Rail cards, visas: practical updates in France

Our weekly recap of five important topics

train, visa, tax papers
Tax bills, train ticket sales, EU border updates and visa tips all feature

1: Can you get a taxe foncière exemption?

Tax bills for the majority of homeowners went live on the French tax website this week.

Our in-depth explainer article looks at what the tax is, why it has risen so much this year, and, crucially, whether you may be exempt from paying it.

It covers exemptions based both on owner’s income, as well as on purchasing new properties or renovating current ones.

The information included is up to date for the 2023 tax year.

Read more: Taxe foncière explainer: Who pays and the exemptions

2: Speed limit change overview

We look at the areas where changes to speed limits on regional roads have reverted, after a blanket decrease to 80km/h in 2018.

More than half of France’s departments have chosen to re-increase the speed limit on some or all of the roads affected back to 90 km/h, with others still pondering the choice.

Read more: Speed limits now raised back up to 90km/h by most French departments

3: How to get a temporary long-stay visa to visit France

If you are not a resident or citizen of France but want to stay longer than 90 days in the country, you will need to apply for a VLS-T, or temporary long-stay visa.

We look at the key points of the visa, as well as how the application process works, both for UK and US citizens coming to visit.

We also provide an explainer for parts of the French visa portal you will need to use as part of your application.

Read more: Explainer: Temporary long-stay visas to visit France

4: Half price rail cards on sale

The price of a 12-month Carte Avantage railcard has been reduced to €24.50 until next week.

The card, offered by rail operator SNCF, comes in three different versions – a youth card, senior card, and general ‘adult’ card for those between 28 – 59.

It offers discounts on high-speed services, as well as capping the maximum cost of certain train journeys.

Once purchased, the card must be activated within five months, after which it can be used for 12 months.

Read more: Half price sale on train discount cards launches today in France

5: Which countries will be affected by Etias rollout?

The eventual rollout of the EU’s visa-waiver system for travellers coming from visa-free countries still has no official launch date, but is expected to receive one this October.

Our article covers which countries currently have visa-free access to the Schengen area, and where the new rules will apply when they are put in place.

A total of 59 countries are listed on the official Etias website as being affected by the changes. These include the UK, US, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand amongst other Anglophone countries.

Read more: 59 countries affected by new EU visa-free scheme, launch date awaited