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ForumRead Message

Subject: French citizenship
Date: Thursday, February 02, 2006
Name: C Descat
Message: I am an American citizen who is married to a French citizen. We have a son together who is also a French citizen. At the present time we are living in the US and might not return to France for a year or two. My question is.. can I obtain my french citizenship while living in the US and if so how many years do we have had to be married before I can do so. I have been told after 1 year and also after 3 years by someone else. Thanks .

Replies Posted 10.

Name red
Message i don't know if processing of application for citizenship is the same there in the US as it is here in france. but i'm telling you, things have gotten so much complicated and more strict here since the beginning of this year. it's not as easy as it used to be.

Name sally
Message Check with your closest French consulate, but the existence of a child no longer gives you the right to waive the time limit. Sorry!

Name michael morrison
Message Chris,

The people who have given you advice don't know what they are talking about. Yes, there is the two and three year thing, but that is waived because you have a child. With a child, you have the automatic right to apply for French citizenship.

If you want to live in France, you already have the RIGHT to go because of your marital status. You can apply for a "titre de séjour." This is very different from the US where your partner has no inherent right to live in the US because of the mariage - only the right apply for a visa. Granted, most will be given the visa. But it is still not an inherent right.

In any case, if you want citizenship, you will have it - but it might take a little time. In the meantime, you do have the right to live and work in France.

One question. Where were you married? My wife and I actually got married twice. Once in the US and once at the Mairie (mayor's office) in France. After getting married at the mayor's office, you get a "livret de famille." With a child you can apply directly for nationality and I don't believe that has changed.

In any case, it is much easier for you to become a French citizen than for your wife to become a US citizen. She would have to live here for five uninterrupted years just to apply for the nationality -- and there is not a chance she can do it from abroad unless you are a US government employee at a consulat abroad or something like that.

Name C Descat
Message Thank you for responding, because we live in Nevada I am going to have to go through the consulate in LA or so I'm told. I hope I don't get laughed out of there. It would really be upsetting since our son is a French citizen by birth, so that would make me the only one in the family not a French citizen. I appreciate all of you taking the time to answer my question.

Name Howie
Message If married to a French National you can apply for the citizenship after 2 years if you reside in France, for that whole period of time, and it is 3 years if you live abroad. Atleast that is what the woman at la formation civique said.

Name germain
Message I got my french passport september of last year from the San Francisco consulate without filing or going to France. Call them. We were married 5 years before hand.

Name Richard Trilling
Message I am currently applying for French citizenship. I'm an American who has lived & worked here a number of years, this means I have a Carte de Séjour.

Several people have posted wrong in formation.

1. The current length of time that you have to be married is 2 years. It was just pushed up from 1 year a few months ago.

2. You have to apply in France.

3.There are 2 ways to go to apply for French citizenship.

3a. If you are not married to a French citizen you have to go to the Préfecture. This is not a way I would recommend.

3b. If you can satisfy the marriage condition you do NOT go to the prefecture. You go to the local Tribunal d'Instance in the town where you are a resident. They will give you a list of the paper work to fill out and or present. It took me 1 month to obtain it all.

Once you've obtained it all you make an appointment at the Tribunal. If they accept your dossier (in other words if nothing is missing) they will give you a receipt (I had no problems, they accepted my dossier the first time). They take 1 year (that's also the legal limit) to make the decision.

Within the 5 months after having my dossier accepted I was requested to make appointments at the police and the Prefecture for interviews. At the end of both interviews I was informed that their recommendations would be positive.

All the procedures were very efficient; at all times everything was handled by appointment as opposed to having to wait on long lines.

I should get my final answer within 3 months now.

Hope this helps.

Name germain
Message I don't doubt that you had that kind of trouble in France! I did to. I stronly suggest doing it through a consulate in America. They have been great at the San Francisco office. I did it last year and it took a year from the time you submit your paperwork. You have to go in for a personal interview.

Name cris
Message Obtaining French citizenship is not that easy anymore, even if you are married to a French citizen. I tried it in Los Angeles and was laughed out of the Consul. This is what I have had to do so far in France and it has been more than 2 years in the doing and still not finished.

1. Went to the Prefecture to start proceeding. They required mine and my husband birth certificate and marriage license. We had to request new ones with an apostile. Also, my birth certificate had to be translated into french.

2. wait

3. After 18 months was called into the Gendarmarie for an interview and told to bring a variety of, electric bill, birth certificate, marriage license, husbands identity card.........

4. Two weeks later I was summoned to the Police Department in Carcasonne for another interview. Same as above.

5. Two weeks after, I received a form from the Prefecture wanting my parents birth certificates and marriage license. All had to be obtained with the apostille stamp. Don't get these before you are asked to, as for some reason, they can't be any older than 3 months. Also, everything must be translated into French.

6. One month later, called into the Prefecture for an interview.

It has been a month since my last interview, total 26 months in trying to get citizenship, and I still don't know where I stand.

Name germain
Message Yes, youcan become a french citizen- call the DC or San fran consulates. It just a paperwork game and an interview. One thing; you have to speak alittle french!

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