French Nationality

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French Nationality


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Old 29th March 2012, 07:19 PM
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Question French Nationality

Okay, I know there are a lot of these questions posted, but I also know that there are a couple of people who have gotten their French Nationality based on ancestry. So...maybe someone can help.

I have French ancestry on both my mother's side and my father's side. Problem is, it was a few generations ago. It is all traceable back to France though and I've got the names/dates of birth/places of birth of the last of my "French born in France" ancestors. How the heck do I do this? Do I have to get birth and marriage certificates for every one of my relatives going back to these people? I know there is something about réintegration based on ties to France? Help? I've contact the consulate that serves my area. I got a 1 liner with a link to the application for a nationality certificate. Is this something I can apply for while living in France on a long stay visa or do I have to do it outside of France?

Sorry for all of the questions, I am just not sure where to start with my paperwork collection!!

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Old 29th March 2012, 09:10 PM
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I suspect you will, indeed, have to get birth certificates for your ancestors - the French just LOVE stacks of paper like this. (But the good news is that marriages are recorded in the birth records, so you may be spared getting separate marriage certificates.) You'll need names, dates of birth and the town in which they were born, since the birth records are kept by the mairie.

Oh, and you'll also need to demonstrate that you can speak, read and write French. Your best sources of information will probably be either the Service Public website Accueil Particuliers - Service-public.fr and the links on the pages for French nationality, or the French pages of your local consulate's website.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 29th March 2012, 09:35 PM
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Thank you! Do you know if it is correct that it has to be through the male line until 1945? Mine is through the male line all of the way back except for my great grandmother who was born in the late 1800's.

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Old 29th March 2012, 11:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElfinLady29 View Post
Thank you! Do you know if it is correct that it has to be through the male line until 1945? Mine is through the male line all of the way back except for my great grandmother who was born in the late 1800's.
Let's see...

First of all, you'll need to have all (yes, all) the consecutive marriage and birth certificates between yourself and TWO consecutive generations of French born in France.

That line needs to be a "male" line from the two generations of French born in France to at least 1946. And yes, that's an unsurmountable hurdle for the "ancestry" thing.

The consulate was correct to point to the Certificat de Nationalité Française (CNF).

That's the first "document" you'll need to request from the French administration.
But in order to request the CNF, you'll need the aforementioned consecutive marriage and birth certificates (those which are not "french from France" will need to be translated and legalized/apostilled).

And you'll probably need to request the two generations of French documents to the mairie of the town where your ancestors were born and got married. Typically you'll request that by e-mail/phone, and they'll reply by postal mail, with the documents enclosed.

With all that, you'll fill a form (that's downloadable from many consulates' websites) to request a CNF. You send that form (with all the documents enclosed) to France, and you'll get a reply in the following 12.

Most probably you'll get a reply that says that they cannot send you a CNF as your nationality was somehow "lost". Depending on the reason they give for that loss is that you will be able (or not) to then claim nationality based on your "links to France" through a déclaration de nationalité, that will probably involve another 6 months of waiting.

This is a "fast" description. If you describe a little bit more your case, especially the link to your "two consecutive generations of French born in France", we'll advise more in depth.

Cheers,
jacques.

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