French Citizenship Pros and Cons?

Very interesting Andrew, does this mean that as I have been here for 29 years it’s easier for me? Had difficulties getting the correct papers, and admit when I go over the paperwork that it just does not seem worth it . I speak reasonably well. My writing is eeeerrrmmmm not as good as I would like lol. I work in international sales so most of my writing is in English. However I do think that I could pas any tests as I am quite cultivated in the French life, history and music.
Hubby is French, speaks perfect English. We only speak English in the home. I have worked for over 23 years here.
What do you think, you seem to have a good knowledge of this subject thank goodness :sweat_smile:


Hi Andrew, our daughter in Munich is taking dual Uk/German citizenship.
She has a 1st class honours degree in international business and German and has lived in Munich for nineteen years. She is now the MD of an investment subsidiary of a major German company trading internationally and has to take an exam, for which she pays 180 euros, to prove that she can speak German to CEFR level B1 and is capable of livining in Germany .
It makes me want to spit feathers. Bureaucracy gone mad!


Have a look at this thread Brexit and EU citizen rights. It explains that once you have been legally in France for at least 10 years you can not be asked to leave. A link to the law, in French of course, is here


Crazy, Jane, I’d be in the same boat if I hadn’t have done my maîtrise here in France if I only had my honours degree in French and Italian I’d have to sit the test! I hope all goes well for her :wink:

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Thanks Mandy
That post is also interesting.
However I am looking for French citizenship made easy lol lol .
I think I am safe here haha. Still married to French man after 35 years. Married in the UK . Had first two boys in the UK, third born in France, however due to the French father after a lot of hassle the first two got their French citizenship at the ages of 27 and 25 respectively. Interesting enough my eldest son did an apprenticeship for the bac professionnel at the gaz de France, he is now employed at the ERDF :blush: all this with a British nationality!!
It’s good that he could do this, although when he applied for a job there after the apprentiship finished, the up above were absolutely amazed that he had managed to get so far not having the French nationality!!
Many thanks for this post.


for me ive moved all my assets over here. unless someone pops their cclogs and leaves me something in the UK.

For me there are no negatives. if it was not for getting married and resetting the clock I would be in the process right now.


Hi Andrew

Now that is very interesting to read. Seems a lot simpler lol.

To speak French with hubby would be very hard for us both as we have always spoke English, but be reassured I speak French with friends, family etc… also obligatiore with my colleagues. I have to write in French too, it’s just a lack of confidence to take a test lol.

So you run a bureau de tabac? Very very hard work, I have a nephew who also does this, early mornings, late evenings very difficult…

Do you have your English family come over? I do hope so… I have a sister in England, brother in Sweden and a sister in Australia

Lots of French and English cousins, family in law etc… soi get to speak both languages on a regular basis, as mentioned I work in international sales… good fun .



Thanks Andrew, it seems that all the good words from her employer mean nothing. The others at her work are totally astonished that she has to take this test.
It is yet another exampke of dumbing down and not acknowledging her history of living in Germany.
Mind you we are thinking of taking French citizenship, but are over 60.
Having seen a post on here that we might then have to pay more tax, we are thinking again.


my mums the same. Does not like the idea of being in a country with a language she cannot speak.

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OK, think I’ve been convinced, no advantage for me at the mo’, (although I have no reason to have to prove my language skills, French, (which I don’t have btw). So, because I don’t want to have to conform to French inheritance laws, (which I said, was my main concern), I will stay Brit for the mo’!

I did a Goethe Institute course after A levels and before starting university in Germany a zillion years ago and got C1, (at home we spoke French and or English as my mother couldn’t be bothered with speaking German).
It might come in handy!

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Would taking french nationality automatically mean you can no longer opt for UK law in your will?

At the moment, as a french resident you are subject to french inheritance succession laws unless your will specifically states otherwise. And whatever you do you can’t escape french inheritance tax. Would that change?

once you opt for it yes i do believe you cannot opt for uk law anymore as you are now a citizen here

Not so - multi-nationals can choose any of their nationalities for the execution of their will. As France does not require you to revoke your British nationality - that will make you a multi-national. Bit different for the Spanish immigrants -they need to revoke !!

Here’s the actual legislation:

Regulation EU 650 / 2012 (Effective August 2015)

And a more user friendly summary:

How It Affects You

Saved them a while ago :slight_smile:


In my situation it will be a lot more advantageous to obtain French Citizenship,so I

The first time I started the ball Rolling for French citizenship I was in similar position to Andrew,helping my French husband to run our business with unsocial hours and two small kids. I just couldn’t find the motivation to carry on,seemed like too much hassle ;If only I’d known then that the hassle and worry would be multiplied by at least twice 15 or so years later;Partly because my personal circumstances have changed, actually making me less eligible than I was then,divorce,employment and,house owning status etc and partly because I think criteria changed slightly in 2015,having to apply to Regional Platforms instead of your local Préfecture ,Language test ;And of course Brexit!
I think the big advantage for me (if I succeed now) is the knowledge that if I need to leave France for more than 2years to care for my mum I can come back here without worrying that I will lose my right of residence. I do believe that if leave for more than 6 months I would even lose the right to reapply for French citizenship in the future,(as parent to French childen/Young adults I would be eligible in 4 years)
I do see my long term future in France while my sons are here,and funnily enough my divorce and Brexit have helped to clarify this for me as although I will never feel totally French I feel as if I have absorbed a fair few of their ideals,and am following the Laeticia Halliday/Laura Smet,David Halliday case with interest as I think its only right that Johnnys biological kids are not cut out of his will completely even if Californian Law states otherwise’’)He was a French(naturalised )icon after all!!
However the paperwork was a big headache and the first part of the French test(audio and comprehension) went far too rapidly for my liking and the fact that I scraped a CI was more luck than judgement as I guessed at least 5 of the answers!

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Excerpts from :

"If you are of retirement age from within the EEA, and in receipt of a S1 health certificate of exemption, the social charges are not applied on any pension income received from outside of France.

This is because your health costs are covered from your home country through the use of the S1 form.

This means that workplace pension income other than the state retirement pension also escapes the charges.

Although your pension will be exempt, all retired persons are liable for the social charges on any rental and investment income they receive.

In addition, even if you do not have an S1, if your net taxable income is below the level that would make you liable for the taxe d’habitation you are exempt from the payment of the social charges on pension income.

This means that retired persons are exempt from the social charges on pension income in 2018 if your taxable income (revenu fiscal de référence) is below €11,018 for a single person and €16,902 for a couple, with further increases for dependants. The reference year for eligibility to this exemption in 2018 is your taxable income for 2016, as notified on your tax notice for 2017.

The basic rule that applies is that you are only liable to pay the charges if you are: (i) resident in France and (ii) affiliated to the system of compulsory health insurance in France.

Accordingly, those who are covered by an ‘S’ form are not liable for the charges.

If you are in receipt of a ‘government service pension’ taxed in the UK you also escape the social charges by virtue of the 2008 Double Taxation Convention between the UK and France, as under the DTC the social charges are considered to be a ‘tax’. The exemption only applies to the government service pension, not other early retirement pensions."

If you worked in France, paid cotisations and qualified for a French pension on retirement, you have to pay CSG on all income.

I don’t think being naturalised or not makes a difference to this.

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Having French citizenship is a disadvantage if you ever want to live in Monaco in the future. This is because a French citizen will still get taxed as an individual if they reside in Monaco i.e. no tax free status. You are better off as a French citizen to work in Monaco but be just outside in France, as then you will get the improved benefits from having a job in Monaco, but not have to pay the high rental or property prices in the Principality.

Thanks for that D’ G’, but I don’t think the poss’ of living in Monaco will feature in my own decision :slightly_smiling_face:

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A few thoughts… Firstly I am now a Franco-Britannique dual national, so I’ve been through that process successfully. :slight_smile:

I saw inheritance concerns mentioned above. Currently as far as inheritance goes within the EU as far as I understand it I believe that since a couple of years now you can choose which country’s tax regime applies when dealing with a cross-national boundary inheritance, but I’m not an expert of tax or inheritance law, and also I have no idea how any of that gets affected once the UK is no longer an EU state… However, I’d put a guess that it’s also possible that no-one else knows that yet either as it may well not have been defined yet. :slight_smile: As always, ask a pensions / tax consultant…

As far as the citizenship application process goes, frankly the main cost is not the actual application fee (€55) or even the cost of getting copies of UK birth / marriage / death certificates (you can request these online from the UK if you know the right reference codes (you can generally work out what these are with some free online services) for getting to the correct pages of the official records, and the cost of each isn’t so heavy that this is a blocker of itself, given the number of documents you are requesting). But rather the largest cost is the cost of the translations of those documents by an officially recognised translator. Of course all the French documents and the French translations of foreign documents all need to be less than three months old at time of submission of the dossier (the actual foreign documents can largely be of any age).

The specifics of the process and the time taken to make the dossier submission and have the interview and then of course finally the delay from submission to the dossier being processed through all steps to a hopefully successful eventual conclusion will vary according to the department where you live. You need to consult carefully the specific documentation for your local department and prefecture to understand how they require you to do it where you live, and the time it will take will also vary according to their local processes and efficiencies (and number of applicants :slight_smile: ). I expect the complexity of the dossier (e.g.: individual submission vs family submission including kids, so more stuff to check and verify) could very likely affect the duration too.

In my case, when I’d got all my paperwork ready, I got my pre-interview where they check the dossier about a month out from the day when I booked it online. From that initial dossier checking pre-interview to the full interview was a delay of a couple of weeks I think, and then from that full interview which also marked the completion of the submission process I had to wait 7.5 months for a decision. Other folks are not so lucky on that (especially those that live in Paris say, which has a very different submission process and generally takes somewhat longer). From decision getting the ID card / passport took just a couple of weeks (online application finalized at the Mairie), and time to wait for the naturalisation ceremony to wrap it all up was maybe a month to six weeks.

By the way, when I had the full interview I asked about that thing of 18 months limitation to have your dossier processed for folks who have been in the country for less than 10 years, and 12 months limitation for those more than 10 years. The civil servant handling my application told me it didn’t make any difference and that it was 12 months regardless, so who knows?! :slight_smile: That could just be the department where I live, that could be that the 12/18 thing is just outdated information. Yes, there is non-factual information out there, including on official governmental sites. :slight_smile:

To some extent your experience will be your own… Good luck with it if you do decide to move that way.