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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am an American student studying Jazz Performance and Music Tech (studio work and recording) in the United States. I will graduate in 2013. Soon after I graduate, i would like to move to Paris. Why? I was born in Paris to American citizens who were living there for a year, and I was six months old when I came home. After high school, my mother wanted me to see Paris, and we stayed for ten days with friends in Paris. I fell in love with the city and the bits of culture/politics that I was introduced to by our friends there and through what I saw and experienced. Also, many jazz musicians have had much more success in Europe than in the USA. Either way, teaching and performing music is a different competitive environment than many other fields and I'm aware of that. Also, the saxophone and jazz are my passion, and France is the birthplace of the saxophone, as well as where many jazz musicians ended up. Anyway I'm getting off topic.

I've read that if I went to grad school in Paris, I could work half-full-time while in school, and obtain citizenship two years after two years of school. I'd like to do two years of grad and I could support myself for two years after that. Would I then be able to become fully French and be competitive in jobs such as teaching music part-time in a conservatoire?

Let me know if I should tell you all more about my situation in order to get good advice.
 

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You say you were born in France. Have you ever checked to see if you might already have French nationality by virtue of being born there? France used to be well known for their jus soli laws - meaning that anyone born in France was considered a French national. That changed, but I'm not at all sure when that change came about.

This is the Service Public page on French nationality for someone born on French soil with parents who are both foreigners: Nationalité française : enfant né en France de parents étrangers - Service-public.fr

I've heard that rumor about only two years of residence if you go to grad school in France, but be careful. Your period of residence in France is only one of several requirements if you're trying to naturalize yourself as a French citizen. You have to fulfill all the other stuff, too - speak, read and write the language, have "integrated" yourself into French society to a sufficient degree and a few other things. And, there is the perpetual administrative caveat: just because you can provide evidence that you've fulfilled all their requirements doesn't mean they actually will grant you French nationality. They can (and sometimes do) refuse people based on the vague notion that they "aren't sufficiently integrated."
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response.

As far as I know, I would have had to live in France for 5 years before I was 16 to become a citizen by birth. My parents learned that from the embassy, so I'm going to assume it's true.

Also, after a 2 year student visa has expired, how long can I work on visas? Would there be any way to extend that through the 2 subsequent required years?
 

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Thanks for the response.

As far as I know, I would have had to live in France for 5 years before I was 16 to become a citizen by birth. My parents learned that from the embassy, so I'm going to assume it's true.

Also, after a 2 year student visa has expired, how long can I work on visas? Would there be any way to extend that through the 2 subsequent required years?
If you managed to find a job where the employer could justify sponsoring your visa, you might have to return home to process the work visa, but that would allow you to stay as long as the job held out.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Yes, if you find a company willing to sponsor you, you can change the status of your visa from étudiant to a working status (travailleur temporaire ou salarié), but it does require quite a bit of paperwork. It may or may not be necessary to go back to the US to fulfill this. Normally, a change of status can be done in France, but the process is long and complicated. If you ask for a new visa which allows you to work, you would have to return back to the US to obtain your visa from your consulate.
 
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