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Brits in France - applying for dual citizenship

(15 Posts)
EmGee Sun 03-Jul-16 21:00:31

Any advice?

Have got the ball rolling by getting a place on the next available TCF sessions (in the autumn). This shouldn't be a problem as I studied French at uni and was a French teacher before coming to France; DH learnt French when he came here years ago as an adult and speaks fluently albeit with a strong English accent. But going to revise for it anyway!

Kids (born here) so even though they are little (under six) are pretty good in French.

DH is the breadwinner; I'm a SAHM mum but hopefully getting back into some paid work in the autumn giving English lessons via a local 'association'.

I have read some things about the importance of integration. Can anyone expand on that?? I volunteer at the village maternelle and help out at school events (kermesses etc) and we have both French/non-French friends. I also go to church but am not actively involved in anything there. Kids do (french) activities - sport etc. DH has a busy job (French company) so doesn't do much at weekends other than gardening.

Is this enough? What else can I do to be more integrated?! To those who have gone through the process, what sort of things are they looking at?

MyFriendsCallMeOh Mon 04-Jul-16 03:00:04

How long have you lived in France? Think you need 5 years residency to apply.....

wallywobbles Mon 04-Jul-16 04:49:57

Currently doing it after 20 years. You will need certificates de nationalité francaise for your kids potentially. Look into that early on. They require much the same papers - your and your parents birth certificates etc proof of their address, certificates de scolarité etc.

Lots of the papers need to be less than 3 months old which can be tricky too.

It's a huge amount of paperwork. Good luck.

Download the list and make sure you go through it with a fine tooth comb.

frenchfancy Mon 04-Jul-16 10:33:20

You shouldn't need anything other than the birth certificates for the children.

It sounds like you are pretty well integrated. A letter from the school confirming that you volunteer won't go amiss. Is DHs job a CDI? That will help. TBH I don't think you will have any problems.

frenchfancy Mon 04-Jul-16 18:35:49

I've been thinking about this thread today, and something didn't sit right with me but I wasn't sure what it was. I finally realised what it was - you are talking about applying for dual citizenship. But really what you are applying for is French nationality. You want to become French. Once through the process you are given the choice to retain your existing nationality if you wish, but whilst on French soil you are legally obliged to refer to yourself as French.

If you go into the interview with the attitude of wanting to be a dual citizen it may not go down well.

rainytea Tue 05-Jul-16 06:30:24

What is the TCF? My DH is French and we live elsewhere in the EU. I now want to get the citizenship, just to be a bit more secure unless anything happens (can't get citizenship here without giving up my UK one). He tells me that as we're married (10yrs) I won't need to sit any exam..but actually has no idea! I'm betting I do..but don't know what!

And it hit me when reading Wally that the paperwork and the 3 months business is exactly why I haven't done this before! Was a total nightmare when we got married confused

EmGee Tue 05-Jul-16 10:19:32

Rainy - unfortunately you do need to sit a test no matter how fluent you are!

However, there are exceptions namely if you studied at a French uni/institution and they can certify you have the required level.

The TCF results are really important; they won't accept your 'dossier' without them (they are valid for two years from the date of the exam).

Yes Frenchfancy - you are right. I want to retain my UK citizenship but I fully accept that while on French soil, I will be 'French'. Which is a good thing because I would like to be able to vote here. Alas, it means on matter such as inheritance laws, I will be bound to French laws as opposed to being able to choose which country's laws to follow. But you can't have everything!

Pre-Brexit, I had thought about applying (main reason being able to vote) but had put it on the long finger as put off by sheer amount of paperwork. Applied for a French driving license last year and that required a fair amount.

I have applied for an Irish passport too (easy as my mother is Irish). The more the merrier!

wallywobbles Tue 05-Jul-16 21:41:13

I have been here for 21 years and the requirements have changed a lot. I read on the prefecture de Calvados website today that in Basse Normandie only 50% of applications are successful. Until I read that it hadn't occurred to me that I wouldn't be.

My kids were born here to a French father and still required certificats de nationalité francaises which added an extra months delay. I also haven't had mine or my parents birth certificates back nor the official translations, so wise to ask for doubles of everything.

On the government website it says it takes 18 months to get an answer back. So it's by no means quick.

If you've been here less than 10 years you need to provide une caisse Judiciaire too.

This link is not bad

frenchfancy Tue 05-Jul-16 21:57:25

That makes sense Wally - if their father is French then they were already French so needed the certificates de nathionalité française. Even though DD3 was born here she was still a british citizen so I couldn't provide that document. Now we are French all 3 DCs have French nationality as well.

We have heard of quite a few Brits who were turned down. No excuse is given.

EmGee Fri 08-Jul-16 20:27:14


In the light of Brexit and the sheer numbers of Brits applying/planning to apply, it does make me un peu inquiète that our application may be turned down. I guess there is just no guarantee and who knows how things will pan out over the next couple of years.

I have another question about official and original documents. What happens if you desperately need them for something else in the middle of your application?? It worries me a bit especially as you have to submit parents' birth certs/marriage certs - what if my parents needed them? After all, the process which already took 18 months or so, is surely going to take longer now given the increase in Brits applying.

frenchfancy Fri 08-Jul-16 21:17:26

I think your parents ones can be copies. I certainly didn't have my mothers original. Yours do have to be original though. But you keep your passport which should do for most things - it is pretty unusual to need your original birth certificate. If worst comes to worst then you could always order a new one from Somerset house.

rainytea Fri 08-Jul-16 21:52:58

When I got married they wouldn't touch (literally!!) the original birth certificates, they had to have been issued within the previous three months. I'd be surprised if they actually want originals and not a certified copy.

frenchfancy Sat 09-Jul-16 16:22:09

Ours were definitely the originals. We needed a recent one for DD3 who was born in France but the UK ones were accepted as the original with a certified translation

rainytea Sun 10-Jul-16 04:33:06

That's good then, makes it a bit easier!

tb Mon 25-Jul-16 21:03:56

Not for nationality, but for a titre de séjour permanent copy certificates were accepted without needing a translation.

If, and only if, we decide to go down the nationality route, we won't need a language test - we're too old.

We received our titres in just under 6 weeks.

The proof of residence from the EDF site wasn't acceptable, nor was the certificate of domicile from the Mairie all stamped and signed. For EDF we needed to give copies of all our bills since 2007.

In the latest edition of the Connexion, it's been stated that anyone British being naturalised as French will retain their British nationality, and therefore the freedom to leave everything to the cats' home, as long as they get the wording right.

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