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U.S. Embassy France important update for citizens

November 17th, 2013 No comments

I wanted to let my readers know that the U.S. Embassy in France recently posted this update regarding its citizen services in its offices outside of Paris. It will affect particularly those near the cities of Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse. Please visit their website for more information.

U.S. Embassy
Paris, France

Effective January 1, 2014, American Presence Posts (APPs) in Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse will no longer accept applications for U.S. passports and birth registrations, Social Security numbers or other federal benefits, or provide notarial services. After January 1, 2014 passport and birth registration applications and notarial services for U.S. citizens in those consular districts can be scheduled at either the U.S. Embassy in Paris or at the U.S. Consulate General in Marseille. Please contact the Federal Benefits Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Paris for information on applications for Social Security numbers and other federal benefits.

The U.S. Mission to France will schedule periodic visits by consular officers to provide routine services to American citizens in the districts of APP Rennes, Bordeaux and Toulouse. We will publicize these visits to citizens actively listed in our Smart Travelers Enrollment Program (STEP), so please ensure that you are signed up in order to receive notices about such services as well as other messages from the U.S. Government. U.S. citizens can enroll online at https://travelregistration.state.gov.

My talk to French networking group GPF in Chicago

September 20th, 2013 No comments

On August 29, 2013, I spoke to the Groupe Professionnel Francophone de Chicago. I talked a bit about my experience living, studying and working in France. Here is a page describing the event. Apologies in advance for the poor audio quality (taken on a phone with background music and other ambient noise).
Thanks to Gigi and David for organizing this!

GPF LOGO

Categories: American, Chicago, French Tags:

Cultural readjustment for an American returning from France

August 8th, 2013 1 comment

I wrote this piece in French for the French in Chicago newsletter, a shorter reflection of my feelings readjusting to life in the US after 5 years in France.

The piece can be read here and below.

It is obviously limited in scope by nature since it’s a concise opinion, and I tend to lean towards the optimist side by the end of it. The truth is that although I’m doing fairly well in Chicago now, it took a while to truly readjust to a new life here. France has had and will continue to have an indelible effect on my life. For the better.

Entre deux pays : Réajustement culturel aux Etats-Unis pour un américain
July 12th, 2013

Des amis partagent des bouteilles du vin, des baguettes et des plats, pendant qu’un mec joue de la guitare à côté. L’amitié autour d’un verre avec une belle vue un soir d’été près du Pont des Arts. Les sons des quais de la Seine rajoutent à l’atmosphère déjà électrique de Paris. On peut constater une énergie similaire au long des berges et sur les péniches du Rhône à Lyon. Pour ces deux villes, leurs rivières restent des endroits au cœur de chaque ville.

Chicago est une ville magnifique, diverse et offre des activités culturelles enrichissantes. Et pourtant, cet air magique manque à Chicago pour moi. Il n’est pas facile de trouver une explication pour ce sentiment. Peut-être parce que j’ai toujours un peu d’amertume ayant dû quitter la France après un problème de carte de séjour. Peut-être parce que j’ai beaucoup d’amis qui restent en France, et j’ai laissé un réseau construit pendant les années les plus formatrices de ma vie.

Je suis arrivé à Chicago en septembre 2012 après avoir passé les cinq années précédentes en France entre Lyon, Grenoble et Paris. Une partie essentielle de mon expérience était une relation sérieuse avec une Française qui était ma meilleure amie pendant près de 5 ans. Alors le choque de quitter une existence en France était rude. Mais je suis plus enrichi personnellement et professionnellement grâce à mes expériences en France.

Après quelques mois de transition à Chicago, je commence à me sentir bien dans mon travail et ma vie quotidienne. J’ai des racines familiales ici (en plus de Washington D.C.), et mon université (Notre Dame) est dotée d’un grand réseau de diplômés dans la ville.

J’ai aussi contacté plusieurs groupes francophones de Chicago dès mon arrivée, pour reconstruire un réseau et trouver des personnes qui comprendraient ma situation plus que l’américain moyen du Midwest. Ma participation avec des structures telles que French in Chicago, le Consulat de France, UbiFrance, GPF, FACC, UFEC, Campus France et l’Alliance Française m’aide à garder mon lien culturel et linguistique avec la France.

Je joue également dans un groupe de jazz parisien (le groupe KEOPS) et nous jouerons pour la Fête du 14 juillet à Chicago.

Même si la France et mes amis me manquent, c’est aussi un plaisir de redécouvrir mon pays natal avec une perspective plus internationale. Je suis content de faire partie de French in Chicago !

Michael Barrett

AmCham France event June 17 on Innovation and Competitiveness

The American Chamber of Commerce in France has regular events with high profile speakers about different global business subjects.

On June 17 from 5:30 to 7pm, they are organizing the following event on Innovation and Competitiveness. The speaker will be Jeff Immelt, Chairman and CEO of GE, and the conference will be presided by Maurice Levy, Chairman and CEO of Publicis Groupe.

Registration required by June 12. All info can be found here.

Innovation et compétitivité : une question d’horizon
17 jun 2013, 17h30 – 19h
Subject : Conférence avec Jeff IMMELT – Chairman of the Board & CEO de General Electric. Animée par Maurice LEVY, Chairman and CEO de Publicis Groupe et Président du Directoire Innovation et compétitivité : une question d’horizon
Speakers : Jeff Immelt – Chairman of the Board & CEO de General Electric Maurice Levy- Chairman & CEO de Publicis Groupe et Président du Directoire
Participants : All members
Location : Pavillon Ledoyen – 1 avenue Dutuit 75008 Paris

Clara Gaymard, Présidente de l’ American Chamber of Commerce in France et Jean Luc Allavena, Président de la French-American Foundation France ont le plaisir de vous convier à la conférence de

Jeff Immelt
Chairman of the Board & CEO de General Electric
sur le thème : “Innovation et compétitivité : une question d’horizon”

Animée par

Maurice Levy
Chairman & CEO de Publicis Groupe et Président du Directoire

La conférence sera suivie d’un cocktail
Veuillez noter que la conférence se tiendra en anglais
Make a reservation (by June 12).

US Tax deadline April 15, and June 17 for US expats abroad

Just a friendly reminder that the April 15th tax deadline is fast approaching with our friends at the IRS. Americans living abroad have until June 17th to file their returns, but still any taxes owed to the US government that are outstanding must be paid by April 15th.

For those in France, the US Embassy Paris has a page dedicated to taxation resources, including many links to IRS and forms (like the 2555-EZ form for Foreign Earned Income Tax Exclusion). As the article stipulates, if you’re American and work and reside outside the US, you may be able to exclude up to $95,100 USD annually in foreign income. Check out the links above for further information.

AARO has some views on taxation of Americans abroad, worth the read.

American Clubs in France: a great resource for events

December 17th, 2012 No comments

Bonjour everyone,

I’ve posted in the past about the American Clubs newsletter. It is not just for Americans but more of a resource for expats and French citizens alike to know what’s going on around in France in terms of networking with like-minded individuals in dozens of cities.

I encourage you to sign up for their newsletter (icon on right here to sign up under “Contact Us/Newsletter).

You should also be able to see the latest newsletter edition, for events all over France, here.

Happy networking!

Thanksgiving

November 23rd, 2012 No comments

I hope everyone had a festive and peaceful Thanksgiving, wherever you are located!

I spent the past 5 Thanksgivings in France, and just had my first one with my family since 2006.

I’ll be posting new content soon.

Categories: American Tags:

Voting from abroad in US elections (update)

If you’re American and live abroad, that does not mean you have to put your political views on hold come election time.

Make sure to check out this website Vote From Abroad for information on how to vote from other countries. A video is below. (Disclaimer: This is a Democrat-affiliated organization).

The US Embassy in Paris has also send out helpful information, below the video. The US Embassy’s page on Facebook is also a great resource.

In addition, the non-partisan, non-profit association Union of Overseas Voters has a site at WeVote.fr for tips. You can join them on Facebook.

They have also made these information sheets available for you:

Important Voting Facts for US citizens

About the Union of Overseas Voters

Flyer for help sessions in person in Paris (1st and 3rd Saturday of each month, 2-5pm at Shakespeare & Company, 37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005 Paris)

Merci for the helpful documents!

If you have any stories about voting from abroad, feel free to post a comment. Happy voting!

Message from US Embassy Paris

Have a say in our country’s future. One of our most treasured values is the right and the privilege to vote – to participate actively in our country’s democratic process. This November, U.S. citizens will elect a President, a Vice President, one-third of the Senate, and the entire House of Representatives. The U.S. Embassy in France encourages all U.S. citizens to participate in this year’s elections, and stands ready to help you vote.

Almost all overseas U.S. citizens can vote. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now allow adult children who have never resided in the United States to vote using their parents’ state of voting residence. Details are available on the FVAP website at http://www.fvap.gov/reference/nvr-res.html.

Register and request a ballot. To vote, new laws require you to complete and submit a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) this calendar year. The FPCA allows you to register to vote and request an absentee ballot. If you haven’t yet done so, we urge you to do so now. The easiest way to complete it is online at www.FVAP.gov. Depending on your State’s rules, you then send it to your local election officials electronically or by mail.

Mailing guidance. Print out the completed FPCA and the (U.S.) postage-paid envelope containing the address of your local election officials. You can drop off the postage-paid envelope (containing your FPCA) at the Embassy, and we will mail it back home for you without the need to pay international postage. If it’s easier for you to use France’s postal system, be sure to affix sufficient international postage and allow sufficient time for international mail delivery.

Embassy Paris drop box: You may drop your signed, dated, sealed FPCA registration or ballot in the Consular Section drop box:

a. Go to the Consular Section entrance of the Paris Embassy with your registration or ballot;

b. Announce that you would like to drop off voting materials;

c. Present suitable ID (preferably a passport);

d. Present the registration or ballot;

e. After the security check, place the ballot in the ballot box.

Need help? Go to the Embassy’s voting website page to receive assistance. Voting Assistance Officers or private U.S. citizen volunteers in France may also help you. (NOTE: It is acceptable for private U.S. citizens or U.S. citizens’ groups to collect FPCAs and deliver them to the Embassy on behalf of other eligible voters, as long as each FPCA is in its own U.S. postage-paid envelope.)

Make your vote count! Follow your State’s absentee voting procedures carefully. Send in your FPCA before the registration deadline. When you get your ballot, vote and mail it promptly so it reaches local election officials by your State’s absentee ballot receipt deadline.
Questions? If you have any questions about registering to vote, please contact the Paris Voting Assistance Officer by email at VoteParis@state.gov

US college basketball teams to play in Paris August 11-16

The Euro Jam Paris Basketball Festival will take place from August 11 to August 16, 2012 at the Stade Pierre de Coubertin in Paris 16ème.

US college teams featured will be Kansas, Virginia, Colorado and Penn State, each taking on AMW Team France.

You can check out more information on the festival and tickets at the official site and on their Facebook page.

Come on out for this great event!

Expat and US tax issues seminar in Paris Jan. 25

January 10th, 2012 4 comments

First and foremost,

A healthy, successful and happy new year to you all! I hope you had a restful vacation. I’m back in Paris after a nice trip back home to the US.

As 2012 evolves, there will be an increasing amount of events. One of my goals is to continue to keep you informed about expat events that could be of interest to you. Here is one that came to me just recently. You can contact her for more information (address, etc.).

The law firm Kipling Avocats will be organizing on January 25, 2012 at 2.00 pm in its offices in Paris a two hour seminar on US tax issues for expatriates and the new tax regime applicable to trusts. Anyone interested may contact Virginie Marrervmarrer@kiplingavocats.com.

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