This is really helpful and in-depth info! I’ve only been to Paris once and I loved it.

    • admin
      19th March 2016 / 1:47 pm

      We went last year the first time for all of us, and we loved it, Paris is an amazing City x

  5. 19th March 2016 / 8:20 am

    At one point we wanted to live/work in NZ. We went out there. Managed 3 months but had to return due to lack of jobs and funds swiftly running out. It was a shame but I crammed so much in in those 3 months I now see it as an epic holiday!

    • admin
      19th March 2016 / 1:46 pm

      I would love to visit there one day. My husbands dream is to live in Australia, I can never see it happening and it would be too far away from family for me x

  6. 19th March 2016 / 9:58 am

    I love visiting Paris (I’m actually going again next month) but I don’t think I could live there. Although I don’t think I could live anywhere outside of where I am now as I’d miss my family too much x

    • admin
      19th March 2016 / 1:45 pm

      We went to Paris last year, and loved it, such an amazing City. Deep down I don’t think I could live elsewhere x

  7. Idaintyit
    20th March 2016 / 4:41 pm

    I have only ever been to Paris as a kid and barely remember it. I really want to go with my husband and son in the next few years. Some great advice for people thinking of moving

    • admin
      20th March 2016 / 6:24 pm

      We took our Daughter last year and loved it, Paris is such an amazing City x

  8. 24th March 2016 / 10:36 am

    Currently living and working in Paris! Bureaucracy is a NIGHTMARE in this country. Opening a bank account, finding accommodation etc. it all pretty difficult and requires a lot of paperwork which seems absolutely unnecessary in my opinion. I applied for housing aid as I’m a student and received it 6 months later (yay). Living in Paris is great for the culture etc. but all the paperwork is tiresome..

    • admin
      24th March 2016 / 9:25 pm

      I hate paperwork, but do love their culture x

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