Washington, January 21, 1901.
notice to american citizens formerly citizens of france who contemplate returning to that country.
The information given below is believed to be correct, yet is not to considered as official, as it relates to the laws and regulations of a foreign country.
All Frenchmen who are not declared unfit or excused may be called upon for military duty between the ages of 20 and 45 years. They are obliged to serve three years in the active army, ten in the reserve of the active army, six in the territorial army, and six in the reserve of the territorial army.
If released from all military obligations in France, or if the authorization of the French Government was obtained beforehand, naturalization of a former French citizen in the United States is accepted by the French Government; but a Frenchman naturalized abroad without the consent of his Government, and who at the time of his naturalization was still subject to military service in the active army or in the reserve of the active army, is held to be amenable to the French military laws. Not having responded to the notice calling him to accomplish his military service, he is placed on the list of those charged with noncompliance with the military laws, and if he returns to France he is liable to arrest, trial, and upon conviction is turned over to the army, active, reserve, or territorial, according to his age. Long absence from France and old age do not prevent this action.
A Frenchman naturalized abroad, after having passed the age of service in the active army and the reserve, nevertheless continues on the military list until he has had his name struck from the rolls, which may usually be done by his sending his naturalization certificate through the United States embassy to the proper French authorities.
The French Government rarely gives consent to a Frenchman of military age to throw off his allegiance. Application on the subject may, however, be addressed to the minister of justice at Paris, accompanied by a full statement of the particulars and a fee of 675 francs. If the request is granted, the name of the person concerned is erased from the military list and he may return to France safely.
There is no treaty between the United States and France defining the status of former French citizens who have become naturalized American citizens.
Passports are not necessary to enter France, but are usually required from sojourners or travelers afterwards. They are recognized without being visaed or indorsed.