Bonus Episode 1.5: Understanding French Naturalization


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By Allison Grant Lounes. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

In Episode 1 of Profiles in Franceformation, I spoke with my guest Harriet Welty-Rochefort about her life in France, and we talked about how easy it was for her to get work and a French residency permit as an American in France in the late 1960s. However, despite living in France, she was unable to become a naturalized French citizen until 1996, when the US changed a law that stripped US citizens of their citizenship if they became naturalized citizens of a foreign country.
In this bonus episode, I talk about how changes to US law have enabled Americans to gain passports abroad, and the process of becoming a French citizen after living in France.
I discuss:

  • The recurring theme we'll cover about what makes someone living in France "French enough" to "deserve" to become a naturalized French citizens
  • What the actual requirements are for becoming French through marriage or "by decree": the residency, language, income, and integration requirements you'll have to fulfil if you want to one day apply.
  • Why you'll want to have a vision of applying for naturalization *before* you apply for your first French visa.
  • The benefits of having French or even EU citizenship, and why Harriet might have been able to pursue different career options had she been able to become a naturalized French citizen earlier in her life.
  • Why gaining French (or another) citizenship is the first step towards renouncing your US (or other) citizenship
  • Which French visa types can be cumulated and count towards your minimum residency requirement (usually 5 years) before you can apply for naturalization
  • Why student, visitor, and temporary work visa types often do NOT provide a path to residency or naturalization
  • Which visa types you must have to go through the naturalization request process
  • Where to find out more information on forging a path to becoming a French citizen.

Foolproof French Visas can help you to identify your potential visa paths to naturalization, and it can be purchased here: or in paperback on Amazon.

25 episodes