France is a very popular destination for people in Britain who are retiring and would like the relaxed way of life out in the French countryside, or perhaps the warmth of the Mediterranean coast. Many of us learned some French at school and have been there on holidays so have got to know some of the places, and enjoy French cooking. 
At Movers International, we have been engaged in removal to France for over 30 years, and we know the country just as well as we do the UK. We have weekly runs to France, so if you need to send a part load, we can help you. We can even take a single item. Of course, if you are moving to France permanently you may well need a van to yourself. 
Of course, now that we have left the EU, if you are moving to France you will need a visa. You will need to apply to the French Embassy, but be aware that there are different visas: for example you may have family living there already. Make certain that you research which visa you need. 
France is a big country, and you would be well advised to do some research on the different areas or departements, as they each have their own dialect, cuisine, and landscape. There are mountainous regions, seaside towns with beaches, busy cities, sleepy villages, and so on. The weather varies too, from the Mediterranean where it is hot in summer to the mountains of the Alps and Pyrenees where it is very cold in winter. 
Even though you may have learned some French at school, if you are approaching retiring age you have most likely forgotten most of it. Even if you are not retiring but want to get a job or open a business in France you will still need to be able to speak French, so you should book some evening classes or get an online course so that you can mingle with the locals. 
As we are no longer in the EU, you will need a permit if you want to work or set up a business in France. You need to apply for a specialist visa. If you have salaried employment you will need the Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour - Salarié. If you intend to set up your own business or are otherwise self-employed, you will need the Visa de Long Séjour valant Titre de Séjour - Entrepreneur/Profession Libérale. 
Ideally you should have all this set up before you move to France, but if not, you need to be sure that you have enough money on which to live for at least six months while you settle in and sort things out. 
You are not allowed to join the French health scheme until you have been living in France for three months, unless you are employed, in which case you can join as soon as you start work. It is a good idea to get short-term health insurance to cover you for the three months if that is your situation. 
If you have not bought a home in France, it is a good idea to rent while you explore the area. This is because properties that are advertised exclusively to foreigners are usually overpriced. They are also sold “as is” so you need to be certain to check for defects. You will need a notaire to handle all the legal side of things. 
Don’t forget to book your removal to France with us leaving plenty of time to spare. This is because we are becoming very booked up as a result of the backlog caused by the pandemic. 
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