Should I go for French Residency?

We have been in France now since November 2007, and I believe that after 5 years we can apply for residency ... basically is it worth doing that?

Much the same - incidentally I wrote my second doctoral thesis on children's citizenship and am updating and rewriting it to publish probably next year so I have delved deeper than any of you need to bother... In principle, nobody is a citizen until they reach majority which is what I am effectively trying to contribute toward ending, but they have 'nationality'. That is why we sometimes and generally should say 'dual nationality' rather than use the 'c' word. OK, ask and I shall reveal more but believe me 98% of it will bore you quite rigid!

yes uk passports for mine could be useful later if they want to travel/visas etc but I understand that their entitlement to one is a simple matter of me, their father, having british nationality as Brian points out. so there shouldn't be any hoops to jump through and that's as I read it on the gov website too. Like Brian, I'm not sure there's any need, or possibility to register kids born in another country - can't remember reading anything about that on the site... In any case their dual nationality is pretty much automatic due to the parents having different nationalities (in our cases (Brian, Hilary and mine)). Kids born here in France to British couples - the children automatically qualify for French nationality when they reach 18 as long as this is where they live when they reach 18 and have spent at least 5 years living in France between the age of 11 and 18...!

Prrrrroblem is, that a birth certificate is not only given as evidence of the birth of a UK citizen within the UK, in fact non-British citizens get birth certificates too, because that is what they are and not an entitlement to citizenship (in fact it should be 'nationality') because there is something or other added to those born there but not entitled to citizenship. Born out of the UK means no certificate can be issued to register the birth, that is left to the country in which a person is born to deal with however they do it. To then obtain a passport one simply needs evidence of the citizenship of either or both parents as UK citizens. Both of ours were born in the UK but my wife popped into the Swiss Embassy in London to register both and by a similar process they had Swiss passports over the counter (well by post a few days later literally). There are enormous advantages to having two passports such as countries that require visas from one but not the other whereby, for example, the Brit pp still saves a few hours getting into the USA and a longer visa is issued, for whatever reason I neither know nor care but it is much discussed. Other places are similar, Australia and New Zealand being examples where UK no visa, France something like a 'visa' is stamped in, etc...

just wondered if there would be less hoops to jump through if he did want a uk passport later if his existance was already registered in the uk at his birth

No idea about UK admin, when mine were born (english dad/french mum, both born here in france) I looked on the UK gov site and understood that they have the right to a UK passport etc for life due to their british dad. I've never done anything more than that because it costs so much for uk passports, and as they have french ID cards it would be money spent for no reason at all!

if the requirements are a level of french of a 15 year old that would mean non, ugh, soit, non, mamaaan!

not difficult ;-))

to add to the posting, I dont see why presidential voting rights shouldnt be accessible after a set number of years of "integration" in society. 10 to 15 years of working, tax paying etc etc should give you more say in how the country is run surely.

On another line, does anyone know about the administrative situation of babies born of UK dad & french mum, in france. What should be done to "validate" his existance in the eyes of UK admin (if anything) to leave the most options open when he's adult? thanks

Yep, we're still hankering for that European passport ;-)

I shall boringly repeat myself and say that I want neither but would prefer a European citizenship status. In fact there is no actual advantage in having one citizenship then changing to another if the event ever arises of needing to change again because the regulations often make it difficult to change form anything but one's status at birth. The USA makes a number of this and for a long time eastern European Jews and Romanies who were shunted on from their place of birth were stymied by it. I am looking at citizenship for two pieces of work at present and whilst nationality may appear to be important, it is not always the case that it endows one with full citizenship rights. For instance, becoming French if you are over mid-20s means you will have a high chance of a pension short fall and the older you get the less you might expect but will probably have consequently pulled out of your 'original' scheme and will get minimal support from your country of origin (if at all, since they have the right to deny it under certain circumstances...). In my case my work is related to children and there are good reasons for them to have parents of two nationalities in order for them to get the 'other's' nationality if ever the circumstances arise under which that becomes necessary. With regard to electoral rights, the commission responsible for its direction and changes has had a consideration of full political franchise for all permanent residents in France after a certain length of time for two or three years. A clever politician may push for that to go ahead if there is such a fine line dividing the electorate in an election that essentially conservative newcomers would be suddenly welcome. Me, still prefer a comprehensive European label and my Swiss OH agrees.

agree with what you said Jo and can add that it's also to have the same nationality as my OH and kids but I think the post is flawed as there's a difference between residency (your actions decide that - do you live here or not) and nationality - you have to apply and meet all the criteria including the new language test etc. Forms are still sitting on my desk, I'll get round to it soon...! Out of touch with what's going on in the UK and no real desire to know or go back :-D

Snap. We moved in 2006.

I think dual citizenship is for people (like me) who are British and have decided to permanently live, work and contribute their taxes to a french society. I want a say in the way our french system changes, so i want to vote and I'm british, so i want to continue to acknowledge my British friends, familly and british culture is a big part of who am. A total change of citizenship is for people who want to make a complete break from their "parent" country" and is valid for a lot of people and i would suppose, be particularly apt for people who have had bad experiences in their parent country...occasionally, when I hear about bad policies or seriously wrong things at "home" I am torn between wanting to move back and try to help solve it, and wanting to disown the brits and become entirely French. I choose to do neither, and to become officially what I actually am, a British French immigrant. I think in this way I can best use the positive values I have gained from being British to influence the French life I have worked hard to build here.

As for what you gain from it, I doubt there's a real value to nationality but looking at the history books I feel there's more of a risk to aligning oneself to a single country and a better chance of being seen as an individual if it's officially acknowledged that you are usefully capable of living in a different counrty than where you were born.

Sorry to go off on a tangent, but I just wanted to clarify something from the original post. David mentioned "Assurance Vie" as he was unable to access these investments as he is a US national, which is correct. James then posted that he has been able to have life assurance. Directly translated "assurance vie" is life assurance, but it is actually an investment contract, whereas "life assurance" as we know it is known here in France as "assurance décès" (death insurance). They are totally different and can be easily confused by literal translations. Hope this helps.

Hi and thanks for your reply ... No I meant just residency which I don't think is the same thing as citizenship - I don't I would want to give up UK citzenship ...

Hope you're ok


Finn, thank you for the factual posts and links. Learning new things. Recently received 10-year Titre de Sejour and your links have helped me. Merci.

Thanks Ben. Seems to me that I qualify for a ten year carte....maybe the perfecture isn't aware that the new language requirement is for citizenship. What a surprise!

Hi Beverley
I helped mike Staubes with his ten year application this year - there was no language test requirement and he now has his ten year carte de sejour. I would get in touch with him direct and he can probably advise you.
Good luck!
C x

In that case, you might be looking for a "Regroupement Familial", based on the fact that you married, your husband's French nationality and his legal right to be a French resident. What also helps a lot is having your own place/address (which I hope is the case by now). Living in tourist-accomodations doesn't help any procedure for residence in France.


I don't think it daft.

Like most French administration it is not easy to get to the bottom of the benefits (or not) of such a move. By obtaining different views and some good information at least it gives that person opinions for and against. Surely debate is healthy. This isn't a "grey" forum where people hide behind silly names, so you get constructive ideas/suggestions.

OK, I just showed my husband that article Ben. He says the language requirement in that article only applies to applicants for French citizenship. I am trying to get a 10 year carte de sejour so I can stay in France with my French husband. I thought that was equivalent to a green card in America. It's ridiculous having to go to the mairie every three months to renew my request. Thanks for trying to help.