How to obtain recognition of French nationality ?


The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT supports its clients wishing to obtain French nationality, whether it is to have their status as French recognized from birth (based on the right of blood and double right of soil) or to acquire this nationality.

Various procedures with different implications exist to obtain recognition as a French citizen.

Therefore, specific assistance will, in many situations, help expedite the process of obtaining French nationality.

What do the terms “right of blood” and “right of soil” refer to ?


The “right of soil” and the “right of blood” refer to conditions that, if met, generally establish that a person is of French nationality from birth.

In the case of the right of soil, this means that, in principle, any person is considered French if at least one of their parents is French.

Likewise, any person born in France, with at least one parent also born in France, is considered French from birth under the right of soil.

How to be naturalized to acquire French nationality?


The law firm HEAUME AVOCAT assists its clients in the context of procedures known as naturalization.

This procedure is generally open to any foreigner who can demonstrate a period of residence in France exceeding 5 years (this duration may be reduced in certain cases) and a strong integration into French territory, making it the center of their interests.

HEAUME AVOCAT not only aids clients in compiling their documentation but also supports them in preparing for the interviews they will undergo with the administration.

The right to French nationality


The right to French nationality has evolved considerably

The different means of obtaining French nationality can be grouped into two categories: either one considers the person to be French, or one considers the person becomes French. It is considered that the person who is French would have been so from birth, whereas the person who becomes French obtains nationality from a specific moment. The person considered French from birth obtains nationality by attribution. This scenario concerns attribution by descent and attribution by birth on French soil.

The person who becomes French obtains nationality by acquisition. This scenario notably concerns the acquisition of nationality by young foreigners born in France, acquisition by marriage, acquisition by declaration of possession of the status of French, acquisition by declaration of French ascendants, acquisition by claim of the adopted or fostered child, acquisition by claim for a child born abroad whose sibling is French by birth in France, acquisition by naturalization decree, acquisition by decree for former combatants, and

reinstatement into French nationality. Dual nationality is not excluded by French law since the law does not require a foreigner contemplating obtaining French nationality to renounce their original nationality.

The possibility for a foreigner to detach from French nationality depends on how they obtained it.

The attribution of nationality

The person who obtains nationality by attribution is considered to be French from birth.

Attribution by descent

The attribution of French nationality by descent is provided for in Article 18 of the Civil Code: “A child is French if at least one of the parents is French.”

Thus, a child, born in France or abroad, whose at least one parent is French, is considered French from birth. The relationship between this child and their French parent must be established during their minority.

If the relationship is established during the child’s majority, it cannot affect their nationality. However, if the relationship is ascertained during the child’s majority by a supplementary judgment of affiliation, it will have an effect on the attribution of nationality.

These rules of attribution by descent also apply to the child who has been the subject of a full adoption. However, the “kafala” procedure, as it is not adoption in the French sense, could not result in the attribution of nationality.

What is the applicable procedure?

Applications are made on the naturalization platform governing the spouses’ place of residence.

The declarant must submit the application within 4 years of the marriage celebration.

The minister in charge of naturalizations is responsible for recording declarations of acquiring French nationality through marriage.The declaration of acquisition is subject to a stamp duty of a total amount of €55

Acquisition by declaration of possession of French status

This procedure particularly concerns nationals from former French colonies, but it can also occur in the context of legal disputes, as it can serve as the basis for the presumption of French nationality.


What is the acquisition by declaration of possession of French status?

Any person who demonstrates having held the status of a French person for at least 10 years preceding the declaration can obtain French nationality by acquisition.

The possession of French nationality must be unambiguous and can be demonstrated by any means. The declarant can thus produce French national identity cards, French passports, voter cards, registration cards on consular registers, and proof of his military status, census, or his status as a civil servant.


What is the applicable procedure?

The declarant must make his declaration within a reasonable time after becoming aware of his foreign status.

He sends his nationality declaration to the director of the court registry services of the judicial court of his residence. If the declarant resides abroad, he then sends it to the consular authorities of his residence.


III. Acquisition by declaration of ancestors of a French person

This scenario concerns former workers of Maghreb or Sub-Saharan African origin who immigrated to France.

These individuals, from the age of 65, if they are parents of a French child, can become French by acquisition. They must prove regular and habitual residence in France for at least 25 years.

The nationality declaration is made on the naturalization platform governing the declarant’s place of residence.

The acquisition declaration is subject to a stamp duty of a total amount of €55.


Acquisition through claim of the adopted or fostered child

This procedure concerns children adopted by a French person, entrusted to the child welfare service, or taken in in France and raised by a public or private organization. Kafala is also recognized as a valid form of care.

Although there is no previous time condition for a child subject to simple adoption, he must have been entrusted or fostered in France for at least 3 years preceding the declaration

Acquisition by claim for a child born abroad whose sibling is French by birth in France

Upon reaching the age of majority, the foreigner can request acquisition of nationality by declaration if a member of his sibling group (a brother or sister) is of French nationality. He must prove habitual residence in France for at least twelve years, since at least the age of 6. He must also prove having attended at least five years of schooling in France. The brother or sister must have obtained French nationality by virtue of being born in France

Acquisition by decision of the public authority

Acquisition through naturalization by decree

What is naturalization by decree?

Any foreigner residing in France for at least 5 years can apply for the acquisition of French nationality by naturalization by decree.

The foreigner must prove habitual, stable, and continuous residence in France for at least 5 years before submitting the naturalization application.

There are certain exemptions or time reductions. A foreigner who has completed two years of higher education in France, who has provided or can provide services to France, or who has an exceptional integration path can claim a reduction of up to 2 years of residence.

There are several cases for time exemptions, particularly concerning foreigners who have performed military services or provided exceptional services to France. Time exemption also extends to certain French-speaking foreigners, under conditions.

Factors taken into account include the stable and permanent nature of their presence in France and the location of their center of personal and material interests. Covid-19: In a circular dated September 14, 2020, the government eased the conditions for accessing French nationality for foreign nationals who are particularly mobilized during the health crisis. Now, the naturalization by decree application of any foreign national who

proves habitual residence of 2 years in France and who practices a so-called “frontline” profession will be processed in an accelerated and priority manner.

What is the applicable procedure?

The applicant submits their naturalization request to the territorially competent prefectural authority. The supporting documents to be attached depend on the basis on which the applicant claims naturalization. However, during the review of the application, the competent authority can at any time require the production of additional elements.

The authority conducts certain investigations, notably related to the applicant’s conduct, loyalty, assimilation, and knowledge of the French language. The decision must be made within 18 months from the date of issuance of the receipt confirming the submission of the complete file. A postponement decision can extend this period by an additional 2 years.The naturalization decree is subject to a stamp duty of a total amount of €55.