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The subject of the day is French nationality and especially how to obtain it, how to become French.

Some of you have asked me in comments how to obtain French nationality. So I decided to make a video on this topic because of course, it's an interesting topic, it allows you to learn more about France, how the country works, but also, it's an opportunity to learn new vocabulary.

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There are four ways to become French, four different ways.

By blood, by the right of the soil, by marriage and by naturalization. There is also another way to obtain French nationality, but it is quite uncommon.

You can get French nationality if you do a heroic act, if you are considered a hero by France, I will tell you about it at the end of the video.

I'm going to explain these different means and the different rules around them. But obviously, I am not a lawyer.

So I'm going to explain to you the broad outlines of how to access French nationality. If you want more detailed information, if you want more details, don't hesitate to contact a jurist, a lawyer, or associations that will certainly be able to give you more detailed information.

This video, I shot it at the end of April 2022. Obviously, laws can change, so you need to take that into account as well.

In the description, I will also put you official sources so that you have all the information you need and especially all the details you need.

And it is also thanks to these sources that I made this video, that I wrote the content of this video. To begin with, I wanted to show you a graph where you can see the origins of the people who have obtained French nationality the most.

This is a graph from 2018. So you see the top two countries of origin of people who have obtained French nationality are Morocco and Algeria.

Then we have Tunisia and Turkey. These are people who had another nationality and who became French. So who can be French?

The first way, the simplest way, is by the right of blood. That is to say that one of your parents must be French, must already have French nationality. For example, I am Belgian, Mathieu, my future husband, is French.

This means that our children will be able to have French nationality, even if, for example, we move to Belgium and they are born in Belgium. As Mathieu is French, and one of the parents is French, they will be able to have French nationality.

That's very simple, it's through blood. The second way to be French, to have the French nationality, is the right of the soil. If you read what the right of the soil means on Wikipedia, it is a rule that allows to attribute the French nationality to someone who was born in France.

Thanks to the fact that he was born on French territory, he can have access to French nationality. In concrete terms, how can I obtain French nationality through the right of the soil?

First of all, obviously, as there is already blood law, if one of your parents is French and you are born in France, you have by default the French nationality from birth. If both of your parents are foreigners but you were born in France, you can apply for and obtain French nationality when you turn 18.

You can also have it as soon as you are thirteen years old if your parents ask for it. If you were not born in France but have been living in France since you were six years old, have done all your schooling in France and one of your brothers or sisters has already obtained French nationality, you can also obtain French nationality when you turn 18.

The third way to become French is through marriage. When you marry a French man or woman, you can also obtain French nationality under certain conditions.

Today, the conditions are as follows.

First of all, the person you are marrying must be a French citizen, that is logical. The second condition is that you must be married to this person for more than four years.

You must never have been sentenced to a prison term of more than six months and you must speak a minimum of French. So that means you must have at least a B2 level. To obtain French nationality through marriage, you have to know that the rules are more and more strict because the State fights against what is called sham marriages.

What we call a "white marriage" is a false marriage. It is a marriage that is organized precisely in order to obtain French nationality. In order for a foreigner to obtain French nationality. So the State is very careful about this and tries to identify these sham marriages.

Let's talk about naturalization. If you do not have a French parent, if you were not born in France, if you are not married to a French person, this is the last way for you to become a French citizen.

Naturalization is a little more complicated. There are a lot of documents to provide and, above all, there are a lot of conditions to fulfill. There are many criteria to be naturalized French.

Obviously, there are special cases, but I'll give you the list of these criteria in general terms. I will give you the general criteria. And as I said at the beginning of the video, if you have special cases, if you want more precise information, don't hesitate to go to the government's website or to ask a lawyer or an association.

So, when you want to obtain French nationality, you have to file an application. The first criterion is that you must be at least 18 years old. You must obviously be living in France at the time of the application.

You must also have lived in France for at least five years. You must have a special link with France, for example, serious family ties.

You must also have a job that allows you to support yourself. As for naturalization via marriage, you must be able to prove that you have a fairly satisfactory level of French, a B2 level.

You must also prove that you have assimilated to French culture, which means that you have some historical and cultural knowledge. So, to verify that you are well integrated into France, you will be asked to pass an assimilation interview where you will be asked questions about France.

For example, you will be asked to name French rivers. We will ask you what democracy means to you. We will ask you to explain, for example, how the institutions in France work or to name the French departments.

And finally, as with marriage, you must never have been sentenced in France to a prison term of more than six months without a suspended sentence. That's a lot of things, the list is quite long.

On this point of five years of residence in France, there are some exceptions, such as if you have a refugee status, if you have done your military service in France for example, if you come from a French-speaking country and you speak French fluently, you have graduated from an institution of higher education where you have studied for at least two years.

You can render or have rendered important services to France or if you have accomplished an exceptional path of integration, for example by having done or accomplished very important actions in the field of science, economy, culture or sports.

Some people have also obtained French nationality because they have committed heroic acts. They have done extraordinary things. When you do an act of bravery, there is a very quick express procedure that can be triggered so that you can obtain French nationality very quickly.

It is a kind of gift that the state gives you. In the description, I put you a link that speaks in more detail about this type of naturalization.

I'll put a little excerpt here, I don't know if you've already seen this video.

This man is called Mamadou Gassama. He is of Malian origin, from Mali. In May 2008, he saved this child. I don't know if you saw on the video, but he was hanging from the balcony, from the railing of the balcony and he climbed the building to save this child.

We really talked about it a lot at the time and President Emmanuel Macron gave him French nationality to thank him for this act of bravery because he was very brave.

Of course, these cases of naturalization are very rare, but they can exist like Mamadou.

That's it for today, I hope you enjoyed this video, that you were able to learn about the way France works, about the different ways to be French or to become French and that you were able to learn some new vocabulary thanks to this theme.

If you liked the video, don't forget to put a "like" and most importantly, subscribe and activate the bell to see all my videos.

See you soon!

🚀 Transform your understanding of French in 15 minutes a day

🇫🇷 My new learning method based on everyday dialogues

Discover an innovative approach French language skills through 50 everyday conversations. Improve your understanding of French and learn useful French. Ideal for intermediate students.

Read more

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