France is a beautiful country with a rich history and culture. In recent years, it has become a popular destination for expats due to its high quality of life, safety, and economic growth.

But before you packing up your bags, to start living and working in France, there are some things you need to know about life in France. This guide will give you all the information you need to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Living and working in France

Living and working in France : introduction to the French market

In France, the rental market is very different than in other countries. The first thing you need to know is that there are two types of landlords: the bailleur and the propriétaire.

If you’re renting a place from a bailleur, they have to provide all the necessary information about the apartment and its location. They also have to take care of any repairs or maintenance issues that come up during your tenancy.

The bail locataire is responsible for looking after their own accommodation needs and making sure that they pay their rent on time.


1- Cost of living in Paris

The idea of living in the City of Light and being surrounded by culture, history and art has always been powerful. The idea that you can be part of an international community with people from all over the world is also appealing to many people who want to experience something different in their lives.

Many people also come to Paris because it offers them more opportunities than their native country does. It’s not unusual for someone from Africa or Asia, who might find it difficult to get ahead at home.

The cost living report show Paris ranked 33rd, being more expensive than Amsterdam, Munich, and Brussels but cheaper than London, NY or Zürich.

If you need a great comparison tool (city vs city cost of life), we recommand Numbeo.

2- Wages & salary in France

Salaries are received in 12 monthly payments.

The average wage in the private sector is €2370, with an average of €2300 in the public sector.

The freelanaverage revenue is way higher at €3820.

3- Housing costs in France

It’s no secret that French housing is expensive.

A one-bedroom apartment in Paris can reach up to €1800 a month, whom you can more than double if you need 2 or 3 bedrooms.

4- Investing in France

If you want to learn more about the French housing market, you’ll find an interesting review here.

The French « notaires » are the officials in charge with registering many things, starting from real estate ownership & operations.

Don’t forget there are fees and taxes related to purchasing a home.


5- Validating your long-stay visa

If you are not an EU citizen, the first step in obtaining French residency is a long-stay visa. The most common is a 1-year Long-Stay Visa Equivalent to a Residence Permit (VLS-TS).

When you arrive in France with this type of visa, it will serve as proof of your legal residency in the country for one year. However, you must validate it within three months of arriving in France. Validation is essential to ensure that you are legally resident in France and also to allow you to leave and re-enter the country whenever you wish.

The validation process can be done online, and a €200 tax is charged. You can find the full list of visas that need validating here.

6- Opening a local bank account

If you want to pay your bills, take out a mortgage and so on, you’ll need a French bank account, so this should be your first priority.

7- Getting a Social Security Number

If you are a new arrival in France and want to take out health insurance, you need to register with ‘L’Assurance Maladie’. To do this, you need to have been resident in France for three months, after which a social security number will be issued.

After three months of residence and once you have received your permanent social security number, you can apply for a Carte Vitale.

If you like this article and want to relocate in Paris, chances are you’ll also enjoy our article about Where to live in Paris.

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