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Visas & Work Permits in France

How to Get Citizenship in France

As an expat with a residence permit in France, you are eligible to apply for French citizenship after five years. This means you will also become a European Union citizen too. Along with this, there are many other benefits to becoming a French citizen including the ability to vote and even hold public office! The best news? France allows for dual citizenship so you will not have to renounce your own country’s citizenship in order to become French. If citizenship is something you are considering, this article covers the steps and requirements in order to successfully apply.

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If you are wishing to settle in France for good, you might be thinking about becoming a French citizen. If you are hoping to obtain French citizenship faster, the period is shorter if you are married to a French national; or are the child of a French parent.

If you are wondering how to get dual citizenship in France, the good thing is France allows dual citizenship which means an expat will not have to give up their own country’s citizenship to become an official French national. However, your country of citizenship might not allow dual citizenship, so it is best to check.

French Citizenship Requirements

The difference with citizenship and permanent residency in France is that it allows you to vote or hold public office. In either case, a continuous stay in France is typically a requirement for both unless under special circumstances justifying your absence, such as military service, serious illness, or study/research abroad programs. If you leave France for more than six consecutive months, your continuous stay will be void.

You can apply for French citizenship at your local prefecture. Bring along two copies of the France citizenship application form. Citizenship can be acquired through naturalization, marriage, or birth. But how much does it cost to become a French citizen? The following sections will cover this plus how many days and years to apply for citizenship in France, French citizenship for minors, and all the steps to become a French citizen.

Naturalization

Conditions for becoming a naturalized French citizen are:

  • Living in France for five consecutive years (can be less, under special circumstances)
  • Exceptional knowledge of, and integration into, the French culture
  • Providing a signed Contrat d’Intégration Républicaine (CIR)
  • 55 EUR application fee

Marriage

You can apply to become a French citizen after four years of marriage to a French national if:

  • You are still legally married
  • Your spouse retains their French citizenship
  • You have good knowledge of the French language
  • You can provide a signed CIR

The time requirement can be increased to five years if the couple cannot prove that they have lived together for a minimum of three consecutive years in France since being legally married.

Birth

If a child was born in France to foreign parents, is between the ages of 13 and 16, and has been living in France since the age of eight, they can acquire French citizenship. Between the ages of 16 and 18, a child born to foreign parents can claim citizenship from the age of 16 so long as they are living in France and has been since the age of eleven.

If you were born in or outside of France to at least one French parent, you are automatically considered a French citizen by birth.

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What Are the Documents Required?

Documents needed for French citizenship can include the following paperwork (if applicable):

  • Two copies of your French nationality application
  • Copies of an ID of both the applicant and spouse
  • Proof of address
  • Birth certificates (certified translation if not in French)
  • Marriage certificate
  • Attestation sur l’honneur (declaration of honor) which is signed by both spouses at the prefecture or consulate
  • Evidence of the relationship of married life (children’s birth certificates, mortgage contract, or shared bank account)
  • Proof of the spouse being a French citizen
  • Proof of sufficient knowledge of the French language (language diploma or certificate)
  • Criminal record certificate
  • Marriage certificates of previous marriages and official divorce papers
  • Proof of employment or financial support
  • Evidence that a married couple has lived together in France for a minimum of three years since being married.
Updated on: February 04, 2020
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