As many of you will know, it’s been a serious struggle for me getting to and staying in France; partly because of my nationality, partly because I’m not part of the French systems, partly age, partly because I’m not completely bilingual but mostly because of my nationality - New Zealander/Kiwi. I have never managed to find a full time job with any security that pays enough to have any kind of independence. It gets worse every year and I was pretty pessimistic about my chances for naturalisation due to insufficient income.
I’m delighted to tell you that my persistence has paid off. I received a letter from the Ministère de l’interieur saying I am now French, which means I can’t be kicked out of France and Europe. This is enormous but hasn’t taken long to sink in since my soul is so content to be in France.
I was shocked to receive the news because it was well in advance than expected. From the time I sent in my dossier to the moment I received thhis good news the process was only 11 months. Often one must wait 18-24 months. My French boyfriend said my dossier was superb and that my interview would have been outstanding. The light of my love of France would have filled the lady’s office at the prefecture at Tours, sweeping away concerns over my feeble income (more than I get now). Fortunately the decision was made before my current mini contract would have become visible.
So here I am. Happy to have achieved the holy grail. No more torturous visits to the prefecture where they can treat me like shit. No more anxiety about how to stay here long enough to become French.
This doesn’t mean I can stay indefinitely because with no decent job I can’t stay anywhere and there is no liveable old age pension here for me but it means I could leave and come back if circumstances allowed later on. In this globalised world many of us become economic refugees, moving to wherever the work is and trying not to think about how to survive old age across countries. It’s one day at a time. I don’t recommend this type of lifestyle. I’d love to have my own place with a little job to pay my expenses. Retirement is not an option for the forseeable future but I like being active out there in the world. I like the fact that France is in the middle of a collection of interesting countries and I now have the right to taste any of them and contribute to them. Life is so much more interesting here than being stuck on a couple of islands (with insular thinking) at the end of the planet; pollution and poverty increasing by leaps and bounds there. Shame about the Brexit. Just when I might have had a chance to live in the ‘mother country’ the doors are closing again.
I don’t know what will happen when this year’s mini contract and vacataire positions run out. Becoming a microentrepreneur may or may not be the way to go - a big decision as I don’t know if I’d earn enough to survive on. that could be owrse than my current situation. Will I stay or will I go? At least I realised an important dream despite difficulties which often seemed insurmountable. I’d rank it up there with giving birth to my daughter and getting my degree aged 51. Truly milestone events.
Can’t wait to have my French passport, ID card from France. I’ll have to wait 6 months for the State of finalise all the documentation but I am in the official Journal. I’m bouncing up and down - I did it!!