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Citizenship of France

“Right of blood”

A child acquires French nationality at the time of birth if at least one parent has French citizenship. It is important to note that the nationality should be acquired while the child is still a minor.

“Right of soil”

Mere birth in France grants its nationality in these exceptional cases:
1. Child’s parents are unknown,
2. Child’s parents do not hold citizenship of any country (they are stateless) parents’ citizenship cannot be transferred to the child. A child born in France is a national of France if at least one parent was also born in France.
3. A child born in France is a French national if one of parents was born overseas, on a former territory of France (before its separation from France) and the birth of the child took place prior to January 1st 1994.

“Grounds of right”

In accordance with the French citizenship law (in effect since September 1st 1998), a child of foreign parents, born in France acquires French nationality at 18 if at that time:
1. The child’s residence and education has been in France,
2. The child’s residence has been in France since the age of 11, and for a period of 5 years (continuous or discontinuous).

“Marriage”

1. Marriage must be valid and recorded in the civil-status register of France.
2. On the day of declaration, the applicant must be a foreigner or stateless.
3. At the date of marriage, the spouse of the applicant must be a French national and must maintain his/her nationality up to the day of declaration.
4. Proof of language proficiency is required. (French)

Naturalization

1. Applicant’s main residence (and at the time of signing the decree of naturalization) should have been in France for the period of at least 5 years prior to the application.
2. Foreigners have a right to submit a claim for naturalization if they are engaged in professional activities (private or public) which benefit the overall economy of France

(Effect of collective naturalization: a child (minor) living with a parent who is acquiring a citizenship in France becomes a French national, provided that his name is on the decree of naturalization).
If one of the following applies to you, the 5-year residency requirement is reduced to 2 years:

a) Foreigner who accomplished 2 successful years of studies towards an official diploma issued by a French Institute of Superior Studies,
b) Foreigner with exceptional capacities or talent, beneficial to France,
c) Foreigner who shows a superior level of integration into a French society by excelling in one of the following fields: civic, scientific, economic, cultural or sports.

A foreigner is not subjected to the 5-year residency requirement if one of the following applies:
a) He was contracted by French or allied armies at the time of war or for his military services in the French army,
b) His naturalization or exceptional services have a superior interest for France,
c) He obtained a refugee status in France,
d) He is a national of a country whose official language or one of the official languages) is French and his education was conducted in French (his mother tongue) for at least 5 years.