|Some Forum Posts:
France: Dispute customs:
|Is there a way to dispute the amount of customs charged on a package? I left my iPod (2 years old) in the states and my MIL shipped it and the customs are almost *more* that what it would cost to replace it. I can provide proof of purchase.
Or am I just out of luck?|
France: Working for US company in France on Long Term stay visa:
|when we got here, the rule was you *have* to get on the French medical system if you're here 5 years or longer. Your kids are completely eligible for French public school, no problem.
As long as you are financially independent and get a carte de sejour every year, you can live here indefinitely with no French job. If you are the worker of the family and wish to get benefits from the CAF, you can, but you have to go through what's called a 'regroupement familiale' which is basically a process proving you're here on your own means and not sucking off the French system (but once approved, you can suck away, lol!). If you get your regroupement, the 'nonworking' spouse (the one NOT under a US work contract) DOES then have the right to work.
Once you get your 10-year residence card (after your 5th annual carte de sejour) you then have the right to work, regardless of your US contract.
Hope that helped...|
France: Desiring to Move to France:
|we got ours in Chicago and it was a matter of going to the local police department, not the FBI, and getting a letter from them stating we'd never been arrested (or something to that effect).|
France: Make new friends in your community:
|I agree that for many of us that is true, but I also think that it would really depend on why you were here and for how long.
I'm going to digress here for a minute-
The wife/husband of a diplomat or an executive sent overseas for 6 months to France (or some other job that requires a move to France), who may not have a particular affinity for French culture, may need to create as home-like (ie Anglophone) an atmosphere as possible, just to survive the assignment.
Whereas a Francophile who really loves the idea of living here (or who may not necessarily *love* it, but will be here for a long assignment- over a year or 2), will find it necessary to develop and maintain their skill in the language.
Then, what you do, is get someone who wants to learn English (maybe through the OP's site) and set up an exchange- you practice French part of the time, they practice English, and everyone wins... :-)|
France: Qwerty laptop in France?:
|you can convert any keyboard to qwerty in the keyboard prefs of the control panel. It will *look* like an AZERTY, but act as a QWERTY. Obviously this is only feasible if you have the keyboard memorized, lol.
If you are going to be typing in both languages, it would be useful as well because you'll have the accents right there on the keys and not have to enter codes for them. When I was typing a lot in both French and English, I got to the point where I could *only* type in French on an AZERTY - I had a super-difficult time typing in French on a qwerty...|
France: Fear of Walking Home Alone-- An American Phenonmenon?:
|I totally agree- given the state of American network news, I always feel like (when we're in the states) that our home will be invaded while we watch TV, that every single man I see on the street is a potential rapist and that every stranger wants to rob me, kill me or hijack my car...
Most of the time I feel *much* safer walking around in Lyon than I do in the states. Especially in the predominantly 'French' quartiers.
That may sound offensive, but statistically, most of the violent crime here happens in immigrant/non-French quartiers and suburbs (including assault, aggression towards bus drivers, beatings, fighting and such).
In the French-populated areas, petty theft (NOT of the mugging variety), larceny, vandalism and the like seem to be the crimes of choice- crimes committed against properties as opposed those physically committed against the people who own them ...|
France: Preschool in Paris:
I can't speak for Paris proper, but a lot depends on 2 things- your daughter's personality (outgoing or shy) and how long you plan on staying. If she's outgoing and chatty and has no problems joining a group, a school with more French than English shouldn't be a problem. Our daughter was 3 when we moved here, started right in a French preschool and was mostly fluent by Christmas. But, she had a real desire to communicate. Contrast this with our son who was 7 and content to live in the clouds and who has just now (in the last 2-3 years) really gotten comfortable with the language (he's 16!). So take a good, hard and especially OBJECTIVE look at your child. I say objective, because it's easy to say, "Oh, he/she is smart, no problem." I can't emphasize enough that at the beginnings and a very young age, *smart* really doesn't enter into it at all, really. My son was an early reader and talker, but that had *zero impact* on his learning a foreign language, both from a personality standpoint (at the beginning when he first started in school here at age 7) to a natural gifting standpoint (strong with language or not). We've come to discover, in fact, that foreign languages just aren't his thing - he's been in German and Spanish and they are his weakest subjects BY FAR.
Also, how long you're planning to stay is huge- if you are on a short-term assigment (2 years or less), that would make more of an impact than someone who's planning to be here indefinitely/for the long haul.
How long will you be here?|
France: Virtually New Appliances For Sell:
|where exactly are you located?|
France: Taxe d'Habitation:
|I don't have a site, but I have my avis d'impot (for the taxe d'habitation) right here. It's a combo of house size/age, community property values and income. It also includes the TV tax. It's a pretty complicated formula. It's impossible to calculate your own, since it's largely based on a community/department average property value coefficient. The top row of the calclulation spreadsheet is based on those things. The values are given twice, once 'brute' (gross) and 'moyen' for the commune and then the department. They are called, the 'valeur locative brute' and 'valeur locative moyen' Then is the 'taux speciale d'equipement'. Then, under 'commune' and 'department' there is a series of percentages, coefficients and things.
The income is the reference fiscal de reference and it's the base for everything for the given year- it determines the rate at which you're taxed, what your rights are as far as the allocation familiale, etc. The only thing it serves is to tell you at which tax rate you fall. The raw number isn't used in calculations, just puts you in the table somewhere. So the shorter answer is 'yes, but the number itself isn't used in calculation'. I hope that helps- if you need anything else, let me know, bc I just received all my paperwork and have it handy to refer to (at least for the moment, lol!).
France: possible restrictions for traveling outside of France:
|that last bit of advice is GOLDEN- France relies on people knowing the context, so they only give answers to the questions you ask. They don't want to offend you by treating you like an imbecile by offering tons of (what they feel may be) unneeded advice. You will absolutely lose count of the number of times you *didn't* know something because you didn't know the right question/person to ask. If you throw yourself on their mercy and say, "I'm really new to all this paperwork and such, and I am sure I don't even know the right question to ask - can you tell me if there is anything else I may need to know?" You could also joke about how much trouble you're causing them by having all the paperwork ("I don't know how you get all this stuff done, it must be a real pain- I'm sorry to add to it!" something to that effect)- this gets you on the same side as the civil servant, and is NEVER bad.
If you can borrow a child, even better, bc mine would always (this is her natural personality, she wasn't scripted or anything) complimented whoever it was behind the desk on their jewelry, scarf, outfit etc... Once, we had our baby (other daughter) and the women were all Oohing and aahing over her, and it was lovely. Good luck!
As for the travelling through Europe without the CDS, we were always told that if we had the OFFICIAL 'convocation' showing our appointment, that was fine (I actually had to return from the states with one). But now that the CDS is not glued in your passport, I haven't had anyone look at anything but my passport in 6 years! I'm not sure why the visa is so expensive now, but ours was so long ago it's quite possible that the cost has gone up...|