Are you wondering how to get French citizenship after moving to France? Applying for any foreign citizenship can be stressful and confusing. There is usually a lot of paperwork, time and effort involved, and anything that can help to make the process more simple and straightforward (such as reading this blog) is worth doing.
You’re probably here because you’re wondering how to get French citizenship, understandably so! Becoming a French citizen and being able to live in France long-term has many things that you’ll benefit from such as France’s sustainability measures and low crime rates. You can read more about how permanently moving to France can benefit you in our blog on the Pros and Cons of Living in France.
However, chances are if you’re reading this blog you might already be living in France. Becoming a French citizen is possible if you meet the criteria of one of two routes:
If you’re taking this application route, you’re requesting to be recognised as French because of a legal entitlement. This entitlement could come from one of the following circumstances:
This route to French citizenship means that you’re asking for legal permission to become French. In other words, you don’t have any legal connections to France (such as being a relative of a French citizen) and so you must be granted legal authorisation to become a French national by decree.
So, how do you become a French citizen? Well, you can apply to get French citizenship either online or by going to a local town hall (mairie). Either way, you will need to produce the relevant documents in a dossier which may include things like a bank statement as proof of residency and income, and your birth certificate as proof of identity. Any documentation that is not already in French must be translated by an official translator.
Once complete, your dossier will need to be given to your local town hall, or the French consulate if you’re applying for citizenship from outside of France. Your dossier has to be submitted to French authorities within a maximum of six months of requesting French citizenship.
If your dossier is officially approved, you can then expect to take two tests. One testing your ability to understand the French language, it is expected that you’ll be able to speak and understand French to B1 level at a minimum. The other tests your knowledge of French law, government, history, culture and life and this usually takes place as an interview.
In some circumstances, getting French citizenship in a shorter amount of time (2-3 years) may be possible. These circumstances include:
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