You might still be reeling from the results of Brexit. Or maybe you’re from the U.S. and have had to deal with visa applications ever since you can remember. Whatever your reason, if you’re over 18 and want to live, work or study in France, you may want to consider applying for French citizenship.

Here’s the official list of required documents to get a French citizenship, in French. I have done my best to translate the official list for you. This is a long read, so grab yourself a cup of tea, note things down and leave us a message if you have any questions!

To keep things simple, it’s in 2 sections:

Section 1: Who can apply?
Section 2: Every document you will need to get French citizenship

Section 1: Who can apply for the French citizenship?

The good news: If you’re an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, you don’t need to apply. Thanks to the Freedom of Movement Act, you can live in any Schengen country, no strings attached, for as long as you’d like.

The bad news: If you’re British, citizenship might be an option for you. But then again, it might not. We still don’t know where we stand after Brexit.

With all of that in mind, if at least one of the following applies to you, you may be eligible:

1. You’ve lived in France for 5 consecutive years (naturalisation)

  • During those years, your primary source of income must have come from France.
  • If you are not European, you must have a titre de séjour (residence permit).

What if I used to be French? If you were once French (but aren’t anymore), the 5-year quota does not apply to you.

What if I’m from a Francophone country? If you come from a Francophone country and French is your mother tongue/your education language, the 5-year quota does not apply to you either.

Tip: If you live in Paris and want to speak to someone in person, go to the Bureau des Naturalisations on Ile de la Cité. They’ll tell you exactly what you need.

2. You’ve been in postgraduate education in a French institution for 2 years

In this case, provide a copy of your diploma.

3. One of your parents is a French citizen (Jus sanguinis)

You have the right to citizenship if one of your parents is French. (Even if you were not born in France.)

My parent lives in France! You must provide evidence of your birth with the French Citizens Register.

My parent does not live in France. They must provide proof of their French citizenship.

4. You’re married to a French citizen

  • You must be married for at least 4 years.
  • One of those years must be spent living in France.

But I don’t live with my marriage partner! If you have not lived continuously together for 4 years, then you must be married for 5 years.

Section 2: All documents needed to get a French citizenship


  • Most documents must be less than 1-year-old at the time of submission.
  • You must pay to have your documents translated into French by a court approved translator. Approximate price: €17 per page.
  • Translations must be less than 3 months old at the time of submission. You must provide both the document in your original language and the translated version.
  • This list is thorough but even so, you may need to submit additional documents depending on your circumstance.

Obligatory documents: who you are and where you are from

  • 2 copies of the completed citizenship request form (French name: la demande d’acquisition de la nationalité française.)
  • Timbre fiscal (tax stamp) of €55 (You can buy this at a tabac. Send it in a sealed envelope with your name written on the front.)
  • Photocopies of both sides of your titre de séjour (residence card) (This only applies to non-European citizens.)
  • Passport photocopies (Provide a recent photocopy of your passport photograph pages.)
  • 2 ID photos (You must provide 2 passport-style ID photos that measure 35 x 45mm. Put your first name(s), last name(s) and birthdate on the back.)
  • A recent copy of your birth certificate with apostille (if you’re British, you can apply online. If you’re from the U.S. you have 2 options: either ask for a copy from the Civil Registrar of your birthplace or pay to access it online. (Click on the ‘for apostille/authentication’ link.)
  • **Recent copies of your parents’ apostilled birth certificates. (**Your parents must request these themselves. If one or both of your parents have died, you can provide an official copy of their death certificate(s).

Obligatory documents: where you live


  • Your rental contract.
  • Rent receipts from the last 3 months.
  • Your last telephone or electricity bill.


  • Provide a photocopy of your deed of ownership.

Obligatory documents: where you work


  • Your work certificates from the last 3 years.
  • Your current work contract or attestation from HR, indicating your salary, starting date, and job title.
  • Your 3 most recent payslips.
  • Payslips from November and December of the last 3 years.

Seeking work?

  • Proof of your registration to Pôle Emploi.
  • If applicable, the last 3 payslips of your most recent employment.
  • If possible, all evidence of your professional activity from the last 3 years.

Doing an internship?

  • The internship certificate from your employer, stating the dates of your internship.
  • A copy of your most recent payslip.
  • If possible, all evidence of your professional activity from the last 3 years.

Obligatory documents: tax information

  • Photocopies of your French tax bills (avis d’imposition) from the last 3 years, and payslips from November and December of the last 3 years.
  • Bordereau de situation fiscal for the past 3 years(This is a form from the tax authorities. It proves you’re up to date with your tax payments. Get this from your local tax office or online. This form will reflect your income tax and residency tax.)

Obligatory documents: knowledge of the French language

To get French citizenship, you have to show that you’re immersed in the culture and language

.You have several options:

  • Complete a language test (Test de français international/TFI) at a government-approved institution.
  • Provide evidence (certificate photocopy) that you’ve obtained a diploma from a French authority for attaining French language level ‘V.’
  • Obtain a level ‘V’ diploma in the French language from a recognized French authority. Provide a photocopy of your certificate.
  • Obtain a ‘B1’ from a CEFR or CECR authority. Provide a photocopy of your certificate.
  • Passed one of the TCF, TEF, DELF/DALF, DCL or BULATS language tests. Provide a photocopy of your certificate.
  • If you’re still learning French, you can provide an ‘attestation’ from a Français langue d’intégration centre.

NB: Make a copy of your test certificate, and bring the original with you to your prefecture interview.

Obligatory documents: criminal record check

Have you lived in France for more than 10 years?
You need to provide a completed Bulletin no. 3 form to demonstrate that you do not have a criminal record in France.

Have you lived in France for less than 10 years?
You need to provide:

  • A completed Bulletin no. 3 form to demonstrate that you do not have a criminal record in France.
  • A certificate from your country’s national police that proves you do not have a criminal record there. (If you’re British, you can obtain this form onlineIf you’re from the U.S., you must get your fingerprints taken by a certified organisation and then mail them to the FBI. You can also get them taken in Paris.)

Obligatory documents: if applicable to you

If you changed your name
If you changed your name, submit copies of all the documents you received.

If your parents are married
If this applies to your parents, you need to provide recent copies of the marriage certificate. You can either contact the authorities of the place where they were married or obtain them online.

U.S. citizens: contact the Vital Records Office
British citizens: contact the General Register Office

If you’re married or have children
You need to provide copies of:

  • Your marriage certificate. See the advice and links directly above.
  • If you’ve been married more than once, all your marriage and divorce certificates
  • Your spouse’s ID.
  • You and your spouse must sign an attestation sur l’honneur des 2 époux at the prefecture or consulate.

If you have children who are under 18
You need to provide copies of:

  • Original and translated copies of their birth certificates.
  • If they are French, their certificate of nationality.
  • Photocopies of your children’s scholarly certificates, or proof that they live in your property.

That’s it!


It may feel like it’s taken a year to compile your documents, but the longest part isn’t even over yet. Because once you’ve submitted your dossier, the authorities have up to a year to respond to your application.

Where do I hand in my dossier?

Hand your dossier to your nearest town hall (mairie). If you don’t live in France, hand your dossier to the French consulate.

Then what?

At some point, you’ll receive a convocation to go to the Préfecture de Police to talk about your personal situation and answer a few cultural questions about France.

Finally, your dossier will be sent to the Interior Ministry and will be officially considered there. French citizenship is seen as a favour, not an obligation. Be prepared for this, because the government reserves the right to refuse your request.