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How to Get French Citizenship

Gaining a French citizenship is not something that is undertaken without a commitment to the country and to its culture. Several requirements must be met to gain French citizenship, and while marrying someone who is already a citizen can speed the process, you still must meet some basic requirements. If you reside in France already and intend to stay in the country, becoming a citizen can be beneficial as living in France as a foreigner can be a legal headache.

Reside in France as a legally documented foreigner with a visa for at least five years. This is one of the primary requirements for applying for citizenship, and you will need to document your residency. If you marry a French resident, the amount of time you must live in the country is reduced, however you must still have a valid visa and live there for a specific period of time--exactly how long will depend on your circumstances.

Maintain solid employment in France. Being a productive citizen is one factor that will be taken into account when you apply.

Speak French, if not fluently then well enough to be able to function on a daily basis without difficulty. You are not expected to sound like a native speaker, but you will have to pass an interview in French.

Be at least 18 years old.

Prove good characters and morals, with a clean criminal record with no offences as a French resident.

Fill out the application and provide a birth certificate, proof of residency, and evidence of your profession. These documents, along with all the other requirements listed above, will be examined and a determination made as to granting permanent citizenship. This process can take up to two years from the time of application.

Things You'll Need

  • Visa to reside in France as a non-citizen
  • Clean criminal record
  • Employment in France
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About the Author

Caprice Castano recently left the field of construction management to operate her own contracting business and spend time developing her writing career. Current projects include freelance writing for Internet publications and working on novel-length fiction.