The estimated 3 million non-British EU citizens living in the UK are looking to the future with intrepidation since the successful vote to leave the EU – and the same applies to the 1.3 million Britons in France, and around Europe in general, who are wondering how it will affect their futures.



Could they end up as illegal immigrants if Britain doesn’t maintain free movement around the EU? Could they end up losing their rights to benefits, pensions and healthcare?

If Britain imposes stricter residency requirements and updated immigration restrictions on incoming EU nationals, might other countries react in the same way?

As yet, most of these questions remain unanswered, and are likely to do so for several years to come, but it is likely that the rights of expats’ rights in the Europe of the future will be reviewed – and no longer be guaranteed.

Many here in France are now considering changing to French nationality.

As with all administrative tasks in France, there is a great deal of paperwork involved!

If you have lived in France for more than five years, (reduced to two if you have completed two years in French higher education institution, or contributed “significant services” to French society), you can apply for French nationality, but beware – there are more than a few hoops to jump through!

Your dossier, once completed, will be very fat, and should be sent to the nearest  Préfecture by registered mail (recommandé avec accusé de réception) or to a French embassy or consulate. It could take up to a year but you will eventually receive a ‘convocation’ (summons) for an interview, where you COULD be questioned on the ‘liberté, égalité, fraternité’ motto, and its meaning to you as a new French citizen!

So what do you need, apart from a lot of patience, and form filling skills

Documents required for British citizens (Many of the following can be acquired online) which must be translated into French by a court approved translator (traducteur assermenté or agréé). Beware. These are only valid for 3 months, then you have to do it all over again – and it’s not free! More detail on all of these can be found on the French Government website.

  •  A recent copy of your birth certificate with ‘apostille’ (certified).
  • A recent copy of both your parents’ birth certificates. Parents must do this for you as you can only request your own birth certificate. (where a parent is deceased, you may be asked for a copy of the death certificate.
  • A recent copy of your parents’ marriage certificate, obtainable from the local authority where they were married.
  • A recent copy of your marriage certificate where applicable, obtainable from the local authorities where the marriage was registered.
  • A photocopy of partner’s ID (passport or French ID).
  • A recent copy of your children’s birth certificates.
  • Two citizenship request forms. (Cerfa No. 12753*02 forms).
  • Proof that you dont have a criminal record in your country of origin if you have lived in France for less than 10 years.
  • Proof that you have no criminal record in France (Bulletin No. 3)
  • Two Passport type photos with full name and date of birth on back.
  • Copy of your passport
  • Stamp’ to the value of 55€ (Timbre fiscal)
  • proof of your level of French or that you are taking lessons.
  • Proof of residence. (Electricity/telephone/gas bill)
  • Proof of employment where applicable.
  • proof of salary where applicable

…..with probably quite a few other bits and pieces required once you start getting into it!

Will it be worth all the effort? Who knows at this stage!

Leave a Comment