When administration makes it hard to marry a foreigner (in France…)
Intercultural couples have to clarify their identity first in front of national administration or legal institutions. A real challenge: a spouse may have underestimated that laws concerning citizenship and rights of residence for foreigners can have a significant impact on their relationship and status as a couple. The issue at stake is not only feelings of acceptance in a particular country; some countries require complex legal procedures for integrating a foreigner in the case of marriage with a national citizen. Often, the process is longer, more costly and frustrating than one expected. Naturalization is a further complexity. The intercultural couple will be confronted with legal procedures that can, at times, become legal obstacles. Consequently, early and romantic feelings of acceptance towards a new country may fade away. Frustration then quickly arises as one is pushed to affirm a new identity in a foreign country. .
How difficult is it to marry a foreigner in contemporary France? Listen to the 4′+ minutes radio broadcast on RADIO FRANCE INTERNATIONAL (RFI). This will give you a pretty good idea of the administrative challenges intercultural / binational couples face.
 Catherine Petit, La Migration Dans L’organisation Psychique Des Couples Interculturels (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2001). 43-44.