Is it worth emigrating to Paris, France

Emigrate to France

As Germany's neighbor, France seems to be an obvious emigration country in two senses. Many people have vacationed in France before, enjoying the landscapes, the cultural facilities, the food, the fashion sense and the wine. So why not emigrate to this wonderful country? However, relocation to France should not be imagined as easy.

The cost of living there is roughly comparable to that in Germany. In and around Paris, however, they are much higher than in the country. In addition to looking for a job, bureaucracy and language are two important hurdles that have to be overcome if you want to settle in France. Because a basic requirement for living and working in France is command of the French language.

Without knowledge of French, you have great difficulty coping with everyday life and you won't get a job anyway. The French are very proud of their language and expect foreigners to know it if they live there.

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For whom is France suitable as a country of emigration?

Unemployment is higher in France than in Germany, especially among young people. However, this does not mean that foreigners do not have a chance on the French job market. Skilled workers and specialists are desperately wanted in France too.

Professions that are in short supply in France include:

  • IT specialists
  • Engineers
  • Electrical engineer
  • Teachers and educators
  • Nursing staff
  • Employees in sales and service
  • Employee in the hotel and catering industry

Most of the jobs are likely to be in and around Paris, as many large companies are based there. In tourism you can find jobs mainly in the south and west of the country. However, many of these positions are seasonal, i.e. limited to just a few months of the year. Information on shortage occupations (“métiers en tension”) can be obtained from the French employment office (“Pôle Emploi”). The Employment Agency can also help jobseekers who want to work in France.

Requirements for an unlimited visa

Since France is a member of the European Union, German citizens can stay and work in the country without restrictions. All you need to enter the country is a valid passport or identity card. In France it is not necessary to register your place of residence, but you can do so on a voluntary basis at the town hall of your place of residence. Anyone who lives and works permanently in France is required to have a social security number, which also serves as a tax number.

Anyone who has lived in France for at least five years, earned a living and has not committed any crime can apply for French citizenship. There is the possibility of dual citizenship. You can keep German citizenship when you acquire French citizenship.

The French embassy in Berlin and the consulates can provide further information.

Moving to France: what to look out for

France is considered a very bureaucratic country. Therefore, you should not only be well prepared for the move itself, but also for the upcoming official visits in France and take all possibly relevant documents with you.

What you can already regulate in Germany:

  • Papers: Although there is no compulsory registration in France, you should de-register at the responsible residents' registration office in Germany before moving to France. In addition to your ID card and passport, it is advisable to take other important documents with you, such as a birth certificate or marriage certificate, as you may need them when you apply for a social security number or want to get health insurance. The documents should be a certified French translation. The German driving license is also valid in France. If you want, you can have it converted into a French driver's license.
  • Pension and old-age provision: Germany and France have signed a social security agreement. In doing so, the two countries recognize the pension entitlements of the other country. For more information, you can contact the Deutsche Rentenversicherung. The pension systems of France and Germany are very similar. They consist of a state pension that works according to the pay-as-you-go principle and the option of private supplementary insurance. In contrast to Germany, private supplementary insurance is compulsory in France. In France, the self-employed and freelancers also have to take out state pension insurance, while in Germany they are not obliged to do so.
  • If the household effects are to emigrate with: A move from France to Germany can be done without any major formalities. Since both France and Germany are member states of the European Union, all commodities can be imported into France duty-free, provided they are not subject to the restriction provisions. If the move is a major one, it is advisable to hire an experienced freight forwarder to do the move.

What needs to be regulated in France:

  • Apartment Search: Those who can afford it will probably buy an apartment or house in France. But most of them will probably move into a rented apartment first. Finding a rental apartment in France is not that easy. There are a few hurdles to overcome before the lease is signed. Most rental apartments in France are brokered through real estate agents. High demands are placed on the future tenant. So he has to prove that he earns three to four times the monthly rent. In addition, he needs a guarantor who pays taxes in France and has to have an equally high income. A guarantor can be found, for example, through the organization Every resident of France must pay a residence tax ("Taxe d’habitation") through their primary residence. It doesn't matter whether you are a tenant or an owner. If you want to move to the metropolis of Paris or other large cities such as Lyon or Marseille, you should expect much higher rents than in the suburbs or in the country. In addition, the demand is usually greater than the supply, and the apartments on offer are quickly gone. Apartment advertisements can be found in the local daily press or online on property exchanges such as
  • Apply for a tax card in France: Everyone who lives and works in France needs a social security number (“numero de securité social”). You apply for this at the "Assurance Maladie". In order to apply for a social security number, a number of documents must be presented: an identity card or passport, proof of a bank account in France, an employment contract, proof of residence in France, proof of previous health insurance and a certified copy of the birth certificate . All German-language documents should be a certified French translation.
  • Setting up a bank account: To open an account in France, you need a valid identity card, proof of income and proof of permanent residence in France. Without a permanent address you cannot open an account in France and without a bank account you cannot get an apartment. This is a common problem in France. The landlord may provisionally confirm your place of residence so that you can open a bank account. In France you usually pay cashless with the “Carte Bleue” (credit card). The checkbook is also a widely used means of payment. Unlike in Germany, the rent or electricity and telephone bills are not paid by direct debit or standing order but by check.
  • Health insurance: Anyone who is employed in France can only be insured through the state health insurance "Assurance Maladie". The self-employed have their own health insurance, the “Mutuelle des artisans”. In the event of illness, the state health insurance pays 70 percent of the costs. The policyholder has to pay for the rest himself, or he can take out a private supplementary insurance. Many employers offer their employees private supplementary health insurance as additional benefits. Every foreigner is automatically insured with “Assurance Maladie” for the first three months of his stay in France. After that, he has to take out health insurance himself. However, this is only possible if you work at least 60 hours a month. Otherwise, you can only insure yourself through your partner or another person close to you.

Guide to jobs abroad in France

Book tips for emigrating to France

Note: Update on May 20th, 2021 via Amazon Product Advertising API. Dates and prices may have changed. We earn commissions for qualified purchases through the affiliate program.