It was great to be able to qualify for a British passport – thanks to my father being born in England – knowing that I could live and work in the EU without restriction.
The process wasn’t too difficult – just download the appropriate form and follow all instructions to the letter, because there is no refund on the application fee if your application gets rejected because you didn’t fill something in correctly.
For other Aussies like myself you can get all the info and forms at http://ukinnewzealand.fco.gov.uk/en/help-for-british-nationals/passports/how-to-apply/australia (they process all Australian applications in New Zealand). And of course, these days, you can have dual citizenship so you don’t have to sacrifice anything.
Our next hurdle was getting Tony a visa to stay in France for the 10 months.
We had obtained some mis-information in our searches on the net (you have to be careful) and were about to send off his application with attached fee, when we finally got to speak to someone at the French Embassy who said that, in our situation, we could just register at the local Mairie (town hall) as soon as we arrived and they would take us through the application process – for free!
Arriving at Paris CDG, using my British passport for the first time, it felt strange to waltz through immigration without even getting a stamp.
Crossing our fingers, we arrived at the Mairie in Argenton-sur-Creuse with all the papers we had previously gathered, and thankfully the lady who helped us spoke fairly good English and we organised Tony’s “Titre de Sejour” – residency card – without too much trouble.
We were thrilled to find that, not only is it valid for 5 years (we were expecting 12 months), but also he has the right to work for himself (although not for an employer) so that opens up real possibilities for us to one day actually settle in France.
What a lovely thought.