Find A Job
Monaco is not a member of the European Union, so all foreign nationals must acquire a work permit if they wish to find employment in the country. Additionally, a new permit must be sought every time an individual changes position or employer. Despite this, most workers in Monaco are from other countries.
Many expats who work in Monaco do so in travel and tourism, finance and insurance. When looking for work, it is important to remember that local applicants will be prioritised. Start your search online via websites such as Job Monaco or send a speculative application to a local employer.
In order to work in Monaco, you will need a permit de travail. Your employer will also need to apply for permission from the Service de l’Emploi to hire foreign nationals. This process helps to ensure that Monegasque nationals receive priority in the application process.
To apply for your permit de travail, you will need to either hold a valid residence card, or have valid French identification.
If you have neither of these documents, for example because you reside outside of Monaco or France, your prospective employer will need to submit a contract of employment for a foreign worker to the Service de l’Emploi. Once approved, you will receive the visa required for entry into Monaco.
When applying for jobs in Monaco, you will need to provide a CV, or resume. The document must be tailored to the job you are applying for and contain all the relevant information from your employment and study history. It is recommended that candidates undertake some research into the company they are applying to. The official language of Monaco is French; it is likely that applications will need to be made in French and that interviews will also be conducted in this language.
When you get to interview stage, it is important to dress professionally, take several copies of your CV with you, remember your identification documents and to have your personal devices on silent mode so as not to disturb your meeting. It is seen as best practice to reiterate your enthusiasm for the role by following up your interview with an email the next day.
The statutory number of weekly working hours in Monaco is 39; any hours worked above and beyond this must be paid as overtime, at an increased rate. Additionally, workers are entitled to 2.5 days of paid leave per month; if you are a mother, this increases by one additional day off per child under the age of 16.
Working in Monaco will mean that you benefit from not having to pay income tax. Additionally, there is no tax on land or housing. However, there is taxe sur la valeur (TVA), the equivalent of VAT, which is charged at a rate of 20%. Any income from savings based abroad may also incur tax.
Should you be intending to start your own business in Monaco, or obtain work as a freelancer, then you will need to procure a business permit. This is a document issued by the Ministre d’Etat (Ministry of State) and your eligibility will depend on your professional qualifications as well as the nature and size of your business.
Volunteering in Monaco is a useful way to gain workplace experience for anyone struggling to secure employment. Numerous voluntary opportunities can be found in healthcare, particularly supporting elderly residents. There are also plenty of environmental projects to take part in, which could prove to be a stepping stone into a worthwhile career.
Apply For A Visa/Permit
The beautiful Mediterranean microstate of Monaco is a popular and famous destination. It is regarded as a glamorous place to visit for its climate, its wealth and its location. It is closely allied with France and its visa regulations are tied into those of the French government. Please read on for further information.
If you are a citizen of an EU/EEA member state, or if you have a British passport valid for the duration of your stay, you will not need a visa to enter Monaco.
If you are from a third country outside the EU, you will need a visa. Monaco is not officially part of the Schengen Agreement, but it is usually treated as such. Due to its historic ties with France, visa submission and processing are delegated to the French authorities. If you need a visa to visit Monaco, therefore, you should apply at your local French diplomatic mission.
In order to apply for a Schengen visa (a short-term entry visa applicable to the countries in the Schengen zone and to Monaco, which is valid for 90 days), you will need:
• A completed application form
• Two passport-format photos
• Your passport and any copies of previous visas
• Travel insurance (including medical coverage) with confirmation of a minimum of €30,000 coverage within the entire Schengen Area
• A cover letter stating the purpose of your visit and your itinerary
• Proof of civil status (for example, your marriage certificate and the birth certificates of your children)
• Flight itinerary
• The address of your accommodation, including hotels
• Proof that you are able to support yourself financially throughout your stay (for example, a recent statement from your bank for the last three months that shows funds of at least €50 (£40) per day, or traveller’s cheques, or proof of sponsorship)
You may need further documentation depending on your status. If you are employed, you may need to supply:
• A contract of employment
• A letter of leave from your employer
• A bank statement for the last six months
• An income tax return
• Your business license (if you are self-employed)
If you are a student, you will need to include your certificate of enrolment at the relevant educational institution.
If you are retired, you will need a statement of your pension for the last six months.
Long stay visa
If you want to reside in Monaco for more than three months in a year, you must apply for a residence permit issued by the Monégasque authorities. If you are from an EU/EEA state, you will need a valid passport. If you are from outside, you will need to apply for an actual visa, but in either case you will need to submit:
• Details of your accommodation in Monaco
• Sufficient financial resources
• Proof of good character, such as a criminal records bureau certificate from your country of origin
You may be asked for additional documents depending on your circumstances.
The standard cost of a Schengen visa is €80, but you will be exempt if you are in one of the following categories:
• A child younger than six years of age
• A family member of an EU/EEA national
Documents required for exemption are:
• Original marriage certificate or civil partnership certificate
• Original full birth certificate
• EU/EEA national’s passport
You will also be exempt if you are travelling for the purpose of study or educational training, such as if you are a school pupil, an undergraduate student or a postgraduate student. You must be accompanied by your teachers/professors. In addition, invited researchers are exempt.
Documents required for exemption are:
• Invitation letter from the relevant institution
• Letter from the university/organisation in the UK
There is a reduced fee of €35 for nationals of countries that have a visa facilitation agreement with the EU.
Fees are non-refundable and are not a guarantee that you will be issued with a visa.
A temporary residence permit for Monaco, to be converted into a permanent one in due course, will cost €10.
Some expats suggest that obtaining a Schengen visa for Monaco can take quite a while: up to two or three months. This is because the French authorities pass your application on to the Monégasque authorities and applications can get stuck in the bureaucratic pipeline. It is therefore advised that you leave plenty of time to apply for your visa before you travel.
If you are from an EU/EEA state, you will not need a work visa to take up employment in Monaco. It is estimated that most of Monaco’s workers are actually cross-border workers, who live in France but work in the principality.
If you are from outside the EU, you will need to have a residency permit and a job offer before applying for a work permit. In addition, you will need to have authorisation from the Monégasque government.
If you are self-employed and setting up your own business, you must obtain authorisation from the Ministry of State before you start the business.
If you are a business visitor and/or investor, you do not need to obtain a specific business/investor visitor visa if you enter Monaco for less than three months in a 12-month period. However, to stay for a longer period, you must apply for a residency permit.
Get Health Insurance
Many expats take out private medical insurance, even if this is not a requirement of residence, because healthcare is expensive in their destination country or because certain treatments and procedures are not available.
When taking out health insurance, be sure to check factors such as the annual and lifetime policy limits, whether there are any exclusions which are likely to affect you, whether you are limited to treatment from specific types of healthcare providers, and whether the policy covers emergency evacuation for medical treatment.
Too frequently, potential buyers of health insurance look only for the lowest cost of premiums before really considering the specific benefits and areas of cover they may actually need. Some plans are cheaper for a reason. Often they include large voluntary deductibles on any claim you might make in the future and may severely cap the benefits received under the plan. Clients should define their needs first, establish the particular area of cover they need, then determine their annual healthcare insurance budget. Only then should they look to premium comparisons, last of all.
Do not buy a plan without studying the policy wording carefully. If in doubt, ask, and only when completely satisfied complete all application forms fully, to the best of your ability.
Important questions to ask the insurance provider:
1. Does the plan allow for cooling off periods, cancellation and then repayment of premium in full?
2. Does the plan offer “Moratorium” or is it “Full underwriting” and do you need to have a medical examination before joining?
3. Does the insurer offer a 24 hour help line, 7 days a week, available from anywhere in the world (freephone)? Most insurers now offer this facility.
4. Are pre-existing conditions excluded when joining and if so, for how long are such conditions excluded?
5. Are all and any nationalities accepted or are there restrictions which apply to local nationals? Some insurers will only take expatriates abroad and not local nationals into an overseas plan.
6. Does the plan allow you to continue cover unbroken through your lifetime? In most cases insurers will continue to offer existing clients cover year on year, irrespective of age or claims history, although premium rates charged can increase dramatically with age.
7. Does the insurer allow for any doctor or consultant or hospital within the plan? Are there any restrictions in this respect? Most international plans do not place restrictions on either hospitals or doctors, but almost all demand that their help lines are called first, prior to approval of any inpatient care.
8. Does the insurer provide for the direct settlement of bills presented by hospitals worldwide, regardless of location (or do you have to pay first)?
9. What are the insurers procedures for outpatient claims? Do these require any pre-authorization or if stated in the plan can you just pay and claim? How long before you get money back from the insurer? 14 days? 28 days?.
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Rent Or Buy Property
The real estate market in Monaco is managed by agencies. Private rentals and sales in Monaco are very rare, although there are some, such as when properties are rented directly by friends or relatives. In 99% of cases, rentals are dealt with through real estate agencies.
Monaco has a standard system of payment in place between estate agencies and property owners, whereby agencies receive 10% of the annual rent. A tenant pays rent for the first three months in advance, along with a deposit and a registration fee. It is feasible to expect to pay the equivalent of up to six months’ rent. An additional 1% for lease registration fees is also common.
You may be required to provide a bank statement, proof of earnings, or an employment contract. If you have children, you may also need to provide proof that they will live in suitable accommodation. For example, you will not be allowed to rent a studio apartment if you are a family with several children.
Since the housing demand exceeds the supply, landlords are free to choose their future tenants, and they can afford to be as picky as they like. Rent in Monaco is often paid quarterly, in advance, with service charges added to the total. Rental leases tend to be renewable on an annual basis. Longer leases of two to three years may be available upon request.
Rental prices vary depending on the property’s location, condition, age and prestige. Monthly rent for a small 20m2 to 30m2 studio starts from around €1,800. In many cases, rental properties do not reach the market, as they are so high in demand.
Apartments in Monaco are usually measured not by the number of rooms they have, but rather by the number of bedrooms. Rent for a one-bedroom, 50m2 apartment can range from €3,500 to over €7,000, depending on the quality of the building and its location.
Monaco is considered by many to have the world’s most expensive prime real estate market. A typical home in the principality costs around €48,800 per square metre, which is twice as expensive as in Paris or London, according to a study by Savills.
Studios without a sea view in Monaco typically start at around €1.5 million. A sea view can send the price rocketing up to €3.9 million or more. Four- or five-bedroom apartments commonly sell for between €13.3 million and €67 million, depending on their size and view.
The Monaco property market is open to most investors, regardless of whether they are a resident of Monaco or not. There are not really any restrictions on foreigners, when it comes to buying property in Monaco, although you will need a public notary to ensure that the terms of agreement conform to local law.
A buyer typically pays a 3% agency commission on the property price. Notary fees and other taxes account for a further 6%. The total purchase price is therefore increased by 9%. For new construction or new build properties, 20% VAT is due in lieu of registration tax.
The purchasing process generally looks as follows:
Choose a notary
Whilst the buying process is relatively straightforward, the assistance of a lawyer or notary is invaluable in ensuring a smooth and risk free transaction. There are three notarial offices in Monaco.
The offer letter (Offre d’Achat)
The intention to purchase in writing is often done in the form of an offer letter or Offre d’Intention d’Achat, which describes the property. It outlines the purchase price, as well as a lock out date, by which the purchaser endeavours to move toward exchange.
Purchase contract (Compromis/Promesse de Vente)
With everything agreed, the notary prepares the purchase contract or Compromis de Vente. This will provide a completion date.
Completion (Acte de Vente)
Completion of the sale takes place at the notary’s office with payment of the balance. Notary fees and transfer taxes are also due at this stage, and costs are borne by the buyer.
Properties in Monaco are almost always dealt with through agencies. Real estate agents in Monaco are authorised to offer properties for purchase or rental purposes, and they are supervised by the official body, Chamber of Monaco Real Estate Agents (Chambre Immobiliere Monegasque).
The duty of this regulatory body is to ensure that estate agents adhere to the professional code of conduct and comply with local laws. Therefore, even if you have no local contacts to recommend an agency to you, rest assured that any independent agent or agency will be trustworthy.
Selected banks in Monaco can provide either mortgage financing or loans to help you acquire property. Generally speaking, banks will lend up to a maximum of 60% of the property value, and they will require you to bring assets to them that equal a minimum of 50% of the loan amount / mortgage as collateral.
The collateral may be invested either in deposits or in secure investment programmes. The loan/mortgage rates vary according to the value of the property, the amount of collateral the client can deposit (the higher the collateral the lower the fees), and the location and condition of the property.
Move Your Belongings
Consider if you want (or are able) to transport your belongings yourself or whether you will need the services of a removals company that deals with international moves. Unless you are travelling very light, or making a fairly short move by road, you will probably need professional help to ship your possessions. Ask for quotes from several companies first, ensuring that they visit your home to carry out a survey of your requirements. It may be worth paying extra for the removals firm to pack your possessions for you, particularly if they are going to be transported to a distant country and need special protection for the long journey. Make sure you bring to their attention anything fragile or precious that needs particularly careful wrapping and packing.
Before agreeing to a quotation, ensure that you are fully aware of exactly what is covered in the price, and that the service to be provided meets all of your requirements. For example, does the service include both packing and unpacking of your household effects? What about disassembling and reassembling of furniture? If you are planning to put anything into storage in your destination country while you find accommodation, does the price include final delivery and unpacking at your home, or will you need to arrange collection of the items? Obtain a firm estimate of the likely arrival date of your items and obtain contact details for any agents that will be dealing with the removal in your destination country. Ensure that the removals company is aware in advance of any practical considerations such as the lack of an elevator to your apartment, or likely parking problems.
If using a removals company, you may be required to take out their insurance cover for your possessions. Whether or not this is the case, ensure that you have adequate insurance for anything of actual or sentimental value that could get lost or damaged during the move. Take the time to accurately complete or check an inventory of your possessions to be moved, as this will form the basis for any insurance claim for losses or damages. Find out if insurance is included in the price quoted by the removals company, or whether you are required to pay extra for this.
The removals company should arrange any customs and importation documents on your behalf, but if you are arranging the move independently you will need to find out what documents are required and what import duties and taxes are payable (and whether you are eligible for exemption from these).
Make sure that you set aside the important documents you will need for the journey, such as passports and air tickets, and keep these easily accessible in your hand luggage.
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Register For Healthcare
QUICK LINK: Monaco health insurance
As a working expat, you will be registered for health insurance by your employer and contributions to the state insurance scheme will be deducted from your payroll. You will be issued with a Carte d’Immatriculation/Carte FSE, which will hold administrative rather than clinical information, and you can then sign up with a local GP.
If you are not in employment, you must take out private health insurance cover: this is a requirement for residency.
Your employer will register you with the health system (CSM) and provide you with a Carte d’Immatriculation/Carte FSE. Once you have received this, you can take it along to a local health centre and register with a doctor there.
If you are self-employed, you can register yourself with the Social Security Fund for the Self-Employed (CAMTI). You will probably receive the paperwork to set this up to your business address automatically, but if it does not come through then you can pick one up at your local Social Security Contributions Collection Office.
Fill in the form and return it to the Social Security Funds address, which will be included with the form. You will need to include the following with your application:
• The NIS number or VAT number for your business
• Your family record business, or a certificate of civil status
• An RIB from your bank showing your account details
You must register with CAMTI within one month of arriving in Monaco if your business is already running; or within one month of your business’ setup date if you have recently started your own company.
Open A Bank Account
A driving sector of Monacos economy, banking services in Monaco will not disappoint even the most fastidious of expatriates and Monegasque residents. As of 2004, there were at least 43 financial institutions and 7 financial companies, 3 representative offices and 70 bank teller windows operating in Monaco. Almost half of all the estimated deposits are from non-residents.
French banking laws usually apply for Monacos banks. Monacos banks offer both retail and commercial banking services. In response to the well-heeled international clientele that Monaco attracts, more and more banks have, in recent decades, shifted towards offering more private banking and wealth/asset management services. (For example, some banks may require a hefty initial deposit (amounts starts at around 300,000 Euros) if your intention is to start a private banking relationship with them. Nonetheless, there are many banks operating in Monaco. Hence, expatriates who simply wish to open a bank account for simply retail services such as a checking account with a checkbook facility, ATM cards, credit cards and other credit facilities will find such banks.
Expatriates wishing to open account must have a valid Monegasque resident card, a Monaco address, and proof of earnings or status. Different banks have different criteria. Note that for joint checking accounts, the words et and ou differ significantly in that et means both account holders must sign on every check issued, while ou means either one may do so. For a list of banks, the Association Monegasque des Activités Financières (AMAF) is Monacos banking association. AMAF maintains a list of banks operating in Monaco at their website. The useful list includes the contact details, website addresses and location of the banks in Monaco.
Since 2002, the currency used in Monaco is the Euro. Monaco mints its own coins, and there are two designs for its euro coins (one with Prince Rainer III and another with Prince Albert II).
One of the most notable features of Monacos taxation policies is that there is a complete absence of direct taxation, with some exceptions (some French nationals and some businesses). There are no taxes on capital gains as well, except for French nationals. For more information, you can contact the Tax Department (Direction des Services Fiscaux) at 57, rue Grimaldi (Tel: (+377) 93.158.122.
Cost of living
Despite its reputation for being the playground for the rich and famous, it is possible for expatriates and Monegasque residents to find good value restaurants and cafes in the quieter streets. Free parking is also possible (along Boulevard des Suisse if you are lucky to find a lot). Eating out in Europe is generally costly and not an everyday affair. Fresh produce can be easily bought from the Place dArmes Market, or the Carrefour Supermarket in Fontvieille (and elsewhere, usually in Italy or France for greater variety at sometimes better prices). In general, the cost of living in Monaco is comparable to that of other major European cities such as Paris.
There are many ways of sending money from one country to another. As always, expats can save themselves a lot of trouble and expense if they do a little research and shop around for the best deal.
International Bank Transfers
For most expats, currency transfer involves transferring small to medium sized amounts regularly from an existing bank account back home into a new overseas bank account in the local currency. These may be pension payments, benefits, or any other form of income.
Your home bank will usually be glad to oblige. You can set up facilities with them “on demand” whereby you fax or call them on the phone, provide a secret code or two, tell them the amount in question, and they will transfer it to your new bank, automatically converting it into the relevant local currency. Some banks also allow you to make international payments online. Whatever method you choose, transfers normally take between 3-7 days although 1-2 day transfers are often available but be prepared to pay more for these.
You can also set up regular transactions that are processed automatically on a fixed day of each month. Many state pensions and benefits can be paid directly into your new bank abroad without going through your home bank at all. Some private pension organisations may also offer the same facility.
When you first set up a transfer of funds abroad, the sending bank or institution will ask you for various codes that identify the destination bank. Often they will ask for IBAN (International Bank Account Number), BIC (Bank Identifier Code) or SWIFT codes but don?t panic – your new bank will give these to you and they may even already be listed in your new chequebook or bank statements.
As far as charges are concerned, you will probably be required to pay a flat fee per transaction. Additionally a percentage fee is often charged for the currency conversion itself. You may also find that your receiving bank charges you for receiving the transfer. Charges vary by bank but can quickly add up – ask your bank(s) for an indication of the fees involved.
As a general rule, transferring larger sums less frequently usually works out cheaper than transferring smaller amounts more often. However, if you need to transfer regular amounts of at least a few hundred pounds/dollars or need to make a larger one-off payment (e.g. for a house purchase) you should consider the services of a currency broker.
Cash Machine/ATM Withdrawals
Thanks to modern technology, most people abroad can go to a cash machine/ATM and withdraw local currency funds directly from their home bank account. This is a useful option to have for expats but exercise caution – many banks make hefty charges for using this type of facility. You may also find that withdrawal limits are in place (as a security measure) even if you significant funds in your account back home.
You can also use VISA or Mastercard credit cards to obtain cash in this fashion and if you pay the amount off quickly and avoid interest charges then fine – but once again credit card charges for cash withdrawals can be high. Check the rates carefully.
Currency brokers (also called foreign exchange brokers) offer significant advantages over traditional banks. Firstly, brokers will often be able to offer you a better rate than your bank. Secondly, the entire process is more transparent – many banks require you to accept the exchange rate available on the day they process your transaction, whatever and whenever that may be, but a specialist broker will offer greater flexibility, even allowing you to specify the rate you want in advance.
Currency brokers are smaller companies than major banks so always check their background carefully. Ask existing expats for their own experiences and recommendations before choosing a firm to handle your own foreign exchange requirements.
A good broker will discuss all the options with you and enable you to make the best decision for your circumstances. Using a broker will typically off the following advantages:
1) Currency brokers generally provide superior exchange rates to the high street banks. The currency brokers have access to the interbank rate and do not have the high costs that the banks have. This means that they can usually offer better exchange rates.
2) Use of a free Market Watch/Order Service: This allows you to tell your currency broker your target or budget exchange rate and they will ring you if that exchange rate level is reached. As the rate moves every few seconds, currency brokers can act as your eyes and ears on the market.
3) Ability to fix the exchange rate in advance using a Forward Contract. If you know you need to convert/move funds in the future but don?t yet have the money you can reserve a rate in advance using a Forward Contract. During this period, you are exposed to exchange rate movements and therefore, a forward contract is ideal if, for example, you have agreed to buy a house and want to fix the rate now but will not be making payment for a couple of months.
Savings from currency brokers can vary from between 1 and 4 per cent on the exchange rate alone, and specialists do not typically charge any fees for transmitting the funds abroad, unlike banks which often levy expensive fees or charges. If you are emigrating and transferring a large sum of money – such as the proceeds of a property – a foreign exchange company could potentially save you thousands.
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Learn The Language
Monaco is a glamorous and exciting destination for expats – but if you are going to be living and working there, you might be wondering which languages are spoken, and whether you will be able to communicate easily. Monaco has a reputation for being an international state, but is English widely spoken here? We will answer some of your questions below.
The official language of Monaco is French, spoken by around 58% of the population, but other languages are spoken by local people including:
Monégasque, also termed Munegascu, is related to modern Ligurian and thus somewhat resembles Italian. Around 21% of the local population speak it and you will see it on, for example, road signs. Like other Ligurian dialects, it has developed from the northern Italian dialects of the Middle Ages and has been influenced by other languages such as Niçar Occitan.
Monégasque is an endangered language and almost died out in the 1970s, but the state has taken a pro-active role in attempting to revive it and it is now more widely taught. You will find provision for learning the language, but you will not need to learn it.
Italian is also spoken by around 19% of the Monégasque population. It was the ancestral dialect of the House of Grimaldi, the rulers of the Principality, and was for a short time in the 1800s the state’s official language when Monaco fell under the protection of Sardinia.
Around 800,000 people also speak Occitan (from lenga dˈὸc, also referred to as the “language of ὸc” which means ‘yes’). This is a romance language used mainly in the south of France but also in other regions such as Monaco, the Val dˈAran in Spain, and the Occitan Valleys in Italy. Like Monégasque, it has become rare, but it is still spoken.
English is widely spoken in the state and the Riviera more generally, not just by Monaco’s British and American population, but also by the many visitors who flock to the Principality. Road signs are in English as well as French and Monégasque, and most restaurants will have an English version of the menu. If you are working in the Principality, you will find English as a lingua franca in most places.
If you would like to take advantage of your stay by enrolling in French or Italian classes, you will find plenty of provision. Although Monaco is so small, it has a number of tutors and language schools, catering for different levels, from beginners to advanced learners. You can sign up for group classes, or opt for one-to-one tuition at home.
Many Britons will have learned French in school: the immersive environment of Monaco will soon bring you up to speed.
You may be hoping to teach English in the state of Monaco. There is a demand for this, although due to the size of the country you might find that there is a level of competition. However, Monaco is a popular destination and there are a number of international schools here. It is always easier to get work in international education if you have at least a certificate in either TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) or TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages).
It is also preferable if you have experience in teaching schemes such as the Cambridge English exams or IELTS (International English Language Testing System): the English test for study, migration or work. Some teaching experience in the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) will also be helpful. This assesses analytical, writing, quantitative, verbal, and reading skills in written English for use in admission to graduate management programs, such as the MBA. You may also find work more easily if you are experienced in teaching English for particular sectors, such as tourism and hospitality, or in summer schools.
It will also be helpful to have at least a Bachelor’s degree as most language schools in Monaco require this: basically, the rule of thumb is that the more qualifications you have, both in TEFL and in academic subjects, the easier you will find it to get work. Salaries are comparatively high – Monaco is a wealthy part of the world – and are quoted at around the €3800-4900 mark per month. You may find that flights and health insurance are part of the package and some schools offer accommodation as well. You will normally be working a 20-25 hour week.
If you are seeking work in translation or interpreting, your French or Italian will need to be of a high standard, and you will need the relevant qualifications as well.
If you are from an EU/EEA state, you will not need a work visa to take up employment in Monaco. It is estimated that most of Monaco’s workers are actually cross-border workers: living in France but working in the Principality.
If you are from outside the EU, you will need to have a residency permit and a job offer before applying for a work permit. In addition, you will need to have authorization from the Monégasque government.
Choose A School
The official language of Monaco is French, spoken by around 58% of the population, but other languages are spoken by local people including Monégasque, also termed Munegascu.
Schooling is obligatory for children from 6 to 16 years of age, and is free in state schools. Children are permitted to attend nursery school from the age of three onwards. Lessons are taught in French, but some schools have a French as a Foreign Language section to assist non-French-speaking pupils with integration.
All state schools and private schools under contract are approved as being French educational establishments abroad: timetables, curriculum and examinations conform with those in the French national educational system.
Examinations come under the aegis of the Nice regional education authority.
The school year is divided into 36 weeks from September to July, separated by four holiday periods (autumn half term, Christmas, February half term and the Easter holidays).
Monaco has seven state-run nursery and primary schools, a collège (the Collège Charles III secondary school for children aged 11-15), a general and technological lycée (Lycée Albert 1er for pupils aged 15 to 18), and the Lycée Technique et Hôtelier de Monte-Carlo, which offers vocational training.
The College Charles III offers a standard curriculum plus four special sections:
• English plus / European section
• international option
Places in the school system are strictly regulated due to the small size of the population and there are firm enrolment periods. The local system is extremely bureaucratic and to apply, you will need the following documents:
• enrolment form
• photocopy of your child’s vaccination records
• certificate of cancellation for all new enrolees, except for children who do not yet attend school. At the end of the year, it must include a reference to the decision of the Class Council
• three window envelopes (DL 110 x 220) with stamps affixed at the current postal rate
• three ID photos of your child
• certificate of civil liability insurance, mentioning the name of the child (optional)
• for divorced parents: the divorce ruling (translated into French if necessary) and, in cases of shared parental custody, a letter from the second parent authorising schooling in Monaco, accompanied by a photocopy of an official document (for example, an ID card or driving licence)
• for parents who are separated: a photocopy of the official document specifying the adult who has custody and, in cases of joint parental custody, a letter from the second parent authorising schooling in Monaco, accompanied by a photocopy of an official document (such as an ID card or driving licence). If you do not have an official document, you will have provide a photocopy of a family allowance statement and a photocopy of your social insurance card
• school results for the current year (reports, details of grades)
At the end of the school year, you will need to obtain a certificate of deregistration from the child’s previous school for all new enrolments, mentioning the decision of the Class Council, with the exception of children who do not yet attend school. Your child may also need an assessment test.
Families resident in Monaco will also need to send in:
• a residence certificate less than three months old
• a copy of your valid residence permit
For the two private establishments under contract (which both Catholic schools) you will also need:
• certificate of baptism (up to Year 8) for Catholic children
• four recent passport photos
You may choose to education your children privately. The Principality is small and so your choice within Monaco itself is limited to two under-contract institutions or the fully private International School of Monaco, established in 1994 and set on a beautiful waterfront location. It has a bilingual elementary section, which teaches 7-11-year-olds in both English and French. All subjects are taught in two languages: Monday and Thursday – French, Tuesday and Wednesday – English. At secondary level, it is available in English language only.
Fees will depend on the age of your child and range from €7,400 at kindergarten level to €27,900 per annum at secondary level, payable in two instalments. There are also application fees (€250) and regisration fees (€1,500). There is a one off capital development fund payment of €5,000.
‘Under contract’ schooling means that establishments are subsidised by the state and are required to adhere to the standards of the Department of Education, Youth and Sport. There are two of these in the Principality:
• Cours Saint Maur: Catholic nursery and primary school
• Établissement François d’Assise Nicolas Barré (FANB): Catholic school for ages 3 to 18
There are also a number of specialist schools dedicated to arts such as dance and music. Note, also, that if you are resident in Monaco it may be possible to enrol your child in another private school along the Côte d’Azur, such as The International School of Nice in Maugins: this is popular among students in Monaco due to its proximity. Subjects are taught in English from the age of four to graduation. There are also five French lessons per week.
If you have any questions about location and your child’s eligibility in a school outside Monaco itself, or about homeschooling (which is permitted in France under certain conditions), you can contact the Department of Education, Youth and Sport (Direction de l’Éducation Nationale, de la Jeunesse et des Sports).