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Taxes, Talking, Flying, Immigrating, Voting

Small groups in conversation at Parler Parlor in Nice, France

APRES- MIDI IN NICE ON TAXES

Jonathan Hadida with Hadida Tax Advisors, wowed a SRO attendance at Après-Midi in Nice on Thursday at Restaurant Oscar. For 1.5 hours he talked “tax,” and not just any “tax,” but taxes a U.S. citizen would pay OR NOT by making France a full time home.

Jonathan Hadida speaking at Après-Midi in Nice, France

In fact, according to Jonathan, a U.S. citizen, retiring in France, could easily end up paying quite a bit less tax than if he stayed in the U.S. Jonathan is animated and funny, in spite of the subject which many people take very seriously…too seriously in my humble opinion. I’ve seen too many people driving their lives based on the taxes they will pay OR NOT, rather than considering that the reason they work hard is to have enough money to enjoy life the way they want…then they deny themselves the pleasure!

One of the things one can learn living in France, in a socialist democracy such that it is, is that money is not what makes you happy. Security, yes. Pleasure, yes. But, money for the sake of money is a commodity you can’t take to your grave. So, ask yourself: How much money do you really need to live the life you want? Fortunately, in France, you need a whole lot less than if you’re living in the U.S.

Jonathan Hadida speaking at Après-Midi in Nice, France

We recorded the session, but discovered when it was way too late that the microphones were not active and therefore we have this fabulous video of Jonathan making this important presentation, without any audio! My apologies now and forever for the lack of technical expertise that prevents you from seeing it for yourself…but have no worries…Jonathan works with us on many webinars and presentations, so you will have another chance very soon!

Read the report and see the photos from the session.

SUCCESS AT PARLER PARLOR

Saturday morning, also at Oscar Restaurant in Nice, Katie Friedland relaunched the once defunct Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group that I ran with a partner for 20 years in Paris. She was able to garner an overflow at six tables with a balanced mix of Francophones and Anglophones for this first time, which we deemed a huge success!

Small groups in conversation at Parler Parlor in Nice, France

The system is simple, proven, and effective, yet it’s hard to find elsewhere–and we don’t know why, because it’s the one system of practicing that REALLY WORKS. On top of that, it’s fun and a fabulous way of making friends, both Anglophones and Francophones alike. Mark your calendars for Thursdays from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. at Oscar, 15 rue Masséna.

Small groups in conversation at Parler Parlor in Nice, France

Your first session is FREE, so no excuses for not trying it at least once! After that, you subscribe by purchasing 10 sessions at a discount. Your membership card will get checked off each time you come.

Katie Friedland with a small group at Parler Parlor in Nice, France

Katie Friedland (left) with a small group at Parler Parlor in Nice

To learn more visit our Parler Parlor page, and either notify Katie or just show up (15 minutes ahead of time)!

FLYING NICE TO NICE

New direct flights to Nice on Air France

For those of you wishing to explore Nice and environs, Air France will get you to Nice non-stop from 11 U.S. cities and that’s growing!: Boston (BOS), Cincinnati (CVG), Houston (HOU), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York (NYC), Raleigh (RDU), San Francisco (SFO), Seattle (SEA), Tampa (TPA) and Washington, d.c. (WAS). See their website for details.

THE NEW IMMIGRATION LAWS

Brexit? What were the British thinking?

Last Friday the French Constitutional Council rendered a decision deeming the proposed exemption for British second home owners from standard visa requirements unconstitutional.

The new immigration law featured a provision granting automatic long-stay visas to British individuals owning second homes. However, in France, all new laws must undergo validation by the Constitutional Council. This particular legislation faced significant contention and underwent substantial amendments during the parliamentary process. Notably, a group of senators in the Upper House introduced an amendment including a clause providing British second-home owners with an “automatic” right to a long-stay visa.

The Constitutional Council, commonly referred to as the “Sages” (“the Wise Ones”), has now declared this clause as unconstitutional and thus invalid. The council asserted that the provision had no substantial connection with the primary objectives of the proposed law and deemed it a “cavalier législatif” (legislative rider) on procedural grounds.

Screenshot for video of Brits in France Living With Brexit

While the council refrained from offering an opinion on the substantive aspects of the clause’s constitutionality, its rejection on procedural grounds makes its resurrection in the current parliamentary session challenging. Moreover, the lack of government support and the absence of apparent legislative opportunities further dim the prospects of the clause’s revival.

Even if an opportunity were to arise, the clause could face rejection on other grounds, as highlighted during the examination by the legal committee of the National Assembly. The committee argued against the exemption, emphasizing that the mere ownership of a second property did not justify waiving visa requirements, especially considering the sovereign decision of British citizens to leave the European Union.

Too bad, Brits! You really screwed up. Consequently, non-EU second-home owners desiring stays in France (Europe) exceeding 90 days within a 180-day period will be required to apply annually for a short-stay visa. (That still applies to us North Americans.)

In its final ruling on France’s immigration law, the Constitutional Council discarded approximately one-third of its contents, following scrutiny of nearly 50 articles requested by President Macron, the president of the National Assembly, and left-wing MPs. The rejected ideas also include classifying illegal stay as a medium severity crime, and extending the waiting period for legal residency before bringing over a family member. Conversely, the council accepted key ideas involving tougher rules for “multi-year” residency cards, a higher level of French proficiency required for obtaining French nationality, the introduction of a medical talent card, expanded categories for potential expulsion from France, and the legalization of certain undocumented workers in specific sectors.

The law is now poised for confirmation by President Macron, while campaigners, including Steven Jolly of the France Visa Free Facebook group, continue to advocate for further changes. Despite a temporary setback regarding the automatic visa proposal for second-home owners, the campaign remains resilient, with potential future legislative initiatives under consideration.

YOUR VOTE COUNTS MORE THAN EVER BEFORE

American citizens, even if you are living abroad, have the right and responsibility to vote, particularly this year when democracy as we know it is on the line. The voters who count most are the independents who don’t want to support either the Democratic or the Republican candidates, but whose votes have the most affect. Not voting is the worst thing you can do—you must make a choice. All states are required to count every absentee ballot that is valid and reaches local election officials by the absentee ballot receipt deadline.

ABC voter preference poll

Follow a few simple steps to make sure that you can vote in the 2024 federal U.S. elections:

1. Request your ballot. Complete a new Federal Post Card Application (FPCA). You must complete a new FPCA after January 1, 2024, to ensure you receive your ballot for the 2024 elections. Submitting the FPCA allows you to request absentee ballots for all elections for federal offices (President, U.S. Senate, and U.S. House of Representatives) including primaries and special elections during the calendar year in which it is submitted. All local election officials in all U.S. states and territories accept the FPCA.

You can complete the FPCA online at FVAP.gov. The online voting assistant will ask you questions specific to your state. We encourage you to request your blank ballots be delivered electronically (by email, internet download, or fax, depending on your state). Include your email address on your FPCA to take advantage of the electronic ballot delivery option. Return the FPCA per the instructions on the website. The online voting assistant will tell you if your state allows the FPCA to be returned electronically or if you must submit a paper copy with original ink signature. If you must return a paper version, please follow the same instructions below for returning your ballot.

2. Receive and complete your ballot. States are required to send out ballots 45 days before a regular election for federal office and generally send ballots at least 30 days before primary elections. For most states, you can confirm your registration and ballot delivery online.

3. Return your completed ballot. While some states allow you to return your completed ballot electronically, others do not. If your state requires you to return paper voting forms or ballots to local election officials, you can do so free of charge at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Place your ballot in a postage-paid return envelope or in an envelope bearing sufficient domestic U.S. postage and address them to the relevant local election officials.

Ballots or ballot requests may be dropped off at the following locations during the hours indicated for delivery to your local U.S. election officials. Generally, you should do so at least one month before the receipt deadline to ensure timely delivery (see FVAP.gov).

Please note: the U.S. Embassy and consulates are not polling places and do not provide you with a ballot to cast your vote. Instead, the Embassy and consulates offer ballot collection: ballot requests or completed ballots may be dropped off at the Embassy or consulates for mailing to the United States. They cannot provide postage, so be sure to place your ballot in a postage-paid return envelope or an envelope with sufficient U.S. postage and addressed to your local election officials.

The U.S. Embassy in Paris is open Monday through Friday between 8:30am and 4:30pm, except French and American holidays. The U.S. Consulate General in Strasbourg is open Monday through Friday between 8:00am and 6:00pm, except French and American holidays. The U.S. Consulate General in Marseille is open Monday through Friday between 9:30am and 4:30pm, except French and American holidays.

Remember, your vote counts!

We're here to help meme by votefromabroad.com

REQUEST YOUR BALLOT NOW (I did it and it was a “piece of cake!”)

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds with Jonathan Hadida at Après-Midi NiceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

Adrian with Jonathan Hadida at Après-Midi Nice

P.S. We have booked nearly all of our speakers for Après-Midi 2024 in both Paris and Nice. Take a look at our site for a preview and plan to attend as many as possible!

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1 Comment

  1. Josie Levy Martin on January 29, 2024 at 2:15 pm

    Thank you Adrian ,encore et encore ,for making the complicated simple. Your encouragement to have the expats, probably pretty independent , to VOTE is most urgent. I’m personally very worried about the “under forty” population that are way down on Biden because he supports Israel. So do I which doesn’t mean I can’t send checks to UNRWA or to Hadassah to help the countless victims of this catastrophic turn of events. I want a Cease Fire now and forever on both sides of the divide.

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