vendredi 2 juillet 2010
After having filed my wheelbarrow's worth of paperwork for the French Nationality Request early last month, and being informed that I would likely get the Convocation in 4 to 7 months, I was quite surprised to find in the mail yesterday a letter from the Mairie addressed to me, Convocation. No, it can't be! I surely forgot some paper. (Well, more likely the person who verified my file when I turned it in didn't do it correctly or else they decided to come up with another hoop, just for kicks).

I opened it up, and sure enough, I was informed that I had to return to the Mairie after July 22, 2010 (my five-year anniversary in France) for a "complement d'information". Oh man.
You see, you can obtain French nationality by two ways- being married to a French for four years (as of last May 26th) OR in France for 5 years (as of July 22nd). Drat. Maybe it is 4 years of marraige AND five years in France, not OR. Or else they misunderstood my request (more likely).

I called the Mairie this morning and got the most unhelpful person in the world. The kind of person you want to reach through the phone and strangle.
"Come pick up your file. For requests for nationality by marriage, you have to file it with the Courts."
"But I was told to do it there."
"Come pick up your file. We only do requests by residency."
"Well, okay, but then what do I have to do?"
"Come pick up your file. Thank you, goodbye."
"Wait, I just want some more information."
"Come pick up your file. I can't stay one hour on the phone." (Because my coffee break is in 5 minutes, even though I just got here 30 minutes ago.)
"It's not an hour. I just want an answer to my question."
(well, actually it went a few more rounds like that- she desperately unwilling to help, and I just wanting to eek out a bit more information)
"Come pick up your file. Thank you, goodbye."
"Thanks for nothing!"

I hung up and was so upset I was shaking. I guess that is what five years of dealing with French Administration will do to you. I went into the bathroom and just cried out of sheer frustration.
Once I had pulled it together a bit, I called the Prefecture and yes, effectively, I have to go pick up the file from them, and turn it back in to them. (with Alain present)

I asked which way was easier, and he said "Well, it's not that one is easier, it is just whichever you are qualified for."
"Yes but considering that I am qualified for both, which way is fastest?"
Apparently, by marriage. There are so many foreigners living in France requesting nationality by Droit du Sol that it is faster to pass by marriage.

Of course, I will really believe it (that I have to go by the Prefecture) when 2 French people tell me the same thing.

Gee, the person who gave me the file couldn't have told me this? Or the person who took my completed file, when I clearly stated I was married to a French, here is his ID card, his passport, his Acte de Naissance, and our Marriage Certificate?

But no, they aren't paid for that.

However, I was confirmed in my thinking that it was not necessary to file it with the Court. Until Dec. 31, 2009 requests for nationality by marriage did indeed have to go via the Court System BUT NOT ANYMORE. Get your facts straight woman, even if you are working as a fonctionnaire.

So now, I have to go back to the Mairie, pick up my file, try not to tell them off (though I will give them a highlighted copy of the official decree), then take another day off from work to go to the Prefecture with Alain and pick up the file. I am hoping that I can re-file it right away. Heck, I have every piece of paperwork that I/my parents/his parents/he has ever signed/breathed on/left a fingerprint on.

Just so frustrated because of the loss of time and the extra run-around.

I am tempted to file both sets of paperwork and see which one makes it through the system, like a race. Woohoo! It's a race: Prefecture vs. Mairie!! How exciting!

Not really sure what would happen if they found out I make two requests. Of course, that is assuming that they are coordinated/communicative enough between bureaucracies that they would put two and two together, which I doubt.

It doesn't say anywhere that I can't do it. Could always play the dumb foreigner card. "Oh. I'm sorry Mr. Prefet. I didn't know I couldn't do two requests. I thought that since I qualified for both, I had to do both."


4 commentaires:

Ksam a dit…

I'm still not sure why, but yep, married folk apply at the Tribunal and non-married folk at the Pref.

Argh, how frustrating though - people like that make me want to pull my hair out!! Try not to be too snippy with them tomorrow though, because you often have to go back and do an interview at the mairie at some point during the process.

Starman a dit…

I love the idea of you doing two of them. And I agree, I don't think they would ever figure it out. The only problem would be that IF they did figure it out eventually, they'd probably make you do the whole thing again.

Mwa a dit…

Knowing European bureaucracy as I do, you'd probably end up as TWO French people if you turned in two requests.

Sara Louise a dit…

Someone at that Mairie was rude and unhelpful?! Shocking! They've made me cry too.
Next time you should just say, "French you!" xo

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