How to obtain French citizenship: Instructions for a successful application
France is among the most desirable countries for foreigners to obtain citizenship. The country attracts with comfortable living conditions. Find out more about what is required to obtain citizenship in France
France conquers foreigners from the first days of their stay, because the country combines the beauty of nature and a comfortable life. The state is among the Top 5 countries with the best ecology.
Due to the fact that France is a member of the European Union, its citizens can work, run a business, attend school or university in any country of the European Union, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland. French citizens can travel without visas to 188 countries and freely visit Schengen countries, the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.
In the migration legislation of France, many ways of obtaining citizenship are approved, including by descent, marriage, naturalization, etc.
How to get French citizenship? Detailed instructions for foreigners are in our material.
Methods of obtaining French citizenship
• Citizenship by naturalization
A foreigner who lives in France, works and pays taxes for 5 years can get a passport of a French citizen. Also, the applicant should not have any problems with French law.
At the first stage, in order to obtain citizenship through naturalization, it is necessary to issue a residence permit, which is received by all foreigners who plan to stay in the country for more than 3 months. The permit also gives the right to legal employment and training. Usually, the certificate is valid for 1 to 10 years.
After five years of permanent residence on the basis of a permanent residence, a foreigner can apply for French citizenship.
Requirements for obtaining citizenship by naturalization:
• To live permanently in France, in order to fulfill this requirement, it is forbidden to leave the country for more than six months out of ten.
• Receive income and pay taxes during the entire period of residence. The amount of income must not be lower than the established minimum wage - 18,655 euros per year. List of documents for proof of income: employment contract, bank statements and tax reports.
• Own or rent a home with enough space for all family members. The minimum living area for a married couple is 16m² plus 9m² for each additional family member. Documents for real estate: lease agreement or certificate of ownership of housing, receipts for payment of rent for real estate for the last three months, most recently paid utility bills.
• Confirm integration into French society: pass the French language test (minimum level B1 – sufficient for everyday communication) and a test on knowledge of the French language, culture, society and laws.
• Provide certificates of no criminal record in the country of citizenship, residence and France for the last 10 years. Certificates are valid for 180 days from the date of receipt. Documents must be translated into French and certified by an apostille.
• On the basis of marriage
A foreigner who marries a French citizen has the right to apply for French citizenship. For this, you will need to be married for 4 years (for families living in France) or 5 years (if the spouses live in another country). A marriage registered abroad must be entered in the French civil registry.
Requirements for obtaining citizenship based on marriage:
- The applicant must pass an exam on knowledge of the French language at the B1 level.
- Pass a test on knowledge of the history, culture and traditions of France.
Also, the spouses must have their own or rented housing and sufficient income to support the family.
• Citizenship by right of origin
A foreigner has the right to obtain French citizenship if he has close relatives with French citizenship. The applicant must submit documents confirming family ties to the French consulate or visa center in the country of residence.
• Citizenship by birth
Children of French citizens automatically receive French citizenship. If the parents are not French citizens, but the child was born in the country, then the child can obtain citizenship when they turn 18 and on the condition that they have lived in the country for at least five years.
Foreign children adopted by French citizens have the right to citizenship if they live permanently in the country and do not maintain contact with their biological parents.
Residence permits with which you can get French citizenship faster
In French migration legislation, there is a certain list of documents on the basis of which you can obtain French citizenship faster:
• Talent Passport – for outstanding achievements in science, art, sports or the economy that have a positive impact on France. The term for obtaining citizenship is reduced to two years.
• Family reunification is for foreigners who have a family member with a residence permit in France or a citizen of the country. The process of obtaining a passport is similar to naturalization, only faster: you can apply for citizenship after three years of residence in the country.
• Military service - citizenship can be obtained by men between the ages of 18 and 40 after three years of service in the French Foreign Legion.
• Studying at a university - a residence permit for studying at a university is usually issued for a period of up to 1 year with the right to an extension. Graduates of French universities can apply for permanent residence or citizenship after five years of residence in the country. The term will be reduced to two years if the student successfully studies and participates in state programs.
Approximate list of documents for obtaining French citizenship
In order to apply for citizenship by any procedure, a standard package of documents must be submitted:
Application for obtaining citizenship - 2 copies.
Photo 35x45 mm - 2 pieces.
Original passports, as well as translated and notarized copies of passports of all family members.
Copy of residence permit in France.
Documents on previous marriage and divorce.
Certificates of criminal record for all family members in France.
Certificates of criminal record for the last ten years in each country of residence and country of citizenship.
A copy of the lease agreement or housing ownership right.
Copies of the last three receipts for renting real estate.
Copies of the last utility bill.
Certificate of knowledge of the French language at the B1 level.
An envelope with a stamp, if the application is sent by mail.
Also, additional documents depending on the chosen procedure for obtaining citizenship: confirmation of professional activity, financial situation, confirmation of family ties, etc.
Documents must be translated into French and certified by an apostille.
The application for citizenship and the required package of documents must be submitted to the prefecture's regional online platform. The application review period is from 18 months to two years.
Products from Visit World for a comfortable trip:
Checklist for obtaining a visa and necessary documents in France;
Legal advice on business, medical, educational and immigration issues in France;
Travel and health insurance for foreigners in France;
Insurance for foreign students in France.
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