Congratulations, you will start a new adventure in France! If you are moving soon, you know that there are a ton of things to do, but don't worry, we are here to help you! With experiences on expatriation and moving across the globe, we have faced many moves to unknown cities and countries. We know that it can be challenging to set up a new place with a different culture and language, and yet still feel home. Do you want to know our best tips to help you get organised and sail as smoothly as possible through your moving process? Read on!
4 months before
- Book your plane ticket (once the immigration permits are obtained);
- Check that your and your family members' passports are valid for the departure;
- Establish an expense budget for your departure and the first three months of arrival;
- If you do not speak French, take some classes or listen to podcasts (a good start!);
- Research neighborhoods where to live and international communities.
3 months before
- Notify your employer of your departure;
- Inform your children's school that they are leaving;
- Manage your real estate assets (selling your house or terminating your renting, etc.);
- Get quotes from international movers (we recommend to contact our partner: ACR International Mobility);
- Contact relocation agencies to help you to find your future accommodation, at Sojoourn we also offer a high quality service to find you the perfect home. For more information contact us.
- Research schools and enrollment of children;
- Apply for an international driving permit.
2 months before
- Notify your bank of your departure;
- Let your tax administration know you are leaving;
- Certify relevant, compliant documents and "apostille" necessary certificate;
- Ask for a letter of recommendation from your car insurance
- Gather letters of recommendations from your former employers, and other professional materials, which will serve as professional references in France;
- Start sorting out the things you want to leave and the things you want to pack;
- Order our Lyon city guide to find essential information on housing, transportation, and even practical French phrases. With 100 pages, it is everything you need to know to help you enjoy the city care-free!
- join online communities and ask for recommendations or tips from people who live in the city you are about to relocate. If you are coming to Lyon, join our Facebook group with nearly 1.700 expats.
1 month before
- Sell your car;
- Send a letter to cancel your subscriptions (gas, electricity, transport, telephone), your insurance (house, automobile, mutual health) or other monthly withdrawals;
- Inform your health insurance about your departure. Subscribe to health insurance, for France (we recommend to contact our partner: Partir Assur); After 3 months of living in France you can apply for a French social security coverage.
- Organise a medical visit for you and your family for a general check-up: general practitioner, dentist, gynecologist, ophthalmologist, etc;
- Have your vaccines;
3 weeks before
- Book your first nights in France (hotel, hostel, furnished, friends or others);
- Organise your move (with the precise list of objects and furniture that you bring to clear your belongings upon arrival). Think about the type of current and voltage (220-240V/50 Hz).
If you need to rent furniture, you can rent with Move&Rent.
- Buy euros or carry traveler's checks to avoid excessive use of your credit card upon arrival, or open a free euro account at one of the online neobanks;
- Create a photo album with photos of your friends, places you like, the dishes you want and maybe your pet that you cannot bring with you;
- Organise a farewell party with your friends and also with the friends of your children, take pictures of these moments to keep good memories with you;
- Begin to pack your luggages, don't forget to pack small, personal items that will make you feel at home!
2 weeks before
Prepare and collect in a pocket folder all the essential documents (this might vary depending of your destination): immigration documents, passports, identity cards, health and vaccination notebooks, family records, birth certificates, driver's license, divorce papers, death certificate of a spouse, authorisation to leave the territory for minors, insurance certificate, employment contract, certificate of funds, list of your belongings in the process of moving, etc. Put essential and bulky documents on a USB stick!