As wife to a Frenchman, mother to Franco-American children, the idea of becoming a bi-nationaux is something I’ve been considering for quite some time. As the world we live in sometimes feels stranger and stranger, filled with less certainty, an more confusion, I decided it was a step I was ready to take. I have been in France for many years, soon enough, I’ll have lived in France longer then I lived in the US, so I really do consider myself half French, half American. Or, maybe I should say 100% French and 100% American? Whatever the percentages, my identity is split between the two now, and carrying both nationalities satisfies parts of my identity, being and soul. I carry both in my heart, one is my roots, the other are my branches.
Once I had decided to move forward, I wrote to my préfecture to inquire about the exact requirements. I knew I had the basic requirements to apply as the spouse of a French person, but each préfecture has a slightly different process, or requirements, and they all function a bit differently. (Mine requires files to be sent in via AR with a chronopost envelope in case they must return your file to you, others prefer a rendez-vous to drop off your file in person, so if you are interested in requesting nationality, I recommend checking with your own, local, préfecture before starting anything).
They got back to me rather fast, and with the list of paperwork required in hand, I got to work locating everything. Luckily, it was the start of the school year, when I finally found myself with free mornings! I started compiling my dossier, which I finally completed end of October and send off to the préfecture early November. In total it took about 2 months to get it together, with some help from my parents as I needed copies of their birth certificates, along with the “usual suspects” when dealing with French Administration- recent bills, impôts, acte de naissance, copies of IDs, self addressed pre-stamped envelopes… But nothing all that daunting, in fact, I think the list is quite similar for a ten year carte de séjour.
A few months of running down to the mailbox as soon as the postman had come by, I was almost suprised one day to find an envelope in my mailbox written to me, in my own handwriting! The préfecture wrote to let me know that my file is complét (whew!!) and next I’ll be called in for an entretien d’assimilation.
So, while not a fast process, it is one that is moving forward. I’m busy now reviewing my knowledge of French history, but I’m not concerned. I’ll update as the process evolves, watch this space!
Affaire à suivre…