If you have not done your research before moving, you can stay in a temporary accommodation, giving you more time to find whatever suits your needs. As soon as you find your new accommodation, organise your change of address, contact your insurance to insure your new house or apartment (compulsory when you sign your lease) and confirm the social responsibility of each family member. Do not wait until you move in to sign electricity, gas and internet contracts: you can prepare those beforehand by indicating the date when you will move in. Forget those and you take the risk to be “disconnected” for a while.

For more information, check our Accomodation file.


  • If you obtained your driving licence abroad, you will be able to get an equivalence (see Driving licence file)
  • If you brought your vehicle with you, change its registration number
  • Insure your car


  • Check your social security and mutual fund with the CPAM ( and your employer. As of January 1st, 2016, your employer has the obligation to provide you with collective extended health care, and to participate to a minimum of 50% of the subscriptions.
  • Register at the adequate tax office (see our Tax system file for more information).
  • Make yourself know from the CAF (the French Benefits Office,
  • If you have the French nationality, register on the voting lists of your new city of residence. Inscriptions are due before the 31st of the current year to be applicable the following year.


You avoided any emotional turbulence during the take-off, now it’s time you prepare the landing. It might take up to six months for everything to settle down and for everyone to enjoy and get used to their new daily life.

Here are a few pieces of advice that might seem pointless now, but will be important in your daily life for you to be comfortable in your new life.

  • Get involved with associations
  • Get sporty
  • Meet other expatriates and French people with international experience. #REVIENSLEON will launch a “Club for Léon”, check it out!
  • If you feel like it, sign up for meetings and seminaries like “Time to enjoy your new life” to share your impressions
  • Visit everything! Make the most of your weekends and be a tourist.
  • Most importantly: remember to keep a few dates per week to have some alone time with your spouse!

These might look very time-consuming now, and some of them are a bit hard to stick to, but they will prove fundamental for you to enjoy your new life in France. Your best weapons are a bit of patience, and a lot of positive energy!