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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it seems like it was forever ago that I applied, but in reality it was only a year ago. Although I started getting all my papers together around April 2014, I started the process in July (after some back and forth on extra papers). I had my interview with the prefecture in November and today received my confirmation that as of 13/07/2015 I have acquired the french nationality.

I'm so glad that is done. Now I just wait for a few papers from the prefecture to finish up my dossier (they say within six months).

So if you are going for nationality through marriage, be prepared to have every paper not in french translated, get apostles for your birth certificate and any other official papers (previous marriage certificate, divorce decrees, etc) and be patient.

What made it a bit long for me was every time I went to the mayor (I applied there, not at the prefecture), I talked to someone different who either added or subtracted papers to my list. So even if you think you don't need something, take it with you! Even if someone says, oh you don't need that translated, translate it! The mayor/prefecture may have a list of documents where they check mark what you need to bring, but each person seems to go by their own standards rather than having one standard for everyone.
 

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Well it seems like it was forever ago that I applied, but in reality it was only a year ago. Although I started getting all my papers together around April 2014, I started the process in July (after some back and forth on extra papers). I had my interview with the prefecture in November and today received my confirmation that as of 13/07/2015 I have acquired the french nationality.

I'm so glad that is done. Now I just wait for a few papers from the prefecture to finish up my dossier (they say within six months).

So if you are going for nationality through marriage, be prepared to have every paper not in french translated, get apostles for your birth certificate and any other official papers (previous marriage certificate, divorce decrees, etc) and be patient.

What made it a bit long for me was every time I went to the mayor (I applied there, not at the prefecture), I talked to someone different who either added or subtracted papers to my list. So even if you think you don't need something, take it with you! Even if someone says, oh you don't need that translated, translate it! The mayor/prefecture may have a list of documents where they check mark what you need to bring, but each person seems to go by their own standards rather than having one standard for everyone.
Hi Carlene,

I just want one thing clarified from you. Sorry if you have already mentioned it.

Did you have to get your original birth and marriage certificates apostilled, in addition to providing an official French translation?

Thanks
 

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Congratulations! It actually sounds as if the procedure hasn't changed all that much since I went through it. I recall that I got notification of my new nationality something like 2 days before the one year anniversary of the dossier being accepted at the Tribunal. (Back then, they claimed that if you heard nothing in a year, it meant you were approved.)

But don't you now have to attend a "swearing in ceremony"? A friend of mine who recently took French nationality by marriage was told that her nationality wasn't official until the date of the ceremony. Or maybe they waive that in the summer.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Carlene,

I just want one thing clarified from you. Sorry if you have already mentioned it.

Did you have to get your original birth and marriage certificates apostilled, in addition to providing an official French translation?

Thanks
Yes, I needed my original birth and marriage certificates, plus my divorce decree translated plus apostatized. At first they told me, oh only for the birth, then it was for the marriage and finally for the divorce. Frustrating as I could have done all three at once!

Also side note for US apostle, any paper outside of the birth certificate has to been submitted by a clerk of courts or the highest in that department, not a deputy. My marriage was signed by a deputy and I had to get a new one signed by just the clerk.

Bev, the paper I received says nothing about a ceremony. My letter starts out saying they have the pleasure of informing me of my nationality since 13/07/2015. Then states my name will be inscribed in the décret portant naturalisation et réintégration journal officiel.

Then it says within six months, i'll receive a letter from my prefecture with a letter from the president, my nationality paper, livret of information and my french birth certificate.

So hopefully since it is summer, you are right and they will waive that. With my luck, it would be on a day I'm not here lol.
 

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Just another note on the apostile - in the US, each state has its own quirks and peculiarities about what has to happen in order to get a document issued in the state apostiled. I assume that also applies to each and every country. I know in some states you have to get the signatures on the documents notarized first. But not in every state. And of course if you were born in one state, married in another and divorced in a third - there is a different process for each document.

Thanks for the clarification on the ceremony. Maybe that's only in the Paris area these days. But the French birth certificate is definitely worth the price of admission! No more apostiles or certified translations and getting a copy when you need one is free! (Of course I haven't needed one since I got my nationality.... but what the hey!)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I have just spent 4 days at the prefacture sorting out the carte grisse.... you make nationalisation sound too easy lol.

Well done :)
 

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Yes, I needed my original birth and marriage certificates, plus my divorce decree translated plus apostatized. At first they told me, oh only for the birth, then it was for the marriage and finally for the divorce. Frustrating as I could have done all three at once!

Also side note for US apostle, any paper outside of the birth certificate has to been submitted by a clerk of courts or the highest in that department, not a deputy. My marriage was signed by a deputy and I had to get a new one signed by just the clerk.

Bev, the paper I received says nothing about a ceremony. My letter starts out saying they have the pleasure of informing me of my nationality since 13/07/2015. Then states my name will be inscribed in the décret portant naturalisation et réintégration journal officiel.

Then it says within six months, i'll receive a letter from my prefecture with a letter from the president, my nationality paper, livret of information and my french birth certificate.

So hopefully since it is summer, you are right and they will waive that. With my luck, it would be on a day I'm not here lol.
Oh man! I'm so glad I read this post. I was just reading up online a few weeks ago about the process of getting citizenship, and when I saw that I'd need a copy of my marriage certificate in addition to the divorce decree that I already have, I contacted my sister to ask her to get a copy for me, so I wouldn't be scrambling at the last minute next year. But I assume that if I need an apostille for the marriage certificate and the divorce decree, is it like the birth certificate where it needs to be less than three months old? Now I am feeling guilty because once again I'm going to have to ask my parents' help, when it's a pretty bad time right now. And as Bev said, my divorce decree is from a different state, so I'm afraid I'm all on my own with that one. Sigh ...

Also, out of curiosity, did they make a fuss about needing your birth certificate being less than three months old? I read somewhere recently that they're supposed to stop asking that, but of course theory and practice are always way out of whack.





Oh and congratulations, of course!!! :)
 

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Don't panic just yet. Every departement seems to have their own take on the requirements. First step is to get the current list (also, did I mention "ever-changing"?) and see what they want.

When I went through the process, I did not have to produce anything for my prior marriage, nor for the divorce. (May have been because this time I got married in France, and validating the prior stuff is normally done as part of the preparation for a marriage in France.) Also, it depends on who you run into and you can sometimes "negotiate" the requirements. (I do think that's part of the "test" of how well integrated you are!)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Don't panic just yet. Every departement seems to have their own take on the requirements. First step is to get the current list (also, did I mention "ever-changing"?) and see what they want.

When I went through the process, I did not have to produce anything for my prior marriage, nor for the divorce. (May have been because this time I got married in France, and validating the prior stuff is normally done as part of the preparation for a marriage in France.) Also, it depends on who you run into and you can sometimes "negotiate" the requirements. (I do think that's part of the "test" of how well integrated you are!)
Cheers,
Bev
It was the same for me - whenever I got married here, I had to produce the divorce decree I think for the American embassy, for some paperwork for our marriage. But from the requirements on the website for our préfecture, it said we needed not only the divorce decree, but the marriage license also, which of course I don't have. I guess I thought I could at least get some of the work done ahead of time, but maybe I'll just ask next week about it.

Then there's also the risk that my husband could get transferred to another military base/city, which means the paperwork I will have put together may no longer be the right papers. Ahh, can't wait for this process to be done already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
julialynn, the marriage and divorce decree do not have a date limit. I actually had copies still of my marriage and divorce decree translated from my marriage in 2003 and they accepted those. However, in both cases the original marriage and divorce decree were signed by deputies of the clerk of courts and for the apostles I needed them signed by the clerk. So I had to get new copies of both, and that almost led to a meltdown lol.

For the birth certificate it did say 3 months or less, but by the time I finally had all the papers (back and forth with people adding stuff) it was older than that and no one said a word.

I don't know what state/states you will be dealing with via the apostle. But in PA, they only accepted a check in US dollars or a money order in US dollars plus a self-addressed stamped (US stamps) envelope. Luckily my sister, who helped getting my certificates for me was able to send me the money orders I needed plus lots of stamps. Otherwise, I would have been a mess.

Also, the apostle should not need to be translated. Parts of it are in french, and parts in english. That is supposedly a universal document (because of the Hague convention) and is meant to be accepted as is.

Don't worry about the paperwork you have already put together, just keep it. Honestly, in three visits to the mayor, with three different people, I had three different lists. I was frustrated beyond belief and at one point cried and said screw it lol. But I guess third times a charm because the third person I talked to was so helpful and so nice, she really helped and moved things along for me then.

I did think it was kinda stupid I needed the marriage and divorce decree. I mean, I had to produce them with translation when I got married here. I can't understand why that wasn't good enough honestly. But at the consulate did tell me, France loves red tape, lol. It is almost a test in itself. If you are prepared to jump through all these hoops to provide a mountain of paperwork then you really do want to be a citizen, or perhaps it is their way of laughing at us lol.
 

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julialynn, the marriage and divorce decree do not have a date limit. I actually had copies still of my marriage and divorce decree translated from my marriage in 2003 and they accepted those. However, in both cases the original marriage and divorce decree were signed by deputies of the clerk of courts and for the apostles I needed them signed by the clerk. So I had to get new copies of both, and that almost led to a meltdown lol.

For the birth certificate it did say 3 months or less, but by the time I finally had all the papers (back and forth with people adding stuff) it was older than that and no one said a word.

I don't know what state/states you will be dealing with via the apostle. But in PA, they only accepted a check in US dollars or a money order in US dollars plus a self-addressed stamped (US stamps) envelope. Luckily my sister, who helped getting my certificates for me was able to send me the money orders I needed plus lots of stamps. Otherwise, I would have been a mess.

Also, the apostle should not need to be translated. Parts of it are in french, and parts in english. That is supposedly a universal document (because of the Hague convention) and is meant to be accepted as is.

Don't worry about the paperwork you have already put together, just keep it. Honestly, in three visits to the mayor, with three different people, I had three different lists. I was frustrated beyond belief and at one point cried and said screw it lol. But I guess third times a charm because the third person I talked to was so helpful and so nice, she really helped and moved things along for me then.

I did think it was kinda stupid I needed the marriage and divorce decree. I mean, I had to produce them with translation when I got married here. I can't understand why that wasn't good enough honestly. But at the consulate did tell me, France loves red tape, lol. It is almost a test in itself. If you are prepared to jump through all these hoops to provide a mountain of paperwork then you really do want to be a citizen, or perhaps it is their way of laughing at us lol.
Oh my goodness. This is making me think I should wait a few years before applying, since I'm already applying for the 10 year resident card. Just reading what you went through stresses me out, lol. I can't remember how exactly Ohio does stuff, but I think I would have been able to use my debit card. However, I will have to go through Georgia if I need a new divorce decree with apostle, and that'll be a whole new discovery. At least if I have issues with the stuff in Ohio, I can ask my parents for help, but there are some health issues going on right now that I don't really want to bother them. Don't know what I'll do if the Georgia stuff gets complicated - don't know if it'll work sending a friend to go to the trenches for me or not. Here's to finding the courage for the last battle. :p
 

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Hi Carelene,

I wanted to know if along with the documents you have to submit your parents birth and marriage certificate.

I am also planning to apply for naturalisation but due to age old system in India back then I may not be able to get my fathers birth certificate.
 

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Rpurayil - What documents you have to submit depends on the basis on which you are going for naturalization. (As well as where you are applying - each prefecture has its own "quirks" about the documentation required in each category.)

julialynn - don't panic just yet. Certainly not until you've gotten the "official" list of what you'll need from your local prefecture. If they don't ask for certain things, don't offer them up. And there always is the option of negotiating for something you can't get or that will be extremely difficult to get. I managed to talk them out of the "need" for a copy of my first marriage certificate (explaining that it wouldn't prove what they were looking for anyhow) and avoided having to get birth certificates for my husband's kids altogether (basically by playing dumb, but it's kind of a long story...). And at one point they were talking about "needing" to see my husband's ex's birth certificate (which neither I nor my husband can get anyhow) so you have to wait and see what they come up with.

Hey, as long as you have the 10 year card, there's no great rush to get your nationality. (Unless you really want to vote in a particular election or something.) Get the list of required documents and if there's too much difficult stuff, wait until you're somewhere else. Maybe the requirements will be easier. (And, BTW, it is possible to get the required apostile and all by mail no matter what state you get it from. A PITA perhaps, but there is some way to do it.)

You might also check with an online company like VitalCheck about obtaining documents with apostile. It might cost a bit extra, but they usually take credit cards for most transactions.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Rpurayil - mine was through marriage, so I did not need that. Although my first visit they did ask for that and I was prepared to talk my way out of it, but thankfully the next person said I didn't need it.

Julialynn, like Bev says, don't stress. If you are going for the ten year permit, just do that and then relax on getting the rest of the papers together in your own time. The only one that has a time limit on it (even if they say it shouldn't now lol) is the birth certificate. Do you have your marriage and divorce papers? If yes, all you need to do is go online to the state department of the state they are issued in and read on how to get the apostle for each.

And if you are lucky, Vitalcheck will do the apostle in those states and you'll be able to use your credit card. Unfortunately for me, stupid PA didn't lol.
 

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Generally, I would just coast after the 10 year permit, but the reason why I am thinking of going ahead and applying for citizenship next year is that I could finally pass the concours. I'm kind of getting sick of not really knowing my work status from year to year. Every summer as soon as school lets out, I spent two months desperately looking for jobs at private schools and praying there will be titulaires who don't want jobs in my area so I can get work. It'd be nice being able to actually relax during the summer.
 

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Take a good look at your situation when you hit the point where you can first apply, and get the list of documents from the prefecture then. (Lord knows, it will change a half a dozen times between now and then.) You might just be pleasantly surprised and find that the list of required documents is more do-able than you thought. Anything they ask for in addition to the official list (and they will) is basically negotiable.

Think I've already told you this, but the final document that clinched my nationality application was the registration certificates for my donkeys. I just "happened" to have insisted that we put both names on the registration when we registered the donkeys - and when we had no other bills in joint name that I could offer, I jokingly offered the registrations. They took them, and so my donkeys "vouched" for me so I could get my citizenship. (Or should I say "they saved my ass!")
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Generally, I would just coast after the 10 year permit, but the reason why I am thinking of going ahead and applying for citizenship next year is that I could finally pass the concours. I'm kind of getting sick of not really knowing my work status from year to year. Every summer as soon as school lets out, I spent two months desperately looking for jobs at private schools and praying there will be titulaires who don't want jobs in my area so I can get work. It'd be nice being able to actually relax during the summer.
Have you taken the CAFEP? This is what I'm thinking of doing if my CDD in August doesn't pan out.
 
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