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The Path to French Citizenship Part II

I’ve heard the process to obtain French citizenship can take as long as a year and to not be worried if you don’t hear anything from them for a long time. I guess I was very lucky or I just failed to submit all my documents correctly the first time because I received my first response from the tribunal d’instance in just over two weeks from the time I first submitted my application. The first response basically said they needed more documents for my dossier to prove that I am French. The letter also said that I had 90 days to respond or else my case would be dismissed and I would have to start over.

The first thing I needed was a copy of my birth certificate from Nantes or a negative response from them saying that basically nobody ever reported my birth abroad. Obviously I didn’t have a birth certificate in France or I wouldn’t be applying to become French. It took less than an hour to figure out where and how to request this, luckily everything in France like this is relatively simple to do and free, online, once you figure out how to do it. Once I submitted my request for my request I received a letter in the mail saying that they couldn’t find any record of my birth. Perfect, this letter is exactly what they were asking for at the tribunal. The second thing was my livret de famille or marriage certificate for my French grandmother. Since I have no idea what a livret de famille is I went after the marriage certificate. I had already turned in the marriage certificate for my great-grandmother, I should have known that wouldn’t be enough. Luckily I just so happened to be on vacation in America at the time and was able to get my dad to help me get my hands on a copy of my grandmother’s marriage certificate and my parents marriage certificate just for good measure. Of course my newly acquired marriage certificates would need to be translated, this time around my certificates were €40 each putting the total spent on citizenship somewhere between $200-250 USD.

With all my new documents and translations in hand I headed back to turn everything in. The same woman I dealt with the first time was behind the window again, I showed her my letter and told her I had everything they asked for to add to my dossier. She went through it to make sure I had it all and off I went to patiently wait some more. As of writing this it has been about two months since submitting my application.

Go back and read Part I here.

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