There is no automatic right to French Nationality upon marriage to a French National.
You can apply for French nationality through marriage by following the the procedure laid out below.
A foreigner can apply to become a French citizen after four years of marriage to a French national. this is increased to five years if the couple have not lived together continuously. The couple must still be married and the applicant must prove that they have sufficient knowledge of the French language to deal with situations in daily life.
How to apply for French nationality:
To make an application for French Nationality through marriage a Déclaration de nationalité française par mariage form (cerfa N°15277*01) must be completed in duplicate.
The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
- Proof of identity of the applicant and spouse
- Proof of address (recent utility bill for example)
- Proof of regular and continuous residence in France for at least 3 years since the marriage. Examples: residence permits, temporary residence permits, employment contracts, electricity bills, payslips …)
- Birth certificates
- Recent complete copy (preferably less than 3 months old) of the marriage certificate or a transcript of the French consular registers if the marriage was celebrated abroad, (also less than 3 months old)
- Certificate of French nationality, civil status record or other documents from the French authorities to establish that the spouse was French when the wedding took place and has preserved their French Nationality.
- A document proving that you have no serious criminal record, issued by a competent judicial or administrative authority in the country or countries where you have lived over the last 10 years, or the country of nationality
- Recent evidence of consistent married life: including a full copy of birth certificates of children born before or after marriage establishing parentage of the couple, joint Tax declarations, act of house purchase/lease agreement/rental agreement in joint names.
- Diploma or certificate proving a sufficient level of knowledge of the French language. You are, however, exempted from the production of the diploma or the certificate if you are holding a diploma studied in French issued by a French speaking country. People with disabilities or chronic poor health or aged at least 60 years are also exempted.
- If you lived abroad, any document proving your regular and continuous residence in France for at least three years of marriage or a certificate of registration of your French spouse in the register of French living abroad for the duration of time spent living abroad
- If either of the couple has been previously married, full copies of marriage and divorce certificates
Any documents in a language other than French must be translated by an officially approved Translator.
A timbre fiscal of €55.00 must accompany this application, these can be obtained from some Bureau de Tabac, Préfectures or sub-Préfectures. It is important when buying the timbre fiscal that you get the right type and not one that is meant for paying fines.
Once the application has been submitted and all the documentation is complete you will be issued with a receipt.
The applicant and their spouse will be given an interview with an officer at the Préfecture. The file is then forwarded to the Ministry in charge of immigration, which has a period of one year from the date on the receipt of the application to make a decision.
If the application is refused, the applicant has six months in which to contest the decision.
Further information can be found on the Service Public website.