If you’re considering moving to France, there are plenty of things to consider before your move. Our currency partners Global Reach highlight five things to think about before you make the leap abroad.
If you’re moving to France, you’ll need to take out mandatory health insurance. Healthcare is also somewhat funded by compulsory sécurité sociale (social security) payments that are taken from wages, and the government also offers some subsidy. On average, around 80% of your trip to the doctor should be reimbursed.To ensure you’re covered, you need to register with a French health insurance company. Additionally, 2016 brought with it a new healthcare system for expats known as the Protection Universelle Maladie, or PUMA. It was put in place to help make the process quicker, limit the amount of paperwork, and offer anyone living in France long-term access to the healthcare they need. This means when expats have been in France for three months, they’ll be able to access healthcare and reimbursements, regardless of whether they’re in employment.
You might not know where to start when it comes to removals, and there’s a lot of options at your fingertips. You may want to get in touch with a UK removals company that specialises in overseas transport. You can check reviews online and read other expat recommendations.
You might also want to try a quick search for quotes through a comparison site. Quotes from the UK to France can begin at around £1,000, but the prices can vary significantly depending on where you’re based in the UK, and where you’re heading to in France. There’s always the option to drive your belongings to France yourself, but the process can be very tiring, and you may want to leave the heavy lifting to an expert.
It’s also worth considering if it’s cost-effective to move an entire household overseas, or whether it might be a better idea to buy new items once you arrive.
Renting or buying
If you’re looking to make a permanent move to France, it’s likely you’ll want to buy a property. Some things worth considering are school catchment areas, and how close you are to the airport for trips home, and other amenities. French housing can be a popular choice with expats because it’s often cheaper than prices on the UK property market.
If you want to be around other expats, there are some well-established expat bases you might want to look into, but there are some great towns with the opportunity to jump right into life with the locals too. If you’re going to buy, you can look at UK-based businesses that specialise in overseas property and showcase places from some of the top estate agents. You can also sign up with a French estate agent, known as un agent immobilier. It can help to find one that speaks fluent English to ensure they can negotiate well on your behalf, and always use a business with the relevant credentials. Look for registered organisations with credentials from FNAIM, SNPI, UNIS, and CNAB.
French workers enjoy a shorter working week than Brits, at around 35 hours. Sundays are generally days off, so you’ll find a lot of places might close or have limited hours. Some areas of the French economy have had a significant amount of growth, such as engineering, research and development, IT, and banking. Speaking the French language is likely to be a substantial factor in how easy you find it to get a job, so make sure you begin to learn the language before you leave.
If you’re applying for a job, send a covering letter in French with your CV and try to explain how your qualifications compare to French ones. It can be a good idea to list all of your certificates as education goes a long way with employers.
You may want to move your money abroad to buy a property, or perhaps want to send your funds overseas regularly for salary or pension payments. Speaking to an expert at Global Reach can help you make the most of your overseas money transfers. You’ll have access to a team of experienced currency dealers and be able to discuss locking in an exchange rate for up to two years for a property purchase. You can also move money online with the award-winning Global Reach platform.
Given Brexit and the amount of geopolitical uncertainty, speaking to an industry expert about your currency requirements can be a good idea. Markets have been prone to some additional volatility because of political developments, meaning Britain’s next few months as it attempts to leave the EU could create some swift and sharp movements for the Pound. Speaking to an expert can not only help you take advantage of positive shifts but also help you protect your funds from adverse movements too.