My grandfather worked as a policeman in Pondicherry, India, during the French rule. Recently I found a document in his cupboard. It's titled as Application to register to French consulate and he stated that he is a French national.

Does it help me to get the French nationality? enter image description here


1 Answer 1


It might help you document possession d'état, i.e. the fact that your grandfather continued to make use of his citizenship. Beyond that the rules are complex and it's difficult to determine whether you are a French citizen or not with so little information.

Do note however that the main obstacle to having your French citizenship recognized is the fact that French citizenship effectively lapses for people born abroad whose French parents have lived abroad for more than 50 years without making use of their citizenship. Since 1970 is almost 50 years ago, it's probably advisable to look into this swiftly.

Importantly, as explained in the comments, your grand-father's citizenship isn't terribly relevant. Your parents' citizenship is what matters. If one of them was French when you were born, continued to use their French citizenship and you can prove all that, then you are French yourself. If they did not, your grand-father's citizenship is not enough and you first need one of your parents to establish their citizenship before you can do anything.

Either way, when applying for a “certificat de nationalité française”, you only need to submit documentation regarding your parents' citizenship and prove that you are indeed their child. You would not typically go back to your grand-parents.

  • If I may add: the father or mother should also have possession d'état for the past 50 years, as French citizenship can only be passed down from the parent (and not the grandparent). Based on the document, the grandfaher had three children who are all in their 60s. If OP cannot prove that, then s/he would probabmy not be recognized as a French citizen.
    – ar5975
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 19:33
  • 3
    @ar5975 Yes, that's the rules I alluded to but didn't want to get into as we don't have nearly enough info and would have to consider many different scenarios. For example, if the father/mother is still alive, they could apply for a passport or certificat de nationalité ASAP and reset the 50-year clock for their children.
    – Relaxed
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 19:38
  • 1
    you are right. To the OP, we definitely need more details, particularly for your parent who is the child of our grandfather.
    – ar5975
    Commented May 24, 2019 at 11:38
  • I have birth certificate marriage certificate of my parents and grandparents. I also have death certificate of my grand parents...everything is in french. I went to french conslate with those document but they allowed only my mother.can i get french nationality for my mother using this? Commented May 25, 2019 at 12:17
  • And they gave me an address and asked me to send those documets to that address but they didnt told me anything in detail.i had no clue what is going on. Please guide me Commented May 25, 2019 at 12:19

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