Applying for French naturalization


Naturalization is the process by which a foreign national acquires French nationality. It’s an important step for those wishing to integrate fully into French society, and benefit from all the rights and duties that go with it.

This article will guide you through the procedure for applying for naturalization in France, and the main conditions to be met.

1. Checking prerequisites

Before starting the naturalization process, it’s essential to make sure you meet all the prerequisites. Conditions may vary according to different criteria, such as :

  • You must be of legal age.
  • You can apply from the age of 17. If your application is accepted, you will become a naturalized citizen when you turn 18.

Naturalization may be granted to a minor child who has remained a foreigner even though one of his or her parents has become French.

You must have lived in France for at least 5 years.
However, there are some exceptions.

You must have a valid residence permit at the time you submit your application.
However, you do not need one if you are a European citizen (EEA): Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden or Switzerland.

You must not have been the subject of a deportation order or a ban from French territory that is still in force.

You must prove your assimilation into the French community, in particular by

  • Agreement with the essential principles and values of the Republic
  • knowledge of French history, culture and society

you must have a stable and sufficient income to support yourself and your household for tax purposes

2. Preparing your application

Once you’ve checked that you meet the prerequisites, you can start putting together your application for naturalization. The documents required may include a copy of your birth certificate, proof of residence in France, a residence certificate, proof of language skills, proof of integration into French society (e.g. work contract, diplomas, certificates of participation in community activities, etc.), an extract from the criminal record, and proof of financial resources.

3. Submitting your application

Once your application is complete, you must submit it online at You will create your own space and follow all the steps of the procedure. At the end of the submission process, you will receive a certificate of submission.

4. Processing your application

Once your application has been submitted, it will be examined by the relevant departments. A character check and an administrative investigation will generally be carried out to verify the information provided in your file. There may also be individual interviews to assess your language skills and knowledge of French society. This stage can vary from one prefecture to another. It can take from 18 months to 24 – 36 months.

5. Final decision

Once your application has been processed, a final decision will be taken by the Ministry of the Interior. You will receive written notification of the decision. If your application is accepted, you will be invited to take an oath of loyalty to France at an official ceremony. Once you have taken the oath, you will receive your certificate of naturalization, attesting to your acquisition of French nationality.

NB: Since February 6, 2023, applications for French nationality by decree must be made online.

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