France is not only the country of love and good cheese, but it’s also an attractive destination for many British people who want a bit more sun and flavour in their lives. In fact, Brits account for about 45% of foreigners who own residential property in France.
However, if you plan on moving there permanently, you may also want to know a bit more about how to become a French citizen. After all, it doesn’t hurt to be able to travel through the European Union freely or have access to a wider range of job offers and educational systems.
Not to mention that the picturesque landscape is difficult to recreate anywhere else (in fact, it’s one of the top countries in the world when it comes to the environment). France has the Alps, castles on the Loire Valley, gorgeous Provence lavender fields, and Paris. Who wouldn’t want easy access to all of that?
So, if you’re ready to take the steps toward being a French citizen, today we’ll explain how you can do so through naturalisation.
What is Naturalisation in France?
If you’ve been legally living in France for five continuous years (based on a work permit, a study visa, or any other type of temporary residence permit), you have the right to apply for citizenship or a permanent residence permit.
Besides the five years time limit, you also need to know French at a proficient level and prove you’ve integrated into the society and culture, have a steady income (above minimum wage), pay taxes in the country (if you’re on a work permit), and have no problems with the law.
As a side note, there are situations where you don’t have to wait for the whole five years. For instance, if you are a student at a French university or are part of a select group of people with an “exceptional course of integration,” the wait is only two years! Plus, if you’re joining a family member who has permanent residence, your waiting period will be only three years.
Last but not least, you need to prove you can respect the French culture and know the rights and duties of French citizens.
Exceptional Situations the Superseed Naturalisation
There are a few scenarios where you can apply for citizenship immediately, without having to way for the allotted time period. These are the following:
- You served in the French military as a foreigner in the time of war;
- You had a voluntary engagement contract in the French or allied armies, in the time of war;
- France has benefited from your exceptional services (others than the military);
- You qualify as a refugee;
You come from a country where France is the official language and have been to a Francophone-speaking school for at least five years.
How to Obtain French Citizenship
So you meet all the conditions – now what?
If you’ve reached this step, you’ll need the services of a qualified translation agency that can help you translate all your documents into French.
The first step in getting your citizenship through naturalization is signing the Reception and Integration Contract (CAI). This document grants the signatory temporary citizenship (12 months) after which you will go through a second evaluation where it will be decided if you meet the conditions to become a permanent citizen of France.
Both the application form (for CAI) and the documents needed to prove your current status have to be in French. This is why you need to hire a translation team that knows how to handle immigration and legal papers. After all, any mistake in translation can postpone your appliance and delay the naturalization process.
Luckily, the Translations123 team is at your disposal! We work with native translators specialized in legal forms for immigration and other purposes. Plus, we can offer guidance when it comes to the documentation you need and in what format.