French nationality

Old May 23rd, 2012, 02:49 AM
  #101  
 
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"Since 2007 it has become very difficult if not impossible for a non EU citizen to obtain permanent residency in France, unless through marriage, ancestry, or having highly specialised job skills that are on an official list of occupations where there is a recognised shortage."

We have found this to be absolutely true as we opened a Visa dossier in 2008. It was not completed until 2010!!!! It was a whole different ballgame from when I applied moons ago.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 02:55 AM
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<i>incredibly high social security costs</i>

There is nothing incredibly high about the social security costs in France, and even less so when you consider all of the coverage that one receives for the amount paid.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 04:13 AM
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Our French social security rates have been much lower than we would have expected. FAR, FAR less than U.S. social security deductions.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 06:01 AM
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For anybody interested, here is the tax treaty between France and the United States. The part about avoiding double taxation starts on page 24.

http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-trty/france.pdf
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 08:14 AM
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1994, your situation may be different if you are not working and on a relatively low income. Basic research will show that cotisations and taxes in France for individuals and employers are amongst the highest of any OECD country and far higher than the US. Hence the mess the French economy is in.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 08:50 AM
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More disinformation from sprogster!
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 08:55 AM
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We pay some social charges but as we have no earned income (retired) we obviously don't pay into the French equivalent of SS. We also do not pay heath cotisations as we are not in the system. So, from our perspective the charges are low but we also receive no benefits.

I mentioned earlier, when my husband reaches 65 we can join the health system because the UK has a reciprocal agreement for rtirees from their respective countries. If the current agreement remains in place, we will not be charged as my husband paid into the UK system for years.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 09:52 AM
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Our income is not low by French standards. We are not retired. Our income tax in France is much lower than it would be in the USA. Keep in mind I said income tax. Our property tax in France is pretty much the equivalent to what we paid in California. We live in Provence.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 12:42 PM
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I think the French consulate -- at least the one in New York -- doesn't answer questions on the phone. I've called them twice now, and both times I get a recorded message saying they're open to the public Monday through Friday from 9am to 1pm, appointments can only be made online, and then the message gives you a number of other options, but each one just leads to another recorded message. The first time I called was on a Friday around 3 or 4 pm, and I thought maybe they get Friday afternoons off. But I just called again about an hour ago, and I got the same recorded message.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 12:47 PM
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"Hence the mess the French economy is in."

So what explains the mess the U.S. economy is in? It's certainly not due to high taxes or too much spending on domestic programs.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 12:54 PM
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I'm finding the discussion interesting because it's always fun to think about the relative benefits and costs of living in another country. And, I'm not sure if I missed it, but I don't think I read anywhere how much time you've spent visiting France, katkat.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 04:05 PM
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"And, I'm not sure if I missed it, but I don't think I read anywhere how much time you've spent visiting France, katkat."

I visited Paris and immediate environs for three weeks in 1978. So, obviously, I have not spent time visiting France in quite a while.

But why did you want to know this? I can't figure out why it became a question in your mind.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 04:24 PM
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I was curious because it takes me awhile before I feel remotely knowledgeable enough to begin to envision what it would be like to really live in another country as opposed to spending vacation time there. Making a permanent move is a big step, and I've enjoyed reading the comments of those who have.

My question was not meant to be a snarky, and I am sorry if i offended you.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 04:27 PM
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"not meant to be snarky"
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 04:51 PM
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Bookmarking
We considered property purchase in the Drome earlier this year, then realized we had no idea even how much time we'd be allowed to spend there in a given year.
This is a mine of information. I'm keen to learn chapter and verse about French residency.
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 04:57 PM
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"My question was not meant to be a snarky, and I am sorry if i offended you."

Thanks for clarifying, cw. I was NOT offended, just puzzled. The Internet is such a flat medium, it's really hard sometimes to get someone's meaning -- especially when we all speak a variety of languages!

I definitely agree that visiting a country does not make anyone an expert -- I mean, unless, maybe, you're visiting all the time, which is certainly not the case with me. One of the reasons I joined Fodor's to read and post in the forums is because I want to learn as much as I can about France, and French people: culture, history, sensibilities, quality of life, etc., etc., etc., because my ultimate goal is to move to Paris as soon as I can make that happen (and it probably will not be soon!)
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 06:25 PM
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katkat, good luck with your dream and enjoy learning new things every day. Planning for many of us, is half the fun!
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Old May 23rd, 2012, 09:54 PM
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I am going to sound very down to earth but ....
You are planning to move to a country you haven't visited in over 30 years. The country has changed since then and may be very different from what you remember. (We all have a tendency to embellish our souvenirs). You are not fluent in French, have limited financial resources and will be alone. Moving in a different country is a huge step in one's life. Have you considered the possibility of yours not being as happy as planned? Will you be able to move back to the US?
Before attempting such a change, I would save my money and spend a month or 2 in France just to see.
But this is just my opinion
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Old May 24th, 2012, 03:50 AM
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Excellent advise from Pvoyageuse.
If you look at it logically from the French authorities stand point, they do not want to allow into France retired individuals on a low income who could well end up as a burden on their health and social security, for which the individual would not have contributed during their working lives. Otherwise, people would be lining up to get into France to take advantage of their excellent health care and social security system.
Although you would not qualify for French health care with the long stay visa, under European human rights legislation the French authorities could not refuse to help if a foreigner was in dire need, so safest option is to prevent the risk arising.
I have to say that if the shoe was on the other foot and a low income retired EU Citizen was posting that they were thinking of moving to the USA and could join medicare, there would be a Republican outrage!!
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Old May 24th, 2012, 03:58 AM
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Kitkat, just to add that you are better off joining a dedicated expat French Forum aimed at Americans rather than a travel forum, where few members are likely to be French resident.

1994, as you are not retired and financially can afford to have a house in Provence, you are clearly in a very different economic situation to KitKat. Also like me I imagine you will be keeping your fingers crossed that the new French Socialist President will not get too silly with raising taxes and reducing the wealth tax band!
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