The application for naturalization and the acquisition of French nationality are two different procedures. Indeed, French nationality is obtained in several ways.

First, you can become French automatically.

Second, the acquisition of French nationality is possible provided certain conditions are met.

Third, the application for naturalization must be submitted to the administrative authority.

In general, a lawyer can accompany you in order to maximize your chances of success.


Attribution of French nationality

The child, born to two French parents, is French.

Any child, one of whose parents is French, is also French.

The child, born in France, is French when one of his parents was also born in France.

The full adoption of a child automatically grants him the French nationality of his adoptive parent. On the other hand, simple adoption has no effect on the nationality of the adoptee.

In general, a child’s parentage has no effect on nationality unless it is established during his minority.


Acquisition of French nationality by birth

Any child born in France to foreign parents automatically acquires French nationality upon reaching the age of majority, subject to fulfilling a residence condition for a continuous or discontinuous period of 5 years since the age of 11.

Foreign nationals acquire nationality from the age of 16 or 13, if the condition of habitual residence in France is met from the age of 8.

A minor child, one of whose parents acquires French nationality, becomes French as of right, subject to having the same habitual residence.


Acquisition of French nationality by marriage

Generally speaking, marriage has no effect on nationality.

On the other hand, foreigners who have been married for 4 years with a spouse of French nationality can obtain French nationality. In this case, the foreigner must justify a community of life, both emotional and material, and a sufficient knowledge of the French language.

The annulment of the marriage has no effect on the nationality of the children resulting from it.


Acquisition of French nationality by declaration of nationality

  • Adopted or fostered child

Simple adoption has no effect on the nationality of the adoptee.

On the other hand, a child who has been the subject of a simple adoption by a person of French nationality may, until he or she comes of age, declare that they are claiming the status of French.

In this case, he must reside in France on the date of the declaration, unless the adopter does not usually reside in France.

In the same way, the child taken in by court order, for at least three years, and brought up by a person of French nationality or entrusted to the service of social assistance to children can claim French nationality.

  • Foreigner over 65

A foreigner, aged at least 65, who has regularly and habitually resided in France for at least 25 years, and who is directly related to a French national, can claim French nationality.

  • sibling

A foreigner who has habitually resided in France since the age of 6 can obtain nationality when he comes of age if he has completed compulsory education in France and if he has a brother or sister who has acquired nationality.


Acquisition of French nationality by naturalization

Naturalization is a method of acquiring French nationality.

The acquisition of French nationality is a decision of the public authority granted by decree at the request of the foreigner.

Naturalization by decree is not automatic. It results from a discretionary decision on the part of the French authorities.


Conditions for applying for naturalization

  • Place of residence: have a 5-year residence in France

In certain cases, the required length of residence is 2 years, in particular when the foreigner holds a diploma from a French higher education institution after 2 years of study.

Foreigners benefiting from refugee status or coming from a French-speaking country have no minimum period of residence to justify.

  • Regularity of stay

The foreigner must hold a valid residence permit at the time of filing his application.

  • Assimilation into the French community

Assimilation to the French community abroad means that the foreigner must adhere to the essential principles and values ​​of the Republic, and sufficiently know the history and culture of France.

Generally, the Prefecture carries out an interview to verify that this condition is met.

  • Knowledge of the French language

To acquire French nationality, the foreigner must justify having oral and written level B1.

Foreigners holding a French diploma do not have to produce a specific certificate to justify mastery of the French language (national diploma of the patent, CAP, BEP, Baccalaureate, DEUG, BTS, DUT, License, Maîtrise, Master or Doctorate) .

When the foreigner has studied in French in a French-speaking country, he is exempt from presenting this certificate.

Foreign nationals who have been refugees in France for at least 15 years and over 70 years are exempt from producing a certificate of achievement.

Foreign nationals whose state of health does not allow their language level to be assessed are also exempt from producing a certificate of achievement.

In other cases, the foreigner must present a certificate of achievement of less than 2 years.

  • Occupational integration

Professional integration is an essential condition for assimilation and integration in France.

You must justify stable and regular income over the last three years preceding the application for naturalization.

The nature of the employment contract is irrelevant.

  • Morality and absence of criminal convictions

The foreigner must be of good moral character, and not have been the author of acts contrary to public order.


How to apply for naturalization?

The foreigner wishing to apply for naturalization must put together a file.

This file must be submitted to the naturalization platform of the foreigner’s place of residence.

Generally, you must send the complete file by post with a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt.


Deadline for examining cases

The public authority’s response to a naturalization request must be made within 18 months.

If the foreigner has been habitually resident in France for at least 10 years, the response from the public authority must be made within 10 months.

The extension of these deadlines is possible.