December 18, 2009

Je Suis Française

I still can't believe it.

I returned home from a shopping trip to Narbonne yesterday and the moment I walked in the house, husband held up an envelope and started singing la Marseillaise.
He must be mistaken, I thought. It's too early. The sous-préfecture said last May that it would take 1 more year to process my citizenship application and I had heard from several readers that they had to wait 2 years, 3 years, even 6 years.

I tentatively opened the envelope.


J'ai le plaisir de vous faire savoir que vous êtes Française depuis le 30/11/2009.

Tears welled up in my eyes. I know that sounds silly, but it has been such a drawn out, paperwork-filled, frustrating journey to get here, I just can't quite believe it.
I am officially a French citizen.

The celebration has begun. Vive la France!

The Journey:
The First Few Steps Toward French Citizenship
Stumbled Already!
Picking Myself Up and Brushing Myself Off
Marseille - One More Step on the Path to French Citizenship
Life as a Stranger
French Citizenship Update
French Citizenship - One Step Closer
The Boys in Blue
French Citizenship - Chapter One Too Many to Count Pin It


spacedlaw said...


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Toasted you last night ... Red wine went down very well, Congratulations!

Aimee said...

Congrats! The waiting game is the hardest. I intend on going down this same path soon. I know if I need to vent to someone about my frustrations I can always contact my FRENCH friend, Lou Lou!!! ;)

so happy for you! Break open the champagne!

geniuswaitress said...

Congratulations on your citizanship and also on your beautiful blog.

I have it bookmarked now.

(BTW I linked your baba ganoush photo on my site. I apologize for the lack of link --that was one of my first articles ever, and I didn't have the attribution thing down as well.)

-Liz Kelly

Justin said...

Congratulations, that is GREAT news!

garry said...

That is wonderful news.

France just got even better!

Cathy said...

Wonderful news, Loulou. I'm very happy for you.

Happy Holidays!

Sandy said...

That is wonderful news! Congrats french lady.;)

Loulou said...


Merci! I toasted too. And will again tonight with friends who are coming over for dinner.
Let the celebration continue!

Yes, you may vent your frustrations any time you need. I'll understand. :)

Thanks for putting in the link. Nice article!

Merci! It is some of the best news I've had all year.


Happy holidays to you too and thanks for the nice comment.

Thank you so much. :) I'm on cloud nine!

ashleyenfrance said...

Wow!! Congrats! I don't feel redy for that yet but just having had my daughter that might change my mind!! Getting a carte de sejour is hard enough, can't imagine the headache involved in applying for citizenship...

L said...


Dedene said...

Felicitations! I know the feeling of suprise when you receive the letter. It only took 10 months here. But I was disappointed that I didn't get to go to some sort of ceremony.
Now you can vote! Congrats encore.

Nadege said...

That is an amazing, terrific news!

"Prof. Kitty" said...

Congratulations, that is very exciting! As a francophile I love your blog and the vicarious French-ness I get from it, this is really tops!

georgiegirl said...


Wendl said...

Congratulations! Madame O'Grady must be watching over her old French student from the heavens. And I just sent you a card today saying I hope the citizenship process moves along this year!

Emm said...

Congratulations on perseverance and success! How long did the process take in toto? From your posts, it looks as if you started the final paperwork about two years ago?

Danielle said...

Congratulations on becoming a French citizen! I'm sure that they'll promote you to First Ambassador of Fromage in no time!

Alissa said...

Congratulations! What wonderful news!!

Sarah said...

of course I am not surprised, how can they deny citizenship to someone who knows more about French cheese/food than they do?

Ken Broadhurst said...

Fantastic, Jennifer. I'm really happy for you. Now Walt and I have to decide whether we want to go through that process.

Loulou said...

It was fraught with headaches, but now I never need to apply for a carte de séjour/résident again and that makes it all worth it. :)


Thanks! It was so exciting to open that envelope.
I'm excited about the voting part. Now I need to pay more attention to French politics.

Thank you so much! It is very exciting.

Prof. Kitty
I appreciate your nice comment and am happy to hear that you enjoy Chez Loulou. It is great to hear from my readers! Thanks!

That's exactly how I feel!

I immediately thought of her and am so sad that she's gone. I would have loved to have kept in contact with her and shared this news.
I've not send any holiday cards this year (I'm lame!) but will look forward to getting yours. Hope all is well with you and Bill and the girls! xo

Thank you!
It was about a year and 9 months but I got held up a couple of times along the way.

I would love to hold that position. :)

Merci beaucoup!

My French friends are often amazed by my French cheese knowledge.

It was a long process, but it is a wonderful feeling!

deedeeinfrance said...

Congratulations! I think the result is worth the wait. This officially your country now. Something about that makes it feel more like home.

Betty C. said...

How wonderful! Now we are fellow Franco-Washingtonians!I think I'll be opening some champagne tomorrow and will think of you! Cheers!

Loulou said...

Thanks for the congratulations!
It does make it feel like home. Before we always knew that if they didn't want us here they could refuse our Cartes de Séjour renewals. Not that I would have expected them to, but it makes me feel more grounded.

Enjoy that Champagne! We had some last night and it was great to toast to la nationalité and la France!
Franco-Washingtonians...I like it!

Emm said...

I went back to read your earlier posts on the process. You are brave as well as persistent. But this part puzzled me:
[ the completed form from the consulate in Marseille ] "equivalent of an extrait de casier judiciaire étranger, required my swearing to the fact that I've never been convicted of a crime nor filed for bankruptcy."
I can understand the non-conviction-of-crime part, but why bankruptcy? Under U.S. law, those leave the record after a period of time.

The Beaver said...

Toutes mes félicitations chère concitoyenne.
I was short by one month - I said it would be in November -ever the optimist.
So HAPPY for you and now you can ring in the New Year with lobster and Champagne.

Pumpkin said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for you!!!

croquecamille said...

Félicitacions! What a relief it must be to have it all sorted out - and what a great Christmas present! Joyeuses Fêtes!

Loulou said...

Yes, being persistent is important during this process!
As far as I understand, there is more of a stigma regarding bankruptcy in Europe.

You were almost spot on and much more optimistic than I was! :)

Thanks my dear!

It is such a great feeling! Thanks for your congratulations and joyeuse fêtes to you too!
I might get to Paris this April, so if you are around, me must meet up.

emiglia said...


Allons enfants de la patriiiiiieeee :)

Paola said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Vive la France indeed! What a fab Christmas present!

martha said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!! I'm so happy for you.

Angelina said...

Loulou- congratulations! You know I never had a love affair with France but ever since following you and Riana around on your various adventures I have found myself getting more and more wishful that I could come and visit and know that if I did, I wouldn't want to leave.

I'm so happy you've got your citizenship!

Loulou said...

I must learn the words to la Marseillaise!

Thanks so much! It is very exciting!

Merci for the congratulations!

Thanks so much. I hope you get here one day so you can see where we live...and no, you won't want to leave! :)

Leesa said...

I know it's bee a long while since you became a French citizen... but since I'm going to be applying real soon, I wanted to have a look at your experience with the process.... Thanks for detailing it so elaborately ... and a very belated CONGRATS to you!
Take care, Leesa

Chez Loulou said...

Good luck! I look forward to congratulating you on your nationalité some day soon. :)

Rvaya said...

I've recently gotten my Carte de Resident and I'm just curious as to why you went through becoming a citizen. I mean if you wanted to I understand but I was just curious if there were other reasons like health insurance, taxes, etc. I'd be really interested to find out. My husband is French so becoming a citizen wouldn't change much of anything for me in my daily life.

Chez Loulou said...

I asked for citizenship because my Carte de Séjour status didn't allow me to work and I wanted/needed that right. Of course, about 5 months after I applied, I received a 10 year Carte de Résident, which gave me the right to work so the Citizenship wasn't so important. But I'm really happy that I have it. No more cards to worry about!