Nationality law

Access to French nationality is the final stage in the integration process of foreign nationals residing on French territory.

Naturalisation, often considered a favour granted to foreigners by the French State, is a true obstacle course in that it is surrounded by numerous conditions for access. First and foremost, French law imposes a probationary condition.

Thus, in order to become a naturalised citizen, foreigners must have resided in France for at least five years. They must also prove that they have a sufficient command of the French language, as well as a knowledge of the principles and values of the Republic. Their professional integration in France will also be carefully examined by the administration.

However, naturalisation is not the only path to French nationality. It is supplemented by the declaration of nationality or reinstatement in French nationality, which meet their own criteria.

Lastly, some individuals, even though they are legally nationals of third countries and reside outside France, can have their French nationality recognised if they can establish the existence of a parentage link with a French ascendant. These people will have to apply for a certificate of French nationality, which will be processed by the registry of the Judicial Court. 

Whatever the procedure followed, the application may be rejected by the authorities. In this case, there are remedies available. These options differ depending on the procedure initially followed. It is also important to exercise caution because, in matters of nationality, two orders of jurisdiction are likely to intervene, the administrative and judicial orders.

EXILAE Avocats has the necessary expertise to assist foreign nationals wishing to take steps to obtain nationality. Our lawyers and legal experts, trained and experienced in the field of immigration law, will provide you with help and guidance in all your dealings with the administration, both in France and abroad. 

Practice areas

Recognising French nationality: the certificate of nationality
Granting French nationality
  • Naturalisation by decree
  • Declaration of French nationality (Declaration by marriage Nationality of ancestors of French nationals and young people born in France)
Recovery of French nationality

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