Steps to Obtaining French Citizenship

Updated on May 24, 2017

France is a beautiful country with a rich cultural heritage. Every year tourists flock to the lovely countrysides and cities full of light. France is a place of romance and miracles. Many go there, fall in love with it, and decide to stay. Becoming a French citizen is recommended for those who are going to make a permanent move to the country. With a proper citizenship, an individual would be able to live, work, and vote in France. They would also be able to use government offered public benefits. A French citizenship opens doors in other European Union countries as well, such as allowing one to work in them without having to apply for a special work permit.

Obtaining French citizenship can take quite a bit of time and can often be a confusing process. Unfortunately, there are not a large amount of resources available in English on the Internet for those looking into obtaining French citizenship. Because of this, I've researched various laws and created this article so that those looking for this information can find it more easily. Despite the long process, there are a number of different ways to obtain citizenship in France.

There are several formalities and rules involved in the citizenship process in France which are outlined below. Some of the rules vary based on individual situations. If you're marrying a French citizen and wish to seek French citizenship, you'll go through a slightly different process than an American couple that wishes to retire in France.

The people of France are very proud of their heritage. Those who become citizens of France share in this pride.
The people of France are very proud of their heritage. Those who become citizens of France share in this pride.

French Citizenship Requirements

There are several requirements that have to be met in order to obtain citizenship in France. Luckily, some of these requirements are fairly easy to meet. On the downside, there are some requirements that may prove difficult. If you don't meet all the requirements, I still encourage you to seek additional information from the French government regarding your status.

This is just a general list of the guidelines and is definitely not the final rule and law regarding the process.

At least ONE of the following must pertain to you:

  • One of your parents has French citizenship – You can apply for French citizenship through your parent, even if you were not born in France. In order to do this, your parent must file evidence of your birth with the French Royal Register. If your parent no longer resides in France, you may still be able to obtain citizenship, but it will require your parent also proving they are a French citizen.
  • Your spouse has French citizenship and you’ve been married for at least four years – You will be allowed to file for permission to attain French citizenship if you have lived in France for a year while married to your spouse. You must still fulfill the requirement of having been married for four years. In order to do this, you will file a petition with the local prefecture where you live.
  • You have lived in France for at least five consecutive years – This is called naturalization. You can submit the proper paperwork to your local consulate. You may also be able to apply for your five years to be shortened to two if you have successfully completed two years of higher education in France.
  • Military Service – If you meet all the requirements, you will be able to enlist in the French Foreign Legion, a military group that accepts recruits from all over the world. You will be required to meet all the physical requirements, have your application approved, sign up for a five-year service contract, complete all your training, and serve for at least three years.

You must also meet ALL of the following requirements:

  • You must be at least 18 years of age – The only exception to this rule is if you are born to a French parent. They may petition for your citizenship before you turn 18.
  • You must be able to show that you are of good moral fiber – this will require specific paperwork and interviews with a number of officials.
  • You must show proof of having no criminal history. (Parking & speeding tickets don't constitute a criminal history – Obviously, no country is going to want to fill itself with criminals.
  • You must be able to show that you have integrated yourself into French life, including being able to speak French well enough to function in daily life – It seems fairly straightforward. You must show that you have a working knowledge of French language and customs in order to continue living in France.


Each applicant's case is different. Any questions regarding individual cases should be forwarded to the French government.

How to Apply for French Citizenship

You will need to fill out a ‘dossier’ which will include:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Identification
  • Proof of marital status (and whether you have children)
  • Evidence of employment
  • Evidence of residence in France
  • An ‘attestation de moralité’ which attests you have good character

If you are obtaining your citizenship through naturalization or marriage, you will be required to sign the Reception and Integration Contract (CAI). This form is valid for a year, after which the French government will evaluate whether or not you have reached all the requirements for CAI. These include taking a written and oral test to determine if you have reached an acceptable level of language proficiency, taking a civics class, and sitting in on an information session.

From the moment you furnish the above information and sign all the forms, it can take anywhere from one to two years until you are approved for French citizenship. There are many different things that the government will do during this time to prove that the information you’ve given is valid. It will also take some time for processing since different pieces of information will have to pass through various governmental departments.

Those who apply for citizenship will be required to, at some point, attend a Tribunal d'Instance. This is just a small hearing where the applicant signs a request for citizenship in front of a judge. The applicant may also be required to go to their local police department for a short interview to prove that the applicant qualifies for citizenship. At this time, the applicant must prove that they can sufficiently speak French.

There are some cases where the citizenship qualification period may be shortened. These instances include refugees, foreigners from countries where French is an official language and they have attended a Francophone institute of education for at least five years, those people who have demonstrated ‘exceptional service’ to the country, and any foreigners who have served in the French army.

It is important to note that if you are applying for French citizenship you should look into whether or not you will be able to keep your current country citizenship and be a dual citizen or if your French citizenship will negate the other. France does allow dual citizenship with the United States and a few other countries.

Do know that once you have become a French citizen, any unmarried dependents also become French citizens if they are living with you and are mentioned on your naturalization papers.

Obtaining French citizenship can be a long and stressful process. If for whatever reason, you find yourself not able to obtain full French citizenship, you should try to apply for permanent residence status. The requirements for permanent residence are more lenient than citizenship and the permanent residence card is valid for ten years but is also renewable. The only major difference between that and citizenship is that you will not be able to vote or hold public office as a permanent resident.

It may seem like a lot, but if your passion lies in the French countryside or under the twinkling lights of Paris’ Eiffel tower, it may be well worth it.

Questions & Answers

    © 2009 Melanie Shebel

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        Carol Zhou 6 months ago

        Everything I have read regarding attaining French citizenship by ancestry says that the French parent must register the child's foreign birth certificate with the French authorities. What if the French parent is deceased. Is it no longer possible for the adult child to attain French citizenship? or can the adult child self-register his/her birth certificate?

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        Sylvie 8 months ago

        I am currently married to a french citizen since February22.2003 I lived in France for 2 years. We have separated, but never divorced. I still have all my French rights as we reactivated my health card in 2009. Now I am separated since 2011 & would like to apply for my french citizenship. I can prove that in the 1600 my family on my mothers side came fron the Normandy region. However I have been approved for french citizenship back in 2007. Now my husband & I have separated in 2011 but never divorced. I still have a "livre de famille". Wew are still friends & I just want my french citizenship. We were together for over 7 years. What should I do?????

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        Pearl 8 months ago

        To reply to the question below, if both parents are French then the reply is yes, even if the child had not lived in France prior.

        If only one parent is French and the child has not lived in France, then it is not automatic and a lawyer would be better able to reply to what is necessary in such a case. I imagine that there would be some priority or privilege accorded.

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        Wendy 9 months ago

        Does anyone know if an adult child of a French citizen not living in France obtain French citizenship? Thanks

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        Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 12 months ago from Philippines

        France is such a beautiful country, and I love the French language. Although I don't qualify for citizenship, I'm grateful that I had the chance to see this beautiful country, including going up the Eiffel Tower.

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        Cathy 13 months ago

        My parents were in France for 2 years while my father was stationed with the military. Both my brother and I were born in France. Just wondering if it is too late to obtain my dual citizenship. I am now 61. Thankyou

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        Jean claude 13 months ago

        I got married 4 years ago ,born in France, I live in California for 34 years , and we're retired and we want to live 6months here and 6 months in France , do my husband needs a residency visa or can I apply for citizenship ?

        Thank you

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        Alan du Manoir de Juaye 14 months ago

        I am in a bizarre situation. My maternal grandfather was born in France. My mother, his daughter, was born in Canada (where my grandfather moved). The French embassy here told me that my mother was eligible for French citizenship, and that I, as the son of a French citizen, would also be eligible for French citizenship. However, my mother DIED at a very young age (34). I made enquiries and was told that the link had thus been broken. It seems that I am being left out because of my mother's death! I can't believe this. I have all of the birth records, etc. Is it actually possible that this can happen - that I am deemed inadmissible because my mother DIED??? I cannot believe this!!!

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        Anna 14 months ago

        I am 64 years old and have lived and worked in France since 1982.

        What documents do I need concerning my parents? They are both deceased. I do not have their birth certificates, marriage certificate or death certificate.

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        abdel 16 months ago


        By residing in France for 5 years, you mean residing as a permanent resident or do study years count?

        Thank you

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        Diana 16 months ago

        I am in the process of collecting my documents to apply for French nationality. I am 73 years old and have lived in France permanently for 5 years. Please could someone verify if I really need my parent's birth certificates? I have their marriage certificate. Both parents are dead and my siblings don't have these documents. Its complicated because my father was Dutch and I have no contacts for his remaining family.

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        Anna 18 months ago

        we are English and have lived in France for almost 10 years can are children get french citizenship

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        Brian Dove 18 months ago

        I am a UK national, my wife is French, we have been married for 21 years. We got married in Ireland, where we lived for a number of years. We moved to France in 2002 and lived there until 2010, since when we have been living in the UK. Would I qualify forFrench citizenship even though we no longer live there?

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        Tammy 20 months ago

        My fiance is french born and after living and starting a family has gone back to France to work while getting our daughters dual nationality under the impression once she has dual citizenship we will all be able to live there any info on this would be greatly appreciated would a mother have right just because her child has dual.citizenship? Any idea on how long that process can take? We've been together for about eight years and have had many vacations in France but now moving acrods the world to be together is a little scary.

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        Steven 20 months ago

        My wife is Germany but I live in France I have the France residents for 5years can I ask France passport two

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        David Brockenshaw 21 months ago

        I have been living as a retired person in France for 10 years and have integrated well into the society.If i apply for dual Nationality will I still receive my full English pension with the normal annual increases?

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        kellye 2 years ago

        Great Article. Thanks for the info. Does anyone know where I can find a blank French Republic Long Stay Visa?

      • profile image 3 years ago

        i been married to a french women for about 6 years.....since we got married we been comin to france every year for 1-2 weeks we finally moved to france bout 4 months ago...can i apply for citizenship???

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        Paul 3 years ago

        Its actually above age 60 that the language requirement is waived, not 65. But I have a question. Can one meet the residency requirements for citizenship by residing in French Polynesia, or must it be in a Department of France?

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        paul 3 years ago

        The requirement fro the French language test is now being waived for applicants over 65

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        Jay 4 years ago

        Hi, I heard that the period of residence is reduced to 2 year if you have obtained a 2-year post graduate certificate from a recognized french establishment. I'm going next year to study Msc in finance but it's only a 1 year program will I be able to get a reduction in the residence period required? do the years you have spent as a student count towards the 5 years you need to reside in France to qualify for citizenship?

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        PK 4 years ago

        Thanks for your information

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        Rob 4 years ago

        Irene, how long have you had the impression that obtaining naturalization through studies is chancy, and often followed by rejection? Apparently the Interior Minister, Manuel Valls, is loosening the rules now. How up to date is this? Thanks.

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        Paul Perry 4 years ago from Los Angeles

        God bless france, such an amazing country and such amazing people. This is a wonderful guide to getting french citizenship thank you! Will be passing this along to a friend who needs it.

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        qqu 5 years ago

        There are some places where military service for another country makes it impossible or harder to get citizenship. Is this true of France? If I serve a few years and end my service and later want to become a French citizen, can I?

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        Irene 5 years ago

        Sorry, my mistake in the previous comment: the monthly wage necessary to successfully apply for French citizenship through naturalization is 1.5 SMIC, not ,5 SMIC :)))

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        Irene 5 years ago

        Great article, thanks! However, there's another important point i don't think you've mentioned because it's nowhere in the official "nationality rules". Please be advised that in order to apply for French citizenship through "naturalization", one is expected to have an income of around ,5 minimal wage (SMIC) and show healthy tax returns to prove that he's within the comfortable living level. Trust me that in the country where a large majority of local population works for minimal wages, finding a job that pays 1,5 SMIC is not at all easy! Until this year 2013, another unwritten rule stipulated that one must have a permanent work contract (CDI) in order to successfully apply for French citizenship through naturalization (having a CDI counted as a proof of integration), but luckily, the new government has changed it to ANY kind of work contract, even Interim (temporary work contracts of sometimes as little as 1-2 days). You still, however, need to earn in the region of 1,5 SMIC and show healthy tax declarations for the last 3 years.

        In this situation, learning the language is the least of one's problems! If you have a job that pays SMIC in this country, you have nothing to complain about! :) So the procedure is not as easy and purely bureaucratic as it may seem. And as for obtaining a French nationality through studies, it's a highly chancy procedure which more often than not is followed by rejection.

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        mamun 5 years ago

        hi. i have been living france for two years. i m refugie politic; have ten year residence card( carte de sejour) . is there any rules for the refugie politic. can i apply for nationality before 5 yars ;

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        pintoo 5 years ago


        I am from India and i am working in France on "Carte de sejour Temporarie" since last 4 years continuously.

        Will i be eligible to apply for French citizenship after 5 years completion?

      • profile image

        paddy147 5 years ago

        @peter does your mum or any of your relative lives in France, If yes then u can immigrate to france

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        Peter 5 years ago

        Hello, My Mother is a French citizen, and I am over the age of 18 years, is it possible for me to emigrate to France, I am a Sri Lankan national.

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        adil 5 years ago

        what are the requirements for a refuge in France?

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        mimi 5 years ago

        hello. I have a doctorate degree from Grenoble Ecole France but I took it as part time program while living in Lebanon for 3 years. I am also Lebanese. Am I eligible in my case to apply for the french citizenship? please reply and thanks!

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        Ana 5 years ago

        Hello, does anyone know if the person who is more than 18 old can get french citizenship if one of the parents has the citizenship(not born in France)?

        I would really apreciate if anyone can give some of the answers! Thank you!

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        Jenny 6 years ago

        Hi, I was born in Asia but living in United States through my life from grammar schools to graduate schools and am a proud U.S. citizen; however, I also really want to be a French citizen & willing to learn French or buy a some property in french if it's necessary to obtain a French citizenship. My grandmother on my mom-side is half-French and half-vietnamese. Do you think I have the rights to claim my French citizenship and how can I do that? What's the best way for me to get a French Citizenship? Please show me the best way to obtain the French Citizen. Thank you so much for your time

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        Peter 6 years ago

        My grandfather is french born although he is now a US citizen and his french citizenship lapsed. I am 19 years old and I would like to become a french citizen. It seems this might be possible according to rubyray05's comments.

        If I need to stay 5 years (or 4 I believe if I study at a university) I was not able to find out the rules for how long I may remain outside of France during that period without losing my resident status.

        Merci beaucoup!

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        rubyray05 6 years ago

        Hello, everyone!! Regarding most people questions. Applying for french citizenship it is possible if you been married, to a french spouse and been living in france for four consecutive yrs. If you started and finished a PH degree in any national french institution, if any of your parents or grandparents are french born or naturalized or if you are in france with a french permanent residence for five consecutive yrs, working or studying or just taking care of your french children and finally but not sure, enlisted in any french force. But don't forget that in order to get a french permanent residence you must arrive to France holding a long stay visa and that apply to students, workers or no french spouse.You get you long stay visa at the french consulate or embassy close to you. Hummm hope this inf. will help any of you. Good luck everyone

        sorry for my spelling but I am falling asleep jeje

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        foxy lady 6 years ago

        My husband and I are British but have been living in France for 12 years now. We have two children both born in France but who are British passport holders. We were informed that when they reached 11 years old they could apply for french or dual nationality. Can anyone clarify this and if so should I approach my local prefecture?

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        Claire 6 years ago

        hey! i live in Australia and I'm planning to move to France in a couple of years. but when i finish school i want to stay with my grandmother in France for a couple of months. my dad was born in France but he has passed away, has that made any difference for my citizenship. as it is important that i see my french family?

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        malou 6 years ago

        hi! can you help me i have a nephew who was born in france and has a birth cert but sent back here in manila while he was only six month does he need to file a tourist visa in going back to france?his mother is french resident visa do we go about it?what are the requirements needed?please help us hope to hear from you


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        francis5k 6 years ago

        Law required children born in France of foreign parents to request French nationality at adulthood, rather than being automatically accorded citizenship.

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        jane 6 years ago

        hi can any one help me i have i child holding a french pasport but she born in philippines can she go with me to travel? i want to know if she go back in philippines what will be happen because she don't have philippines pasport? pls help me.. and i cant apply paposrt for my baby now i don't have any time but i ask dfa about this they told me no problem i can take my baby in france i just want to make sure

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        rocky747 6 years ago

        Dear melbel, I am from Iran, right now I am doing my 2 years Masters course in Toulouse, France!!! Can I apply for naturalisation???

        Wikipedia says it is now relaxed to two years rather than 5 years!!!

        Please comment on this

        Thanks in Advance for the help!!! :)

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        Teri 6 years ago

        I was born in France, my mother an Italian immigrant lived in France for over 8 years. I lived in France till I was 3 and then moved to Canada where I have lived ever since. I would like to apply for French citizenship, am I eligible?

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        Daniela1m 6 years ago

        I have a question regarding the wait periods on the citizenship process. I fullfill al of the requirements as a spouse of a French citizen, and am able to apply now. The only catch is that my husband and I foresee a job opportunity/arrangements that involve moving back and forth between France and the states, spending a few months at a time in each. We will be able to maintain duo-residence (i.e bank accounts, taxes, etc.) without a problem. I am concerned that I will be called in for an interview and will not be readily available.....or that there might be a follow-up on the process and my moving back in forth might put into question my citizenship status. Can anyone tell me how far in advance one is forewarned of interviews? Also, is there any follow-up on the process during the first year and after? I have the option of changing my permanent address to my mother-in-laws address so that I receive mail more readily but I fear that this might cast negatively on my application because I would not be providing a rental contract along with other proof of residence.

        I would really appreciate someones real life experience story.


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        Massachusetts USA 6 years ago

        Great website you are offering. Thank you!

        I'd like to state my general question,

        Is one able to obtain Dual Citizenship with France being 2nd? (USA is place of birth to two French born parents)


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        Mel 6 years ago

        I have an EU (Irish) passport and citizenship (since 1987). I have owned a house in France for almost 19 years and spent enormous amounts of time there (within the 90-day Schengen requirements of a U.S. tourist visa). I want to sell my house in the Périgord, move to La Rochelle, and rent an apartment there, leaving the USA pretty much permanently. My Significant Other is a US citizen. Of course, we want to migrate to France together. Is there a way for him to get EU (French, or Irish) citizenship so he doesn't have to leave the Schengen Zone every 90 days? We would be happy to get married to make this more feasible. If we did that, does it matter where we get married?

        I should add that I also run a small business here in the USA that does a lot of international business. I know about the French bureaucracy, but if I were able to set up a branch of that business in France and employ by SO (or husband, if we married), would there be any benefit to that?

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        gina 6 years ago

        I am married to a french man for 7 years.He lives in Switzerland.

        Married in California

        I had kids from another man.

        icould only live with my husband in Switzerland 3 to 5 months at a time...than had to come back to my kids in Calif...then my husband would come to me for a month and leave his business for his employees to run...and this went on for 3 years...

        Then my husband abandoned me for almost a year,,then he came back...

        It was a trauma for me.

        Strangely, before we were married, i lent him a large sum of money on my credit card to help him with his debts...

        When my husband came back, he agreed to sign a post nuptial and a note notorized to pay me back the loan...

        he went back to Switzerland and we left on ok terms and he did not make any further plans to live with me in California nor could I move my kids and etc..

        The marriage started to fall apart, however, he sent me payments by Western Union each month to pay me back.

        he stopped all communication except through email..

        He bacame hostile and rude and mean.

        Now we have 7 years and he said he would not help me with my French citizenship and that he would pay me back half the money if i get a divorce...and the other half after the divorce...

        This loan has nothing to do with my french citizenship.

        I would like to have my money paid back and my right to obtain my French citizenship.

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        Marianne 6 years ago

        My mother was born in France, and married my father there. He was a WWII soldier, and they moved back to the US. She became a naturalized US citizen in 1961, so no longer is a French citizen. You listed one of the requirements to becoming a French citizen is one parent has to be a French citizen. I have also read that the parent needs to have been born in France, so I don't know if that works as well, even if she is no longer a French citizen. Any thoughts?

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        Greg 6 years ago

        My wife and I live in Canada. My wife has Canadian and French citizenship. What are the requirements for myself if we were to move and work in France?

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        Maddie 6 years ago

        Hi All,

        So my dad is French, but my mother is American - I was born in the US and have US Citizenship. I've been getting more in touch with my French roots, now that my father has passed away. I'm hoping to move to France for a bit; and I've always wanted to obtain citizenship there.

        I'm nervous that I'm already 27 - is that too old to apply? Also, where does the process start? Who should I show all the documents to? I have marriage certificates, birth certificates, death certificates, etc but I'm not sure where to go first to even begin. Thanks!

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        Matt 6 years ago

        I was born in France, but became an Australian citizen within the first three months, as both my parents are Australian. I would like to be able to get my french passport sometime in the future, but I am not sure whether I still have to live in France for five years to make this happen? Anyone know any details?

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        MJ 6 years ago

        Is anyone familiar with the The “Skills and Talent” Card visa (Carte Compétences & Talents) of France

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        Victor 6 years ago

        My grandfather is a french so is it possible to attain french citizenship for me and to my whole family

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        Leif (Norway) 6 years ago

        Can someone educate me what it means that Israeli captured soldier Gilad Shalit has "dual French citizenship via his grandmother"? Which laws exist that makes this possible. Both Gilad and his parents are both born and raised in Israel, while his grandmother on his father's side was French and immigrated to Israel.

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        jcontreras3791 6 years ago

        I also have a question about French citizenship. Can someone acquire citizenship as a "xxxxx" citizen if they have a criminal record in another country other than the country there are to emigrate from? ie; As a Guatemalan citizen although they may have a criminal record in the U.S.?

        Does anyone know about this?

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        Pat 6 years ago

        Hi there,

        My fiancé is South African. We are getting married in England at the end of this year. We would like to move to France next year. Does any of you know what we need to do? Will he be able to work without restrictions? Will he be able to apply for his french citizenship? Will he get a spouse visa?

        Thank you

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        eser 6 years ago

        I worked three years in France from 2007 to 2010 and then moved to UK. I intend to go back to France next year and I am thinking of applying for citizenship later on. Does my previous working experience count or do they start the clock from the beginning and disregard my previous experience?

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        tiffany 6 years ago

        both my parents are french but i was born in the uk and have a british passport, is it possible to get a french one but still keep my british one?

      • profile image

        LeClerc 6 years ago

        melbel has written a useful hub here.

        But it's just a guide.

        She's can't process your application or answer all your questions.

        If you want to become a French citizen, you NOW need to sort out the relevant information for YOURSELVES!

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        Jim 6 years ago

        This is a great trove of info, thank you.

        My wife is French but we live in Asia, hence are both not resident in France. Under such a scenario would I be eligible to apply for French citizenship?

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        Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from Midwest USA

        Mash, contact the French government for further information. They can help you find a solution for your individual situation.

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        mash 6 years ago

        I'm British citizen living in France for six months,how long does it take to get French citizenship? living in France now, I'm single British,

        Please reply,,,,,

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        Tommy 6 years ago

        Thank you so much for the useful information.

        I wonder what if:

        What if my grandfather used to have French nationality, my father never claimed it and now I wish to have it?

        They (my father and grandfather)are both passed away already...

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        Lydia 6 years ago

        in response to erix simply say ' I will not be applying for french citizenship.' I think that could work.

        Thank you so much for the very informative article! really cleared up some things for me, but I have one question. I plan to move to france once i graduate college, and am wondering that in order to complete the 5 year residency requirement, would I need to apply for a visa in order to live there in the first place? (I was born and currently live in the US and have no french relatives.) thank you!

      • melbel profile image

        Melanie Shebel 6 years ago from Midwest USA

        I would like to say there are so many great reasons to seek French citizenship. I am glad so many people have found this hub to be helpful! I am sorry to say that I cannot offer personalize advice to each user to who reads this article. There are so many different situations that my readers have when it comes to becoming a French citizen that I could not possibly address all of them. The best course of action would be to go through the French government to learn more about your specific situation. Best of luck on becoming a citizen of France!

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        TrishSA 6 years ago

        Hi. i'm south african (18 years old) and i've been studying and living in france for 2 years now. my dutch stepmother and father have been living in france for close to 5 years, and this year i'm supposed to be applying for a carte de sejour until i get my french citizenship. I know one has to live in france for 5 years in order to get the french citizenship but as i am going to be starting universitiy soon; it concerns me that i'll be forced to stay in france for the full 5 years. my question is; if i decide to go to university in Canada, for example, but my 'home' address is still in france, are those years counted in the 5 year requirement. anyone with any insite please let me know cause i don't particularly want to go to university in france. thanks very much.

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        Manju 6 years ago

        I'm planning to go to Paris this year as an undergraduate student. I need to take my husband with me to stay there till I complete the degree. we are from Sri Lanka and I need to know what kind of a visa my husband will get under my Visa and the duration.and Under his visa category , can he work while in France and if not legal to work Is there any possibility to change in to any kind of working visa category..Then what is the procedure for that?

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        caesarburgos 6 years ago

        I own property in France and my wife is a French national. I do not want to give up my US citizenship, but I would like to become a French citizen. Is this possible?

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        Laurine  6 years ago

        I'm a kenyan girl who lived with a french citizens and had a baby boy in kenya. the father and I are now separated I have his birthcerificate and a copy of his dads passport is there any way I can get his papers for him to use when he is older?

      • syedbhasan profile image

        syedbhasan 7 years ago from London, United Kingdom

        If a person obtains French nationality on the basis of his/her marriage to a French citizen and later on divorce takes place. Does this divorce affect the French nationality of the person who got it on the basis of marriage??

        Please reply....

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        Cathy 7 years ago


        I recently obtained my french citizenship because my mother was born in France and is a French Citizen. It took some time, proof of ancestry, birth and marriage certificates, etc. I have 2 adult children who are also interested in becoming French Citizens. I do not yet have (or know if I need) a Livret de famille. I would like to get this - if I need it, and will also be applying for my passport. My daughter lives in England and is particularly anxious to get EU citizenship. What do they need to do to get the process started? Thank you.

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        Xaneb 7 years ago

        If one wants to study in a graduate program in france and wants to apply for naturalization, does one apply before arriving in france or after they have completed the degree? Can one apply to the institute on an immigration visa or does it have to be a student visa? What exactly are the measures necessary for a student to apply for citizenship of they're studying in France?

        Thank you.

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        Miss Lil' Atlanta 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

        Just another really well written blog Melbel! I'm definitely voting up on this one.

        My daughter is thinking about moving to France or Spain. I'll have to show her this blog.

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        ema93 7 years ago

        is it easier to get french citizenship if you have french children? I have three, but am divorced from their dad for over ten years. I've lived in Boston for that time but want to return to France because they all now live there full timeand I want to be close to them.

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        frenchlove 7 years ago

        Mani, you are pretty on the right track. It takes 5 years to get french nationality if ou live outside france. I our registered at the french embassy as living abroad like ou did, it takes four years mate

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        downtheganges 7 years ago


        I was born in France to foreign parents in 1968. Would like to know if I can apply for French citizenship now. Any suggestions on this would be greatly appreciated!

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        Mani 7 years ago

        I'm married with French citizen. We are married about two and half years now. We are living in Ireland. When we got married, we registered our marriage in French Embassy and they gave us French livret de famille. My question is, after how long I'm entitle to apply French Citizenship while living out of France. I know if you living in France it will be quick but how long after i can apply. I would really appreciate if someone can give some info.

      • melbel profile image

        Melanie Shebel 7 years ago from Midwest USA

        That's a really good reason to seek citizenship, Tony. Hopefully you stop back here and tell us how to process is going for you from time to time!

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        tony 7 years ago

        I am a Brit and have lived in France with my French wife for 15 years. Until recently I have had voting rights in the UK but these have now ended. I would like to have the right to vote in the French Presidential elections, so I want to apply for French citizenship.

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        Vusi 7 years ago

        I have been married for nearly 4 years, we have been living in France for nearly 2 years before then we lived in the UK. Mu question is where do i apply for citizenship. According to your article i meet all the requirements.

        Ohh my wife is French

        Please help.

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        Eisley 7 years ago


        You are quite knowledgeable on the subject, I can see that your ambition rivals mine. Best of luck, and if you ever wish to compare stories, I can be contacted.

        Eisley Constantine

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        Poozer's pa 7 years ago

        Alana, joining the Foreign Legion will indeed gain you French citizenship, but it's like joining the U.S. Marines -- it won't be the easiest path.

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        alana 7 years ago

        Hi All!

        I am aspiring to make a move out to the great France myself. I have been researching this for quite some time. 1. Reading through, it does run down the requirements for obtaining dual citizenship (mainly speaking from a US citizen)

        1. It does take 5 years residence &working there to apply

        2. It can be reduced to 2 if you apply for a post graduate degree at a French Institution. (**Not undergrad

        3. If your parents were born, then you are a step above the rest and can better claim dual citizenship.. but you better be able to prove every bit of it

        4. Not sure about the marriage thing. that wasn't a concern of mine.

        5. Just because you might want to take a trip to Limoges or Paris and have a child there, it will not make them automatically a citizen..unlike the US, where they'll make damn near anyone- even if you don't speak the common lang used to function in everyday life in the US

        6.. Yes please do learn the lang.. Its logical people.. and honestly its fun.. Many children in different nations from African countries to European countries learn more then 1 lang coming up..

        7. You can reside there for 2 years and join the foreign league (** their army) and that will also permit you to citizenship afterwards. **Same thing like the university thing

        8.. Lastly one thing i am doing now is opening up a HSBC or Citibank (global banks) bank account in the country.. Mainly in the region that i want to relocate to. It might cost you about 300$ usd to open the account, but once you do. any monies you put in the account in preparedness for your move, it will be converted to euros..and we all know that EUros is kick the USD ass for a while now.. I say with a grand, do this and then just add to account only when the currency rate is in USD favor.. so that might mean moving larger lump sums at a time.. But when you get there.. lets say a year or two or even 3 years later after opening the account, you'll already have "presence" in France. and your taxes on that account will partly be used within France.. What i am trying to find out now.. is that will that help towards your "residence presence" for obtaining dual citizenship.. There are always loop holes lol.. But you have to research like hell to find them out.. Nothing ..especially moving to another country is cut and dry ..that is if you do the legal and right way. Good luck all!!

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        Anonymous 7 years ago

        Which the official website where it can be checked?

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        Ash 7 years ago

        Hi am getting married with a French woman, She is in uk now but have her french passport, I am a student and was born in Mauritius. She is 20 and i am 22. I wanted to know after i get married with her, can i apply for my french passport if we are leaving in the uk and how long will it take. thanks

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        Susette 7 years ago

        Hi, is a child born in a British country to a naturalized French citizen eligible for French citizenship?

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        andy 7 years ago

        i am marrying a french woman, we've been together for 2 years. in my case, will i be granted french citizenship straightaway. or i have to wait at least a year?

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        francois 7 years ago

        say you were born in France and i was removed from the country when you were a baby? you're are now old enough to get your citzenship but they wont give it to you, how does that work?

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        sola 7 years ago

        evril, you are eligible for french citezenship since you are a foreign student at a french university who has lived there for 2 years

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        evril 8 years ago

        im wondering if 2 years residence is including student visa period or not.. to master degree holder in france

        anybody who can answer this??

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        Pat Bell 8 years ago

        What are the costs? My long term plan is to move to France, in the meantime for my Australian wife to first become British, it cost £350 for permission to marry, Indefinite Leave to Remain comes next at about £850 - she could stop there since we'll both be becoming French but British Citizenship then costs a further £850 odd.

        Perhaps I should have looked for a French girl to marry :-)

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        Tonn 8 years ago

        It would be nice to have people sharing with us here how long their process to citizenship took.


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        milkjam 8 years ago

        there are several things missing and/or outdated. you have to be married for at least FOUR years now before asking for citizenship and the other possiblity about having lived in France for at least 5 years is reduced to 2 if you've got a masters/phd degree from a French University.

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        Fat boy 8 years ago

        i luv french boys they are hot

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        fat man 257 8 years ago

        i like eating french food they are really delicious and the eiffel tower gives great view

      • melbel profile image

        Melanie Shebel 8 years ago from Midwest USA

        I am tickled to hear that you'll be referencing my hub when people ask you about French citizenship. Thank you for the kind words!

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        McLaughlin 8 years ago

        I live in France and I get a lot of comments and questions about how to work here (or in Europe in general). I usually answer the passport part just about as you did, but now I have a link to send people to, which will save me time.