Moving to France: New language requirements, visa help and French strikes

Emma Pearson
Emma Pearson - [email protected]
Moving to France: New language requirements, visa help and French strikes
Can a French notaire help you get a visa? Photo by MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

Moving to France - a country famous for its complicated bureaucracy - can be a daunting task. Fortunately, our new newsletter is here to answer your questions; this month we're looking at France's new language requirements, whether it's worth paying for a lawyer to help with your visa and how to learn to love French strikes.


Here at The Local we're an Anglo-American team living in France - which means all of us have been through the simultaneously exciting and terrifying process of moving countries.

Our new newsletter is aimed at people who are in the process of moving, have recently moved and are still grappling with the paperwork or perhaps are just thinking about it - and we'll share a monthly selection of practical tips. Our team is also available to answer questions from subscribers to The Local.

The big news from France this month for foreigners is the new law that brings in tougher requirements for foreigners in France to learn the language - we've got a complete guide to who this affects and the exemptions in place HERE.

Top of the league

A new piece of research finds that French visas are the 'most sought-after' in the world. We take this with a bit of a pinch of salt because it's based on internet searches and idly Googling something is not quite the same as making firm plans to move.

However it's certainly true that France is a very popular country to move to and attracts thousands of new arrivals every year (and tens of millions of tourists, incidentally - the country is on track to keep its crown as the world's most visited tourist destination).


If you're a non-EU citizen then you will need a visa in order to move to France - and you can find all the info you need in our French visas section. From exactly what type of visa you need to how to apply and what paperwork comes next.

French visas: All you need to know

Legal eagles

If you're searching online for French visas, it won't be long before you come across adverts for lawyers or 'visa services' which claim they can take the hassle out of the process for you.

Whether or not you instruct a lawyer when making your application is of course a personal choice, but it's important to pick someone who is fully qualified and has the relevant expertise for your situation. Additionally, it's a good idea to understand exactly what a lawyer can - and cannot - do when it comes to the French immigration system.

Do I need a lawyer to deal with my French visa or residency card?

Life goals

We know that lots of people move here, but what exactly attracts them?

Reasons for moving to France are very diverse - work, study, retirement or following a romantic partner, for example. But when it comes to reasons for staying here, the reasons are remarkably similar.

We asked readers of The Local what drew them to France, and why they decided to make their lives here.

'Our life is so much better here' - Readers reveal what drew them to France

To the barricades

If you follow French news, you will notice that one thing that happens quite a lot in France is strikes and protests - such as the current farmers' protests that are causing widespread disruption.


If you plan to make your life here, it's inevitable that sooner or later you will have to deal with disruption from a strike or protest - but don't despair, it's all about changing your mindset.

How I stopped worrying and learned to love French strikes


The Local's Reader Questions section covers questions our members have asked us and is a treasure trove of useful info on all kinds of practical matters. If you can't find the answer you're looking for, head here to leave us your questions.

Bon courage !


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