The Association of Americans Resident Overseas



It is rare that AARO has a presentation about immigration to a country, but since so many AARO members live in France, we made an exception. Jean Taquet and his wife, an American, are AARO members. He studied law in France and then lived in the United States for many years, becoming an associate of the Delaware Bar Association. Upon returning to France, through his contacts at the American Church, he became an expert on immigration to France. He was also a regular contributor to the now defunct “Paris Free Voice’.


Jean started the talk by telling the audience that France is logical. This got a good chuckle, but he continued to explain exactly how that logic works. It starts with the French Revolution and having to deal with the old elite (aristocrats) and establishing a fair system for all to be equal under the law. This was achieved with the Napoleonic Civil Code. The way that France can maintain its republic is by treating all equally and that means through identity, not aristocratic rank. Identity is established by name, date and place of birth, domicile, and profession. Your name, your birth certificate, and proof of where you live and what you do. (Reporter’s note: In France, the extrait d’état civil, which is the birth certificate document, contains more than just your birth information, which is why the administration frequently wants to see a recent one.) That is the logic behind the constant request for documents.