News Digest: Carte de Sejour Delays, EU Elections & Final Tax Deadlines!



News Digest: Carte de Sejour Delays, EU Elections & Final Tax Deadlines!

The final deadline for submitting your French tax return is this week, plus EU voters will be heading to the polls, and some properties may see their water bills rise by more than 40%! Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. Delays on processing carte de séjours

If you’re among the many expats across France still waiting for their carte de séjour application to be processed, you’re not alone. Many foreigners are reporting long wait times for applying for their carte de séjour – the residency card that is issued on renewal of a French long-stay visa and which must be renewed for as long as you stay resident in France (validity periods range from a year for new arrivals to 5-year or 10-year carte de séjour for long-term residents).

This document is essential to your life in France as a foreigner and is required for almost all official procedures as proof of your legal residency status– without one, you are essentially an undocumented immigrant.

Currently, applications for a carte de séjour or carte de séjour renewal can only be started within four months of the expiration date of your visa or current carte de séjour, and we always recommend applying straight away as wait times vary considerably between prefectures. However, more recently, there have been increasing complaints of applicants still not receiving their card within the four-month period. Some people, especially in the Paris area, have reported wait times of longer than six months, with some even taking up to a year to receive the card itself!

So, what can you do? First things first: if you have a carte de séjour to renew, make sure to apply as soon as you are allowed. Secondly, make sure that you get a “récépissé” – this document serves as a receipt of proof that your residency application is underway. If you are applying in person, you can request this upon application – if you apply online, it is typically available to download. Make sure you keep this on you at all times, especially if your permit expires. If you are renewing a current carte de séjour, you can also use this document to travel (along with your passport, of course) –presentation of both your expired carte de séjour and the récépissé will provide proof of your French residency to border control.

2. Rising water costs

As summer approaches, many areas of France are preparing for the inevitable months of drought, encouraging residents to conserve water as much as possible. Many homeowners throughout the country are already subject to water restrictions during the warmer months, but some communes are also opting to increase the penalty for high-water consumers by increasing prices seasonally. Toulouse Metropole has now become the largest area to adopt such measures – from 2024, water prices will increase by 42% between June 1st and October 31st, in a bid to encourage water-saving measures. To balance it out, prices will fall to about 30% less than current rates during the remaining months of the year.

Toulouse follows other areas such as Grasse, Montpellier, and Dunkirk, all of which have introduced similar measures in recent years, and it may not be the last. With water companies warning of price hikes in the near future and the continued need to conserve water supplies, more French communes may start bringing in similar measures.

How To Check for Water Alerts and Restrictions in Your French Department

3. EU elections

EU citizens will be heading to the polls this weekend as the European Parliament elections take place this Sunday, June 9th. EU citizens in mainland France, as well as in French overseas territories, will be able to vote, electing 81 representatives (two more than in the current EU parliament, which has just 79 French representatives).

These representatives will join a total of 720 members of the European Parliament (MEPs), which represent all of the EU Member States based on population – Germany, as the most populous country, has the most at 96 MEPs.

In France, although turnouts for the European Parliament elections tend to be much lower than that of national elections, they are still seen as an important indicator of voting majorities, especially as most European representatives also serve in France’s national parties. An opinion poll conducted last weekend showed members of France’s far-right Rassemblement National party leading the way, although this could well change come election day.

Of the seven political groups within the European Parliament, the majority is currently made up of the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP), the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D), and the liberal Renew Europe. In the 2024 election, far-right parties are expected to make gains, but it’s unclear yet whether this will change the majorities.

4. Final French tax deadlines

The final deadline for online French tax declaration is this Thursday. If you live in French départements 50-101 or in France’s overseas territories, you have until midnight on the 6th of June – this Thursday – to submit your annual tax return.

In 2024, you’ll need to declare all of your worldwide income from 2023. Remember that all French residents must file an annual tax return, even if you didn’t earn any income or have no French taxes to pay!

Where & How to Get Help Filling in Your French Tax Return

5. Upcoming events

If you have plans to buy, build, or renovate a French property, we’ve got a couple of exciting free live events coming up for you in June!

Firstly, our partners at French Connections HCB are hosting one of their popular live Team Talks, where they’ll be joined by a panel of property and renovation experts to talk about subjects including new-build and renovation projects in France, investment opportunities, and planning regulations.

Sign up for the event on Thursday 20th June 2024 at 5pm CET here.

The following week, I’ll be hosting a FrenchEntrée webinar with property, tax, and currency experts where we’ll be breaking down the real cost of buying a French property.

Join our “How Much Does it Really Cost to Buy a Property in France?” webinar on Thursday 27th June, 6pm CET.

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FrenchEntrée's Digital Editor, Zoë is also a freelance journalist who has written for the Telegraph, HuffPost, and CNN, and a guidebook updater for the Rough Guide to France and Rough Guide to Dordogne & Lot. She lives in the French countryside just outside of Nantes.

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  • Dr Lionel GERRARD
    2024-06-05 06:24:31
    Dr Lionel GERRARD
    You might wish to know that we waited for over two years for a Carte Sejour, and not in a major location. Our solution, move to Portugal where incompetent Government does not financially inflict upon decent people. All official documents on one carte, delivered in under two weeks. Our experience is that the French have been politically trained to be very greedy, uncaring and selfish. Many French moving to Portugal, sadly.