Moving to France
If you have recently moved to France, you may wish to meet with other Irish citizens who are part of a local organisation or business network that can provide you with general advice, information and guidance. In the sections below you will find information on living and working in France, travel between France and Ireland and details of Irish organisations in France.
For general information on France, the official website of the French Foreign Ministry contains a wealth of detail in English on moving to France. Information on all aspects of French administration is available in English and French on the citizens' information website.
- Living and working in France
- Travel between Ireland and France
- Irish Groups and Associations in France
Living and working in France
Living in France
The following Information has been prepared by the Embassy of Ireland to help Irish nationals wishing to live and work in France. It may also be useful for Irish nationals visiting France. Whilst ever care has been taken in preparing this information, the Embassy of Ireland cannot accept any liability for the information contained in the following.
This information is aimed at Irish citizens who reside in or intend to reside in France. If you are traveling to France on a short-term basis (for less than three months), please consult our travel advice section.
- Emergency Services
- Residency and entry requirements
- French administration services
- Employment in France
- Tax in France
- Social security and health care
- Extrait de casier judiciaire - police records
- School system in France
- International support groups for expatriates
European Emergency number: 112
This can be dialled all over Europe. In France, they connect you to the service you need.
SAMU (Ambulance): 15
Sapeurs-Pompiers (Fire Brigade): 18
SOS Médecins – 24/7, for a doctor to come within an hour Paris tel: 01 47 07 77 77
Paris Centre for Poison – Hôpital Fernand Widal, 75010 tel: 01 40 05 48 48
Paris Adult Burn Centre – Hôpital Cochin, 75014 tel: 01 58 41 26 49
Paris Child Burn Centre – Hôpital Trousseau, 75012 tel: 01 44 73 68 51
Dental Emergency 24/7 – Hôpital Pitié-Salpétrière, 75013 tel: 01 42 16 00 00
Pharmacy 24/7 – 84, avenue des Champs-Elysées, 75008 tel: 01 45 62 02 41
You should be aware that whilst you are in France, you are legally obliged to carry some form of photographic identification with you at all times.
At the moment, Irish citizens, as EU nationals, have the right to live, work and travelling France without having to register with the French authorities. If you wish, you may apply for a residence permit "carte de séjour" at your local prefecture; this is not obligatory for EU citizens but it may facilitate your dealings with the French administration.
Irish citizens resident in France may be entitled to vote in some local and European elections. To check your eligibility and to enrol on the electoral registers, please contact your local town hall 'mairie'. In general, you must enrol on the register between 1 September and 31 December of the year preceding the election. Further information can be obtained from your town hall or the Service Public website (in French).
The French Government have websites (some in English) with useful information on living in France. Please use the links below:
Other useful French Government websites in French include:
Various French administrative forms, on
Unemployment has been on the increase in France since 2008, and competition for vacancies has become more intense. It may be quite difficult to find a job unless you have the adequate fluency in French.
You can consult information on the citizens' information website on working and living throughout the European Union.
ANPE is the French employment service. Commercial recruitment agencies do not exist to the same extent as in Ireland and most advertised vacancies are notified to the ANPE. The agency's website, ANPE allows employment seekers to receive information and apply for vacancies. Once in France, you can register at an office of the ANPE. There are 1300 ANPE offices throughout France and you can find the one nearest you through the website.
If you wish to seek employment with and Irish company in France or with a French company which does business with Ireland, you can consult the Network Irlande website.
University students looking for work placements during summer can find useful information on the French-language website of the French ministry of Youth and Sport.
As a resident in France, you may be liable for French taxes. The Embassy of Ireland is not competent to advise on tax matters. Medium and large-sized towns will have a Centre des Impôts where you can seek advice on French taxation issues. General information may be found on the following websites:
www.impots.gouv.fr (French government site in French)
www.economie.gouv.fr (French government site in French)
Health information for Irish nationals travelling overseas can be found on Citizens Information
General information on Social Security and Health Care in France
Medical treatment in France can be expensive. If you are not covered through contributions to the French system or by EU Social Security arrangements, you should take out sufficient private insurance to cover the full cost of any emergency. If you are covered by the French system or by EU social security arrangements, you will still be liable to pay 20-30% of the cost of treatment. Many people resident in France take out additional private insurance, known as a mutuelle to cover this cost.
The citizensinformation website provides further information.
If you are employed in France, you will normally be subject to French Social Security legislation and be liable to pay contributions to the French schemes for pensions, sickness (including health care) and unemployment. The French employer should obtain a Social Security number for you. Similarly, if you are self-employed in France, you will be subject to French legislation and it is important to contact a Social Security office immediately after your arrival in France. Normally you will be required to show your full birth certificate in order to join the French Social Security scheme. Further information on the French Social Security system is available here.
If you have been lawfully resident in France for longer than 3 months and have proof of income, you can apply to be covered by Universal Health Cover (Couverture Maladie Universelle or CMU). The CMU is a medical health cover scheme designed to ensure a minimum level of Social Security cover for basic medical costs. It is not available to people already insured under another scheme; e.g. if you are in salaried employment, if you are covered by a student scheme. Please note that recent changes to the CMU may mean that certain categories of EU citizen are no longer eligible for CMU and so must take out private medical insurance. For more information, in French, please visit the French Social Security site.
For pensions and sickness benefit and family allowance - from your local Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (known as CPAM) and your local Caisse Allocations Familiales (CAF).
English speaking healthcare options
There are two hospitals in the suburbs of Paris with some English speaking facilities:
The American Hospital of Paris
63, bd Victor Hugo
92200, Neuilly Sur Seine
Tel: 01 46 41 25 25
Hôpital Franco-Britannique – Hertford British Hospital
3, rue Barbés
Tel: 01 46 39 22 22
Students and Healthcare in France
Student employees may be required to contribute to the French Social Security scheme. Those going under an exchange scheme may be covered for health care by the exchange authorities. If neither arrangement applies students who are Irish nationals may be entitled to immediate necessary health treatment provided through the French Social Security scheme under the European Community Social Security regulations, but an European Health Insurance Card or a form E111 will be required that was issued in Ireland prior to departure.
Self-employed in France
Information on social security and health cover for those who are self-employed in France can be obtained from the following address:
Caisse d’Assurance Maladie des Professions Libérales d’Ile de France
22 rue Vilet
75730 Paris Cédex 15
Tel: 01 45 78 32 00
You can obtain the equivalent of a Casier judiciaire (a record of any prosecutions and convictions in Ireland) by contacting the Garda Stations responsible for the area in which the individual last resided in Ireland. Addresses of Garda Stations can be found here.
If you require a Casier Judiciaire from the French Authorities, please complete the form available on www.cjn.justice.gouv.fr and post it to:
CASIER JUDICIAIRE NATIONAL
107 rue du Landreau
44317 NANTES CEDEX 3
Further details about the Casier judicicaire may be found on their website. Only the person concerned may request a Casier judiciaire and it is not possible to make a request on behalf of another person.
The junior school system is divided into two sections. The first section being the Ecole Maternelle from the ages of two and half to six. The next level is Ecole Primaire starting from the ages of six to eleven.
Age 6-7 Cours Préparatoire (C.P.)
Age 7-8 Cours Elémentaire 1ere année (CE1)
Age 8-9 Cours Elémentaire 2eme année (CE2)
Age 9-10 Cours Moyen 1ere année (C.M.1)
Age 10-11 Cours Moyen 2eme année (C.M.2)
The senior cycle has two divisions Collège (ages 11 - 15) and Lycée (ages 15 - 18)
Age 11-12 6ème
Age 12-13 5ème
Age 13-14 4ème
Age 14-15 3ème
Age 15-16 Seconde
Age 16-17 Première
Age 17-18 Terminale
All registration of children in the French school system is handled directly by your local mairie (town hall). Please find a list of some bilingual private schools in Paris and surrounding area.
In France, public school holidays are as follows:
2 weeks approximately for the Touissant (October-November)
2 weeks approximately for Christmas/New Year period
2 weeks approximately for the winter break (February-March)
2 weeks approximately for the spring break (April-May)
2 months for summer holidays – (July and August)
The dates for the school holidays will vary depending on what region you live in:
Zone A: Caen, Clermont-Ferrand, Grenoble, Lyon, Montpellier, Nancy-Metz, Nantes, Rennes, Toulouse
Zone B: Aix-Marseille, Amiens, Besançon, Dijon, Limoges, Nice, Orléans-Tours, Poitiers, Rennes, Rouen, Strasbourg
Zone C: Bordeaux, Creteil, Paris, Versailles
ICS - International Counselling Service
Offers individual, family, couple and group therapy for adults, adolescents and children.
Tel: 01 45 50 26 49
English speaking anonymous crisis line
Tel: 01 46 21 46 46
MESSAGE Mother Support Group
An English-speaking network for mothers and mothers to-be-living in Paris region.
Tel 01 58 60 00 53
Travel between Ireland and France
Aer Lingus, Air France and Ryanair provide services from Dublin, Cork and Shannon to numerous destinations in France. There are also flights operated by Aer Arann from Cork and Flybe and Easyjet from Belfast.
Travel by Rail
Paris benefits from a large variety of rail connections to other European capitals such as Amsterdam, Brussels and Berlin. It is also possible to travel extensively throughout France by rail.
SNCF is the national train service, including the high-speed TGV intercity trains. In Paris and in many other French cities, public transport includes metros, trams and suburban trains.
Travel by Ferry
Irish Ferries and Celtic Ferries currently serve the port of Cherbourg from Rosslare. Brittany Ferries also serve Roscoff from Cork.
Driving in France
Ensure that you hold a full and valid Irish or international licence. Driving in France is on the right. You should familiarise yourself with the French rules of the road. The speed-limit is generally 50 km/h in built up areas, 90 km/h on main roads and 130 km/h on motorways. The motorway speed limit reduces to 110 km/h if the road is wet or for heavy vehicles. Fixed cameras and mobile police patrols carry out speed checks. If found to be speeding, you will be fined and your licence may be confiscated immediately by the police.
Most motorways are subject to tolls. Ensure that you have enough money with you to pay tolls before setting out on your journey, as Irish credit cards are not always accepted by the machines in toll booths.
There are severe penalties in France for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. The alcohol limit is 0.25 mg/l. If you are caught with alcohol in your system while driving it can lead to heavy on-the-spot fines, confiscation of your licence and/or imprisonment.
Irish Groups and Associations in France
If you have recently moved to France, you may wish to meet with other Irish citizens who are part of a local organisation or business network that can provide you with general advice, information and guidance.
There are many different types of Irish societies and organisations in France including Franco-Irish Friendship societies, as well as Irish music organisations, Irish dancing schools and Irish and Celtic festivals. Other groups promote Irish sport, film, the Irish language or other events for the community.
Below is a selection of some of these groups and societies. If you wish to add a group to the list, please contact the Embassy. The list is provided for information purposes only. Please note that the Embassy is not responsible for the content of external websites of activities of groups/societies.
Irish Groups and Associations
Irish diaspora group in France
Business and Professional Networks
Friendship Societies and Twinning Associations
There are 132 twinning agreements between Ireland and France - a list of participating villages, towns and cities.
Centre culturel Irlandais - promoting Irish culture in France
Irish Music Associations
GAA Clubs in France
- Ar Gwazi Gouez Rennes GAA
- Entente Gaélique de Haute Bretagne, Liffré
- Gaelic Football Bro Derger, Plounévez-Moëdec
- Gaelic Football Bro Leon, Brest
- Gaelic Football Bro-Sant-Brieg, St-Brieuc
- Gwened Vannes Football Gaélique
- Naoned Football Gaélique, Nantes
- Lorient Gaelic Athletic Club, Lorient
- Kerne Football Gaélique, Quimper
- Clermont Gaels
- Lugdunum Club Loisir Gaélique, Lyon
- Riviera Gaels, Nice
- Tolosa Gaels, Tolouse
- Bordeaux Gaelic Football, Bordeaux
- Gaélique Football Club Pays de Coutances, Coutances
- Lille Gaels, Lille
- Niort Gaels, Niort
- Football Gaélique de Naives, Naives
Advice to emigrants
Cross Care Migrant Project also provide advice to emigrants.
It is recommended that anyone intending to move to France does as much research as possible.