Wednesday, September 24, 2008

An experiment in beaurocracy

We've been in France 5 years now.

Officially I can now apply for French citizenship. And I will. I want to. It bugs me that I can't vote here. It will make me feel like I belong. Ever since I was little liked joining clubs and organisations.

So I went to the mairie and asked the wise woman, Yvette, what I need to do. She gave it heaps of "oh la la"'s and much tongue clucking. Luckily for me she had some application forms in the office. Apparantly someone else had once entertained the idea, but had given up because it was too difficult.

There are 2 forms to be filled in. Full of the usual stuff about me, the family dates of birth etc. The dossier will also require my parents birth certificates.

They also want a list of addresses and descriptions of all the jobs I have ever done.
They want a list of all the addresses I have ever lived at.
They want my last three payslips and the payslips for the months of December for the last three years.

All certificates: my birth certificate, Fiona's, the kids' birth certificates, our marriage certificate have to be translated into French.

Then, armed with all this they will ask the police to run a background check on me and request any UK police records. They will interview the mairie to ensure I am a person of good morals.

I will then be tested on my understanding of my civil rights and understanding of my civic duties and finally, my mastering of the French language.

AT the end of all that I can become French. I can hold dual citizenship so no need to renounce anything.

I will be able to vote but I will still be unable to donate blood. Crazy french.