I'm a binational of France and US, currently located in the US. I need to do some business with my local French consulate, but they are asking what other nationalities I have, and have told me that this will go into the determination of whether they will provide the service.

I'm concerned about providing information to the French administration about my other nationalities. Is there an actual basis in law for them to determine whether to provide a service based on my other nationalities? (This isn't consular protection kind of stuff, more like document registration.) I feel like I shouldn't have to answer this question but don't know how to respond without sounding cagey. Any hints appreciated!

  • 1
    What's that service? Applicable law will depend on that. It shouldn't matter for things like passports or apostille but nationality can have surprising effects on all things marriage or children-related so it could make sense for them to ask in some cases. There is certainly nothing preventing a consulate from requiring that information in general, it's more a matter of whether it's relevant to the particular service you are requesting. Haven't they told you in which case they would or would not provide it?
    – Relaxed
    Sep 15, 2021 at 8:30

1 Answer 1


Many countries only provide (routine) consular services to people who reside lawfully in the consulate's district. The basis of your lawful residence in the US is your US nationality; if you were not a US citizen they would require you to show a US visa, I-94 form, or other documentary evidence of lawful immigration status before they would help you with anything other than consular protection or emergency travel documents to enable you to leave the US.

  • That is definitely not the case here. I have availed myself of consular services in the past from consulates of France in various US regions and they have never attempted to assess the lawfulness of my residence in the US.
    – qoba
    Sep 15, 2021 at 5:39
  • @qoba That's still the general rule, although in my experience French consulates are happy with any proof of address (utility bill, etc.) before serving French citizens and only demand a visa or residence permit from non-citizens applying for visas.
    – Relaxed
    Sep 15, 2021 at 8:11
  • @Relaxed Dutch consulates in the US, by contrast, require proof of lawful presence in the US for routine passport applications. I don't know how a Dutch citizen who is unlawfully in the US and doesn't have a passport is supposed to be able to leave, but I suppose there's some way of arranging it.
    – phoog
    Sep 15, 2021 at 9:49

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