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Consular Registration When Living Abroad


Virginie Le Baler


March 30, 2023


11:07 AM

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When you choose to live abroad, administrative matters (immigration, taxation, social security, children's school, housing, driving license, etc.) can keep you quite busy! There is, however, one point that is sometimes forgotten during a mobility: the consular registration. And yet, it can be very useful!

What is Consular Registration?

Consular registration consists of registering with the Consulate of one's country of origin, in one's new country of residence. For the French, it is registration with the "Register of French established outside France", Brazilians will receive a Matrícula de Cidadão Brasileiro, Americans a Consular ID Card....

It is a formality that may be mandatory for some nationalities, but is generally not an obligation. Nevertheless, it greatly facilitates exchanges with its Consulate.

Note: this is in no way a proof of legal residence in the country

Should I Register with my Consulate Upon Arriving in a New Country?

This registration has two main goals, aside from having you in their databases:

In case of emergencies: It allows authorities to prevent/locate the person in the event of an emergency (political crisis, natural disaster....) and to contact his relatives, but also to send him information (safety instructions, places of gathering, evacuation plan).

For everyday life: It allows its holder, depending on the country, to carry out administrative procedures, such as exercising his right to vote, applying for identity documents, facilitating exchanges and issuing a laissez-passer in case of theft / loss of passport, obtaining civil documents, obtaining scholarships for children, being registered for the day of appeal to the defense and applying for social assistance (for French citizens) and help you within the limits of its means in case of serious situation (illness, death, imprisonment).

A concrete example? If you wish to obtain French nationality through marriage with a French citizen, the period is 4 years of living together. If these 4 years took place abroad, you will be asked for proof of registration with French nationals abroad: without being able to produce this document, the time increases to 5 years.

I'm an Expat - How do I Register with Consular Authorities?

This varies from country to country, but generally, consular registration is now done online, providing identity documents, contact information (address, email, telephone). This is usually a free process. Remember to unsubscribe when you leave the country!

Additional information for French citizens:

Do you know the Ariane platform? If you are going to a country considered "at risk", this platform set up by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs allows you to notify the authorities of your trip and its duration, and to be warned in the event of a serious political crisis or natural disaster.

You will be informed of rescue and repatriation operations.

Unlike consular registration, which takes place beyond 6 months of residence abroad, the Ariane platform is accessible for short-term stays. Here is the link to access it: Connexion - Ariane - France-Diplomatie

Travel safe 😊 and for more information contact Virginie at Oui Immigration!

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