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Hi! I have just discovered that as of next year (July 2014) it will officially be 5 years since I have lived & worked in France and more than 5 years that I've been PACSED to a french-born citizen.

Now researching the steps to french citizenship, I'm am curious about a few things for the process. I have read everything on service-public.fr

I've read it takes anywhere from 12 to 18 months after submitting the dossier to get a response and there are up to 2 possible interviews.

I have everything perfectly together for the dossier, PACSED, speak fluent french, proof of residency for 5 years, french drivers license, CDI in France for 2 of the 5 years, etc.

However, my man and I have been considering moving/living in the US for a bit in 2015.

If I apply in July 2014, will I be able to live in the US for a few months in 2015 if I still haven't heard back? Or would I technically not be able to leave the country during the wait?

I imagine if I still had my rental apartment it would be fine but I'd prefer to give up my lease if I left for a few months. I would certainly have an address of where my french mans mother lives that could be our official "residence" when in France.

Any experience or advice for someone in my situation?

Thanks!
 

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There is no restraint on leaving the country - but you normally only get a couple weeks' notice about any interview they want you to attend, and it's not real easy to beg off until later. In fact, the way they notified me for my interview with the gendarmes was that they drove by the house and simply dropped a "convocation" in the mailbox.

Allegedly, they do carry out an "investigation" of all the documents and info you give them (including whether or not you actually live at the address you have given), and I suspect your departure for the US would be noticed, as well as an "extended" stay there.

It might be safest if you could wait until you had your reply back before you moved back over like that - but if you were prepared to make one or two rush trips back to France to make your scheduled appointments, it might work.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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It also depends on the procedure for your particular prefecture.
For example in Paris, you'd have to send your dossier by post and then wait for them to contact you for the interview... while in Boulogne, the dossier is submitted in person and the interview is held the same day and in Nanterre there are at least two trips to prefecture, one to verify the docs and the other for the interview.

But my suggestion would be to a bit careful in terms of 'residing' outside of France: this is what it says on the service-public website:
"En principe, le demandeur doit résider en France au moment de la signature du décret de naturalisation. "

...which means up to the end of the process, i.e. till the day your name is published in the Journel Officiel.

Also any change in address during the process needs to to intimated to the prefecture immediately and generally it is advised to avoid changing address/jobs/civil status during the process since that elongates it further
 

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One other caveat - there is something on the Service Public site (or used to be - haven't checked recently) about the government having two years after granting your nationality to reneg on it if they find that something about your application isn't in order. I think that's normally used to deal with fake marriages, but it's loosely enough worded that you just never know...
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Yes it is something along the lines of: the nationality can be 'taken back'

- within 2 years of the decree being created, if the conditions were not met (i.e. the 5 year residency requirement etc), meaning if the nationality was 'given' as a mistake by the administration

- and if it was acquired by fraud/falsehood, then within 2 years of discovery of that fraud/falsehood
 
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