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

We look at new laws and changes that could affect your residency rights next year

Secondary legislation is to be prepared in the UK to allow Britons to regain voting rights lost after more than 15 years abroad

New law affecting residency rights

A new immigration law is to be debated, with changes expected to come into force later in 2023.

Its key proposals include:

  • A new kind of residency card for sectors with staff shortages (so-called métiers en tension). For example, it has been revealed this week that there will be a new carte de séjour for healthcare workers, including doctors, dentists, midwives and pharmacists. A full list of the jobs affected is to be published in January;
  • That people applying for multi-year residency cards – for example, workers and self-employed people – must pass a basic language test and not just agree to language lessons if their French is inadequate, as now;
  • People issued with orders to leave France, Obligations de quitter la France (OQTFs), would be put on a ‘wanted’ list, to ensure they do leave and that their benefits are stopped;
  • Law-abiding people already working in in-demand sectors will not be asked to leave France even if they are undocumented;
  • A pledge to simplify renewal of residency rights for law-abiding resident foreigners.

Read more: French MPs to vote on idea of a language test for some residency cards

Read more: Suspect in murder of Lola, 12: What is a OQTF order to leave France?

EU voting rights for British citizens

Alice Bouilliez of the EU Britizens association is 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.

Her latest challenge, supported pro bono by lawyers Julien Fouchet and Jean-Noël Caubet-Hilloutou, focuses on loss of EU election votes.

Read more: Fight goes on, says lawyer as court rejects case on Britons’ EU rights

Votes-for-life for Britons abroad

Secondary legislation is to be prepared in the UK to allow Britons to regain voting rights lost after more than 15 years abroad.

A minister said last year that “legislation will be implemented to facilitate registration of electors from autumn 2023”.

The British in Europe campaign group is once again active, pushing for this and better voting methods.

Read more: ‘Votes for life’ campaign gets funding to fight for Britons abroad

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