Thursday, April 30, 2015

I let the letter sit on my desk unopened for a couple of days, I was sure that it was bad news. Finally after a conversation with Anne Marie, who simply said, open it, I did.  

It was from the Office of the Minister of Immigration and could have been any number of things. Notification that I was being deported, information on my carte de séjour, i.e. residency permit or...

Madame, J’ai le plaisir de vous faire savoir que vous êtes Française depuis le 1 Avril 2015.
Madam, I am pleased to inform you that you are French since April 1, 2015.

I kept reading and re-reading that line till it finally sunk in, my application to become a French citizen had been approved. I let out a squeal that frightened Wags and then I called my father, who didn't answer and then AM who did.

Let me back up. About 18 months ago I had lunch with an ex-pat who was returning home. She had been here for about 15 years, married a Frenchman and had two children. A couple of years before he had been diagnosed with a brain tumor that killed him within a year. After a visit to her family in the US, she decided to go home.

It got me thinking a lot about where my home was and I kept coming back to the fact that my home is Paris and that I don't have any place in the US to go back to. None of my family lives in our home town. Dad is here and my siblings live at least a 100 miles apart, so I have no nest to return to. So after a few months of thinking about it and speaking with friends, I submitted my application and began what was a bumpy path to becoming French.

It started easily enough, but a question was raised about how I received my initial residency and work permits as I didn't fit the typical profile. In response I expressed innocence, explaining that Dad, a French citizen by marriage, had hired an attorney who assisted me through the process. The bureaucrat, a kindly older man accepted my explanation and opined that whatever abuse of the process that may have occurred, I wasn't party to it. After that there was a concern about, ahem, certain activities that I pursued and then after a few weeks that problem went away. But selling of Kim & Co almost derailed the application, as there was a concern that since I no longer had employment..., entrepreneurialism being for suspcious concept for the French. It took a few months, but that hurdle was overcome and all I could do was wait.

Till yesterday.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Félicitations! - M

5:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does the IRS enforcement of the Foreign Bank Account Reporting factor into your decision to seek French citizenship ?

8:45 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Anon, since I have not renounced my US citizenship, I am still required to file a US tax return and pay taxes owed if any. As a practical matter, though I am a comfortably a member of the bourgeoisie, my earnings are not sufficient to make this little more than a paperwork hassle. I do pay US taxes and French taxes on income derived from investments that are located in the US. This was primarily earnings from the NY office of Kim & Co, but also a couple of brokerage accounts that I have.


11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the reply. It is highly likely I will be moving overseas in the next year or so. I am also eligible to apply for Dutch citizenship. The EU passport would make finding a place to settle easier, but I am concerned about FBAR.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Pete from Cal said...

congrats on your French citizenship as you have lived there for a long time. hopefully the time will never come for you to renounce your US past. take care!

11:02 PM  
Anonymous marriage compatibility test said...

Nice to hear that you got French citizenship. Stay happy, God bless.

1:28 PM  

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