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French nationality of a child born in France to foreign parents

Verified 26 janvier 2021 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Additional cases ? Child adopted / Child collected

A child born in France to foreign parents may obtain French nationality. The requirements to be met and the steps to be taken are different depending on the age of the child.

Terms

The foreign parents of a child between the ages of 13 and 16 may claim, on his or her behalf, French nationality by declaration if 3 are completed:

  • The child was born in France
  • The child usually in France since the age of 8
  • The child shall reside in France on the day of the declaration

The child's consent is required unless the child's mental or physical faculties do not permit it.

  Please note : specific rules apply to Mayotte

Approach

The legal representatives of the minor must make a declaration of French nationality.

The declaration is made on free paper.

The declaration is to be sent by mail or presented by hand to the court of justice or local court.

The documents to be provided are:

  • Declaration in 2 copies, dated and signed by legal representative minor. The declaration must state the names, first names and the quality of the minor and his or her representative
  • Birth certificate
  • ID
  • Recent Identity Photography
  • Residence permit of foreign parents or official foreign identity document
  • All documents proving that the minor resides in France on the date of the declaration
  • All documents proving that the minor has had his habitual residence in France for a continuous or discontinuous period of at least 5 years since the age of 8 years
  • All documents proving that his or her legal representative(s) are exercising parental authority and their official identity document
  • If necessary, the birth certificates of the minor's foreign children who reside with him or her in an habitual manner or alternatively in the case of separation or divorce and any documents justifying such residence. If necessary, documents proving filiation children (civil status or court order)
  • If necessary, a medical certificate issued by a qualified medical specialist certifying that the minor's mental or physical faculties prevent him from expressing his will

This list is indicative. Ask the transplant court.

Parts must be provided original unless otherwise indicated.

A civil registration document (birth and marriage documents) must be produced full copy.

An act of civil status French must be issued less than 3 months.

A document in a foreign language must be accompanied by a translation certified translator or authorised (except for a multilingual extract of a birth certificate in which one of the languages is French).

A foreign public act must be, if necessary, legalised or apostilled. Contact the embassy or consulate of your country of origin or the French Office for the Protection of Refugees or Stateless Persons (Ofpra) if you are a refugee or stateless person.

  • French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra)

    On site

    French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra)

    201 Carnot Street

    94136 Fontenay sous Bois Cedex

    Open to the public from 9am to 3pm

    Phone

    01 58 68 10 10

After you have given all the necessary documents, you will be given a receipt.

An interview is organised to obtain the consent of the minor.

The Director of Forensic Registry Services 6 months from the issue of the documents, to register the declaration or to refuse this registration.

The public prosecution may challenge the registration of the declaration of nationality within 2 years if the legal conditions are not met.

It may also challenge it in the event of a lie or fraud within 2 years from their discovery.

  Please note : if one of the 2 parents is foreign but was born in France, the child born in France will French by birth.

Appeal

The refusal to register the declaration may be challenged in the court of the domicile of the declarant in 6 months following notification.

You have to get a lawyer.

Who shall I contact

Terms

Children born in France to foreign parents can become French without waiting for their majority.

From the age of 16, he can claim French nationality by declaration if he fulfils the 2 following:

  • He resides in France on the day of the declaration
  • He got his habitual residence in France for a continuous or discontinuous period of at least 5 years since the age of 11

He can do this alone without parental permission unless he is prevented from expressing his will by impairment of his mental or bodily faculties.

  Please note : specific rules apply to Mayotte.

Approach

The 16 to 18 year old must make a declaration of nationality.

The declaration is to be sent by mail or presented by hand to the court of justice or local court.

The declaration is made on free paper.

The documents to be provided are:

  • Declaration in 2 copies, dated and signed
  • Birth certificate
  • ID
  • Recent Identity Photography
  • Residence permit of foreign parents or official foreign identity document
  • All documents proving his residence in France on the date of his declaration
  • All documents proving that he has had his habitual residence in France for a continuous or discontinuous period of at least 5 years since the age of 11
  • If necessary, the birth certificates of the minor's foreign children who reside with him or her in an habitual manner or alternatively in the case of separation or divorce and any documents justifying such residence. If necessary, documents proving filiation children (civil status or court order)
  • If necessary, a medical certificate issued by a qualified medical specialist certifying that the mental or physical faculties of the young person prevent him from expressing his will.

This list is indicative. Ask the transplant court.

Parts must be provided original unless otherwise indicated.

A civil registration document (birth and marriage documents) must be produced full copy.

An act of civil status French must be issued less than 3 months.

A document in a foreign language must be accompanied by a translation certified translator or authorised (except for a multilingual extract of a birth certificate in which one of the languages is French).

A foreign public act must be, if necessary, legalised or apostilled. Contact the embassy or consulate of your country of origin or the French Office for the Protection of Refugees or Stateless Persons (Ofpra) if you are a refugee or stateless person.

  • French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra)

    On site

    French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons (Ofpra)

    201 Carnot Street

    94136 Fontenay sous Bois Cedex

    Open to the public from 9am to 3pm

    Phone

    01 58 68 10 10

After you have given all the necessary documents, you will be given a receipt.

The Director of Forensic Registry Services 6 months from this issue to register the declaration or to refuse this registration.

If registered, the declaration of nationality shall take effect on the date on which it was subscribed.

The public prosecution may challenge the registration of the declaration of nationality within 2 years if the legal conditions are not fulfilled.

He can also challenge it in case of lies or fraud within 2 years of their discovery.

Appeal

The refusal to register the declaration may be challenged before the court of the domicile of the declarant within 6 months of its notification.

You have to get a lawyer.

Who shall I contact

Terms

Any child born in France to foreign parents obtains French citizenship at age 18 if he or she completes the 3 following:

  • He lived in France at the age of 18
  • He has had his habitual residence in France for a continuous or discontinuous period of at least 5 years since the age of 11
  • His foreign relatives are not diplomatic agents or career consuls

If you do not meet these conditions, check if you can become French through another procedure.

  Please note : specific rules apply to Mayotte.

Automatic acquisition of French nationality

You have no steps to take to acquire French nationality.

This acquisition is automatic.

However, you must prove your nationality to obtain an identity document. For example, national identity card, passport.

You should therefore ask for a certificate of French nationality.

You must provide proof of your residence in France at the time of majority and for a period of 5 years between 11 and 18 years.

It is therefore important to keep all documents proving this residence: school booklets, school certificates, work certificates, etc.

The certificate of French nationality must be kept as it is authentic until proven otherwise.

  FYI : the young person born in France of foreign parents, who enlists in the French army, obtains French nationality on the date of incorporation.

Decline French nationality

A young person born in France of foreign parents, who is likely to acquire French nationality or who automatically acquires it with his majority, may refuse it.

However, he must prove that he possesses another nationality.

The statement must be made between 17 and a half and 19 years.

If the young person refuses French nationality while he is a minor, he does not need to be represented by his or her legal representatives.

The youth has to make a statement.

The declaration is made on free paper.

The declaration is to be sent by mail or presented by hand to the court of justice or local court.

The documents to be provided are:

  • Full copy of birth certificate
  • Certificate issued by the authorities of the country from which it claims to be established that it has, by affiliation, the nationality of that country
  • All documents issued by the offices of the national service showing that he did not enter into a commitment in the French armed forces

This list is indicative. Also ask the court office.

  FYI : a young person who enters the french army loses the right to refuse french citizenship.

Appeal

The refusal to register the declaration may be challenged in the court of the domicile of the declarant within 6 months of the declaration notification.

You have to get a lawyer.

Who shall I contact