French Citizenship: How we did it!

Please note.. This article is about full French citizenship, not to be confused with Carte de Séjour.

I thought it may be of interest to members to share my recent experience of applying for and obtaining French Nationality.

My Husband and I first came to the Creuse over twenty years ago when we purchased a little holiday home. Our aim was always to try our best to integrate into the French way of life and we have always done what we can to achieve this. However it was not until a friend applied for French Nationality that I even considered it. So in view of the fact that we intend to remain in France for the foreseeable future I thought that to apply would  reinforce my commitment to our adopted country. However, I cannot deny that when I started the process two years ago Brexit was on the horizon and probably gave me the final impetus.

The procedure is not particularly difficult but you do need to be organised, patient and have plenty of stamina! I submitted my application in February 2017 and received confirmation that I had been successful in October 2018.

The first part of the process involves completing the application form and providing the supporting information. The application form resembles writing a very detailed C.V. and full details of your family. Birth, death and marriage certificates are required for parents, spouse and oneself. These have to be translated into French by an approved translator. As for the Carte de Sejour you need to supply evidence of residence, payment of impots, your financial position etc. For those under 60 you will need to provide evidence of a language qualification, for those over 60 your skills are assessed at interview. The dossier is then submitted to the Prefecture in Limoges. After about five months I received acknowledgement of my dossier. Following scrutiny of the file they may ask you for further information. It is worth spending time in the first instance to ensure you have sent everything. Next you will receive a date for interview at Limoges. My interview took place in November 2017

The interview varies between an hour and an hour and a half. It is conducted in French and you are asked questions about: why you want to live in France, how you have integrated, how often you return to the UK, family, interests, french history, french politics and french culture. I have to say I found myself to be incredibly nervous but I was very lucky to be interviewed by a lady who was determined to get the best out of  me and had very good interview skills. If everything is satisfactory your dossier is sent to Nantes for verification. I have to say that this was not a speedy process, mine was sent to Nantes in April 2018, four months after interview. Prior to the interview you are sent a booklet entitled Livret Du Citoyen which gives you insight of the knowledge required for interview and is very helpful.

After this it is just playing the waiting game. I found my name on the Journal Officiel on 6 October 2018 confirming that I had acquired french nationality. I have to say I nearly missed it as it is in my maiden name which is customary in France for official documents. I received written confirmation a couple of weeks later. I have since received a french birth and marriage certificate which have enabled me to obtain a Carte d’identitie and a french passport.

For anyone who may want to look into this further there are a number of websites in english and french giving further information or you can go to the Prefecture. Similarly there are Facebook pages set up for those going through the process. “Remain in France” (RIFT) has a very good website and Facebook Forum.

Bon courage to anyone who  goes ahead. If nothing else it gives you a choice.

 

 

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This Post was created by Library Member Sally Flay.

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