Americans in France For Members

Americans in France: Voting in the US primaries and taking home leftovers

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
Americans in France: Voting in the US primaries and taking home leftovers
A worker with the Detroit Department of Elections helps process absentee ballots in 2020 (Photo by Elaine Cromie / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

From voting in the US primaries to taking home leftovers at French restaurants and how France's immigration bill could affect Americans in France, here's our latest newsletter for Americans who either live in France, visit frequently or plan to move here some day.


Welcome to The Local's "Americans in France" monthly newsletter for members, featuring all the news and practical information you need as an American resident, visitor or second-home owner in France. You can sign up to receive it directly to your inbox before we publish it online via the link below.

Hello Americans in France,

Happy (belated) New Year! There is a lot to look forward to in 2024 in France - from the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings to the Paris summer Olympics.

2024 is also an election year in the United States, and the primaries have already begun. Even though you may be living abroad, you can still make your voice heard in the election. Here's everything you need to know about voting in the primaries.

There have been some big announcements in France since our last newsletter - the country has a new prime minister and cabinet of ministers. Parliament also passed the controversial immigration bill, which contains some important possible changes for foreigners living in France.


I stress the word 'possible' because we are still awaiting confirmation of the bill's constitutionality by France's conseil constitutionnel (constitutional council). It is likely that several elements will be struck down, and we will know for sure which parts remain next Thursday (January 25). Keep an eye on our homepage for updates.

As things stand, there are a few ways the immigration bill could affect Americans in France, for instance, access to state aid, such as top up benefits for over-60s, could be restricted. Language tests may also be required for certain types of long-term residency cards - we've put together a guide on what the law says and how this could work.

I am sad to report that one amendment, which would ease conditions for second-home owners to spend more than 90 out of every 180 days in France, is specific to Brits. 

This is due to the fact that the proposal was put forward to address complaints from British second-home owners since Brexit - before the UK left the EU those who had property in France could benefit from unlimited stays, but this has changed since Brits are no longer EU citizens. The change as outlined would essentially return British second-home owners to pre-Brexit rules.

While it is disappointing American second-home owners would not be able to benefit from the amendment, it's also worth noting that it may end up scrapped by the constitutional council anyways.

Speaking of things that could be scrapped - we've been thinking about leftovers this week at The Local.

Our sister site, The Local Italy, has been diving into the hostility restaurant-goers are met with when trying to take their remaining pasta home. We've also tried to uncover how French people feel about doggy bags, as well as the not-so-nice stereotype they have about people who take home their restes.


And finally, don't forget to fill out our ongoing survey to let us know your priorities as an American in France, as well as which topics you want to see covered by The Local.

Here's some advice from a fellow American, Candace Clark, on moving to France: "There is definitely a period of adjustment. Give yourself time and you will be glad you did."

As always, feel free to get in touch or leave a comment. You can reach me at [email protected]


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