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Residency, health, travel, money: Changes for French residents in 2023

The coming year will bring a new immigration bill, targeted fuel aid for drivers, EU border control changes, enhanced health checks and more

A split image of a house in France, a pile of euros, the exit at a French airport and a doctor speaking with a patient

We look at the property, health, travel, driving, money and residency right-related changes set to take place in France in 2023 Pic: Wirestock Creators / OlegRi / Tommy Larey / fizkes / Shutterstock

A new year always brings new changes for people living (or with second homes) in France. Here we have grouped together some important ones to note. 

Residency rights 

A significant piece of news regarding residency rights is that the government is set to present its new immigration bill for debate. 

Proposals include a new type of residency card for people working in sectors experiencing staff shortages, like healthcare, a basic language test to be incorporated into multi-year carte de séjour applications and stricter measures aimed at expelling people who have already been issued with an ‘order to leave’ Obligation de quitter la France notice. 

Alice Bouilliez of the EU Britizens association is also awaiting a new ruling from the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg in her ongoing battle to prove that it was wrong for Britons in the EU to have had EU citizenship rights removed. 

You can read more about this in our article below: 

Read more: Language tests, votes, immigration: French residency changes in 2023

Border controls 

Two major changes are due with regard to entry into the EU of visiting non-EU citizens: the European Entry/Exit System (EES) and Etias, in May and November this year respectively. 

EES will track comings and goings of non-EU visitors to the Schengen area, including having their fingerprints scanned and a photo taken for entry into a database on first entry after implementation. They will be kept for three years. 

Passports will also be scanned to log a holder’s movements, replacing the need for a passport stamp and their identity will be checked against security lists. 

Pre-registration booths are planned at some airports but, at least for the time being, it is expected that people will still need to pass in front of an officer at a desk for final validation.

Etias will be an online visa-waiver pre-approval for non-EU citizens to visit the EU. It will cost €7 for adults aged 18 to 70 and will last three years or until the person’s passport expiry. 

All non-EU citizens will need one. Minors’ approval should be applied for by an adult responsible for them. 

Further information on these new systems can be found in our article below: 

Read more: Passports, Etias, EES: Changes to European border control in 2023 

Property 

From January 1 people who own properties which also consume over 450kWH per square metre per year will no longer be able to rent them out. 

This rule will extend to all G-rated properties – the lowest possible score – from 2025, all F-rated properties from 2028 and all E-rated properties from 2034.

Homeowners applying for the MaPrimeRénov’ grant will this year be obliged to sign up for support from an expert called Mon Accom­pagnateur Rénov’ in certain cases. 

Also on the subject of home improvements, taxe d’aménagement, payable on completion of swimming pools, sheds and some other extensions and additions to properties, is rising, especially for pools. 

A set value used to calculate the tax is going up 25% from €200 to €250 per square metre for pools. 

You can find out more about property-related changes in 2023 in the article below: 

Read more: Energy audits, tax, grants: What is new for property in France in 2023

Health 

In 2023, the French health system is going to introduce free medical check-ups at three key stages of life, for patients aged 25, 45 and 65. 

At 25, this will include checking on vaccinations, exercise, addictions, and difficulties at the start of professional life. People will also be reminded of the need to have a GP. 

At 45, the doctor will focus on cancer-testing, especially in relation to breast, colon or prostate, as well as mental health. 

At 65, they will focus on autonomy and testing for cancers and preventable conditions. 

Pharmacists will also be able to administer a longer list of vaccines – not just Covid and flu – and nurses will be given greater responsibility with regards to signing death certificates.

You can find out more about the changes to French healthcare planned for 2023 in the article below: 

Read more: Carte Vitale, prescriptions: Ten changes for health in France in 2023 

Money 

People who have a Livret A savings account will see the interest rate rise in February, possibly from 2% to 3%, although this has not yet been confirmed. 

The interest rates of the Livret d’épargne populaire and Livret jeune will also go up. 

Other rates set to rise include French minimum wage (Smic), income tax bands, mortgage rates and UK National Insurance top-up contributions. 

A much longer list of towns experiencing a housing shortage will be able to impose a taxe d’habitation surcharge on second-home owners, and more authorities are to use Google Earth satellites to identify undeclared swimming pools. 

You can find out more about all of this in our article below: 

Read more: Grants, savings, tax: how will your finances change in France in 2023?

Travel 

2023 travel news includes the launch of a Paris-Berlin night train, operated by Austrian railway ÖBB, in cooperation with Deutsche Bahn, from the end of the year.

In addition, motorway péage (toll) fees are expected to rise on average 4.75% from February 1.

The prices are revised annually, based on factors including inflation.

Long-distance train ticket prices are also expected to rise in early 2023, though SNCF said rises will be capped at 6%, which it said does not fully incorporate its increased electricity costs.

On the subject of trains, Eurostar will not resume services from Calais-Fréthun in 2023. Ashford and Ebbsfleet stations in Kent also remain shut. 

You can find out more about travel-related changes in 2023 by reading our article below: 

Read more: Trains, cars, flights: What is new for travel in France in 2023

Eco-friendly initiatives 

In 2023, the government will expand a new scheme through which consumers can obtain grants of €10-€45 for repairing a range of household appliances. 

Click on the green Réparer button on the Ecosystem website to find out more.

France is also to train new ‘green gendarmes’ to fight environmental crime such as wildfire arson, with a first team to be deployed this year.

Paris will publish findings of a ‘Paris at 50C’ study, in March. It is looking at how the city will cope in future if climate change worsens.

From April 1, shops will no longer give till receipts unless you ask for one, apart from for certain costly pieces of equipment. Digital alternatives will be available.

Finally, fast-food outlets are being told to replace disposable boxes with containers that can be reused. 

You can find out more about all of this and more in the article below: 

Read more: Recycling, repairs, receipts: Environmental changes in France in 2023

Driving 

Perhaps the most widespread change for drivers in France in 2023 will be the end of the government’s 10-cent-per-litre fuel discount, which is currently applied at all petrol stations. 

TotalEnergies’ additional 10-cent-per-litre discount will also come to an end on January 1. 

The government has announced that it will be offering more targeted support with fuel costs in 2023. A €100 payment is being made to some 10 million lower-paid workers who need to drive for work.

Claim this by signing in at impots.gouv.fr and entering your tax number and number plate and completing a declaration that you need to use your car to work. The money will be paid out directly to your bank account. 

Drivers in urban centres will also begin to see the introduction of low emission zone restrictions in some big cities. 

Vehicles with Crit’Air 5 pollution ratings (diesel vehicles made before 2001) will be banned from some cities in January. 

In Paris, the timetable is more advanced and vehicles from rating 3 upwards will be banned from its ZFE from July. 

Green insurance vignettes (stickers) on car windscreens, showing valid insurance, are to be phased out in the course of this year.

They are no longer deemed necessary as validity can be checked using registration plate numbers on an online database. 

The bonus écologique grant for buying an electric vehicle is to rise this year. It will jump from €6,000 to €7,000 for the lowest-income half of French households.

However, it will decrease from €6,000 to €5,000 for higher-income households.

Read more: Six changes for drivers in France in 2023

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