Return to France

What are the steps for returning to France after living abroad?

Finding a new home, moving, undertaking administrative procedures… returning to France after living abroad involves numerous tasks to plan, not forgetting a potential cultural shock if you’ve lived outside of France for a long time. Grospiron Mobility Solutions assists you in managing your move and all aspects of your settlement.

Organizing Your Move for a Return to France after Living Abroad

The search for housing in France and a moving company tops the list of things to do.

Finding a New Home

For your new residence, you have the choice between the private sector (buying or renting) or social housing. In the case of renting, we advise you to prepare your documentation in advance (proof of identity, employment status, income). The landlord may ask for a guarantor. Another rental option is to apply for social housing (HLM).

Once you’ve found your new residence, in all cases, whether renting or buying, you must secure home insurance.

Finding a Moving Company

Professionals can assist you in moving your furniture, vehicles, and personal effects. Grospiron Mobility Solutions is here to advise and assist you with your move, offering:

  • Through our global network “”Harmony Relocations,”” selecting the best service providers in the departure country

  • Planning and organizing the transportation of your personal effects (furniture, vehicles, artworks, antiques, etc.);

  • Pickup of your personal effects at your residence with special packaging and protection;

  • Handling administrative and customs formalities.

  • A complete door-to-door service.

Contacting French Administrations and Organizations

Anticipation is key for dealing with French administrative procedures and organizations. This helps avoid unpleasant surprises.

Health Insurance

There are several scenarios. The procedures with the Caisse Primaire d’Assurance Maladie (CPAM) in your French residence will differ. We recommend checking with CPAM beforehand for the forms to fill out based on your situation.

You didn’t contribute abroad

You need to fill out and submit form S 1106 to your CPAM. This will grant you health insurance rights in France.

You had expatriate status

If you were affiliated with the social security of your host country (in the European Economic Area, the European Union, the United Kingdom, or Switzerland):

  • If your rights are maintained, contact your CPAM and present your European Health Insurance Card;

  • If your rights aren’t maintained, apply for universal health coverage with your CPAM.

If you contributed to the expatriate social security (CFE), you may benefit from this regime’s services for 3 months, subject to certain conditions.

You were registered with Pôle Emploi

If you were registered with Pôle Emploi before your expatriation and receive benefits upon your return, you have health insurance rights.

Pôle Emploi and the Portable Document U1

The Portable Document U1 lists the employment periods and potentially the insurance you completed abroad. It helps calculate benefits.

  • If you return from a country in the European Economic Area or Switzerland, request it from the unemployment insurance institution in the country you’re leaving.

  • If you don’t have this document, request it from your Pôle Emploi. They will contact the relevant institutions.

If you had rights before your expatriation, they’re maintained for 3 years. You can request resumption of benefit payments.


Declaring your income upon return to France is mandatory. File your declaration with the tax office at your new residence:

  • Even if you haven’t earned income in France since your return;

  • If you earned income abroad since returning to France, you must declare it.

You also need to declare any bank accounts opened abroad, including those closed during the year.

Consulter notre guide pays

Children’s Education

Enrolling in a school (preschool, elementary, middle, or high school) is mandatory for children under 16. Children also need to obtain the Attestation Scolaire de Sécurité Routière (ASSR). If they haven’t obtained it abroad, they will take the ASSR test at their school in France.

One of your children wants to enroll in higher education? You’ll need to follow the Parcoursup procedure and/or contact the relevant institution for enrollment.

Children may be eligible for social benefits during their schooling. Contact your CAF for social benefits information.

Other Administrative Procedures

Returning to France involves other formalities depending on the situations.

  • If you have a pet, find out about the conditions for bringing it to France.

  • If you obtained your driver’s license abroad, you need to exchange it for a French driver’s license.

  • If you want to import your vehicle to France, ensure it is registered within one month.

  • At your municipality, request to be added to the electoral roll.

Need assistance in organizing your return to France? Afraid of missing a step? Grospiron Mobility Solutions adapts to your situation with personalized support. Our expertise in moving and international mobility allows us to efficiently advise you on your specific needs.