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What You Need to Know Before Moving to Paris

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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.



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