Immigration. Travel. Living.

France: passport obtaining

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The dream of many travelers is not only to “settle” in France but also to obtain citizenship in this country. However, to achieve this, some effort is required. First, a prerequisite is an excellent knowledge of the French language: otherwise, you will not be able to apply for citizenship in France and a residence permit. Secondly, you need to adapt to life in this European country, study its culture, find the means to live.

Citizenship based on family ties

Perhaps the most common way to obtain French citizenship is by marriage or marriage and organizing a family with a resident of this country. A child from such a marriage will become a French citizen automatically – if he is born in the country. If both parents are registered residents of other states, but the baby is still lucky enough to be born abroad, obtaining French citizenship will become possible for him only after the age of 18 and on the condition that he will live here until the age of 11.

A child adopted by French citizens automatically receives equal rights with his parents, but he must comply with the following condition: cut off all ties with his homeland, including with his biological mother and father.

You can obtain citizenship in France in connection with marriage if you have lived with your spouse in peace and harmony for at least 4 years. Besides, an applicant for a change of citizenship must be fluent in French and prove it by passing a special exam.

The newlyweds will also have to collect an impressive dossier and apply for citizenship. The term of its consideration can take up to 12 months.

The standard package of documents (bank statement, documents confirming the availability of housing in France, a certificate of language proficiency, etc.) must be accompanied by a marriage certificate, as well as an application for French citizenship signed by both spouses.

We add that in France they strictly monitor that fictitious marriage to obtain citizenship are not contracted.

Citizenship by naturalization

Naturalization is a special process that, step by step, turns a citizen of another state into a French: you study the language, traditions, duties of residents, live in France for at least 5 years, and then become a citizen of this country legally.

Please note that if you graduate from a local university while living here, the required period of stay here is automatically reduced to 2 years. Besides, work for a local employer is a plus for a future French resident.

Before your dream comes true and you finally become French, you will have to collect an impressive package of documents. Include in it:

  • Certificate of successful passing of the French language exam;
  • Certificate of passing tests for knowledge of the history and culture of the country.
  • An employment contract with a French employer for more than a year.
  • A bank statement confirming your financial health.
  • Documents of ownership of real estate or a long-term lease agreement for an apartment or house in France.

A carefully formed package of documents is submitted to the prefecture of your place of residence, or, if you are outside France, to the Consulate in your country. Do not forget to make copies of all documents, as well as their translation by a qualified and certified translator. 

After submitting the documents, you will receive a special receipt for paying the state fee. You will have enough time – up to 18 months. At this moment, you have the right to change the last name (either yours or your children).

If during the consideration of your application for French citizenship you have to suddenly move, you should immediately inform the prefect of this.

If the decision to issue citizenship is positive, you will be notified of this. The last thing you have to do is sign the naturalization decree. Once you do this, it will take effect immediately.

Gargoyle landmark building

Citizenship based on investment in the economy

One of the most effective ways to obtain French citizenship is to contribute to the national economy. Today, the amount of the deposit is 1-2.5 million euros, which must be invested in a certain company. This organization will manage the foreigner’s funds, implement them in various projects.

The entrepreneur, in turn, will receive a card that allows him to permanently reside in France for ten years, as well as apply for citizenship in this country after five years.

Interesting fact: businessmen have some privileges over other applicants for citizenship. In particular, the investor is not required to spend five years in France without a break, moreover, the purchase of real estate is not a mandatory requirement.

There is another option for the development of events – you can open a private business in the country and employ 50 French employees.

For the project to receive proper development, it is necessary to present it in the prefecture, to demonstrate to officials all the necessary documents that will confirm the work experience and high level of professionalism of the entrepreneur.

Refusal to obtain citizenship in France

Please be aware that there may be certain situations in which you will be denied French citizenship. Namely:

  • You will not become a French citizen if you stay here illegally.
  • Your request will be denied if you have a conviction with the restraint of liberty for six months or more.
  • If you have ever been expelled from France or given an entry ban, you may not even dream of citizenship.
  • People who are suspicious of the authorities, in particular, of the possibility of committing a terrorist act, will be refused French citizenship.


Procedure for issuing French citizenship

For a long-term visa to France, you need to contact the Consulate in your home country. You can also apply for citizenship there if you are located outside of France. Materials (dossier) on obtaining a residence permit will be sent to the prefect for consideration. This is the second most important step that you need to take to obtain citizenship – to apply for a residence permit. Finally, a request for citizenship for migrants must be submitted to the highest tribunal. This can be done at your place of residence in France.

Perhaps the easiest way to get a long-term visa to France is that it can be done in less than a month. The residence permit will have to wait a little more – about 60 days. The minister can delay the adoption of the decision for a year.

If, as a result, the issue is resolved in your favor, you will receive a special certificate giving you the right to issue an ID – identity card in France. Recall that dual citizenship is allowed in this country.

To summarize: there are many options for obtaining French citizenship, the main thing is to choose the most suitable one for you and reasonably move towards your goal. You cannot do without documents such as a long-term visa to France and a residence permit.

Becoming a citizen of France, you will be a full-fledged European, you will be able to enjoy the same benefits and get real pleasure from life!

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