Immigration. Travel. Living.

France: ways to obtain citizenship

Eiffel Tower

It is a beautiful country with an old history and cultural heritage. France stood at the origins of the creation of the European Union and was one of the first to join the EU.

Every year about 100 thousand foreigners acquire French citizenship. Applying for French citizenship is a complex process consisting of several stages. But, if you correctly take into account all its features, then you can become the owner of an EU citizen passport.

Benefits of French Citizenship French Citizenship:

  • French citizens can reside anywhere in the EU and have the right to visa-free travel to 164 countries around the world;
  • Participation in election campaigns, referendums;
  • Opportunity to hold positions in public services;
  • Legally work, engage in commercial activities or serve under a contract in the Armed Forces;
  • Education in any EU country;
  • Receiving social support from the state (pensions, subsidies, free or preferential health care).

Methods for obtaining French citizenship

aerial view photography of city

Obtaining a French passport is very difficult, as well as obtaining a work permit. When we talk about immigration to France, we mean, first of all, obtaining a residence permit (titre de séjour) through study, marriage, family ties, or starting a business. And only after several years of legal residence in the country, you can use one of the following methods of obtaining citizenship.


  • This option for obtaining French citizenship is the most common. The foreigner must meet the criteria described below.
  • Residence in the status of a resident for 5 years or service in the Armed Forces of France;
  • Military personnel receive citizenship at the time of the conclusion of the contract; The 5 years can be reduced to 2 years if the applicant has; services to the country or studied at one of the local universities;
  • Excellent knowledge of French;
  • Timely payment of taxes;
  • No problems with the law;
  • Stable permanent income.

Family ties

  • The following categories of applicants can obtain French citizenship on this basis;
  • Parents, grandparents of local citizens living in the country for more than 25 years;
  • Applicant’s age – over 60 years;
  • Brothers or sisters of French citizens who have lived in the country for more than 6 years, graduated from local educational institutions;
  • In this case, a relative from France must obtain citizenship before the age of 18; Spouses of the French.

Marriage to a Frenchman

Getting a French passport is not enough to get married. Moreover, you have to suit in some necessary legal points:

  • You need to be married for more than 4 years or 5 years if your French spouse has not lived in the country permanently over the past 3 years;
  • At the time of applying, the marriage must be valid and the French spouse must not be deprived of citizenship;
  • The foreign spouse should not be prohibited from entering France. Knowledge of French;
  • No conviction;
  • A bride (groom) visa is required to enter into a marriage in France.

Citizenship through Refugee Status

If a foreigner has documentary evidence of persecution and prosecution in his homeland for one reason or another (racial, national, religious, political), he/she immediately receives the status of a resident. He can become a French citizen only after 5 years.

French citizenship for a child

Automatically French citizenship is obtained by children whose parents are French or at least one of them is a citizen of the Republic, regardless of the place of birth.

Also, the children of those who were born on the territory of Algeria before 06/03/1962, and the adopted children of French citizens have this right. If the parents are citizens of another state, the child can become a citizen. 

However, for this, he/she needs to live in the country for at least 5 years. Until the age of 16, only his parents can apply, and after 16 he can do it on his own.

The documents that must be prepared to obtain French citizenship are as follows:

  1. Passport for staying abroad;
  2. Internal passport;
  3. 4 photographs 35 x 45 mm;
  4. Resident card;
  5. The proof of no debts in your account;
  6. The conclusion of the medical board about the absence of dangerous diseases;
  7. Documents of ownership or lease of real estate in France;
  8. Any type of certificates, confirming relationship (birth, divorce, etc.);
  9. Police clearance certificate at home;
  10. Certificate of passing the test for knowledge of the history, legislation, and culture of France.

The cost

The total cost of French citizenship consists of the following components: 

Visa fee – € 60; 

Resident card fee – € 100 or more, depending based on the stay; Additional costs for documents (translation, certification, submission of requests).

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