French Nationality, and More Bretagne

 

My husband and I are working on getting my French citizenship. Surprise: there are many complicated steps to the process and the instructions are difficult to decipher. At times, the steps seem convoluted simply for the sake of being difficult. So we emailed the man in charge at the local embassy. He will only communicate via email; he will not accept phone calls or appointments. In our email, we tried to clarify a few points we were confused on after our research on their website. He sent us a form letter back, politely inviting us to refer to their website for answers to our questions.

 

Oh, the French.

 

Today, I go to the Alliance Française to take an exam that will determine if my French is at a level adequate enough to become a citizen. Will I be worthy?

 

The hope is that if I am a citizen, our family can easily go to France for extended periods during which I can work there, and that all of us will have the right to move freely, or stay, in France and Western Europe. Plus, I think it would be really cool to have dual citizenship.

 

So, I’ll post some more photos of my beloved Bretagne, and then get back to the stack of paperwork that is French bureaucracy at its finest!

One of the great things about traveling in Bretagne, especially when you get away from the bigger cities like Nantes or Rennes, is that much of Bretagne is visited mainly by French tourists, if at all. It’s off the beaten path enough that it remains more authentic, untouched.

 

Flowers growing on an old stone wall

Flowers growing on an old stone wall

Sunset at low tide

Sunset at low tide

Locmariaquer

Locmariaquer

St. Cado, one of the most photographed homes, because the tide isolates it

One of the most photographed homes in St Cado because the tide isolates it

Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Quimper

Benodet

Benodet

Concarneau

Concarneau

German bunker from WWII

German bunker from WWII

Hay! Hey! (That's for my brother)

Hay! Hey! (That’s for my brother)

Fresh caught oysters

Fresh caught oysters

Locmariaquer

Locmariaquer

IMG_4262

Mmmm

Mmmm

IMG_4273

Catch of the day at the outdoor market

Catch of the day at the outdoor market in Locmariaquer

IMG_4274IMG_4306

 

 

16 thoughts on “French Nationality, and More Bretagne

  1. you’ve totally piqued my interest! 😉 to become a french citizen or not to become a french citizen, that is the question! but the real question for me is will i be able to keep my american nationality???? you seem to say yes. how does it work? i won’t take on the french nationality if it means i have to give up my american. I’ve heard yes and no. can you enlighten me??? please 😉

  2. The French love their bureaucracy! My sense is that French people in “service” positions don’t view their jobs as helping/serving others, they see it as: I need to sit in this chair, answer this phone between 9 and 5, and make sure the paperwork is filled out correctly. I’ve banged my head against many a wall in dealing with French bureaucracy!

  3. How fun! We’re in the same boat 🙂 If I’d snooped around on your blog a little longer I probably would have found answers to my questions, but anyway, here goes. So you’re not living in France right now, right? But you may want to some day? Have you found out how long it takes to get French nationality? My husband and kids all have dual citizenship, I’m the only one who hasn’t done it yet. We’re moving permanently to France in 2 months, and so I guess it may be too late to apply for citizenship from over here in the US. I guess I’ll just get my long-stay visa and apply for it once we’re over there. Any thoughts on that? I’ll also be curious to know how the interview at the Alliance Française goes. I’m sure the test isn’t so hard 🙂 I’m so happy to have found your blog!

    • We are in San Diego with no immediate plans to move to France, though we’d love to be able to split our time between our two countries. I’m not sure about the time frame; they made it sound as though it would be pretty quick once we’d completed all the paperwork, but this is the French we are talking about! I’ve never looked into a long stay visa. I have an American friend in France, married to a citizen, who was having to wait for a year + before being able to even apply for a work visa, which made me think citizenship was the way to go, but then if you have a company that hires you and scoots you through that process, I think it can move faster.

      The test at Alliance Française was ok – it was all oral comprehension, one part done on the computer in multiple choice, the next in conversation with two native speakers who then grade you. Some parts on the computer were surprisingly easy, others surprisingly difficult – they had a range of questions to accommodate all levels. I’ll get my results in a few week.

      Thanks for reading, and I look forward to reading your blog, too!

      • Can’t wait to see how you did on the test at the AF. I’m sure it went really well 🙂 I think I’m too late to apply for citizenship (doing it from the US). I will drive up to Chicago (closest consulate to where I live) and get a 1 year long-stay Visa. They’re free for spouses of French nationals, and allow you to live and work there for one year. During that time, I’d better get on top of things and apply for citizenship. That will certainly make things easier. You should be proud of yourself for going on and doing it now, while you’re here. Have you thought about how you could possibly split your time between the two countries? That’s a fascinating idea!

        • Our dream is to spend summers in France, while the kids are still in school, or maybe even a year or two there, then down the road maybe half time here and half time there…. It’s such a nice dream 🙂 We’ll see how it all plays out.

          • Being able to spend summers there is already a real privilege, and so cool for the kids (and parents!). That’s what we’ve been doing for the 15 years we’ve been married. I consider us very fortunate to have been able to do that. Half time here, half time there, now that’s a nice dream to make happen! 🙂

  4. Love these photos they capture perfectly the serenity of that coastlne with its stunning views and explosions of occasional colour.
    Lots of the stuff you write rings true for me. Only those of us with French partners and in-laws get a real insight into the magnificent, magical, frustratingly annoying breathtaking beauty that is France and her people;

    Regards

    Dan

  5. Just discovered your blog via the Multicultural Kid Blogs group on Facebook. Really enjoying reading your articles. I lived in France for three years and can certainly relate to what you’ve said about dealing with French bureaucracy!

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