Where is it?
What is it?
Are you a foreigner and want to apply for French nationality? “ Naturalization by decree” is one of the procedures that allows you to become a French citizen.
You must submit an application online to apply for French nationality. It is the French State which then decides to grant it to you, if your file meets all the requested conditions.
French nationality allows you to:
- be able to vote in the various elections,
- be able to stand for election to be elected,
- work in the public service (for the State and be a civil servant),
- travel abroad more easily.
Refugees can apply for naturalization by decree upon obtaining their status. Beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless persons must wait 5 years of residence in France (except in certain special cases).
How to do it?
You can use this online simulator to check if you can apply for French nationality.
The conditions for access to the application for French nationality are numerous:
1 / Have knowledge of the French language orally and in writing at least at level B1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR).
Here are the supporting documents accepted as proof of level B1 oral and written:
- a diploma in knowledge of the French language at least equivalent to level B1 ( DELF B1, DALF C1 or C2 …),
- have a TCF (French Knowledge Test) or TEF (French Evaluation Test) certificate issued less than 2 years ago with level B1 oral and written. The TCF IRN (Integration, Residence and Nationality) is a version intended specifically for applying for naturalization.
> Read: the Réfugiés.info sheet “Having an official certification of your French level”
- a diploma or professional qualification obtained in France equal to or higher than level 3 of the national nomenclature of training levels (CAP, BTS, etc.).
Please note, not all professional titles and professional qualification certificates can be used to justify the level of French in the naturalization file. To check if your diploma or professional title is recognized AND is at least equivalent to level 3, you can use the France Compétences search engine .
Your diploma must be at least equivalent to level 3 of the national nomenclature.
> To read: the Réfugiés.info sheet “Having a foreign diploma recognized in France”
2/ Justify that you are working.
You must have stable and sufficient income to live properly (with members of your family if they are also in France). Put your employment contract and your pay slips in the file as well as a certificate from your employer if possible. If you are not an employee, other documents are requested depending on your situation.
3 / Have a valid residence permit.
4 / Prove your integration into French society:
- adhere to the principles and essential values of the Republic,
- have knowledge of French history, culture and society.
5 / Residing in France for at least 5 years for beneficiaries of subsidiary protection and stateless persons.
A minimum period of 5 years of residence in France is required, except in special cases . The calculation of the 5 years of residence begins on the date of submission of your asylum application.
6 / Be over 18 years old.
You must be of legal age to apply for French nationality. However, a child born in France to foreign parents can also have French nationality, under certain conditions:
- Between 13 and 16 years old: foreign parents of a child aged 13 to 16 years old, who was born in France and has resided there since the age of 8, can claim, on their behalf, French nationality by declaration.
- Between 16 and 18 years old: a child born in France to foreign parents can apply for French nationality by declaration from the age of 16. To do this, he/she must have resided in France for at least 5 years, and since the age of 11. He/she can apply for nationality alone, without parental authorization.
Furthermore, a child is French if at least one of his/her two parents is French.
You can use this online simulator to find out what is the list of documents to give, depending on your personal and family situation.
> Also read: the Réfugiés.info sheet “Request the official translation of a document”
You must also pay a tax stamp of 55 euros.
> Also read: the Réfugiés.info sheet “Buy a tax stamp”
The application for French nationality by decree is made online on the ANEF (Foreigners in France) website.
From the home page, click on “I want to apply for French nationality” and log in:
- either with your FranceConnect identifiers
See the Réfugiés.info file “Connect to a site with FranceConnect”
- either with your Foreigners in France account
See the Réfugiés.info file “Create a personal account on Foreigners in France (ANEF)”
If you have a technical problem on the site (blocked page, error message, etc.), you can contact the citizens contact center:
- by telephone at 0 806 001 620 (free number),
- or via the contact form (“Contact” button at the bottom left of the screen). You must clearly explain your problem and send screenshots (site, date and time visible) with the error message if you have one.
- you can also use this user assistance form .
Your file will be studied and you will be called to an individual interview with an agent of the Prefecture.
They will assess whether you meet all the conditions for applying for naturalization.
The authorities have a maximum of 18 months from the date they receive your application to respond.
This period is reduced to 12 months if you can prove that you have been resident in France for at least 10 years before the date on which you submitted your application.
What happens next?
You receive an email or letter informing you of your registration in the naturalization decree (after its publication in the Official Journal).
You must download your naturalization decree from the Légifrance website .
Within 6 months, you will receive an invitation from the prefecture for a ceremony welcoming you to French citizenship. You will be given on site: an extract from the decree (the decision of the French State) and a copy of the French civil status documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.).
A young person who becomes French between the ages of 16 and 25 must register within the month following obtaining French nationality.
If your children became French at the same time as you, you can request a national identity card and a passport for each of them.
To make the request, you must contact the judicial or local court by completing this form. We invite you to read the information notice before completing the form.
> Click here to find the court closest to you (specify your postal code or the name of your city and select “judicial court”).
After obtaining French nationality, you must now contact the Central Civil Status Service if you need civil status documents (birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc.). You can apply online or by mail.
Two possible cases if the decision is unfavorable:
- Your request is "inadmissible" = the necessary legal conditions are not met.
- If the reasons for this refusal disappear with the evolution of your personal situation, you can file a new application.
- Your request is "inappropriate" = obtaining French nationality is not or not yet possible, even if the legal conditions are met.
- If your file is "adjourned" (= put on hold), a deadline is imposed, for example to allow you to improve your professional integration. Once this period has passed, you can submit a new request.
In both cases, you have 2 months after the decision to lodge an administrative appeal with the Minister responsible for naturalization. This appeal is a mandatory step before making a contentious appeal.
You must send a letter to the following address:
Ministère de l'intérieur
Direction générale des étrangers en France
Direction de l'accueil, de l'accompagnement des étrangers et de la nationalité
Sous-direction de l'accès à la nationalité française
12 rue Francis-le-Carval
44404 REZÉ CEDEX
If you do not receive a response from the Minister responsible for naturalization within 4 months, this means that your appeal has been rejected.
You can then make a contentious appeal before the administrative court of Nantes. You have a period of 2 months from the date of rejection to appeal.
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