Moving To France

France has always been one of the preferred destinations in Europe for expats and other people to move to France from USA. If you are also one of these people considering a move to this famous European country then let International Sea & Air Shipping assist you in your move.

How International Sea & Air Shipping can help for moving to France

Any international move can be a lot to process! International moving involves not only your documentation but also documentation for your household goods when you are transporting those to France. If you own a pet and are relocating, you also need to provide documents for your furry friend. There are also other relocation aspects concerning the shipping cost, time and safety. At International Sea & Air Shipping we provide end to end specialized services for all types of moving.

International moving can be quite heavy on the pocket. Another issue is the time. At International Sea & Air Shipping we understand how crucial these aspects are to you while taking a decision on choosing an international shipper. That is why we employ highly experienced, insured professionals who will handle your shipping to France from USA for you to relax and enjoy a hassle-free move.

So, let our professionals handle your international shipping to France from US while you can enjoy the prospect of moving to this amazing country.

Living in Paris is not necessary to experience the highly romanticized lifestyle that makes France the epicenter of arts and culture. This Western European country has many destinations filled with art, literature, fashion, fine cuisine and picturesque scenery. Being the second largest country in Western Europe and the second largest economy in the EU, residents of France can enjoy a high standard of living – complete with internationally ranked schools, health care and human development.

France, the moment you utter the name of this country the lofty Eiffel Tower pops up in your mind. But not only the Eiffel Tower, France never fails to impress one with its rich heritage in culture and cuisine. And if this is the country where you are moving from the USA, then let us help you with your international move. It cannot get any better with our comprehensive guide and free moving quotes!

For those interested in art architecture, France is home to some of the most iconic structures in history, including the Eiffel Tower, Notredam and the notable Louvre Museum, which make the location one of the world’s premier tourist destinations.

France ranks fourth in the Fortune Global 500, just behind the U.S., Japan and China, but ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom. The country is also the world’s third largest exporter of agricultural products.

Best cities to move in France

As we have mentioned earlier, France offers one of the best quality of life in the whole of Europe to its citizens. When you are considering your relocation to France from the USA you also need to decide on the cities where you would like to live. We have listed the top 5 cities for you to choose from – Paris: Best for nightlife.

Being the capital city, you would definitely get more benefits if you choose to live in Paris.


However, in comparison to some other French cities, Paris can be costlier. Consider Brittany, known for its affordability.


If French cuisine moves your decision, then Lyon would be the perfect city to move your base to when you are moving from the USA.


When you are moving to France from the USA you may consider moving your family along. This will be the best French city for a family relocation.


Looking for a French life away from the city chaos? You can definitely consider moving to Luberon, which is best known for its unadulteration country charm!

Customs Regulations for France

  • Copy of Valid Passport
  • Certificate of Change of Residence, or copy of your Transfer Certificate (certifying that you have stayed for more than a year in the country of departure and that you are moving permanently to France)
  • Inventory of your personal effects in French, valued in Euros
  • A certificate of non-assignment attached duly completed
  • Proof of residence in France for less than three months

If the customer is moving to France permanently and has lived outside the European Union for the previous 12 months, he or she may import both personal effects and household effects free of duty and tax if:

  • Customer has owned the goods for at least six months abroad before change in residence
  • Customer is moving principal residence to France
  • Customer’s shipment arrives within one year from the arrival date reflected on the Change of Residence
  • Each of the imported articles is itemized in a comprehensive list, in duplicate, signed and dated, of the goods being imported into France (in one or more shipments), with the identification of their value
  • If SECOND shipment anticipated, it must be stated at the time of the first importation
  • Customer must prove to the Customs Department that he or she has been living outside the European Union for at least one year prior to moving to France, and establishing permanent residency in France (by producing a French Resident Card, or “carte de séjour” or a letter from French employer)
  • For inheritance:
    • Declaration from notary with inventory of goods, date of death, relationship of French resident
    • Goods must be shipped within one year of date of death
  • Wedding presents:
    • Marriage Certificate and French Resident Permit required
    • Goods must be shipped within one month of wedding
  • Students:
    • Official attestation of attendance at a school or university. The scholar’s goods must be shipped within one month from date of registration at the school or university

In France, the following articles are prohibited for importation under any circumstances:

  • Paints, polishes, and cleaning solvents
  • Drugs and narcotics
  • Live plants
  • Ivory, all animal skins
  • Pornographic material
  • Explosives & matches
  • Counterfeit goods

Some articles require special authorization or the payments of duties and taxes to clear French customs. These items include, but are not limited to:

  • You must inventory them separately, providing the brand name, type, quantity, number of bottles, and value. An Import License or Liquor License may be required.
  • Tobacco products (subject to duty or tax)
  • You must document medications (limited to “personal use amounts” and may require proof of prescription) and new items less than six months old (subject to tax if arriving from EEC countries or tax and duties if coming from other countries) with sales invoices.
  • New items less than six months old are subject to tax if arriving from EEC countries or tax and duties if coming from other countries, and you must document them with sales invoices.
  • Works of art, oil paintings, sculptures, antiques, etc. (should have Certificate of Authenticity)
  • Videotapes, fax machines, telex machines and books (will be held temporarily by customs until necessary authorization is obtained for each item)
  • Coats, fur and leather shoes made of protected animals (will need special authorization)
  • Meat and dairy products (France has complex requirements, restrictions and limits that apply to importing food as well as meat and dairy products)
  • Plant products (may require permits or inspection at port of entry by Plant Health Inspection Service)
  • Guns, weapons and ammunition: highly regulated, and require various registrations and certificates and have the authorization from the French Defense Ministry (provide make, caliber, serial number and purpose)
    • Some weapons are strictly prohibited (firearms which have no legitimate sporting or recreational use are not permitted entry into France)
    • Do not ship with household goods

Customers moving to France may import vehicles into the country provided they meet the following criteria:

  • Expatriates who intend to remain in France for a period of time may import one auto duty-free as personal effects
  • Foreigners can import an automobile duty-free if they have been living abroad for more than one year, have owned the car for six months prior to import, and have correctly registered the car as a commercial car.
  • You must not dispose of the automobile within two years of its entry into France.
  • You must list the automobile on your inventory, including the year, make, model, chassis, engine, horsepower, and registration numbers. Certain models or models are not allowed.
  • Vehicle must pass inspection for compliance with French standards and must be road-worthy
  • Documents required for auto shipping:
    • Purchase Invoice (original)
    • Original title showing owner’s name and vehicle serial number
    • Insurance Certificate from French insurer
    • Registration Card (original)
    • Plate numbers

To successfully cross French borders with a pet, the requirements are:

  • Every pet must be identified by a microchip or a tattoo. In case of identification with a tattoo, the tattoo must be clearly readable and applied before July 2011
  • The pet must be at least three months old
  • Customer should be present with pet at Customs clearance
  • The pet needs proof of his or her rabies vaccine and a certificate of good health
  • Endangered species and exotic animals are prohibited
  • All pets are subject to quarantine

NOTE – Customs regulations are subject to change at any time. The proceeding information is a brief summary of customs regulations applicable to household goods shipments to this destination and is being provided for general guidance to assist our Agents and Customers. Since such regulations are subject to change without notice, International sea & air shipping cannot be held liable for any costs, damage, delays, or other detrimental events resulting from non-compliance. Always double check with your local embassy or consulate.

Top 5 reasons to move in France from USA

Work-Life Balance

One deciding factor for employee retention across the globe is the work-life balance. However, individual companies often provide work-life balance. But when a country as a whole dictate that their citizens will lead a healthy lifestyle, nothing can compare that benefit! Fortunately for you, France is a country with a healthy work-life balance is a mandate. Moving to France from the USA will feel a great decision when we disclose these facts –

  • On an average the French workers get 5 weeks of paid vacation every year
  • There is also an additional holidays of 9 or 11 paid days
  • French workers also receive paid sick leave at 100% of their pay packages.
  • France even has the parental leave and it is valid until the child turns 3 years old.

Your decision to move from the USA to this European country will definitely feel like a worthy one after this!

Job stability

After work-life balance comes another great motivator for considering moving to France from the USA – job stability. In France, there are 2 types of employment contracts:

  • Indefinite term contracts (the CDI)
  • Fixed-term contracts (CDD)

By default, the French employers offer CDI. If they offer CDD they have to justify the reason. Moreover, a CDD is valid for up to only 18 months. Once this duration is over the employer either has to offer CDI or go for termination of contract in which case they have to pay part of the social benefits. This is another reason employers in this country chose CDI more.

Exceptional healthcare facility

Relocation to France from the USA is definitely a “healthy” decision! How so? Because healthcare takes the central stage in citizen wellbeing plans in France. In this leading European country healthcare for all is a basic right. The social security law in France mandates that everyone who lives in France for more than 3 months can avail affordable healthcare facilities, and this extends to students and travelers on visitor’s visas.

CPAM in France is known as the public healthcare system. While CPAM covers the majority of healthcare costs, French nationals also take out top-up insurance, known as “Mutuelle.” This helps them to account for additional healthcare expenses.

Dual nationality

I am sure when you decided to move to France from the USA you have researched the benefits extensively that you will be getting in this leading European country. If not, let us assist you. France allows you to have dual or even multiple nationalities. When you reside in the country for 5 years and have B1 level French language skill along with a clear background devoid of any criminal proceedings against you, you can apply for permanent residency. Once acquired you can pass on your French nationality to your children, as well. There are ample perks of obtaining a French nationality.

High quality of life

Needless to say, with job security, work-life balance, reliable healthcare system, high quality of education and many more social benefits, France offers one of the best quality of life among other countries in the whole world. Naturally, moving to France from the USA is a great decision whether you are moving alone or relocating your entire family.

However, while moving to France from the USA, especially when your family is accompanying you, one may need assistance in moving automobiles or household good. You can check the household goods moving advice here and get more insights for a hassle-free relocation to France.

Interesting facts to consider for the relocation to France


How much does it cost to move to France from the USA?

The shipping cost of your belongings when you are relocating to France from the USA will depend on the volume of the belongings and also their condition. Further air freight is costlier than ocean freight. The price calculation further happens from major ports in the USA to major ports in France based on the amount of container space your belongings will occupy. You can get in touch with our representative to offer you free shipping quotes.

What are the major ports in France for relocation?

France is the second-largest exporter and importer in Europe after Germany. There are many important ports in this country that handle both goods and passengers. Some of these important ports are as follows –

The Autonomous Port of Paris are
The Port of Marseille, Port of Lyon, Port of Le Havre, Port of Deauville

How to move household goods to France?

You can either choose air freight service or sea freight service for moving your household goods when moving to France from the USA. For detailed guidance you can get in touch with our representative or fill up the free shipping quotation form.

Do I need VISA to move to France?

Yes, you will need a valid VISA for your relocation to France from the USA. There are different types of VISA available depending on the purpose and duration of your stay in France.

How to relocate your pets when moving to France from the USA?

If you want to relocate your pet to France you have to follow certain mandates that require proper documentation. Ensure you have proof of your pet’s recent rabies vaccination and that your pet has a microchip. You will need to produce a pet passport or obtain a non-commercial health certificate for your pet from your vet, which is valid in the EU.

“We have moved many times around the world, but this was our first experience of having to organised everything ourselves. We had excellent customer service throughout with the staff always ready to answer questions and help when possible. I could not fault the packers who were thorough and careful. There were times when I needed a hand with things that I was doing in the house and they were always quick to help me.

We had two containers a 40′ and 20′ to get into a house with tight access. They unloaded it all and placed furniture exactly where we wanted it. We had two pieces of furniture with minor damage so not bad for 548 boxes.

I would very happily use this company again and recommend it highly. It wasn’t the cheapest quote I got but in my experience that is not always a good path to follow. Their pricing was in the middle of other quotes.”Nne Kennedy