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What You Need to Know Before Moving to Paris

What You Need to Know Before Moving to Paris

Page: 1/3
by Kathryn Valdal Fourie,
freelance writer and creator of www.practicalparis.com

Shortly after moving to Paris, the fascination with the city of lights and the capital of romance can easily wear off. Your twinkling image of Paris can easily become the city of smoke filled bars, bad customer service and pavements covered with doggie doo. But if you move to Paris equipped with the following information, you should always be able to say 'We'll always have Paris'.

1. Be Organised & Conquer Red Tape

France is famous for its bureaucracy, so you will quickly become an expert in documentation and paperwork. This takes some getting used to, but it's critical from the moment you arrive in France.

For example, to open a bank account, you'll need:

- A valid passport
- Carte de sejour (work & residence permit)
- Proof of residence in the form of a telephone or electricity account or a lease document
- Birth Certificate
- Proof of your income, such as a tax return, contract or letter from your employer
- a reference from your home bank, particularly if your account has an overdraft facility.

Often on your arrival, you will still be looking for a place to stay and won't have the proof of residence documents that you need to open an account. However, your employer can't pay you, unless you have a bank account in France, which could leave you high and dry in a city that isn't any fun without cash. So, get all documents in order before you arrive or make alternative financial arrangements for the first few months in France.

Expat Health Insurance Partners


Our award-winning expatriate business provides health benefits to more than 650,000 members worldwide. In addition, we have helped develop world-class health systems for governments, corporations and providers around the world. We want to be the global leader in delivering world-class health solutions, making quality health care more accessible and empowering people to live healthier lives.

AXA - Global Healthcare

As the global healthcare specialists for AXA, the world’s number one insurance brand, we can help you get fast access to expert medical care, whenever and wherever you need it. All our plans include evacuation and repatriation, a second medical opinion service and extra support from a dedicated case manager if you’re diagnosed with cancer. You’ll also have 24/7 support from our caring multilingual team - we’ll always remember you’re a person, not a case number.

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.

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