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French nationality

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Hi, everyone. I'm new here, but I thought I would jump right in, since I didn't see my question already asked.

I am 61 (almost 62 -- in July), a U.S. citizen (born here), and living on a fixed income. I am seriously thinking about moving to France, and have a question about French nationality through my mother, who was born in France. My understanding is that I have French nationality automatically through my mother. BUT: There is a catch (of course!). My mother was *born* in France, but she came to the U.S. in 1942, with her father and brother, to escape the Nazis. She met my father, who was born in The Netherlands and came to the U.S. for the same reason, in New York City. I am almost certain that they both were naturalized as Americans soon after WWII ended, but what I don't know is if my mother also gave up her French citizenship. If she did, does that make me ineligible to automatically be a French citizen through her?

It may or may not be relevant to my question, but I should also mention that I don't know the exact year they became U.S. citizens. I'm pretty sure it was before I was born (in 1950), but if it was after, would that change anything? In other words, would the fact (if it were a fact) that my mother was a French citizen at the time I was born guarantee me French citizenship? Also, I don't know what U.S. immigration law was at that time. In gaining their U.S. citizenship, would my parents have had to renounce their nationalities of birth? And would *that* make a difference to my situation, now (the fact, if it were a fact, that they had no choice but to renounce, IF they were to become American citizens)?

I also want to add that I absolutely do NOT expect answers to all these questions in and of themselves. In other words, I don't expect anyone here to tell me what U.S. immigration law was in the late 1940s. What I'm looking for here is simply information on how any of these scenarios would affect my right to French citizenship. And I fully recognize even THAT is likely a question most people would not have the answer to. I post this only in the hope that if someone does know, or have any part of the information I need, they will see this and hopefully share what they know with me.

Much obliged for any help you guys can offer me.

Kathy K.

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