French Citizenship Pros and Cons?

(Bill Morgan) #1

I could have French Citizenship painlessly, (time here and a French Wife) but I have reservations.
Anyone thought at length about the pro’s and con’s, be interesting to hear your views. :slightly_smiling_face:

(anon88888878) #2

Hi Bill - I suppose the first step is to ask why?

(Bill Morgan) #3

Well, I suppose it could prove ‘convenient’, given Wrexit, and ynot :thinking: My main reservation, up to now, is the inheritance laws!

(Ann Coe) #4

Funnily enough this was raised during a recent dinner with French friends. They asked why I did not apply and I replied that at the moment I didn’t see the need. “It’s easy”, I was told, “all you need to do is fill in a couple of forms, buy a timbre fiscal and it’s done”!
At that point I laughed long and hard and explained that it wasn’t as easy as that. I would have to supply various documents including originals of birth, marriage, parents birth etc etc;.
“No” they said, “you have been here a long time you don’t need to do that”.
Anyway, to cut a long discussion short, one of them downloaded the documents, took a look and realised it wasn’t as easy as that. Also that the wait can be as long as 18 months. Also (despite others saying it’s not needed) that some departments require translated documents by an official translator.
So they now realise that for ‘foreigners’ its not as easy as that. This in turn led on to a big debate about French bureaucracy, Macron, strikes and load of other lively discussions ! :wink:

(Véronique Langlands) #5

I expect it makes a difference for people who are in the job market, for example it is a lot easier to register for the civil service exams etc if you are French simply because the bureaucracy is more straightforward in terms of papers.

(Bill Morgan) #6

Maybe the form filling could be easier having been married in France Ann ???

(Ann Coe) #7

No idea Bill, but I suppose that you still have to provide lots of documents from your country of birth !

(Bill Morgan) #8

I’ve probably submitted at least a few of them for the wedding and contracts we made, was what I meant Ann :slightly_smiling_face:

(anon88888878) #9

Now there’s a concept that takes a bit of getting your head around ( as an immigrant! )…:slight_smile:

I agree Vero although I’d say it very much depends on the industry you’re targeting - since living here I’ve had 3 job offers in aviation - with no French quals at all. Must be my natural charm :-:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

(Andrew Hearne) #10

I’m not sure if “painlessly” is the right way to descriube it ! :smiley: I’m in a similar situation to you, Bill. I’ve been here for nearly 13 years, otherhalf (pacs) is French as are our children. I have the Bac +4 so no need for the language exam eaither (although it wouldn’t pose a problem)… I printed the dossier off back in 2010 once I had 5 years under my belt but couldn’t face filling it in and gathering all the documents together etc. two young kids, both of us working more than full time etc.

To cut a long story short… once the brexit vote happened I wanted the assurance of not only being French but european too. People have pointed out that I can’t be “kicked out”, will have the right to be naturalised in another 12 years time (over 65, 25+ years in France and a parent of French children) but I’m bitting the bullet and I have my interview next month. It’s taken since last summer to get to this stage, the dossier should be dealt with within a year as I’ve been here over 10 years (it’s within 2 years if less).

I’ve spent a fortune on certificates and translations too!

It’s a personal thing, as you’ve pointed out. I “go back” to the UK for a week once a year or once every two years, it’s exotic for my OH and kids but home really is here, I’ve got as much idea of what’s going on in Italy, Spain or Germany as I have about the UK. French nationality will, I hope (it isn’t automatic!), be the last piece in the jigsaw for me. I’ll be able to vote for people I know about and understand and have a vote that matters to me. I couldn’t give a monkey’s about the UK or what’s going on there!

(anon88888878) #11

Bloody good post Andrew !! :clap::clap::clap:

(Bill Morgan) #12

Excellent post, thanks, good to see it from someone elses perspective :+1:

(Dominic Best) #13

At the end of the day Bill only you can make that decision. Whatever works for one person might not work for another. Nationality means so much more to some people than others and from what I’ve read on various forums there are a lot of people who see applying for French Citizenship as being no more than a pass to allow them to remain in their French homes despite openly despising so many things that are typically French. There are others who are British through and through and would not entertain the notion of becoming ‘French’. Personally I have few ties to the old country that I left over half my lifetime ago and have enjoyed being European for a long time. There are circumstances where I would want to apply for French Citizenship and as my closest family are French it would not be a huge step to make. For me I have nothing to lose through inheritance laws, The French system suits me fine.
At the end of the day everything I’ve read about what I, as a British Citizen, will need to do as the minimum to allow me to continue to live here in France will be a lot less involved than applying for Citizenship, as it should be because it would be a much smaller step. However like everyone else I’m still waiting to see what actually happens, crystal balls and rumours are not enough.

(Bill Morgan) #14

Thanks a lot Dominic, for another view, excellent :+1: :slightly_smiling_face:

(Ann Coe) #15

Ok Bill, I take it then that you not only have a French wife but that you were married here in France :slight_smile:
Like a lot of others, I have been here for a long while, and I don’t have any ‘ties’ at all to the UK, other than the fact that I worked and paid into the ‘system’ in the UK when I lived there.
In fact when we purchased our first house here it was before the ‘freedom of movement’. Had to apply via the French Embassy in London and French Customs, provide documents in triplicate, blah de blah to ship belongs here.
Personally I hate labels, I am English only by an accident of birth and I have felt more at home here in France than I ever did in my mother country.
I too am waiting to see what actually happens, it’s difficult to explain to French friends, and to understand personally too, how the UK can leave so many of us in Europe dangling by the short and curlies :thinking:

(stella wood) #16

At the moment I do not pay CSG on my UK Pension… but, I am told that if I become a French Citizen… then I would be charged CSG in line with every other French pensioner. This is a worry…

Can anyone clarify this… and tell me what, if anything, I would gain by paying this CSG?

I’ve got to be clear about the ramifications… before I plunge in… :thinking::zipper_mouth_face:

(Bill Morgan) #17

Thats an odd one, Madam doesn’t know the answer to that one, and She is an accountant, (not international), but says that could well be right Stella, but without research, admits She doesn’t know. I have the OAP and a Local Gov pension, so thats a very interesting one, thanks :slightly_smiling_face:

(stella wood) #18

Well, that’s settled then… I’ll wait for Madame to do the research… as if so, it will touch your pensions as well … :zipper_mouth_face: ooops

(Bill Morgan) #19


(Graham Lees) #20

I’m not sure that would be the case stella.
In order to gain French citizenship it is not necessary to denounce your British citizenship and the double taxation treaty (not subject to Brexit) will continue as before.
If your UK pensions were switched to France there might be an argument for them being treated in the same way as French pensions attracting CSG but I don’t see that as likely tbh.
Since you may have dual citizenship in France, it is necessary only to declare the income from UK pensions as is now the case (unless sometime ater, the UK Govt declares that European citizens should have their pensions dealt with in the same way as, say UK citizens living in Australia and Canada where the annual uplift doesn’t apply but that, as they say, is another subject for another day :thinking: