May 2, 2009

French Citizenship - Chapter Too Many To Count

One more year to go.

That was the official word from the amazingly efficient fonctionnaire (if that isn't an oxymoron, I don't know what is) at the sous-préfecture in Béziers.
My dossier has been sent on to the next level for review, to the Minister of the Interior I believe.

So I wait. Patiently.

Thus far the process has caused a bit of stumbling and a hiccup or two, required a train trip, a lot of check writing, and brought the Gendarmes around for a chat.

More than a year has passed since I dropped off my substantial, 50+ page dossier at the Mairie for the first time, only to have it immediately returned due to a disagreement the sous-préfecture had with some dates. It was finally accepted several months later but was then held up by the delay of my Carte de Résident.

Now it is complete. And it is out there. Somewhere. Hopefully not lost under a stack of other dossiers or shoved into the depths of someone's desk drawer.

One more year.
Anyone want to bet that it will take longer than that? I think the odds are pretty good... Pin It


Ksam said...

I'm wondering as well (I was told one year from this past February). I'm hoping it will be the case though, since technically by the law, the ministres now *have* to give an answer within 12 months. (Whereas before they had 18mo).

Veronica said...

well, you know what my bet will be :) 18 months huh? Ours took 6 years ...

Sandy said...

Getting anything done in France could take an eternity.... maybe if you know someone that works in french gov. or kiss some french arse...they may get it done faster. Good luck!

The Beaver said...


I bet that it will take less than a year. If I lose, you will be rewarded with a can of genuine Maple Syrup from my province :-)

Anonymous said...

My citizenship took exactly 10 months to the day to get approved. That is what the ladies at the prefecture told me. I couldn't believe it, but for once, the French gov't came through.

Good luck and bon courage!

Katie Zeller said...

I'll keep my fingers crossed for you...
We applied to just change our Carte Vital between departments - you know, change of address? That was November... It's been 2 months since it was complet..... Still nothing!

Jennifer said...

They "have" to, huh? :)
I heard that there was a new 12 month rule, but didn't think it applied to those of us who already submitted our paperwork.
We'll see...
I'm sure you will get news before me.

Ack...don't remind me!

I wish I knew someone!
Already had some great help at the sous-préfecture, but now it is in their hands.

I'll get the pancake batter ready.

10 months! wow
If it came through for me by the end of 2009 I would be totally shocked and amazed. And thrilled!

What a pain! Fingers crossed for you. At least your number is still in their system?

deedee said...

Mine took one year, almost to the day...but before that, changing addresses on my old carte de séjour when we changed departements, now that took almost two years...

Ksam said...

I think (hope) it applies to us as well. A friend of mine's paperwork went through last June, and they told her she should expect to hear back by this June, so we'll see!

Nadege said...

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I worked at the french consulate for 6 months. One day a french gentleman called from France and wanted one more piece of paperwork (something that had been omitted in LA). He was waiting for his furniture at costum. The person in charge was not in his office so I took the gentleman's info. "He will just have to call back" was the response and the info got "filed" in the trash can.
And that guy was actually nice, he was in a bad mood that day. Patience is a virtue but dealing with any kind of administration can put you over the edge.

Nadege said...

Actually, I shouldn't write that it is hard to deal with the "administration", it is the human beings working there (maybe most of them are sub-humans), but because of the experience at the french consulate, I have no problems writing that french coffee is strong and bitter, they are new at using barbecues and not good at it (yet?)... Bring it on!

Jennifer said...

poppy fields
You give me hope...
(carte de séjour problems aside)

If she gets her paperwork back next month, please let me know. That could be good news for both of us.

You have just confirmed one of my fears; that paperwork gets conveniently "misplaced" (thrown away) when the person dealing with it doesn't want to deal with it. There's also the stories about papers getting shoved into drawers when people retire, never to be seen again.
But I'm staying positive. I think it will come through, just may take a while.

Nadege said...

Keep the faith. It might take a while but you will get your papers eventually. I think in France, people working in "l'administration" treat french people worse than foreigners.

L Vanel said...

I hope it happens sooner than later! Hang in there!

Veronica said...

I reckon our experience was atypical for various reasons -- I haven't heard of anyone else having to wait anywhere near so long. And after 2 years we kind of gave up, in the sense that we stopped hassling them. If we'd been more pro-active it would probably have been quicker. No-one was more surprised than we were when we suddenly got a letter announcing that our application had been approved!

Everything sounds positive for you -- the 10-year CdS has to be a good sign.

Jennifer said...

The new woman in Béziers has been very kind and helpful. I'm so happy they hired her. Let's just hope that the people at the next level like Americans.

I will! No point in turning back now. :)

Your situation definitely sounds atypical! It must have been incredibly frustrating. I'm so glad your citizenship finally came through.

I'm holding hope that by March 2010 the papers will arrive and I'll be toasting France with a glass of Champagne. (or Blanquette de Limoux!)