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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Can the government do this?

    So apparently I am a French citizen. Because my father is an immigrant from France, and I am his son, I am what they call a "citizen of blood". Therefore, I have the rights of a French citizen. Because I am to be 18 in a few months though, I got a letter from the Embassy saying that I am required to report to Boston for the French version of selective service.
    Alright, I don't have an issue registering for the American Selective service. I like in this country, have lived in this country all my life, and I am an American citizen by birth. I have a serious issue with a foreign government coming here and demanding that I register for THEIR draft. I don't even live there.
    Can they legally demand my registration? If I don't register, would they just revoke my citizenship or something? I wouldn't mind if they did.
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  2. #2
    Banned Bikepacker67's Avatar
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    If you're born in the US, you're a US citizen. I don't see how the frogs can claim you!

  3. #3
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Well, I know I am a US citizen. But I'm a French citizen as well. That government is pretty arrogant. I remember a few years ago, they wrote several letters demanding my mom (not French citizen) and my original birth certificate. No explanation why.
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  4. #4
    Foo-Schnickens sizzam's Avatar
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    France has a military?

  5. #5
    Chepooka StupidlyBrave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Well, I know I am a US citizen. But I'm a French citizen as well. That government is pretty arrogant. I remember a few years ago, they wrote several letters demanding my mom (not French citizen) and my original birth certificate. No explanation why.
    Perhaps you can simply renounce your French citizenship. I'd advise thinking it through, very carefully, before doing so.

    Good Luck!

  6. #6
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Is there any benefit in having French citizenship? I don't plan to live in France ever. I don't even know my family out there, we've met a few times and I know some of their names. It's a very distant relationship.
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  7. #7
    Foo-Schnickens sizzam's Avatar
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    There is some interesting stuff on Wikipedia about dual citizenship:

    Being a citizen of more than one country can have many advantages as it allows to draw various citizenship benefits from multiple sources. This includes the rights to establish residence, to work, and to acquire property, educational opportunities, eligibility for various government subsidies, including healthcare and retirement, etc. However, it is prudent to realize that each citizenship carries also responsibilities and obligations and that being a citizen of another country may be a liability. There are a number of categories where potential problems call for caution or even for obtaining professional legal counsel.


    Taxation

    Although taxes are often tied only to residence, certain countries, including the United States, require their citizens to file tax returns and pay taxes even if they reside permanently abroad. This problem is reduced because many countries and territories have contracted tax treaties or agreements for avoiding double taxation. In addition, parts of foreign income may be exempt from taxation, for instance, the United States allows currently up to $82,400 foreign earned income to be exempt from income tax.

  8. #8
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Is there any benefit in having French citizenship?
    Suntanned armpits. That's all I can think of.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    To the best of my knowledge, service in the French military is mandatory for two years at a certain age, as in most countries in Europe, unless something has changed in the last 20 years. But, usually, there's a way to serve as a conscientious objector, or otherwise perform community service, like working in a mental hospital, in a nursing home, or the like, for the same time period. I'll ask my neighbor, who is French, what the children of her brothers and sisters are having to do.

  10. #10
    Senior Member ken cummings's Avatar
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    I was a legal resident in the Republic of South Africa in the days of Apartheid and learned I was likely going to be called up in a few weeks. As I had done 4 years in the US Army and was a degreed engineer I was informally told I would probably be made an officer. I left the country within 72 hours before the government could lift my passport and hold me there. I served in Turkey when in the Army and learned that all men born in Turkey had to complete 2 years of service even if they were US Citizens AND on active service. So the US military never sent a serviceman born in Turkey to Turkey. France might not be such a hard case about it. I sugges you have a friend contact the US State Department and ask on your behalf without giving your name.
    This space open

  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Whatever happens, I will absolutely not serve in hte French Army. I don't live there, I've visited only two times, and I didn't even know I was a citizen until just recently.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    Call the consulate and find answers to your questions: (617) 832 4400

    Good luck.

  13. #13
    Overacting because I can SpongeDad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Is there any benefit in having French citizenship? I don't plan to live in France ever. I don't even know my family out there, we've met a few times and I know some of their names. It's a very distant relationship.
    As a French citizen, you can obtain and travel under a French passport, which might be of use in places like Senegal or Lebanon, or someplace where having a US passport might make you a target for crime, terrorism, etc. That's the theory, anyway.

    As a French citizen, presumably you are entitled to the free travel / work benefits of the EU. And I guess if you move there, you can sit on your butt and collect generous unemployment while feeling entitled to much more.

    My grad school room mate was dual US / Italy. Italy demanded military service, and he coughed up his Italian citizenship. If you don't renounce, and you go to France, you could be arrested.
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  14. #14
    Free Velo Vol! Velo Vol's Avatar
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    Just glancing at this, it appears service in the French military is voluntary. So even if you registered, it's very unlikely they could ever make you serve, unless you moved there.

  15. #15
    Dirt-riding heretic DrPete's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Is there any benefit in having French citizenship?
    Go to Cuba and buy cigars. And bring some back for me.
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  16. #16
    Opus PATH's Avatar
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    Interestingly enough the US Govt. does not recognize dual nationality. Call and see what the French Govt. has to say! I could have gotten an Irish Passport but decided that American I am and American I shall stay. Would not live anywhere else on the palnet rent free!
    Go raibh an chóir ghaoithe i gcónaí liom!

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  17. #17
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    The US does recognize it on some level I believe. My dad went through the naturalization process to become a US citizen a few years ago, they said he is welcome to have both citizenships.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by PATH
    Interestingly enough the US Govt. does not recognize dual nationality.
    incorrect. my ex & her intire family have both US & canadian citizenships; & my friend, his sister & his mother have US & irish citizenships.

  19. #19
    cab horn
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    Is there any benefit in having French citizenship?
    The right to surrender in war
    Mes compaingnons cui j'amoie et cui j'aim,... Me di, chanson.

  20. #20
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    Dual US Citizenship: The U.S. government allows dual citizenship. United States law recognizes dual citizenship, but the U.S. government does not encourage it is as a matter of policy due to the problems that may arise from it. It is important to understand that a foreign citizen does NOT lose his or her citizenship when becoming a U.S. citizen. An individual that becomes a U.S. citizen through naturalization may keep his or her original citizenship. However, as some countries do not recognize dual citizenship, it is important to consider it carefully before applying for U.S. citizenship.
    http://www.usimmigrationsupport.org/...tizenship.html
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  21. #21
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    I'd consult a lawyer.

    Around where I live (Olympia, WA), lawyers will charge you up-front for "consultation", and, then any extra work they do aside from explaining the law will cost you (by the hour). In the consultations I have had, I lay out the issue/questions, and, get straight answers.

    I have done this twice, for interpretation of Community Property Law/Pre-nuptual (sp?) agreement, and property issues (neighbors..grrrr). Hopefully, in your area, you can do the same with Immigration Lawyers. Call first and ask if they are the type of lawyer you need to talk to, and then ask their rate(s).

    It would be worth the time/money to get it right the first time. What we think/seems "right" is not necessarily the law.
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  22. #22
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    if you accept citizenship from a country then you have to put up with whatever laws it has. simple as that.

  23. #23
    Caustic Soccer Mom apclassic9's Avatar
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    One of my brother's friends' father was a Greek citizen, mother was a French citizen, but he was born in the US & lived here all his life. He went traveling in Europe, and was happily hanging around France until they tried to make him report for military duty (this was in the late 60's, mind you)... so, off he treks thru Italy, visits Spain, arrives in Greece... who ALSO would like him to report for military duty. He took his US passport and his US selective service card & came home!
    As with mud, life, too, slides by.

  24. #24
    Senior Member skiahh's Avatar
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    I think you can renounce your French citizenship. Don't know how, but it's probably not cheap since lawyers would no doubt be involved.
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  25. #25
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    I don't think you need to talk to a lawyer, but it can't hurt. Actually, I'd be willing to bet you can find out what you need to know from the State Department, although I'm not sure what group within that administration you would want to contact. It's their job to deal with and help citizens deal with foreign nations.

    I'm 99% sure there's nothing the French could do except perhaps detain you on a future visit, which seems like an unlikely amount of trouble for one "draft dodger"...first of all just tracking all the listed citizens living abroad and secondly following through on it diplomatically. Since you are also a US citizen, the US embassy would be obligated to get involved. It would be too much effort that would be bound to lead nowhere. This may not be flattering, but even if the US government didn't care about you personally being detained, it would set a precedence that could allow it to happen to more "important" people more easily (there was a case of a CIA operative being arrested somewhere in Europe recently that comes to mind), and at the very least on that basis the US would be likely to put just as much effort into the case as the French.

    The French couldn't take you from the US without an extradition, which is also extremely unlikely for anything short of major felony committed in France. The same motivations as above apply. And for them to take you without an extradition would be kidnapping, and Iran has showed us that even in questionable cases kidnapping is just opening up a big can of worms.

    I definitely think you should talk to the State Department if/when you consider traveling to France in the future.
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