French Citizenship

laughing.....meaning me or my neighbour...and more laughing....always good when the fiddle hs some strings....and a bow .....

There is a French Government website under 'Nationalité Francaise' where all the options are shown - and I haven't found anything that stops anyone on the grounds of age, and certainly the language test has been dropped for me at +70 - although in Limoges they did say I would be given a less severe one - whatever that means.

I have mentioned on a different post that all documents in English will require official translation and this includes things like FULL Birth Certificate showing parental details - at least this is the case for EU citizens. Although I haven't used it there is a Hotline in Nantes (at least for us in the Limoges Dept). There is also the free download of the booklet 'Livret du Citoyen' which lists all the things you will be required to know at any interview. None of this is too onerous,and as the answers all all supplied in the booklet - no excuses!

Pros & Cons? Well I have been dudded out of one main pension source from Australia, and it looks possible this MIGHT happen in the UK. If you were a French citizen, then almost certainly you would have some form of Social Security protection that is every citizen's right. Again I don't have chapter on verse on this.

Otherwise the options are pretty obvious in that you can live better here than on the same money than in the UK. The Health Service from what I understand is also a lot better - and certainly faster. The wine is better and cheaper, ditto with houses. The weather is better for those who live South of Centre anyway, the pace of life is generally slower - again away from the major cities. You can visit other countries in a reasonable drive from almost anywhere you are located in France.

The people I like, the culture and history I like plus the respect they show for their Patrimoine.

On the con side, The politics are about as bad if not a trifle worse than anywhere else. Bureaucracy is worse than almost anywhere else. I am sure others will add their two-pennorth.

Re the time it takes I note that this could be up to 18 months.

There's many a fine tune played on an old fiddle Robert.....

Both our children were born here but had only British citizenship till recently. We decided adding French citizenship would be a good idea for all sorts of reasons. Our daughter's went through very quickly as she was, at time of applying, under 18, had lived and been schooled here all her life. Very simple paperwork. No language test due to French education. Our son applied after he was 18 and had to go through the whole thing as if he were a new immigrant (he was quite offended !) Apart from all the proof of residency and schooling etc, he had an interview with the préfecture, the local gendarmes etc. The interviews and paperwork are now over but he's been told it will take up to 10 months to get his certificate de nationalité, and then the carte d'identité comes after that (possibly 2-3 months). So don't be in a hurry…. Or apply before you're 18!

I think the only reason to ask for French citizenship is to have the right to vote. I already have two European passports - British and Irish - so a third one is truly superfluous. But I am told that the procedure is long, tiresome and humiliating: a bit like a sooped-up version of the carte de séjour ritual which we all had to go through in the Eighties. Some sort of European passport is the only answer ... but in these xenophobic, Brexit-infused times, this will remain a pipe-dream, alas.

My undrestanding is that, when you are over 60 there is no requirement to prove a level of French language proficiency (eg O or A level) at the time of submitting your naturalisation request, but that you still have to do the interview in French to prove that you can get by.

There is no difference in the naturalisation process and requirements between an EU citizen and a non-EU citizen. I'm not sure why.

I sent my application (in Paris) last June and haven't heard anything, except for confirmation that they received my lettre recommandee

I sent the dossier (via that postal return system they asked for - the woman at the post office helped me) last July. They phoned me a few weeks later about an appointment fixed for mid November. But I broke my foot in October so had to phone and ask for a new one. They were very understanding - we estimated how long I'd need and went with it. Funny though, it was only after postponing the interview that I got the confirmation they had the dossier, then after the interview I got another confirmation. I just shove it all in my file.

They told me that I could expect my case to be with the préfecture for 6 months, then another 6 months being checked by the Ministry.

Margaret, how long from submitting your demande did it take to hear anything from them re if the dossier was recevable or an interview or something?

Mr Right? wow, I'm living in the department of Nora Batties....more wrinkled stockings around here than next door neighbour is 80 and she's the youngest...ah well......

If they've been turned down because they're retired, I wonder if it's because most of their income come from abroad - instead of France. This is stated in the conditions, and put me off for a couple of years. Then I figured that I used to be totally dependent on my earnings in France, so I'm giving it a try anyway.

I've had my interview at the préfecture and found it gruelling. I've also had my interview with the local gendarmes which was much more pleasant. Both of them though seemed to want involvement in local activities, e.g. associations, and that's an area where I'm quite strong. However, from what I can gather each department has its own procedure and requirements.

Loved your blog, that's been a big help me.....cheers.....

I am also in the process of gathering all the papers together to apply for French Naturalisation.

Is there anyone out there who can recommend someone professional who can advise on a few things? If so I would appreciate the name and contact détails along with any recommendations.

Everything I've looked at suggests that being retired is not a reason to be denied Naturalisation and yes the language test is not necessary for those over the age of 60.

Good luck Tansy

Might I be bold and ask if anyone would be kind enough to list 'for' and 'against' becoming a French citizen? I'm sure many would be suitably grateful.

Jeanette, perhaps you are an EU citizen. That would make any bureaucracy less menacing and considerably less in quantity. Hope you found the list of docs useful. As for Mr Right, I have the impression now I'm not meant to find one and that eventually I'll be better alone.


Frances, I wish you all the best with that, although the bit of your blog about finding true love, a french Mr Right!?...would give me the biggest fright, if ever deciding to attempt it! Not that French Mr Rights are thinner on the ground than any other nationality, of course!

As for French bureaucracy ...I havnt ever found that to be a huge prob. It's true that I don't mind looking foolish and asking dumb questions, and thus, I found it mostly pleasant enough. If you do everything according to the rules, like not asking questions, imo, that may take longer. However that could be, because I am oldish, so am treated more kindly? Dunno...

Hope it all works out...☺

Many thanks for this nugget of info Brian. We on SFN have cause to be grateful to you for your input. I, too, took part in the 'Manifestation' but just managed to avoid the CRS.

Hello all. I recently blogged on this process as I'm in the middle/start/ whatever, of it. It's been 4 months since I sent in my application (registered) and NO response from the prefecture at Tours. I hope this is normal. I hear it's not a good idea to phone them to ask for updates.

I haven't ever given any thought at all, to citizenship, believing it to be almost completely unobtainable, as in some other countries, but I just read about the law from a couple of years ago..

"Language tests

Another decree expected later this week will remove language tests for graduates of French-speaking universities and over 60s, and allow applicants who failed the written test a second-chance interview in French".

Does that mean, those people NOT graduates of French universities, or graduates of french universities that are over 60?

Is... living in France for 20 years, with no French language quallies, no quallies in anything, really, except house owner, and as OAP... good enough (without criminal convictions etc) to be a French citizen? Just sign on a few dotted lines and show required other docs, like EDF and bank statements etc? No French test, really...I wouldn't mind at all doing an exam, but if it isn't obligatory....

What happens? Does it cost anything?

How is life affected!!!? Is it like joining a club? With duties/responsibilities/obligations?

I can be German, if I want, because of family, as well as Brit, and perhaps French.... can we be multiple nationalities? I can't find any links that explain clearly!

Any thoughts? Or perhaps it is already examined in detail elsewhere.......thank you for reading ...even if you don't say a word.