The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development published on its website a “Checklist of expatriation” to help all French people who are about to live abroad with paperwork.
This comprehensive list is very helpful to best prepare its departure and also its return!
Before leaving France
1. Check that passport or identity card, according to the country of destination, is still valid. Warning! In some countries, a passport with a validity of more than 6 months is required.
2. Obtain a visa from the embassy or consulate of the country is necessary (depends on the country). Check all the documents required in order to obtain a residence permit or work locally.
3. Inquire for benefit from social coverage once in the country (CFE, mutual societies, etc.)
4. Make an appointment with a doctor to take stock of the recommended vaccinations, the monitoring of medical treatment and the possible health risks in the country of destination.
5. Subscribe a repatriation insurance (highly recommended).
6. Inform the tax centre and, in some cases, the pension fund of its departure and its change of address.
7. Contact the prefecture in order to get an international driving license.
8. Register children in a school in the country of destination.
9. Organize the relocation with a certified international moving company. Not forget to inquire about the customs formalities in the country of destination (pets, import of vehicle, etc.).
10. Inform the French postal services of the move and organize the monitoring of its mail.
During your stay abroad
1. Learn about local laws and customs.
2. Do the required formalities with the local authorities (residence permit, tax administration, affiliation to social security, etc.).
3. Register in the Register of French citizens resident outside France with the embassy or consulate of France in the destination country (recommended).
4. Register on the consular electoral list in order to vote abroad for the French national elections and participate in the election of consular advisors (can be done at the same time than registering in the Register of French citizens resident outside France).
5. Ask to the consulate to establish acts of births and wedding that could occur during the stay.
6. Be alert about the validity of its passport and those of its children, throughout the duration of his expatriation.
Before coming back to France
1. Ask its removal from the register of French citizens resident outside France and from the consular electoral list at the embassy or consulate of France.
2. Organize its move taking into account the time and the necessary customs formalities.
3. Contact Social Security in France to be ensured benefit from social coverage on its return to France.
4. Notify the tax department of non-resident or the tax office of its new home, of its return to France.
5. Keep all the important documents relating to its situation abroad (employment, income, health).
6. Report the change of address to the local postal services and organize the monitoring of his mail.
• GENERAL INFORMATIONS
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Development is in charge of the administration and the protection of French citizens resident outside France.
Prepare its expatriation www.diplomatie.gouv.fr > Citizen Services> prepare expatriation
Directories Foreign embassies www.diplomatie.gouv.fr > The Department and its network> Directories MAEDI addresses
• SOCIAL PROTECTION
Information on the legislation on social security in France and abroad Centre for European and International Liaisons for Social Security (CLEISS): www.cleiss.fr
Health insurance and pension contributions abroad Caisse des Français à l’étranger (CFE): www.cfe.fr