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Survival Home in Paris

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Wheels Are Turnin’

October 2022

I’ve been sittin’ back quietly
Watchin’ as my spirit fades
As all of my attempts to do rightly
Get treated like some kind of terrorist raids
Maybe I ask too much from you
Well I ain’t gettin’ too much in return
I’m doin’ my best to love you baby
But the wheels are beginning to turn
When you’re cut down to the bone
You bleed, but it heals. 
You hurt, still you must carry on
‘Cause the wheels are turnin’, the feeling’s burnin’
The thrill’s returnin’
My soul is yearnin’, my heart is churnin’
The wheels are turnin’ again
Maybe I’m actin’ irrational
Hope I don’t hurt your heart
This whole problem is only geographical
I just need some kind of new start
And if I can’t get inspired ’round here
I’m going out to the world and learn
There’s action in my soul tonight
I feel the wheels are beginning to turn
When you’re cut down to the bone
You bleed but it heals
You hurt still you must carry on
‘Cause the wheels are turnin’, the feeling’s burnin’
The thrill’s returnin’
My soul is yearnin’, my heart is churnin’
The wheels are turnin’ again
I remember the last time I got on one of these rolls
I learned all about the tolls that it takes
I get something in my mind, it begins to unfold
I get out in the cold, I can’t do what I’m told
I get out of control, I can’t hold on to the brakes
When you’re cut down to the bone
You bleed but it heals
You hurt, still you must carry on
‘Cause the wheels are turnin’, the feeling’s burnin’
The thrill’s returnin’
My soul is yearnin’, my heart is churnin’
The wheels are turnin’ again

Wheels Are Turnin’ is the eleventh studio album by REO Speedwagon, released in November 1984. It is their second best-selling album. I like the band without being a true fan, especially their live album You Get What You Play For, released as a double-LP in 1977. I bought it in 1981 on the Notre Dame Campus in the USA when I was traveling during my summer vacation while attending law school in France. I very rarely saw their albums in Europe.

So my question could be:
What is changing?
If I had the time, I would share some of the interesting developments I have been following. So the campaigns for the Mid-term elections are mentioned ad nauseam in the media. I read of the sharp increase in the numbers of women registering to vote, and am intrigued by the possible influence of these votes on the final results of the elections.

The other topic which has been monopolizing airtime to an equal degree is the war in Ukraine. Even though I am always interested in studying the accounts of actual battlefield combat, I try to stay abreast of what can be learned more accurately from the Russian diaspora in nearby countries to better understand what is happening with the Russian people. This could determine the outcome of this war more than the military successes and defeats of the Russian Army on the ground. I am constantly reminded that on February 15th, 1989, the Soviet Red Army left Afghanistan because Russian mothers and wives of those soldiers rebelled.

So are the wheels turning, or is history repeating itself?

During the first part of August, I managed to have plans set up, and I scheduled things, thinking they were realistic. I learned of a death in the family on August 22nd just before it was time to re-open the office. That initial week was cut short to attend the funeral, which complicated starting the month of September. At the same time, my assistant Sarah traveled away from France to visit her family for several weeks. This left the office physically closed even though we were trying to work remotely as best we could. A Covid scare kept me home for a few days, disrupting my schedule once again. As a result I made serving my clients my utmost priority, which resulted in my not having the time to draft as comprehensive an issue as usual. About half of the topics I have chosen will appear in the November issue. This column is probably the shortest one in a decade for these reasons. Also, the renovations of the studio A SURVIVAL HOME IN PARIS were no longer a priority.

I started this discussion with my webmaster last June as my website design had become obsolete. He started working on it at the end of August. There have been some occasional problems with the current site. Since my email addresses and everything else have remained linked to the URL address, I have had some feedback that there were emails that did not reach me. The new site should be finished by the end of November and will include pages for the rental of A SURVIVAL HOME IN PARIS.

I believe that this is such critical information that I wanted to share it with my readership. Indeed I have received several requests to help clients with this when it is totally outside the realm of my professional expertise.

The entire text can be found on this page:

Democrats Abroad are encouraged by the advancement of the Social Security Fairness Act which would repeal the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). The WEP has unfairly and disproportionately impacted Americans abroad, particularly seniors who paid into Social Security and deserve to receive a fair amount in retirement. Some beneficiaries only learn of the WEP after they have retired, and the reduced benefits substantially affect their financial standing in later years.

You can find out more information about what Democrats Abroad are doing and how you can help repeal the WEP via these resources: Write and call your Members of Congress to ask them to help repeal the WEP:

Click here to sign up for the Seniors Caucus mailing list to stay in the loop on repealing the WEP:

Read the WEP FAQ:

Volunteer for the Seniors Caucus to help us repeal the WEP sooner:

A lot of changes have occurred regarding this matter. The last major piece of legislation forced employers to make sure that employees are covered with a policy. This is a great improvement as it enables the vast part of the population to be fully covered without deductibles and co-payments. At least, that is the theory. Real life is somewhat more complicated. Since these policies are normally issued by the private sector, there are huge differences between the various policies that are available. Also, the number of policies offered to the public is enormous, so much so that it is almost impossible to evaluate them all and even to identify all available policies!

So there are two common situations where one truly needs to check and compare those policies.

1 – When the new employee already has coverage and therefore can choose between the current one and the one offered by the employer. This is quite common since it is possible to be covered by the spouse’s employer’s policy.

2 – When the person is an independent professional and does not have access to a policy through a spouse or a partner.

A pitfall to avoid is not studying how the coverage is calculated. There are two very different ways to calculate the coverage of the proposed policy.

1 – One method is to establish a ratio of what is paid for by the basic system, i.e. “Assurance Maladie”.Ratios can be as high as 300% and even 400%. This means that the policy reimburses three and even four times the amount the public system pays. This looks wonderful but it is a trap – those ratios almost always apply to dental and optical costs, where the initial coverage can be 10% or about. Let me illustrate. New glasses cost 2,000€. The initial coverage is 100€. Therefore, the best coverage, 400%, pays you 400€. So the total amount reimbursed is 500€, and there is a 1,500€ co-payment. This policy does not cover much in this case.

2 – The other method is to establish a ratio of the actual cost that you are paying. This is often 50% or 60%. These figures do not look appealing at all. This said, look at the previous example: 2,000€x60%= 1,200€ and then you add the 100€. The total covered is 1,300€. It is not great but it is better by far than the previous one, which initially looked so good! This article from Le Monde goes deeper into such types of details.[a-la-une]-20220804-[zone_edito_2_titre_12]&M_BT=49712429677091

In the November 2021 issue, I published the following comment on this topic:
“Furthermore, the visiteur immigration status also has its own procedure, going through this website:

There are several glitches, however: the system requires the applicant to create an account with an email address and password. It often happens that this kind of thing is done on the spur of the moment, but going through the procedure necessary to recover your password gets quite complicated, should you ever have the misfortune to forget it! Having experienced this with a few clients, I advise you to make sure you make a note of this information. The website also requires an ephoto, a new kind of passport picture. The photo comes with an ID Nº that goes into the uploaded file. One can have this ephoto taken in most “Photomatons”, the self-service photo booths found in public places including many metro stations in Paris. This means that the applicant must be physically present in France to get this done… a complication for many people. The only benefit of the site is that you can submit all the documents needed. We will see if this simplifies the meeting at the prefecture to confirm the request.”

I have plenty of things to say about this procedure for renewing the carte de séjour online. In short, if the documents are not exactly what they expect, the applicant must go through several rounds of submitting the new set of documents (i.e., often the same ones!) with a cover letter explaining the situation. It seems that no one in the prefecture even reads this letter when the documents are submitted the second and maybe the third time, too. It is extremely frustrating to me, because it has become close to impossible to have a request approved on the first try.

I would also like to comment on this November 2021 statement:
“This means that the applicant must be physically in France to get this done.”

I have recently found some websites where interested parties can have photos that were taken with a camera or a smartphone turned into ephotos.

Passport Photo Online 
Rather than going to a professional photographer or photo booth, which can be more expensive and time-consuming, you can also choose our Passport Photo Online photo editing option. A quick and easy-to-use service that allows you to take your passport photo at home and send it to us for editing to get a professional result ready for your ID applications. You will then be able to choose the perfect photo that we will send back to you following the requirements of a passport photo by email (digital format) for a total of 5,95€ or directly by mail (printing) with our premium service at 9,95€.

Based on the situation as of September 30th, ideally the renovations should be completed in October, but in the worst-case scenario, the process could drag on into November. Unfortunately, I have no definitive information concerning what will happen in October.

I remind my readers of the kind of project I have in mind. The studio should ideally serve as temporary, comfortable lodging for someone who has either secured a long-stay visa or is submitting a request for one. It could also be for someone who wants to “test drive” living in France while within the 90-day Schengen regulation before taking the plunge – or not – of buying or renting somewhere on a longer-term basis. If there is one good piece of news about this project, it is that I am already getting requests to rent the place on a weekly basis. Thanks to these inquiries, I have discovered a couple more client profiles that could benefit from it. First, there are those who are stuck with the Airbnb type of rental and cannot get out of this type of rental contracts. They are concerned that a couple of weeks’ rental contract will not be sufficient for the prefecture to issue a carte de séjour. Also, there are those who rent five to six months at a time and are stuck with either renting long-term and leaving their place empty for about half the year, or having to find a new place each trip. After 25 years of offering “A Survival Kit for Paris,” I will soon be able to propose “A Survival Home in Paris” to those who need it, as an extension of my services.

The office will close for three weeks over the Christmas holidays, starting on Friday, December 16th in the evening and re-opening on the morning of Monday, January 9th. As always, I will be reachable by email for emergencies and important matters. The service I offer of receiving mail for clients will continue while the office is closed. Of course, Sarah or I will honor prefecture meetings already scheduled, as well as a couple of other engagements.


There is so much to unpack here that I need to address each issue separately first.
Article 413 of CGI, states:
“Any person who manufacturing processes, in the same municipality or two adjacent municipalities, sparkling wines by bottle fermentation, by the closed vat process, by the gasification process, or by only two of these processes, is required to submit a declaration to the administration for each of these manufactures.”
The original version
« Toute personne fabriquant, dans la même commune ou dans deux communes limitrophes, des vins mousseux à la fois par la fermentation en bouteilles, par le procédé de cuve close, par le procédé de gazéification ou seulement par deux de ces procédés, est tenue de souscrire à l’administration une déclaration de chacune de ces fabrications. »
So clearly this is not the article you spoke of in your query.
Now this is the right one:
Article 4A&B
a. Persons who have their home or principal place of residence in France;
b. Those who carry on the professional activity in France, whether salaried or not, unless they can prove that this activity is carried on as an accessory activity;
The directors of companies whose head office is located in France and which have annual sales of more than 250 million euros are considered to carry on their professional activity principally in France unless they can prove otherwise. For companies that control other companies under the conditions defined in Article L. 233-16 of the French Commercial Code, the turnover is the sum of their turnover and that of the companies they control.
The managers mentioned in the paragraph b. are understood to be the chairman of the board of directors when he is in charge of the general management of the company, the managing director, the deputy managing directors, the chairman, and members of the board of directors, the managers and other managers with similar functions;
c. Those whose center of economic interests is in France.

2. Are also considered as having their tax domicile in France the agents of the State, the local authorities, and the hospital civil service who exercise their functions or are entrusted with a mission in a foreign country and who are not subject to this country to a personal tax on all their income.

The original version:
1. Sont considérées comme ayant leur domicile fiscal en France au sens de l’article 4 A :
a. Les personnes qui ont en France leur foyer ou le lieu de leur séjour principal ; 

b. Celles qui exercent en France une activité professionnelle, salariée ou non, à moins qu’elles ne justifient que cette activité y est exercée à titre accessoire ;
Les dirigeants des entreprises dont le siège est situé en France et qui y réalisent un chiffre d’affaires annuel supérieur à 250 millions d’euros sont considérés comme exerçant en France leur activité professionnelle à titre principal, à moins qu’ils ne rapportent la preuve contraire. Pour les entreprises qui contrôlent d’autres entreprises dans les conditions définies à l’article L. 233-16 du code de commerce, le chiffre d’affaires s’entend de la somme de leur chiffre d’affaires et de celui des entreprises qu’elles contrôlent.
Les dirigeants mentionnés au deuxième alinéa du présent b s’entendent du président du conseil d’administration lorsqu’il assume la direction générale de la société, du directeur général, des directeurs généraux délégués, du président et des membres du directoire, des gérants et des autres dirigeants ayant des fonctions analogues ;
c. Celles qui ont en France le centre de leurs intérêts économiques.
2. Sont également considérés comme ayant leur domicile fiscal en France les agents de l’Etat, des collectivités territoriales et de la fonction publique hospitalière qui exercent leurs fonctions ou sont chargés de mission dans un pays étranger et qui ne sont pas soumis dans ce pays à un impôt personnel sur l’ensemble de leurs revenus.

1 – The 183-day stay per calendar year
This is one of the ways the tax office ascertains whether foreigners have chosen to have their home or principal place of residence in France. Using this definition, you could state that you are not a French fiscal resident and that your worldwide income does not therefore need to be declared in France.

2 – Holding a French titre de séjour makes you a French immigrant
So this is where this first definition is revisited:
a. Persons who have their home or principal place of residence in France;
It is obvious here that French residency starts once you hold an immigration ID. After you renew it, you have bone fide French fiscal residency. Your first legal and therefore fiscal allegiance goes to France in all matters. Then the tax treaty between the two countries applies. You do not belong to the USA anymore, you are a French immigrant and an American citizen. The French immigration status called “visiteur” is just as much an immigration status as all the other ones.
Common sense therefore states that as an immigrant you have your home or principal place of residence in France.

3 – the old procedure at the prefecture for issuing and renewing the titre de séjour
I would like to focus on holders of the “visiteur” carte de séjour. There is so much incorrect information out there about what the prefecture requires. In the guidelines issued by the Ministry of Interior, this immigration status requires applicants to provide the avis d’imposition sur le revenue, the French income tax statement issued by the French tax office. It also demands physical presence in France exceeding six months, and the applicant has to submit proof of residence. Should the prefecture find out that applicants have spent less than six months in France, it should and in many cases would immediately void their immigration right and tell them that they would have to leave France. The prefecture would ask for some explanation and in some cases, it would also ask for some documents proving the said explanation when it saw a presence in France lasting less than nine months. This illustrates the exceptional leniency the prefecture extends to North Americans as it never asks to see these French income tax documents in order to award “visiteur” immigration status.
This explains why some North American foreigners very often believe that they can renew their immigration status while stating that they are not French fiscal residents. This said, it does not change the terms of the law.

4 – the new uploading procedure of the prefecture 
The screen to upload documents asks in very vague terms to prove the applicant’s financial means. It never mentions income tax documents. There is now enough of a track record to conclude that the procedure only asks for the last three months of French bank statements, instead of one year. Knowing this, it is now possible for North American foreigners to only spend about four months in France before uploading the file and asking to have the request approved. The prefecture issues a statement, a full document stating that the applicant can travel with it and the applicant’s expired carte de séjour. There is no need to stay after that. Eventually, it will be time to pick up the new card, which must be done before its expiration. This leaves a lot of time to do it. The prefecture will continue to scrutinize bank statements, so it is very easy to see from French debit card transactions whether the foreigner is in France or not.


Survival Home in Paris

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