View Full Version : Will Applying for French Citizenship Risk My Green Card?
02-02-2002, 05:06 PM
I received my Green Card 6 months ago. Now I'm considering applying for French citizenship (my wife is a citizen). The citizenship process takes 1-1.5 years.
Do you think that applying for French citizenship will have any bearing on my application for US citizenship in the future?
Any chance the INS will consider that a violation? A change of intention?
I appreciate you opinion
02-02-2002, 07:52 PM
If you keep your residence (physical presence, paying US taxes as resident) in the US, no reason why French citizenship will interfere with PR status.
I don't know what you need to do in those 1.5 years. If you need to be in france, you need to get reentry permit filed in advance and it will delay your ability to apply for citizenship by that time you spent outside (roughly).
When you apply for US citizenship, you need to denounce other citizenships. However, I am not sure if this is symbolic or not.
02-03-2002, 06:13 PM
Abulafia, Thanks for your attention (toda!)
All I need to do to acquire the French citizenship is file the paperwork and go through a short interview (in French unfortunately…)
What bothers me is the matter of INTENTION (I must add that in order to receive French citizenship you need to demonstrate ***some*** intention to live (eventually) in France).
If the INS learns about my newly acquired French citizenship (how will they know about it anyhow?) will it put in doubt my true intention of naturalizing in the US?
02-05-2002, 06:41 PM
I don't know of any requirement for you to have any kind of intention as per PR status, you can always give up your PR status, so intending to be in Frnace eventually is possible.
As per US citizenship, as I told you, there is some requirement to renounce other citizenships. I am not too familiar with that and believe you can essentially keep other citizenship (e.g. Israeli, French), but I don't know for a fact (I never asked).
02-06-2002, 03:08 PM
The short answer is yes, nothing in Canadian or U.S. law prevents you from being a citizen of both countries. Just make sure you always enter Canada as a Canadian and the U.S. as an American. But you need to cross your fingers when taking the oath of citizenship. It requires you to "absolutely and entirely renounce ... all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty." That presumably includes la reine Elizabeth deux. But the oath has no legal implications as far as I am aware.
If INS learns about this, they probably assume that your intent is to live in France. That would certainly jeopardize the US Greencard. On the other hand, as a French citizen you can live and work freely in all countries of the European Union.
As somebody from Europe, I can tell you that it is nice there, although the taxes are higher, and there tends to be more government interference.
As far as the Oath of Allegiance for the US citizenship is concerned, it states that you renounce all allegiance to other countries. The State Department knows, however, that pretty often, other countries do not care what you say in front of US officials, they often still consider you a citizen of their country. Because of that, there is no actual requirement to hand in your passports from other countries. In fact, if your home country still considers you to be their citizen, you may actually be forbidden to travel there with the US passport.
So it is somewhat of a gray area. The only real requirement is that you identify yourself to US officials as US citizen. That also means that you get into trouble if you violate US travel restrictions, e.g., if you travel to Cuba, even if using a different passport.
02-07-2002, 12:25 PM
Could you refer us to the law/regulation on this matter?
Why is intending to eventually live in france wrong (for PR)? e.g. on retirement, individual plans to give his GC back and move back to france with his French spouse. Up until that time, keep his legal residence in the US.
02-07-2002, 05:06 PM
JoeF - I must say that I agree with AbuLafya - why would INS assume that I intend to live in France right away? - I can move there in 30 years as far as they're concern.
Also - how can they possibly know that I acquired a French citizenship...?
Well, if they find out, they will probably assume that you intend to live in France immediately. That would just be common sense. If you don't intend to live there right away, you could acquire the French citizenship when you decide to live there. It would be up to you to prove them wrong. Unlike everywhere else, in immigration law the burden of proof is usually upon the defendant.
How would they know about it? Well, usually you have to show your passport when you enter the US, even if you have a GC. Unless you can keep you original citizenship as well, they would find out this way that you are a French citizen. I don't know if they have the current citizenship in their system.
02-08-2002, 02:40 PM
In my humble opinion, nothing is wrong with applying for French citizenship now. As I said, I am not aware of any requirement on intention to stay in the US forever.
If there was some grounds for exclusions, they would have asked about your other citizenships explicitly (for PRs they ask about country of birth).
I think guiding rule is whether or not you actually preserving your residence and your intentions do not count.