Moving from the US to France - the complete checklist

As you’re probably aware, many people dream of moving to the land of light baked goods, high fashion, incredible culture, and last but certainly not least, ever-lasting romance. However, in practice, deciding to relocate to France takes a bit more than mere daydreaming and wishful thinking. If you’re courageous enough to embark on the journey of moving from the US to France, then, by all means, go for it. Nonetheless, before you do so, make sure that you’re well educated on the subject and know what you’ll need to do before your departure.

Planning is a must when moving from the US to France

If you’ve ever relocated, you know that you cannot wing it even when moving short distances. There’s generally no way that everything will go smoothly and according to plan. Not even if you plan the slightest of details. However, if you plan and prepare yourself for what’s coming, at least you’ll have a fighting chance. Make sure to know what you’re getting into. If you’re entirely inexperienced, get someone who’s gone through relocation or two to help. You won’t be able to move from the US to France without a clear step-by-step plan.

Hiring movers should be your biggest priority

Relocating from the US to France is a very tedious and tiring job. Luckily, its results are so fruitful that it all ends up being worth it. A shortcut that you should most definitely take is hiring a professional company to assist you. If you hire the right moving company, this whole experience will be much easier to bear.

Pack your belongings

Something that most people leave to the last minute, but most definitely shouldn’t, is packing. There’s so much that needs to go into this process. You have to write down an inventory of everything you own and plan what you want to do with each item. The best way to do so is to divide all your belongings into their respective categories. If you’re unsure of whether you’ll have the time for this before moving from the US to France, make sure to hire movers that offer the full service, packing included.

You'll need to set some time aside to pack before you relocate from the US to France.

You’ll need to set some time aside to pack before you relocate from the US to France.

A suitcase that’s packed for moving to France from the US.

Airfreight might be the best option

International relocations can be challenging because of the distance. It’s one thing to get yourself from point A to B, and a whole other to transfer your belongings. Air freight is the best way to safely and quickly get everything you own to your new home in France.  To avoid possible issues, make sure to educate yourself on the process and everything you need to do before it.

Get your healthcare in order

One of the most important parts of relocating is ensuring that your healthcare will be in effect once you’ve arrived. The hybrid healthcare system in France is unique. Both the state and the individual need to pay for it. Luckily, the state pays for about 70% of the total cost. You’ll even get reimbursement from a pharmacy in most cases, depending on the necessity. The medical expenses that are completely essential, such as giving birth, are entirely covered.

Begin with French lessons

It’s widely known that the way to get used to living in a foreign country is to learn the language. Now, you don’t have to be fully fluent right away, but you should make an effort. The French really respect foreigners being considerate enough to take French lessons even if their workplace doesn’t deem it necessary.

It would be best if you started taking French classes even before relocating from the US to France.

It would be best if you started taking French classes even before relocating from the US to France.

A man teaching a French class for those that have moved from the US to France.

Go home scouting

With the right movers, you can organize an easy transfer to France. However, you need to find a place you’ll stay in as well. If you don’t know a soul in France, this can be tricky. One of the first things you should do is find a real estate company you’e vetted and trust completely. Once you’ve done this, look for homes that offer what you’re looking for without being too picky.


If you plan on living in a rent-controlled environment, make sure to research the laws. Getting
housing insurance before moving from the US to France may be necessary. The French law is
such that your landlord can request you to take out insurance if something goes awry.

Prepare everything for your arrival in detail

One of the first things you’ll want to do once you’ve moved is open a bank account in France. This can be relatively easy because of online banking. Nonetheless, it would be best if you got to it ASAP. There are non-resident banks for ex-pats that don’t yet have residency.


Once you’ve settled the financial part of the equation, organize the details of your stay in France.

● Install the phone and internet
● Take care of the utilities
● Get a better look at your future neighborhood
● See how you can transfer your subscriptions and update your post



Prepare all your paperwork

Getting a job, translating your documents, and seeing how the French laws will affect you financially are all really important. If you need professional assistance with these administrative formalities, don’t be afraid to ask.


● Get a French-style CV.
● Obtain a work permit.
● Sort out your driver’s license.
Do some research on taxes after you’ve moved to France and see how      they’re differentfrom the US.



Life in France

Life in France is not cheap. If you move from the US to the capital of France, this is even more obvious. You’ll probably need to live sparingly for a while until you get your affairs together.
Luckily, getting around the city by using public transport is very affordable.

Make sure to try all the French delicacies once you've moved to France from the US.

Make sure to try all the French delicacies once you’ve moved to France from the US.

French croissants filled with chocolate.

Do as the French do

If you wish to get used to France after moving from the US, you should do as the locals do.

Visit the colorful markets
● Get your variety of fruits and veggies while simultaneously taking in          the sights.
Try all the pastries and the magnificent cuisine
● Even if you get homesick and wish to run back to your family, just a            sight of a chocolate croissant should calm your nerves instantaneously.
Enjoy a day by yourself
● Take yourself out and get to know the city you’re in. You’re bound to         fall in love with it.
Soak in the art

● Most people cannot wait to step into the Louvre and forget about the      outside world.
● When it comes to moving from the US to France, you should know            that good planning and organization will help you go through the              process much more effortlessly. Also, hiring the right people, namely        the movers and a real estate agent, will help you tremendously.                  Finally, researching all the important things about your new country         and learning the language will help you settle in faster and start feeling     at home.

Alt feature: A bridge in Paris that you'll get to see every day if you move from the US to France.

Alt feature: A bridge in Paris that you’ll get to see every day if you move from the US to France.

Meta: If you’re planning on moving from the US to France, there’s a couple of things you need to sort out first. Here’s a quick checklist.