I am a graduate student at a French university and I am planning to apply for the French citizenship after graduation. As mentioned on their website, I have to stay in France at least two years.

Does traveling outside the EU violate that rule? Or as long as I have a residence permit, am I considered living in France?

  • 2
    I don't know the specifics of this rule, but residence rules generally allow for short trips outside the relevant area. So you should be able to travel outside the EU, but be careful about how much time you spend outside the EU. Residence rules typically depend on physical presence instead of (or in addition to) holding a particular document.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 5, 2017 at 20:10
  • Short trips are fine, but have you lived in France for two years after having obtained your French qualification? This means in practice 2(+) years to get the qualification, plus two more of work. For example I'm a PhD student and I've been here for 2 years, but I can't just apply for French nationality when I finish the PhD. I have to work here for two more years, have a stable job contract, speak French, etc. Commented Nov 7, 2017 at 8:12

1 Answer 1


To answer your question, travelling outside the EU for short trips does not violate the rule so long as you maintained continuous residence in France as defined in the website you gave.

In theory, two years of study in France at a higher education institution are included in the two year residence requirement, so you can immediately apply after your studies but in practice you will need to show financial stability, a history of tax contributions and a stable job (normally a CDI and not a CDD) in order to raise your chances of being granted nationality.

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