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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

I am writing this in continuation of http://www.expatforum.com/expats/france-expat-forum-expats-living-france/1242193-where-get-english-marriage-certificate-translated-french-2.html but wanted to make the title more specific so creating a new one.

The end goal is to get my wife French Citizenship. This forum as been so helpful in helping me obtain my French Citizenship (thank you again Everhopeful, Bev and all) and now trying to get this done for my wife.

The steps which I gathered which are required:

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1) Apply for my Acte de Naissance / French birth certificate / French birth record from Nantes

2) Once received, send the Acte de Naissance and my UK Marriage Certificate (sending both originals, registered mail) to the French Consulate in London

3) The French Consulate in London will register the marriage in France and issue a Livrets de Famille (do I need to send a separate application request?) as Nantes no longer issues the Livrets de Famille.

5) Once received from French Consulate in London, I can take my Act de Naissance and Livrets de Famille to the French Consulate in Zurich to register my wife.

6) She then passes her French B1 language course then can apply for French citizenship through marriage

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I have now completed step 1. I received my Acte de Naissance from Nantes. (which looks almost identical to the one I received from the Toronto embassy??)

For step 2, just wanted to check, am I filling out the right form here? https://uk.ambafrance.org/Le-mariage-pour-tous (the Avec civil partnership form??)

Thank again!
 

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The actual process for your wife to take French citizenship by marriage is here: https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2726

What you're describing are the steps you need to take prior to applying for her French citizenship to get the necessary documents. Your marriage will need to be transcribed into your French birth certificate (i.e. based on step 5 in your list). This can take some time. But once that has been done, you'll need to get a new copy of your French birth certificate that includes the record of your marriage - and that will be what she needs in her application process.

And, as with most administrative processes, there are a ton of miscellaneous documents she'll have to provide - basically proving the duration of your marriage, that you are and have been maintaining a common residence, etc, etc. Work from the list on the Service Public site, but check with the consulate to see if they have any additional requirements. Once the paperwork has been submitted, it will take several months for the necessary "review" of the facts and circumstances - figure up to about a year. They may also ask for one or more interviews with your wife and possibly with you.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I think you will need to deal direct with the Consulate that has responsibility for wherever it was that you were married in order to have your marriage registered (so if you were married in the UK but not Scotland, then it's the French Consulate in London - but not so if you were married in the US). Perhaps the French Consulate in Zurich (where you are currently registered) can point you in the right direction.

Once you have organised that, then your wife will be able start the process to apply for French nationality.

(I think that's pretty much the same as Bev is saying.)

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thank you again for the responses. And thanks to the link of the actual process, very helpful.

A few more questions:

- Didn't get a response to the difference between the Acte de Nassance from Toronto and Acte de Nassance from Nantes - they're almost similar, which one do I send to the London consulate to get our wedding certificate translated?

- Is this the correct form to send to the London consulate to get our wedding certificate translated? https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/t...7765/64fb8e1860b8748e7ee9dc0796d37dd5f83bc58b OR is it this one: https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/pub_-_liste.pdf?6981/e453b42049e97b534d982f791fca78804c4e24c8

- On the language requirement, is a B1 certificate all that's required or does the whole interview also need to be in perfect French?

- Do I also need to speak B1 French to support her application? I don't speak any French but received French citizenship though my Father - just wondering how that would work in reality when the interview process starts.

- During the interview, do I need to be present or is it just my wife?

- During the interview are there any questions about French integration/community involvement or is it literally whether or not we meet the requirements on length of marriage, criminal record, etc?

- Are there any citizenship services that exists that will support an application through the process? eg there are law firms in the US/UK that specialize in this, wondering if this exists in France?

Thank you
 

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See responses in red.

Thank you again for the responses. And thanks to the link of the actual process, very helpful.

A few more questions:

- Didn't get a response to the difference between the Acte de Nassance from Toronto and Acte de Nassance from Nantes - they're almost similar, which one do I send to the London consulate to get our wedding certificate translated? You definitely need the birth certificate from Nantes.

- Is this the correct form to send to the London consulate to get our wedding certificate translated? This is the correct form to have y...7765/64fb8e1860b8748e7ee9dc0796d37dd5f83bc58b OR is it this one: https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/pub_-_liste.pdf?6981/e453b42049e97b534d982f791fca78804c4e24c8

- On the language requirement, is a B1 certificate all that's required or does the whole interview also need to be in perfect French? Don't know

- Do I also need to speak B1 French to support her application? I don't speak any French but received French citizenship though my Father - just wondering how that would work in reality when the interview process starts. AFAIK you do not need to be able to speak French.

- During the interview, do I need to be present or is it just my wife? Don't know

- During the interview are there any questions about French integration/community involvement or is it literally whether or not we meet the requirements on length of marriage, criminal record, etc? Don't know

- Are there any citizenship services that exists that will support an application through the process? eg there are law firms in the US/UK that specialize in this, wondering if this exists in France? You should not need to use such a service - the process is pretty straightforward and cannot be compared with the US or UK processes

Thank you
 

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Everhopeful has given you most of the answers. But here is my take:

- Didn't get a response to the difference between the Acte de Nassance from Toronto and Acte de Nassance from Nantes - they're almost similar, which one do I send to the London consulate to get our wedding certificate translated?
The copies should be dated, and in that case you send the more recent (most likely the one you got from Nantes).

- Is this the correct form to send to the London consulate to get our wedding certificate translated? https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/tr...d37dd5f83bc58b OR is it this one: https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/pu...ca78804c4e24c8
Something went wrong with the red highlighting - you should send the one marked Transcription d'un acte de mariage.


- On the language requirement, is a B1 certificate all that's required or does the whole interview also need to be in perfect French?
The certificate should do it. (And no, no interview ever has to be in perfect French. But bonus points if she can manage passable and understandable French.)

- Do I also need to speak B1 French to support her application? I don't speak any French but received French citizenship though my Father - just wondering how that would work in reality when the interview process starts.
No. Your level of French doesn't matter.

- During the interview, do I need to be present or is it just my wife?
See what they say in the letter inviting her for the interview. It varies by location. When I got my nationality by marriage, I had two interviews - one with the gendarmerie (on my own) and a second at the prefecture where my husband HAD to attend with me. There are a variety of procedures in place.

- During the interview are there any questions about French integration/community involvement or is it literally whether or not we meet the requirements on length of marriage, criminal record, etc?
Again, it varies, but probably yes. My interview at the prefecture was mostly a run through of my educational and working history. There may be questions about your interaction with your family (the French ones), possibly how she learned French given that you don't speak the language, stuff like that. Nothing to be afraid of if you answer sincerely and simply. They normally don't ask, but she should be ready to give a nice, neat reason why she is seeking French nationality (given that you don't speak any French and don't seem to have any strong ties to France). If you are planning on moving to France, that's a perfectly legit thing to mention. But don't offer any information they don't ask for.

- Are there any citizenship services that exists that will support an application through the process? eg there are law firms in the US/UK that specialize in this, wondering if this exists in France?
Basically, no. And from my experience, you are more likely to get pushback if you "lawyer up." As EH says, it's a pretty straight forward process unless you have some skeleton in your closet you're trying to avoid mentioning. The French aren't "legalistic" in the way the Americans and the Brits are, and showing up with a lawyer is a sure way to raise their suspicions that "something" is strange about your application.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I believe the birth certificate has to be the one from Nantes (i.e. the French one). That's the one that indicates the OP is French and is also the one that will subsequently be updated with the marriage details. It needs to be a recent copy (haven't checked back on the link, but I think it needs to be no more than 6 months old). It's available free via the internet.
 

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I believe the birth certificate has to be the one from Nantes (i.e. the French one). That's the one that indicates the OP is French and is also the one that will subsequently be updated with the marriage details. It needs to be a recent copy (haven't checked back on the link, but I think it needs to be no more than 6 months old). It's available free via the internet.
I was assuming that the "Toronto consulate" bc was the initial one (ultimately from Nantes) that they send you when your application for nationality is first done and processed. If that's not the case (and the bc is a Canadian one) then, absolutely correct, it should be your French bc by all means.

I just recall them sending me my initial French bc along with a note that basically said, "don't ask us for another one unless you really need it. You only need a copy from within the last three months if it is for something having to do with marriage." (Of course nearly every transaction these days seems to have some relationship to your marital state - or so it seems.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I was assuming that the "Toronto consulate" bc was the initial one (ultimately from Nantes) that they send you when your application for nationality is first done and processed. If that's not the case (and the bc is a Canadian one) then, absolutely correct, it should be your French bc by all means.

I just recall them sending me my initial French bc along with a note that basically said, "don't ask us for another one unless you really need it. You only need a copy from within the last three months if it is for something having to do with marriage." (Of course nearly every transaction these days seems to have some relationship to your marital state - or so it seems.)
Cheers,
Bev
I believe the OP got his French version birth certificate more than 6 months ago, so he would need to provide a more recent one (which is I believe what you initially said). Can't remember which Consulate issued his birth certificate. However, it's worth getting used to applying for the certificate from Nantes and the fact that the French administration usually requires one that is less than 3 months old (in this case though I suspect it's less than 6 months old, which is more unusual).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks all for the responses.

Yes, correct, I received my first Acte de Nassance from Toronto but that was more than a year ago. Therefore, the new version I received from Nantes is what I will use for my application to the London consulate to get my wedding certificate translated.

Looking online, it appears these are the steps to complete to get my wedding certificate translated (this was about 4 years ago, not coming up): https://uk.ambafrance.org/Vos-demarches-etape-par-etape

Just checking - is this the right form to complete for the Livrets de Famille? https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/t...6986/e6276b57d953809c848abace03ec4ef784b5aa98

Thanks for answering the questions about language and interview - first let me work on getting our Livrets de Famille sorted.

Also, since I have to send original documents to the London consulate, how will they send me the documents back? do I have to send a self addressed stamp envelope? How would that work as I'm in Switzerland and they'll be senidng from the UK?

Finally, how much does it cost for the Livrets de Famille? seems odd there is no cost anywhere on the form?
 

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Thanks all for the responses.

Yes, correct, I received my first Acte de Nassance from Toronto but that was more than a year ago. Therefore, the new version I received from Nantes is what I will use for my application to the London consulate to get my wedding certificate translated.

Looking online, it appears these are the steps to complete to get my wedding certificate translated (this was about 4 years ago, not coming up): https://uk.ambafrance.org/Vos-demarches-etape-par-etape

Just checking - is this the right form to complete for the Livrets de Famille? https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/t...6986/e6276b57d953809c848abace03ec4ef784b5aa98

Thanks for answering the questions about language and interview - first let me work on getting our Livrets de Famille sorted.

Also, since I have to send original documents to the London consulate, how will they send me the documents back? do I have to send a self addressed stamp envelope? How would that work as I'm in Switzerland and they'll be senidng from the UK?

Finally, how much does it cost for the Livrets de Famille? seems odd there is no cost anywhere on the form?
You won't be getting your marriage certificate translated - it will be transcribed into the French system.

I believe your other questions were answered earlier, however you can simply email the French Consulate in London at [email protected] (email is their preferred communication and this is the only email address you should use for matters relating to your civil status) and ask them what they require you to submit. The communication can be in English and they will send you the English version of the forms.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
You won't be getting your marriage certificate translated - it will be transcribed into the French system.

I believe your other questions were answered earlier, however you can simply email the French Consulate in London at [email protected] (email is their preferred communication and this is the only email address you should use for matters relating to your civil status) and ask them what they require you to submit. The communication can be in English and they will send you the English version of the forms.
Thanks Everhopeful - fyi everytime I email the UK french embassy in English, they respond in French. and the forms they told me to fill out are in French as well. I'll look to complete this at the earliest as I don't believe I need my wife's long form birth certificate for this step in the process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok - had a look at the application here: https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/t...6986/e6276b57d953809c848abace03ec4ef784b5aa98

There is a checklist that's required, which I had a french speaker translate:

- written request signed by the French party/parties
- certified copy of an entry of marriage which needs to be no more than 6 mo
- both certificates of birth (if French: full copy no more than 3 mo; US: certified full copy no more than 6 mo; if British: certified copy of an entry of birth no more than 6 mo)
- photocopy of your french ID
- photocopy of all wife's passport pages (those that are not empty)
- 3 proofs of address that you live together
- an A5 envelop, already paid for (for 100 grams, signed for)

A few questions:
1) why can the acte de nassance be only 6 months old - why would it expire given everyone is only born once?? (just wondering as not familiar with the french processes)

2) do I still need to submit a long form birth certificate? This was required when I had my original acte de nassance created, not sure why I would need to send again? reason I ask is there is actually a typo in my original birth certificate (long form) and would be a serious pain (if possible!) to get this amended)

3) Written request signed by the French party/parties (assume this is the application itself?)

4) not sure what a certified copy of an entry of marriage is? is this our wedding certificate? if so, this is 4 years old, not 6 months? :confused:

Thanks again all in advance
 

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Ok - had a look at the application here: https://uk.ambafrance.org/IMG/pdf/t...6986/e6276b57d953809c848abace03ec4ef784b5aa98

There is a checklist that's required, which I had a french speaker translate:

- written request signed by the French party/parties
- certified copy of an entry of marriage which needs to be no more than 6 mo
- both certificates of birth (if French: full copy no more than 3 mo; US: certified full copy no more than 6 mo; if British: certified copy of an entry of birth no more than 6 mo)
- photocopy of your french ID
- photocopy of all wife's passport pages (those that are not empty)
- 3 proofs of address that you live together
- an A5 envelop, already paid for (for 100 grams, signed for)

A few questions:
1) why can the acte de nassance be only 6 months old - why would it expire given everyone is only born once?? (just wondering as not familiar with the french processes)

2) do I still need to submit a long form birth certificate? This was required when I had my original acte de nassance created, not sure why I would need to send again? reason I ask is there is actually a typo in my original birth certificate (long form) and would be a serious pain (if possible!) to get this amended)

3) Written request signed by the French party/parties (assume this is the application itself?)

4) not sure what a certified copy of an entry of marriage is? is this our wedding certificate? if so, this is 4 years old, not 6 months? :confused:

Thanks again all in advance
1) Because French birth certificates are normally updated with marriage/s, divorce/s - the French administration tends to assume this is also the case in other countries - therefore they can CHANGE.
2) You need to submit the copie integrale of your French version birth certificate, and a recent copy of your wife's birth certificate issued by the registry responsible for wherever she was born (so effectively both 'long form' as you call it).
3) Yes
4) This is a recent copy of your marriage certificate (not the original that was given to you) issued by the relevant registry of births, marriages and deaths (so that would be from the UK).
 

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As EH has said, the French require "current" official copies of birth and marriage records because the French records are updated for life events (marriage, divorce and the death of the person concerned). What they want is a certified or official copy of the relevant certificate or record, with a seal (usually an embossed seal) that is dated by the office issuing the copy.

Whenever they ask YOU for a birth certificate, what they want is your FRENCH birth certificate, not your original from the country of your birth. These are, fortunately, obtainable online and I don't believe they cost anything to obtain.

The recent copy of your marriage entry usually is a document obtained here in France from the mairie where the marriage was performed that validates your status (and like a birth certificate is issued as a copy with a seal and date of the copy). You should be able to make due with a certified copy of your marriage license or certificate issued by the jurisdiction in which you were married. (Though I would throw in a copy of your livret de famille, too.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you so much for the information.

Didn't realize French birth certificates also have marriage info and can be updated - that's exactly what I'm trying to add :D

I'm guessing the copie integrale is the exact document I received from Nantes? There is a seal but it's not embossed like seen on other official documents

My wife is from the US. There is no 'recent copy' as in the US, birth certificates do not change. Therefore does she still need to request another copy or can she use the long form birth certificate she already has?

We got married in London, unfortunately the council's wedding registrar only re-sends copies of marriage certificates within the UK, not abroad, specifically states on their website. Out of curiosity, how come we cannot just use the original copy of your marriage certificate? Re Bev's point: You should be able to make due with a certified copy of your marriage license or certificate issued by the jurisdiction in which you were married. (Though I would throw in a copy of your livret de famille, too.) I can provide our original marriage certificate but I do not have a Livret de Famille, that's what I'm trying to receive!

Thank you all again for the continued support
 

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I'm guessing the copie integrale is the exact document I received from Nantes? There is a seal but it's not embossed like seen on other official documents
Basically, yes - but I'd request a recent copy. The "original" French BC I received when I got my nationality has a stamp on it that says "copie certifiée conforme" - is dated and then signed off by some civil servant or another.

My wife is from the US. There is no 'recent copy' as in the US, birth certificates do not change. Therefore does she still need to request another copy or can she use the long form birth certificate she already has?
No, she needs to get a recent copy that is signed and dated within the last 6 months. The French administration doesn't care that no one else updates birth records. They want a fresh copy. She can use a service like VitalChek or apply directly to the county registrar's office in the county where she was born. A certified copy usually runs about $15 to $25 or so.

We got married in London, unfortunately the council's wedding registrar only re-sends copies of marriage certificates within the UK, not abroad, specifically states on their website. Out of curiosity, how come we cannot just use the original copy of your marriage certificate? Re Bev's point: You should be able to make due with a certified copy of your marriage license or certificate issued by the jurisdiction in which you were married. (Though I would throw in a copy of your livret de famille, too.) I can provide our original marriage certificate but I do not have a Livret de Famille, that's what I'm trying to receive!
I lose track of which forum members are at what point in their administrative "adventures." For registering your marriage, yes you will need some sort of "certificate" or official verification of your marriage. You could try contacting the British Embassy or Consulate where you are (Switzerland?) and see what they can suggest/recommend. I wouldn't send the "original copy" because it's unlikely they will return it and at some point you may need another for some other function. (Though not in France, once you have your livret de famille!)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you Bev -
I received the acte de nassance from Nantes last week so I'm good to go there.

Wasn't aware of VitalChek! Will see if I can get my wife's long form birth certificate from there - big help!

I wrote to my UK council's registrar to see if I can get a copy specially sent to me abroad. Will also write to the UK embassy in Switzerland to see what they can do.

Lots of steps to go but will update this thread - thanks again for everyone's help!
 

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To be honest, just about any administrative task in France feels like a giant scavenger hunt - for all the proper bits of paper you never thought you'd actually ever need. (I suppose you now appreciate having them all in place after all!)

But having that livret de famille will make life (at least in France) quite a bit easier going forward.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Hi all
Just an update:

- Received my updated Acte de Naissance
- Received my wife's long form birth certificate
- waiting for our marriage certificate from the UK

Once I receive the marriage certificate, I'll send them - along with the completed form - to the UK for the familie liviet and to register my wife.

The problem is her birth certificate. Let's say her name is Jane Smith Doe - everything matches all documentation with the exception that her middle name on her birth certificate is "Smith-Le" - not her real middle name, but you get the jist. Basically on all other documentation (her US passport, marriage certificate, etc) matches completely except for her birth certificate. It has the same middle name, with this additional suffix.

Do you think this will be a problem with the French consulate in London?

Thanks
 
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