If I Were Moving To France, This is What I’d Do

Hello, Guiga here. Thanks for being here.

If you don’t know me and love France, you may have seen some of my videos on YouTube or maybe read one of my blog posts about expatriation to France.

I’m a French serial expat and also a Global Mobility professional for the past 12 years. And I want to help you to make your move to France as an entrepreneur happen. But first, let me tell you a bit more about me…

Expatriation, I love it and for a very long time! 

Everything started when I was 7 years old! My best friend at the time moved from France to Casablanca, Morocco. I was so sad she left and our parents did everything they could to maintain our special friendship. So I spent about one month every summer in Morocco until I was a teenager! This was my first true international experience and I was hooked!

At 15, I already wanted more international life and I went on a 3-month exchange programme to Ontario, Canada. The best experience ever, but my god, I struggled so much with English

I knew I wanted to live the expat life, therefore I studied International relations and did all the internships abroad I could. I lived in Dublin, Ireland, Buenos Aires, Argentina and Luxemburg. It led me to find my first job in London, UK, in the relocation industry!  I was helping people relocating all over the world for large companies and the London Olympics! It was such a life-changing experience for me!

After 3 years of enjoying London life, I needed more sun! I had my mind and my heart set on Brazil since I first visited it in 2006!  I was determined to learn Portuguese and relocate there at the time of the Football World Cup and the Rio Olympic Games.

For about 2 years, I worked on this project. But it didn’t work as planned. I’ll tell you more about this in a bit. 

I’ve experienced the excitement of international life, I met people from all over the world and made friends I’ll keep for life. But I also lived the struggles of life abroad: homesickness, culture shock, inexplicable administrative surprises.

After experiencing daily life in 6 different countries (ah yes, I forgot to mention my time in Barcelona but this is a story for another time), I felt like an eternal expat and I thought I would never return home. Then, life happened and I moved back to Lyon, my hometown. From moving people all around the globe, I started assisting exclusively expats coming to France. 

As an expat I have experienced the move abroad without any assistance. As a Global Mobility expert, I could see that not everyone moves abroad in the same conditions and with the same level of assistance and financial support. 

So I decided to start the blog Expat in France and also the YouTube channel to help adventurers, like you, nail the French bureaucracy and make their move to France a reality! 

Do you remember I said earlier that things didn’t happen as planned when I tried to move to Brazil back in 2013? Well, I was working hard on my goal and I even had job interviews in Brazil, in my intermediate Portuguese. Can you guess what was the first question that they asked me? If I was married to a Brazilian! And when I said no, the branch director responded that he could introduce me to his friends! Hello Brazil! 

I knew that this meant that they were not prepared to sponsor me for the work visa! If you are a non-EU national trying to come to France, you understand this challenge! After several job interviews, it was always the same answer! And I can tell you Brazilian bureaucracy is as tough as the French one!

So I wanted to put together all the best methods and tools that I wish I’d have to move to Brazil the first time but for expats coming to France! I want you to fulfil the dream I couldn’t at the time (but finally did). But it sometimes takes an unexpected route to get to the destination!

SPOILER ALERT – there is no ideal way and neither ideal time for a life change! Life is always getting in the middle, French bureaucracy is unavoidable and let’s not even get on the covid topic. If I made the big move to Brazil now, you can definitely make it to France with patience and the right strategy.

Therefore I’m introducing today France Formula – for entrepreneurs – this is a new online training course to give you all the methods professionals use, but also the tools so that you have the clarity and the confidence you need to make your big move to France happen and not lose years as I did, hoping for the ideal way to move Brazil! But there is a thing… the course will only be available for a few days so that I can keep supporting my expat-entrepreneurs, so stay tuned!

I can tell you it was hard work! I did countless hours of research, I updated my French immigration law knowledge, and I even worked with an immigration lawyer to make sure everything is up to date as this topic is constantly changing! 

I also compiled my 12 years of experience and simplified it to make an international move as stress-free as possible.

And I even asked for the contribution and feedback from my readers to make sure I didn’t forget anything! And I realize that many of you were moving to France to start or run their business and that you all had something in common: A fear that the French bureaucracy is too overwhelming to complete successfully.

French bureaucracy played a big part in the expat struggle. And my goal is to help you by giving you the tools to gain autonomy and confidence in your capacity to settle in France. To do that you need a working sequence, a FORMULA. 

And if you use it right, you’ll be able to settle in the long term and meet the conditions to apply for a French passport.

France Formula is a step-by-step online course guiding you with a concrete action plan to overcome the French bureaucracy and organise your entire move to France and your arrival as an entrepreneur or freelancer.

There are 7 main steps for a successful expatriation journey and you can also find them in the link under this video.

First, set yourself up for success with the expat mindset to free yourself of doubt and fear. but also to prepare your savings budget and understand the French cost of living. 

Step #2 – Your entrepreneur visa request. First, you’ll need to figure out which entrepreneurial visa is the best for you. And choosing the right one for you will determine your chance first to get your visa approved and then renewed.

Step #3: You’ll need to get into your relocation logistics. 

You need to anticipate every main essential steps you need to prepare before leaving. This includes your household goods move, your other essential paperwork, healthcare, and much more. 

Step #4 is specific for families.

So if you have kids, you’ll need to anticipate your children:

  • visa request, 
  • their specific immigration processes, 
  • understand your schooling options 
  • and also childcare options. 

Step #5 is all about your arrival in France and these 4 areas that you’ll need to solve: 

  • Finding long-term accommodation, 
  • your immigration processes on arrival if you are a non-EU national, 
  • opening a bank account (which can be tricky in France)
  • and registering for French healthcare and other compulsory insurance.

In addition, you’ll also need to set up your French business and find reliable resources and professionals.

And finally, we’ll focus on your French integration and of course, your visa or permit renewed in step 7. 

The thing is that there is a lot that goes on in every phase, as I’m sure you can imagine. 

I’ve done my very best to go through each of those phases and iterate clearly the actions to take and also the pitfalls to avoid. For example, I give you a framework template of your business plan and tell you what you shouldn’t say. I even tell you what the French Administration is looking for and their unspoken criteria when it comes to business plan review.

This is what the France Formula is all about, a system to bring you to France.

The course follows the steps I just explained but in much much more detail. 

Now the thing is, this is not a guarantee of success, obviously, I could not guarantee your success. It is just like building a business, expatriation has risks. Different sources actually say that 40% of expatriations fail or end prematurely and it is usually due to a lack of preparation (that I’d rather call difficult access to information) and unrealistic expectations! The course will give you all the tools to avoid these 2 pitfalls, as I’ve done my very best to go through each of those phases and iterate clearly the actions to take and also the pitfalls to avoid. For example in phase 2, I give you a framework template of your business plan and tell you what you shouldn’t say, pitfalls that can be applied to every industry and market. I even tell you what the French Administration is looking for and their unspoken criteria when it comes to business plan review.

The other thing that I built into the formula is Clarity. This means knowing what to do in every major step in your relocation to France. You will go from having hundreds of questions and doubts to “I’m at this point of my move and I know what I should do next and how”.

I even worked with an immigration lawyer, Mr Lantheaume, who reviewed the visa section in January 2022, so that you finally get sourced and reliable information. You will even get all the unspoken rules and secrets on how to deal with the French administration and French people). 

And the most important is that you will not be doing it all ALONE. You’ll have access to monthly Q&A with me so that you are not stuck. You’ll gain so much research time but sanity to organise your move to France.

So if moving to France is what you want, be sure to sign up via the link under this video to receive more information. Subscriptions to the course will only be available for a few days, so make sure you sign up for the waiting list not to miss this opportunity. The next opening will be in a few months only as I’ll be focusing on the expat’preneurs that joined The France Formula course.  

So fill in the form above, if not done before AND sign up NOW to receive by email your special invitation to join the France Formula online course!

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