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Become a French National

Get French citizenship through naturalization or by declaring new nationality.

There are several ways to obtain French citizenship. Our team of immigration lawyers will guide you through the process step-by-step so that you never get lost in translation.

What is French citizenship?​

Citizenship is a legal bond. It ties a person with a nation-state, which then gives them both the fundamental rights and individual legal status that the country values. This legally-binding relationship gives individuals certain rights that they are entitled to from the state and in return they are obliged to fulfil specific requirements and duties requested by the state.

How to obtain French citizenship in France?​

There are two main ways to obtain French citizenship: through naturalisation or by declaring new nationality.

Once all the necessary documentation has been gathered, you can apply for French naturalisation or citizenship.

Your application can take up to a year and, if you receive a favourable outcome, you can apply for a certificate of French citizenship and a national identity card.

Process of getting Citizenship through naturalisation

1. Prove your level of the French language

To being the process of applying for French citizenship, the applicant must undergo a language exam and have the quality of their French language skills accredited. This is a written and oral test and the applicant must be able to show at least a level B standard under the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages, or CERL.

2. Gather the documentation

Based on your personal and family situation, the applicant will need to gather specific documents to support the application. This could include documentation regarding civil status and nationality, documents proving economic resources and taxes declarations). Additional documents may be submitted at the applicant’s discretion, such as paperwork that displays ties to the French community.

3. Submit your application

Generally, the application can be submitted online within the applicant’s country of residence.

4. Investigation and Interview

After submitting the application, an investigation is carried out to verify that the documents submitted meet the requirements. After the investigation, the applicant is invited to attend an interview to verify that they align with and understand French culture. Following the interview, the applicant will sign the Charter of Rights and Duties of the French citizen.

5. Resolution of the application for citizenship

The application resolution deadline is usually 18 months. However, this can be reduced to 12 months if the applicant has resided in France for at least 10 years.

6. Naturalisation decree and National Identity Card application

Once you obtain a copy of the Naturalisation decree and of other documents, the applicant can apply for the National Identity Card and passport.

Requirements for French Citizenship

French Citizenship through Residence

If you have legally resided in France for at least 5 years, you can be eligible to apply for French citizenship through Residence. 

This approach to citizenship requires a person to have legally resided in France for at least 5 years.[PC1] 

French Citizenship through Marriage

If you have been married to a French national for at least 4 years, you can apply for French citizenship through marriage at a French consulate. 

French Citizenship by being an ascendant of a French national

If you are over 65 years old, have legally resided in France for at least 25 years and are either the parent or another ascending direct from a French national, you can apply for the acquisition of the French citizenship.

 French Citizenship by birth

If a child was born in France by parents of foreign citizenship, has resided in French since the age of 8 and is residing in France at the moment of the application, his/her parents can apply for the child’s French citizenship since the age of 13.  

Reintegration into French citizenship by declaration 

If you have lost your French citizenship because you married a foreigner or because you reside abroad, you can apply for reintegration into French citizenship by declaration. 

French citizenship by being a brother or sister of a French national

If your brother or sister has acquired French nationality under certain conditions and you have been residing in France since the age of 6 and are currently legally residing in France, you can apply for the acquisition of French citizenship.

Find your Immigration Lawyer

Eleonore Tavares de Pinho
External collaborator

Eléonore Tavares de Pinho

Yuliana Colorado
External collaborator

Yuliana Colorado

Victoire Vincent
External collaborator

Victoire Vincent

External collaborator

Eléonore Tavares de Pinho

Born in Senegal to Belgian-Portuguese parents and having lived for several years in various countries, Eléonore quickly became passionate about Immigration legislation. She graduated from the University of la Sorbonne and the University of Florence and obtained a five-year dual degree in Italian and French Law. As an attorney, she chose to work in Immigration Law in order to have real action on the field and help people fulfill their projects.  Deeply convinced that digital technologies can make law and legal services simpler and impact people’s lives in a positive way, Eléonore will always be looking for the most efficient way to meet your needs.

External collaborator

Yuliana Colorado

Born in Colombia and migrated to France very young, her experience led her to studying international private and commercial law and helping international clients, people and companies, implement in France. In cooperation with the Tax department, she advises companies on immigration, employment and mobility matters such as hiring international profiles, outsourcing to foreign companies in France, or deploying teams abroad. Admitted to the Paris and Madrid Bars, Yuliana has developed specific expertise in managing global mobility and professional immigration of her clients in France and Spain, both companies and individuals. Yuliana speaks French, Spanish, English and Italian.

External collaborator

Victoire Vincent

About Immigration Department

¨We are a department formed by qualified legal experts who have been trained in the field of immigration law. We work on these requests every day and it’s our passion. For us, Lexidy is a way of life and what excites us the most is to be able to deliver the happiness and satisfaction of a successful immigration process. We want to help you achieve your goals and dreams.¨ 

-Immigration Team

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes, in France it is possible to have dual citizenship or even three citizenships. Furthermore, French law does not require those acquiring French citizenship to renounce their original citizenship.

When submitting the application for French citizenship, you can choose to apply for the francization of your last and/or first name.

In some cases, in order to apply for French citizenship, you must prove to have lived regularly and legally in France for a certain number of years. This means that you must be holding a valid residence permit at the time of the submission of the application. There are exemptions for citizens of a country wthin the European Economic Area or a Swiss citizen.

If your registration as a French national has been refused, it may be because one of the requirements was not met. In this case, you have six months to challenge the refusal in court. However the process differs if application was by nautralisation or delaring nationality. Naturalisation involves appealing to the Ministry of Interior within two months of a negative decision and then waiting up to four months for a reply. For declaring nationality, there is no time limit for the appeal but both types of applications require expert legal support.

If you are from a francophone country and have either been schooled for at least five years in an institution teaching in French or if your mother tongue is French, you can, under certain conditions, apply for French citizenship.

Lexidy is a modern, dynamic, and innovative law firm. We always put customers at the center of our work and do our best to give an exceptional experience. Our expertise in Spain and Portugal allows us to solve complex problems thoroughly and cut all the risks before they may happen.
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Frequently Asked Questions

If the application is submitted online, the Portuguese border authorities, known as SEF, have 60 days to analyze the application. Once it’s approved, the team at Lexidy will book an appointment where the authorities will collect the applicant’s biometric data. This appointment would be the first where it’s mandatory for the applicant to be physically present in Portugal.

Yes, the Golden Visa comes with a work permit for you and your accompanying family members.

It can be any real estate asset such as an apartment or rural land as well as commercial properties such as an offices or retail store.

The €500,000 investment must not include taxes, fees or debt. However, you can have a mortgage if you have a €500,000 down payment or deposit.

Yes, your partner or children can apply as your accompanying family members if you are able to prove you have sufficient economic means to support all of you. You will need to provide extra documentation as marriage or birth certificates.

Unmarried partners who can prove a long-term relationship can also apply as dependants.

Yes, however, you will have to prove economic dependence and single status. Your children must also be enrolled at a university or academy.

It is mandatory to spend at least seven days per year in Portugal. The Temporary Residency Permit is issued for two years and can be renewed every two years.
However, in the fifth year, the applicant can apply for Permanent Residency or Citizenship if fulfil they the legal requirements, one of which is pass a Portuguese test at A2 standard.

 

The law allows for investments made through a legal entity located in a territory that is not considered a tax haven.

Yes, the law allows the investment to be made through the acquisition of co-owned property. However, the minimum investment to be made by each person must be €500,000. This can be lower if purchasing real estate in a low density area or regeneration zone. 

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