News Digest: Simplified French Citizenship Applications & Fuel Allowance Deadlines Extended



News Digest: Simplified French Citizenship Applications & Fuel Allowance Deadlines Extended

France has opened an online portal to simplify French citizenship applications, the deadline for the €100 fuel allowance has been extended, and—surprise, surprise!—there are more strikes on their way. Here are the French news stories you need to know about this week.

1. France opens online citizenship applications

If, like me, you are hoping to apply for French citizenship (French nationality) either now or in the future, you’ll be happy to hear that France has now opened a new online portal for citizenship applications. The NATALI online portal was launched last week, allowing all applications to be filed online—a simplified process to the previous paper applications, which required you to print out and send your full dossier by mail. All applications from now on must be made through this portal. However, if you have already submitted a paper application and have received your application number, you don’t need to reapply.

If you’ve been living in France for more than five years or have been married to a French citizen for more than three years, you are able to apply for French nationality, although strict eligibility criteria apply, and there is, naturally, a large amount of paperwork involved. It’s important to note that the criteria and paperwork required haven’t changed. However, the online portal promises a more streamlined (and hopefully, quicker and easier) application process, with applicants only required to attend a single in-person appointment at their local préfecture prior to approval of their nationality request.

For more on this, keep a lookout for our ‘Becoming a French National’ series coming soon – I will be applying for nationality myself towards the end of 2023, and I’ll be taking you through the process with me in real-time.

2. Fuel allowance deadline extended

The deadline to apply for France’s €100 fuel allowance or “indemnité carburant travailleurs” has been extended from the end of February until the end of March due to concerns that millions of eligible drivers have not yet applied for the aid.

The €100 grant is being issued to low-income drivers to counteract the effects of the end of the government’s fuel subsidies, which saw fuel prices rise in January. If you are a French resident and you meet the below criteria, you can apply online here. You will need your social security and tax number, your vehicle’s registration number and carte grise number, and to sign a sworn statement stating that you use your vehicle for professional purposes.

To qualify, you must:

  • Be over 16 years old as of 31st December 2022
  • Be resident in France or French overseas territories
  • Be employed or a business owner and have declared an income in 2021
  • Have a revenue fiscal de référence (RFR) – total taxable income – that is less than €14,700 per household part.
  • Not have been liable for wealth tax (IFI) in 2021
  • Use a vehicle for commuting or professional purposes that has been regularly insured.

3. Strike updates

France’s ongoing strikes in protest against President Macron’s proposed pension reforms continue this week, with another mass strike planned for Thursday (February 16th). As with the previous mass strikes, it’s supported by all eight unions and is set to impact national trains and transport, public transport in cities, and other public services. Schools in zones A and B are on holiday at the moment, so only schools in zone C will be affected. A sixth mass strike has also been called for March 7th.

If you are traveling to or around France on either of these days, be sure to check for cancellations and prepare for delays.

You might have also heard about another strike taking place today (Tuesday, 14th February) – GPs across France have been on strike, causing many doctor’s surgeries to close for the day. However, this strike isn’t over the pension reforms; instead, it concerns working hours and pay for doctors and healthcare workers.

P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤️

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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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    2023-04-27 04:27:19
    Great article! It is very engaging. French citizenship offers many advantages. Many people are applying for citizenship in France lately. Thanks for this helpful guide and keep up the good work!


  • GetGoldenVisa
    2023-04-07 09:51:48
    Great article! It is very engaging. French citizenship offers many advantages. Many people are applying for citizenship in France lately. Thanks for this helpful guide and keep up the good work!


  •  CM
    2023-03-01 01:03:23
    Hi Zoe, I have two questions: I've lived and worked in France since 2016. I do not want French nationality, but instead, permanent residency status so that I can live, travel, and work in any EU member state. Can you walk us through the steps and requirements for acquiring permanent residency? I have had consecutive titre de sejour travailleur temporaires. In 2018, without informing workers, employers or even administrative agencies; France changed the law so that legal foreign workers with this kind of card do not have the same rights like all other workers - we pay all taxes and social charges, but we do not benefit from them. Ex. we can't register for Pole Emploi even though I've accrued 6 years worth of salary. Do you know anything about this change to the law and why we are now considered a sub-class of workers who can never take a pause to re-train or take courses through Pole Emploi like all other legal workers can? Thank you, CM


    2023-02-16 05:43:50
    Hello, We arrived in France in 2016. I had understood that as we have recently (June 2021) received our 'Titre de Sejour' (Brexit/WA) cards valid until 2026, that the process of obtaining French Citizenship at our age (72 & 70) would be streamlined even further. This portal makes more demands for information including translations of documents that were accepted previously in English by the prefecture (e.g. birth certificate, marriage certificate). Is there a separate process for Brexit/WA card holders or do we now have to go through this new portal as well?


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-02-17 10:42:41
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Lester, Applying for French Nationality has always required vastly more paperwork than a Carte de Sejour or a permanent residency card, including the need to sit a language test, etc. As far as I know, there have never been any exceptions to this or promises made that it would be made easier for WA residents.

      However, do remember that it is not a requirement for you to become a French national - it is a choice. A much easier route for you would be to simply apply for a WA permanent residency card when your current Carte de Sejour is up for renewal - this is a much simpler, process, with no need to sit a language test, and you shouldn't have a problem receiving it providing that your personal situation hasn't changed. I hope this helps! Zoe


  •  Melanie
    2023-02-15 09:23:26
    Thanks for the ever useful updates! I'm due to be travelling in France the week of 6th March but saw in another article general strikes/protests are likely across the whole of that week. Would you know if this is founded and also if it's better to avoid that week for travelling if possible? Thanks


    • Zoë Smith
      2023-02-17 11:13:26
      Zoë Smith
      Hi Melanie, While it seems like strikes are planned for that week, it is important to remember that strikes are part and parcel of everyday life in France - demonstrations are largely peaceful and the country does not grind to a halt! With that in mind, I wouldn't cancel your trip unnessecarily. The biggest things to be aware of are likely to be disruptions in long-distance transport such as trains and possibly domestic flights, and public transport in large cities such as Paris. Regarding transport, SNCF and Air France will always be aware of strikes within 48 hours in advance, and will typically let passengers know of any changes as soon as possible and provide alternative options. My advice would be to book any transport in advance and stay up to date with the latest information, but try not to worry too much. Safe travels! Zoe


  • malcolm rice
    2023-02-15 09:06:31
    malcolm rice
    Bonjour Zoe, The NATALI online portal site is under maintenance at the moment. Can you tell me when the online French residency portal will be live. many thanks, Malcolm Rice.