What You Need to Know When You’re Moving to Lyon

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  • Paul O'Doherty

    I am excited about meeting so many open-minded people, who are willing to help a total stranger enjoy Lyon.

Relocating to Lyon

The local economy is in good condition and the excellent culture and gastronomy further make Lyon an attractive place to live.

About the City

Lyon is home to around half a million people (as of 2014), with the local population speaking French. Although many people have a decent grasp of English, making an effort in French is always appreciated. Lyon has the second-highest populated metropolitan region in France, behind only Paris.

Around 15% of people who live in Lyon were not born in the city, while both the median household income (36,235 EUR) and median family income (45,573 EUR) are above the national average.

Lyon’s population is rising again but is still some distance below its peak of close to 600,000 in the 1930s. The population has risen by around 100,000 in the last 20 years and over two million people live in the Greater Lyon metropolitan area.

The Climate in Lyon

Temperatures can reach very high figures during the height of summer and it is not unheard of for the mercury to pass 40°C during August.

Lyon has a climate much of its own as it lies between the subtropical Mediterranean climates to the south of France and the Temperate Oceanic climates of northern France.

The winter months tend to be the driest months for expatriates in Lyon, although it is not uncommon for there to be snow in the city during December and January, when temperatures can drop below freezing and stay there for some time.

Visas for France

Although there are exemptions, as a general rule visas are required for expats moving to Lyon.

Statutory documentary evidence must be presented at the border, including the foreigner’s reasons for stay, as well as their means of support and their accommodation arrangements. Citizens of EU/EEA countries do not require a visa for France due to the Schengen agreement.

Applicants for residence in Lyon ought to apply from the relevant French embassy or consulate in their home country. For stays longer than 90 days, a long-stay visa will be needed.

For more information on French visas, please also refer to our article on Moving to France.

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