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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