How to obtain French nationality

french nationalityIf you have been living in France for a few years, then you have surely wondered how to obtain French nationality?

Indeed, each year in France, nearly 150,000 foreigners become French and obtain their citizenship.

In addition, you must have an idea of ​​the conditions to become a French citizen.

The French nationality is among the best nationalities in the world.

It can grant its holder several social advantages. In addition, by holding a French passport, you will have the right to travel to more than 160 countries without a visa.

So, in this article, we will try to answer this question.

Moreover, we will give you all the cases that allow you to become a French citizen.

Thus, here are the points that we will address in this article:

  • Application for French nationality by marriage.
  • Application for French nationality by filiation.
  • And finally, the application for French nationality by decree or naturalization.

So let’s discover more details on all these points!

Choosing to become French is a strong commitment for oneself but also for one’s children.

Many foreigners who live in France often ask themselves the question: how to become a French citizen?

Indeed, the application for French can be quite tricky and can take several forms that we will study in this article.

As a result, French nationality is obtained in different ways: by birth, by filiation, following a marriage or by naturalization.

1. Application for French nationality by marriage

A foreigner who marries a French national does not automatically acquire French nationality.

Steps must be taken and several conditions met.

Indeed, according to article 21-2 of the Civil Code, a foreigner who marries a spouse of French nationality can become a French citizen by declaration of marriage.

In addition, the marriage celebrated abroad must have been previously transcribed in the French civil status registers.

To be able to apply for become a French citizen, if you are married to a Frenchman, you must meet several conditions.

So, find the conditions for becoming a French citizen by marriage.

Following the sending of your request, you will receive a receipt.

An investigation will be carried out by the administration to verify that you comply with all the conditions.

If your application for French citizenship by marriage is accepted, your declaration of nationality is registered.

2. Application for French nationality by descent

The principle of acquiring French citizenship by descent is a consequence of the principle of jus soli, as opposed to jus sanguinis in practice in certain countries.

French nationality by descent can be summed up in one sentence: a child residing in France or born on French territory to parents of foreign nationality can acquire French nationality.

But depending on the age of the child, the procedure and conditions are different.

Good to know: if one of the two parents has French nationality, the child automatically becomes French at birth.

The nationality of a child depends above all on the situation of his parents with regard to French nationality.

As soon as one of the parents is French, the child automatically becomes French when born in France.

Similarly, if your child has no nationality, your child will have French nationality if he was born on French soil because otherwise he would be stateless.

However, these are not the only cases where a child can have French nationality, especially if he was born on French soil.

Here are all the cases:

  • If one of the parents is French
  • If one of the parents becomes French
  • In the event of adoption
  • In the event of birth in France
  • The case of former colonies

3. Application for French nationality by decree or naturalization

Naturalization is one of the most widespread methods of acquiring French nationality today.

The particularity of naturalization is that it is not automatic but is the subject of a voluntary request by the person who wishes to acquire French nationality.

Applications for naturalization from people residing in France fall under the jurisdiction of the prefecture of their place of residence, for the constitution of the file.

A foreign person can obtain French citizenship on simple request to the French government.

She must collect a naturalization file from the prefecture.

This request can only be made by an adult who has resided regularly in France for at least 5 years.

Who is of good life and morals, and who has a good knowledge of the French language and culture.

When the prefect considers that the application is admissible and that naturalization should be granted, he sends the file to the minister with his proposal.

The Minister can then decide on the requested naturalization or reinstatement or reject the request with a reasoned decision.


Thus, to conclude our article, the answer to the question how to obtain the French nationality, is according to the case of each one.

Only the cases mentioned in this article are admissible.