More Naturalization

Warning: This is a pretty boring administrative post!

Thanks to my sick leave and slowly increasing mobility, I was able to take care of one administrative procedure the past few weeks: applying for my French national ID card.

I’ve been in administrative limbo since I received the letter this summer telling me that I acquired French nationality on June 10th. I still had my titre de séjour (though logically it should have had no real value for a French citizen) till August 31st so I still went to Spain this summer on vacation. But since it expired I’ve felt pretty limited as far as leaving the country. I haven’t even had a real pièce d’identité on me since I don’t carry my US passport around with me for fun (especially now that it’s my only ID…). But mostly I haven’t had any way of proving my right to be in France, other than the letter I received in June.

After getting married in July, I was unsure whether to notify the naturalisation service or not. During the application process you are definitely supposed to let them know about any change, like your address or marital status. But technically my application process was over! I did end up e-mailing a scan of the acte de mariage to the naturalisations department at the prefecture who sent it on to somewhere and also told me that my papers should arrive sometime in September.

I don’t think that happened. I e-mailed the service at the beginning of October asking if my papers were in and if I could come get them and never got an answer. So I sent the exact same e-mail (seriously, copied and pasted) at the beginning of November when I did get an e-mail in response and a phone call for an appointment to pick them up. So I picked them up on a Friday morning, and they only included an excerpt of the official decree that naturalized me and my French birth certificate. That birth certificate had been printed on July 7th, before the wedding. I assume I could have asked for another copy of it any time since then! But since it was so old, I asked the guichet at the prefecture if I could get a newer one at the prefecture at the mairie in Poitiers, to which that woman said yes.

WRONG. The very nice man at the mairie in Poitiers told me that I would have to ask for it from Nantes where all French citizens born abroad have to do it. He showed me the phone number but I just asked for it online once I got home. (He also remarked on how weird it was that the naturalisation people couldn’t tell me that.)

The new birth certificate (with the marriage marked on it) came Wednesday and I immediately went to the mairie of our village to drop off my application for my French ID. It involved two ID photos, a justificatif de domicile (I took my taxe d’habitation eugh it was so expensive this year), a form to fill out on which I did NOT write a nom d’épouse, and the birth certificate. I have to call back in three weeks to see if it’s come in.

I actually asked for two copies of the birth certificate so I can next go on to applying for my French passport. Except that one costs money and requires another trip into town so I’m dragging my feet.


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