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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello again!

This year I'm eligible for the 10 year resident card, but my husband and I keep going back and forth as to whether or not it's worth it.

On the one hand, next year I should be eligible for citizenship, and therefore am planning on applying.

On the other, I suppose there's always a risk that something could change and next year they'll say you need 10 years of marriage before applying for citizenship.

It just seems silly to pay the extra money for the 10 year resident card, but on the other hand, there's a certain amount of paranoia that if I don't, I'm going to end up paying for individual year long resident cards for the next three years, and then I will be kicking myself for not applying for the 10 year resident card and saving a bit of money.

Has anyone gotten their 10 year resident card recently? How did you decide?

Also, for those who applied for citizenship, how long did it take? Since I live in a small town, I feel like things move faster here than in say, Paris, where they have tons of foreigners (read a couple horror stories on the Americans in France facebook group where a woman talked about how she had to wait 7 months just to drop off her citizenship paperwork, and then discovered she forgot one paper, so she had to make another appointment to drop off the missing paper, and had to wait an additional 3 months). Whereas here, I don't need to make an appointment for the préfecture, although I am wondering if I am going to have to drop off my citizenship paperwork in Bordeaux possibly. It's where I had to go for my first OFII appointment.

I have to admit I'm leaning towards applying for the 10 year resident card to be on the safe side, but I thought I'd see if others could tell me if it's worth it or not before I spend what is a non-negligible amount to me.
 

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The requirements for a 10 year card are remarkably close to those for citizenship. But in any event, you should count on it taking about a year for them to process your citizenship application once you've turned it in. (It may take less time - but will take at least six months or so.) I wouldn't count on things going quicker in an area with fewer foreigners, because they won't be as familiar with the procedures - so what can you say?

Since the requirements are so similar, I'd be inclined to renew the CDS for one year, (and possibly one more one-year renewal while your citizenship paper is being processed) rather than having to submit the same set of documents twice. (Plus, there isn't a fee to process the citizenship stuff.) Then again, I'm seriously cheap. <g> I got a 10 year card under the old system, and waited until my 10 year card had only a little over a year to run before I submitted my citizenship application. (The good news is that the paperwork for the spouse of a French national is generally quite a bit easier than for naturalization without the "special" advantages.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I did notice that the 10 year resident card requires the DILF (which I was wondering if I needed to take an actual test like you do for citizenship, or if my certificate saying I had a sufficient level of French would be enough. I know that it isn't enough for citizenship, because if I recall correctly, you have to proof a proficiency of level B2 in French), and that I would have to dig up all those ridiculous certificates I got at the "formations" my first year in France. I'd been starting to wonder what purpose those served ...

If I put in my citizenship paperwork next year, would I have to renew my one year resident card again in order to be legal? Or would they give me a récipissé like they did whenever I first applied for my CDS so that I could be considered legal while waiting for my paperwork? Because if I have to renew my one year resident card again, then the difference in price really isn't that great.

I think actually they do charge a fee for the citizenship paperwork here, but it's only 55€, which is definitely far less than what I've paid so far for the year to year resident cards, so I can't complain.

And I will admit, at one point I looked at how hard it would be to be naturalized without marriage, and I was greatly relieved to have fallen in love with a Frenchman, because the route through marriage is waaaaay easier. The other way looks like a nightmare in comparison!
 

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I'm applying for the 10 year card this year and am using my DILF certificate that I received when I first applied for my visa for the language proficiency. I think it is sufficient, and maybe one of the few easier elements to applying for the carte de resident instead of going for citizenship.

I'm not sure if they would give you a recipisse or not if you did decide to apply for citizenship and your carte de sejour happens to expire during the process. I kinda doubt that they would, though, but maybe someone who has gone through the process would be able to confirm otherwise.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey April!

Looks like no one else on here knows, so I think I'm just going to head to the préfecture this week and find out for myself. :) I'll report back on my findings.
 

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Hey April!

Looks like no one else on here knows, so I think I'm just going to head to the préfecture this week and find out for myself. :) I'll report back on my findings.
The 10 year resident card only requires that the applicant has lived in France legally for a period of five years.
When I applied for it in 2012, there wasn't any need to show French language proficiency. But it is probably required if you entered France as a trailing spouse.

My wife applied for it last year, on the basis of my 10 year card, and she showed a A2 level language proficiency. After nearly eight months, she now has a 10 year card valid not only for France but for the entire EU as well.

And if you want to apply for citizenship, you will need the 10 year resident card first. Besides, it will save you a lot of headache. So I would (should?) apply for it if I were you.
 

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According to this...

Conditions à remplir - Vous souhaitez demander la nationalité française. Vous n’êtes pas marié(e) à un(e) Français(e) - Accès à la nationalité française

"Vous devez

posséder un titre de séjour, à l’exception des ressortissants d’un État membre de l’Union européenne, des ressortissants d’un autre État partie à l’accord sur l’Espace économique européen ou de la Confédération suisse ;
résider en France de manière habituelle et continue depuis 5 ans, avec votre famille si vous avez un conjoint et/ou des enfants mineurs, et y avoir la source principale de vos revenus pendant cette période (revenus professionnels, mobiliers ou immobiliers, etc.)."

So there is no need (officially) for a 10 year resident card, but the chap at my local prefecture told me that as it could take upto two years for the citizenship to come through once applied, it would be better for the applicant to have a 10 year resident card.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
So there is no need (officially) for a 10 year resident card, but the chap at my local prefecture told me that as it could take upto two years for the citizenship to come through once applied, it would be better for the applicant to have a 10 year resident card.
Ok, that's what I was really wanting to know! I wasn't sure how long it would take for the citizenship to go through, but if it could take up to two years, then for sure the 10 year resident card would be worth the peace of mind.
 

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I applied for citizenship last year, started in March, finally had every piece of paper turned in by July, had my interview in November, had a clarification letter recently (regarding my name on the french birth certificate). I did NOT receive anything to indicate I applied for citizenship, no recipisse or anything honestly. My ten-year resident card is up March 2016 so I hope things are done before that, cause i seriously do not want to pay and get into that paperwork all over again lol.

Every time I thought I had everything they asked for, I had to turn around and get another paper that someone new would ask for. It drove me nuts, had me break down in tears more than once saying, "I don't need this damn citizenship" only to turn around get the papers and cross my fingers all over again lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I applied for citizenship last year, started in March, finally had every piece of paper turned in by July, had my interview in November, had a clarification letter recently (regarding my name on the french birth certificate). I did NOT receive anything to indicate I applied for citizenship, no recipisse or anything honestly. My ten-year resident card is up March 2016 so I hope things are done before that, cause i seriously do not want to pay and get into that paperwork all over again lol.

Every time I thought I had everything they asked for, I had to turn around and get another paper that someone new would ask for. It drove me nuts, had me break down in tears more than once saying, "I don't need this damn citizenship" only to turn around get the papers and cross my fingers all over again lol.
Ahhh, bureaucracy ... So much fun!

I started looking over the paperwork for the 10 year resident card, and it looks like it's almost all the same stuff as the 1 year resident card, with the added caveat of those silly "certificates" given for going to the "formations." Been wondering why I bothered doing them at all!

Speaking of near break downs .... I thought I lost my huge folder filled with my immigration paperwork, including those certificates, this morning. I almost had a total meltdown. While my husband photocopied everything and we have it saved on two separate external hard drives, I could just hear the woman who gave those certificates saying not to lose them, because I'd need the originals. I apparently turned my apartment upside down for nothing, because for some inexplicable reason, my immigration folder was on my husband's night stand, in broad view, rather than the places where he and I separately keep our paperwork. Ahh, nothing like a near heart attack to start off your morning! LOL
 

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I started looking over the paperwork for the 10 year resident card, and it looks like it's almost all the same stuff as the 1 year resident card,
You will need to provide photocopies of the your husband's tax papers for the past five years as well. They will ask for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hello again!

Well, I finally applied for my 10 year resident card today. It took forever, mostly because of the new requirement of an "acte de mariage" less than three months old. No better time to ask an office to send you paperwork during the summer. We spent about a month chasing after it, and ended up with 4 official copies of our marriage license. Oh well. It's done!

For the vie en commune, we ended up printing out proof of our car insurance, our mutuelle, our tax returns for 2014 and 2015, a copy of our cell phone bill, our health insurance (attestation de droits à l'assurance maladie), and some other related car insurance thing (l'attestation de garantie d'assistance aux personnes).

We ended up having to make a second trip back home and straight back to the préfecture, because I wanted everything to be done today. I thought my DH was going to have a conniption in front of the fonctionnaire because of her telling us, "you need to read what is written!" Mostly in response to the fact that we only had a copy of our tax returns, rather than the original plus copy. Then we pointed out that we filed online, so we have no original, other than what we printed out. So then she asked for the first two pages of our tax return, rather than just the first page that clearly shows we live together and our names together. Whatever. And of course I inevitably forgot one thing - namely, the original of our rental payment for the month. So of course we had to get that too. Plus the problem was that since we put all these things together in July, whenever we printed off the attestations from the various sites of our insurance providers, the address that they put is automatically the date demanded, so the fonctionnaire was displeased that most of our proof of "vie en commune" came with the date of July 2015. Our mutuelle was printed out in November 2014, so she wanted something extra. Well, the problem is since my husband got the apartment and everything before I moved, the EDF bill and our apartment is in his name, and we have separate bank accounts. I'm seriously thinking of having our apartment changed to both our names, just for whenever I decide to finally apply for citizenship. We couldn't really find anything, so finally we just printed out new copies of our boarding passes that we used for our trip to Amsterdam this past April. That seemed to finally placate her. So now everything's filed, and I just have to wait. I have a récépissé until end of December.

I am wondering though ... at the end of the process, she said something about the mairie possibly contacting me for an interview, from my understanding, to make sure I've integrated. She said they don't always do it, but they may. Does anyone have any idea of what I can expect, should it happen?
 

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Ah yes, Life in France! I've just been through much the same thing (as a citizen, no less!) trying to prove my place of residence in order to get a ham radio license and then to register the like-new-used car I just bought. The house is in DH's name and we have a separation de biens contract to boot, so this is always something of a challenge. In the end, I wound up giving copies of the letter granting me the ham license to the garage to use at the prefecture for registering the car. Figured if one government agency was convinced (or conned) into believing I live where I live, it should be good enough for the prefecture! (We had the added little complication that most of the utilities for the house are in the name of our company because that's where the business is based.)

Don't worry too much about the mairie contacting you. Yeah, they might - but given that you're in a "military town" you may find that the maire has better uses of his/her time. If they do call you in, it's usually just a "chat" so that the maire can sign a paper saying s/he did his/her duty.

Ultimately, in your situation, you simply tell them that you've given them everything you have - there ain't nothing more - and let them deal with it. If you're pleasant but firm about it, they grumble but "somehow" they manage to process the paperwork they have.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hello again!

Well, I finally applied for my 10 year resident card today. It took forever, mostly because of the new requirement of an "acte de mariage" less than three months old. No better time to ask an office to send you paperwork during the summer. We spent about a month chasing after it, and ended up with 4 official copies of our marriage license. Oh well. It's done!


I am wondering though ... at the end of the process, she said something about the mairie possibly contacting me for an interview, from my understanding, to make sure I've integrated. She said they don't always do it, but they may. Does anyone have any idea of what I can expect, should it happen?

There is no interview for the 10 year residence cards, as far as I know. There was none for my wife when we applied for it last year. But we did provide the certificates given to my wife by the OFII and her certificate of her A2 level in the French language.

Be prepared for a long wait though. It took my wife nearly a year to get hers during which time she had to renew her recipisse thrice. Finally, she was awarded a 10 year RP not just for France, but also for the entire EU.
It was a tad strange as my own 10 year RP is valid only for France. Anyway...
 

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There is no interview for the 10 year residence cards, as far as I know. There was none for my wife when we applied for it last year. But we did provide the certificates given to my wife by the OFII and her certificate of her A2 level in the French language.

Be prepared for a long wait though. It took my wife nearly a year to get hers during which time she had to renew her recipisse thrice. Finally, she was awarded a 10 year RP not just for France, but also for the entire EU.
It was a tad strange as my own 10 year RP is valid only for France. Anyway...
I think having any sort of interview probably depends on what Prefecture you are dealing with, as well as under what conditions you are applying for the carte de resident.

I live in 92 (Hauts-de-Seine), and last year was my 3 year mark for being married to a French citizen, so I thought I qualified for the 10 year card, and did all of the paperwork to submit my application. The police actually came to our apartment and interviewed me, my husband and checked the place to make sure that the both of us were in fact living there....so it really depends. I ended up receiving another 1 year card since it had only been 2 years of living in France consecutively for us (not sure why they even let me apply for the 10 year card since apparently I didn't qualify at that time), so I applied again for the 10 year card this year.

I am entirely expecting yet another friendly visit this year and going through the spiel once again...but who knows though, maybe I will luck out and not have to! That's the fun of it all :)

Oh, and also I want to add that I received no sort of warning that there would be any sort of interview when I dropped of my paperwork! They just stopped by the apartment one day. Neither one of us were at the apartment so we were able to reschedule, but it was a bit unexpected. So at least in your case JuliaLynn, you have a bit of a heads-up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I think having any sort of interview probably depends on what Prefecture you are dealing with, as well as under what conditions you are applying for the carte de resident.

I live in 92 (Hauts-de-Seine), and last year was my 3 year mark for being married to a French citizen, so I thought I qualified for the 10 year card, and did all of the paperwork to submit my application. The police actually came to our apartment and interviewed me, my husband and checked the place to make sure that the both of us were in fact living there....so it really depends. I ended up receiving another 1 year card since it had only been 2 years of living in France consecutively for us (not sure why they even let me apply for the 10 year card since apparently I didn't qualify at that time), so I applied again for the 10 year card this year.

I am entirely expecting yet another friendly visit this year and going through the spiel once again...but who knows though, maybe I will luck out and not have to! That's the fun of it all :)

Oh, and also I want to add that I received no sort of warning that there would be any sort of interview when I dropped of my paperwork! They just stopped by the apartment one day. Neither one of us were at the apartment so we were able to reschedule, but it was a bit unexpected. So at least in your case JuliaLynn, you have a bit of a heads-up!

Whaaaat??!?!?! That's crazy! I knew they could do that when you applied for citizenship, but not for the 10 year resident card. And they gave me the impression that the interview would happen with the mayor, at his/her office. This actually freaks me out a bit, because I JUST got a response for a job I applied for at the beginning of July. It's in Agen (an hour and a half away from where we live), but unlike all the other jobs I've been able to find here, it actually pays well and is full-time. So if I get it, I was thinking of getting a studio in Agen and then going back to Mont-de-Marsan on the weekends (because I don't think I'd be able to deal with a year of 3 hour daily commutes). But I wonder how I would need to make it known. Not sure how badly it would be seen considering I am here on a "vie privée et familiale" CdS.
 

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I wouldn't worry too much about the "visit" - if you're not home, they'll try again another time and/or leave a note in your mailbox advising you to contact them. Actually, the daughter of a friend of mine got yet another variation on this theme. She was called in to the gendarmerie for her interview (this was for taking citizenship) and at the conclusion of the interview, the gendarme she had spoken to said he had to follow her back home and do an "investigation" back there. Actually went through the drawers in her bedroom (I guess to make sure she was, indeed, living there with her French husband). Though she says he got the impression the gendarme was more embarrassed about it all than she was.

Each departement has its own ways of doing its "investigation" in these matters. You cope with whatever they manage to come up with.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Whaaaat??!?!?! That's crazy! I knew they could do that when you applied for citizenship, but not for the 10 year resident card. And they gave me the impression that the interview would happen with the mayor, at his/her office. This actually freaks me out a bit, because I JUST got a response for a job I applied for at the beginning of July. It's in Agen (an hour and a half away from where we live), but unlike all the other jobs I've been able to find here, it actually pays well and is full-time. So if I get it, I was thinking of getting a studio in Agen and then going back to Mont-de-Marsan on the weekends (because I don't think I'd be able to deal with a year of 3 hour daily commutes). But I wonder how I would need to make it known. Not sure how badly it would be seen considering I am here on a "vie privée et familiale" CdS.
If the studio has the minimum of your stuff and your home has the vast majority and pretty much all your paperwork etc and is effectively your normal place of residence I can't for the life of me see why you should have any concerns. Heck, lots of French married couples do this and as a teacher you will have more opportunity to be at home with your husband than many others. Just breathe :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I wouldn't worry too much about the "visit" - if you're not home, they'll try again another time and/or leave a note in your mailbox advising you to contact them. Actually, the daughter of a friend of mine got yet another variation on this theme. She was called in to the gendarmerie for her interview (this was for taking citizenship) and at the conclusion of the interview, the gendarme she had spoken to said he had to follow her back home and do an "investigation" back there. Actually went through the drawers in her bedroom (I guess to make sure she was, indeed, living there with her French husband). Though she says he got the impression the gendarme was more embarrassed about it all than she was.

Each departement has its own ways of doing its "investigation" in these matters. You cope with whatever they manage to come up with.
Cheers,
Bev
Oh my. I'm at a friend's house on vacation, and we're imagining all the fun things I can hide to make said person rather uncomfortable. Seems a bit ridiculous to me, but at least once I have the 10 year resident card, I won't have to deal with this for a while. Yeesh.
 
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