EuskoSare > Euskal Herria > Vivir en Euskal Herria > Conditions for the obtention of the french nationality
2005-07-11 18:55
Última modificación: 2008-05-12 18:23
Traducido por: María Verónica Barzola

Conditions for the obtention of the french nationality

With the intention to guide those people who want to begin the formalities for the obtention of the french citizenship, we present a complete guide with the explanation for those people who can get it, requirements, documentation to be presented and other useful informations.

The french national certificate (C.N.F.) is the only document which proves the french nationality. Documentes such as national identity document and the passport are only elements of possesion of french government.

Only the secretary of the competent judgeship has the authority to concede a french nationality certificate.

Conditions to obtain the nationality :

By filiation

  • French is the son, legitimate or illegitimate with, at least, one of its parents being of french nationality.
  • The filiation of the child has no effect on its nationality if it is not established while being a minor.
  • The sole fact of being born in france does not confer nationality, except for the children of unknown parents or stateless.
  • The son born in france before january 1994 with at least one parent born in the ancient overseas french territory (before its independency) is also considered a french citizen.


By reason of birth and residence in france

As from september 1st. 1998, every child of foreign parents born in france acquires french nationality at his majority if he is living in France and if he has lived in france, in a continous or discountinous way al least five years (starting at the age of 11 years).

Under certain circumstances, nationality can be acquired beforehand starting a from sixteen years.

French nationality can also be demanded under certain circumstances by the name of the minor as from the age of thirteen years, always under his personal consent.

This situation affects the children of foreigners born in france which, starting with the application of said law (september 1st., 1998) have three possibilites:

  1. If they desire only to maintain the foreign nationality, they can renounce to the french nationality before the competent french authorities during the six precedent months or during the twelve months that follow their majority.
  2. If they desire to maintain the foreign nationality and acquire the french nationality it is advisable to request for this last before their majority of age.
  3. In case the interested party that fullfills the requirements of the first paragraph does not carry out any of the beforementioned proceedings french law will automatically grant them this nationality at their majority of age.


By marriage to a french citizen

French nationality can be agreed by declaration before the instance judge or the french consul (if the interested party lives abroad) to each foreigner or stateless which marries a person of french nationality.

This benefit can be solicited a year after the marriage was celebrated, and under the condition that the couple keeps living together and the french consort has not lost that nationality.


By naturalization

The requests for naturalization of residents in france are competence of public organizations at the place of origin for the constitution of the file, and at the ministry of employment for final decision.

Foreigners can be naturalized if they can prove residence in France during the five preceding years of the request.

A person which does not reside in France at the moment of the firm of the decree cannot be naturalized.

For residence it is understood a fixed residence that present a stable and permanent character, coincident with the centre of material interests and family bonds .

Children of those people who acquire french nationality become french with full rights if they have the same residence as their parents.


Necessary documentation for the obtention of double nationality

  • Integral copy of marriage certificate or of its transcription (for marriages celebrated out of France a duly translated and legalized certificate has to be presented).
  • Copy of berth certificate of the french consort.
  • Copy of birth certificate of the foreign consort accompanied of traduction effected by a public judged translator.
  • Evidence of french nationality of the french consort : the birth certificate is sufficent for the persons born in france with at least one of his parents also born in France.

In other cases, the documents demanded depend on the origin of french nationality of the interested party , naturalization decree, colective effect , etc. A french nationality certificate could occasionally be demanded when the verification of the french nationality should be difficult.

Loss of french nationality

Automatic loss by disuse

The person who established its residence abroad, as well as its ancestors, more than fifty years ago and which cannot present any evidence of french nationality for him nor for its ancestors of french origin (french identity documents, transcription of certificate by the civil register, military affairs, etc.) can not pretend to the french nationality by filiation.

The residence of a foreigner abroad for a period of fifty years and the absence of possesion of the french nationality for two generations are accumulatives. It refers to the case of a family which possess another nationality and which deliberately has left France.

when soliciting a French Nationality Certificate the judge or competent judicial secretary can prove loss of nationality for disuse.

Voluntary loss by declaration

All majority persons with habitual residence abroad which acquires previously and voluntarily a foreign nationality has the possibility to subscribe a declaration of loss of french nationality.

This declaration has to be subscribed within the limit of one year as from the adquisition of the foreign nationality or from the request for same, safe in case of marriage and will be in force only at the date of adquisition of the foreign nationality.

The declaration can be subscribed at the consulate of the place of residence presenting the following evidences :

  • Birth certificate.
  • French nationality certificate or prove of french nationality.
  • Certificate expedited by the authorities of the country of whom nationality is acquired, precising date of adquisition and the dispositions of foreign law applied to the case.
  • Certificate of habitual residence abroad.
  • For men younger than 35 years, document of the national service office certifying the conformity with the national service.


Voluntary loss by decree

Persons which cannot appeal to a declaration (minor children or french minors or majors that acquainted foreign nationality as from more than a year, except those by consent) have the possibility to renounce to the french nationality by decision of the public authority (ministry in charge of naturalizations ).

This appliance of renounce to french nationality is transmited by the consulate of the place of residence presenting following documentation:

  • knowledge certification and/or marriage certificate of the interested party as well as all information as regards place and data of birth of parents and, if to the contrary, of wife´s parents.
  • Indications about the dispositions by which french nationality is held.
  • Nationality certificate issued by competent authorities.
  • Motivations of the applicant , family situation, temporal or permanent character of his establishment abroad.
  • Consulate´s approval.

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