So, you are considering the option of moving from Ireland to France, what’s next, where do you start? Keep on reading, we have many years of experience moving Irish people to France and we are very happy to share our knowledge and experience with you.
The Irish have never been ones to let vast bodies of water prevent them from seeking opportunity. For centuries, enterprising Irish immigrants have bid a fond farewell to the old country and seek their fortune in new climes all over the world. This “Irish diaspora” has long been observed in relation to moving to the UK and US, but what about mainland Europe? After all, the notion of creating a new life for yourself in a far-flung land is inherently romantic. And where else in the world does romance like the French?
If you plan to move to France with your new job, or simply to start a new life for yourself, the notion of moving to an unfamiliar country may seem daunting. That’s why we’re going to help make it easy with this essential guide for Irish citizens thinking of moving from Ireland to France.
Why the Irish love France
There are many reasons why Irish citizens may choose to start a new life in France. According to a report by Irish-French academic Grainne O’Keeffe-Vigneron and detailed here in The Irish Times, there are many reasons why Irish immigrants are drawn to France.
These range from a simple desire to immerse themselves in a new culture to learning new language skills, improving work/life balance or simply to follow a French citizen with whom they’ve fallen in love.
And it’s easy to see why the French way of life would appeal to many industrious, hard-working Irish professionals. France isn’t just the Eurozone’s second-largest economy, it’s also a thriving hub of cuisine, culture, and couture. Delectable food, fabulous beaches, a healthier and more outdoorsy way of life… the appeal is obvious!
Do I need a Visa Moving from Ireland to France?
Irish citizens may worry that they might need a Visa in order to relocate to France, but if you live in the Republic of Ireland, you are still within the EU and therefore have freedom of movement.
This means that you are free to stay and work in France for as long as you like without notifying French authorities. Irish citizens living in France may even be entitled to vote in some local and European elections.
Northern Irish citizens may find that Brexit has muddied the waters somewhat but under the Good Friday Agreement Northern Irish citizens can choose Irish citizenship, British citizenship or both. Thus, if you have an Irish passport, this will likely be all you need to live and work in France.
Finding your people
Wherever they’ve settled all around the world, the Irish have been known to form closely-knit communities. Unfortunately, Irish settlers in many countries like England, The United States, Canada, and Australia were met with persecution (if not outright racism) and found door after door shut in their faces.
In their communities, Irish immigrants found guidance and solace. While Irish immigrants have to contend with racism far less in this day and age, it’s understandable that they might want to find a new home where they’ll find plenty of their people, especially when everyone else speaks an unfamiliar language.
While Irish immigration to France is certainly less common than immigration to other English speaking countries (France’s Irish-born population is estimated to be somewhere between 20,000 and 24,000), the Irish have actually been moving to France for many centuries. Irish immigrants in France tend to have an older immigration profile (predominantly in their 30s and 40s) and tend to be skilled professionals.
So, where does a new immigrant find these educated, convivial professionals? You’ll find that many Irish communities are in and around Paris (the area known as Ile de France) but that shouldn’t stop you from looking for communities and opportunities in other major conurbations like Marseille, Nice, Toulouse, and Bordeaux.
Wherever they’ve settled, Irish communities have historically been very helpful in helping new immigrants to orient themselves, even helping them to know where to look for housing and employment opportunities.
If you’re feeling insecure about the idea of moving to France, finding your fellow countrymen should be a priority.
Brush up on your French!
Many of the French do speak English, but in our experience, they much prefer not to. Parisians, in particular, are notorious for their lack of patience with non-French speakers.
While many immigrants can and do lead happy lives in France with only a smattering of French, no matter what the nature of your job we advise brushing up on your new home’s native tongue.
Not only will it help you to make new friends among locals faster, but it will also make workplace relationships far more harmonious and drastically improve your chances of finding gainful employment.
While you have the rest of your life to learn the nuances of the French language, the sooner you can make a start, the better you’ll feel about being able to integrate seamlessly.
Before moving from Ireland to France decide what needs to go and what needs to stay
One of your final challenges will be to go through your home taking stock of your belongings and deciding what to take with you and what to leave. As well as deciding on which belongings will come to France with you, you’ll need to decide what to do with the items that you leave behind.
Will you keep them in storage to await your possible return? Will you sell them or give them away? The choice is yours but take your time making it.
How we can help
As a highly experienced relocation company, we can assist you with every aspect of your move from the emerald isle to France. We offer a range of services for domestic and business moves including Visa & Immigration, Baggage Services, and Removals Services.
If you need to keep some of your stuff in storage, have no fear, we can help with that, too! And don’t forget to use our free contents calculator to make it easy to calculate the cost of moving your most treasured belongings and furniture.
We make moving from Ireland to France tres facile!