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Thank you ahead of time for reading this and helping me understand if I can claim French nationality for me and potentially my children through my mother's nationality. I've read a number of the similar threads on this website around French nationality being passed down, but all the cases seem to be unique, so it's been difficult for me to draw various conclusions. Sorry if I sound like a super novice - I certainly am at this point!

Here's a bit of background:

My mother was born in France in July 1932 to two foreign nationals that arrived in France from Poland in 1928. My mother was brought up, went to school, and worked as a seamstress in Paris until she left France in April 1952 to go live and work in Canada with her two parents and younger sister. It is, however, my understanding of French law, that my mother would have become a French citizen by the time she reached majority age in 1950 which would have then passed onto me when I was born in 1955 in Canada. Is this correct? My mother naturalized as a Canadian citizen in 1958 after my birth.

All of my mother's older siblings remained in France and I'm still very close to their children (my cousins). All of my aunts and uncles in France have passed away at this point.

My question is then, based on this limited information, can you tell me if there's a possibility that my mother passed on French nationality to myself in 1955 at the time of my birth? Additionally, is there anything that could have broken the link of French nationality between my mother and me and subsequently between me and my children?

Thank you again for your help and let me know if there is anything that needs to be expanded upon or clarified!

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Yes, from the conditions stated it would seem you fulfill the:

French citizenship acquired automatically at age 18

condition listed below.

You should check if your mother still has her French passport.
If she was became a Canadian citizen, Nationalization papers was well.

  • these documents and birth certificates may be helpful

I haved added a link below about how to apply for a Certificate of French Nationality.


Dual citizenship
Dual citizenship was officially recognized for both men and women on 9 January 1973; since then, possession of more than one nationality does not affect French nationality. In the period of 9 April 1954 until 8 January 1973, only French men younger than the age of 50 were permitted to have dual citizenship, while a woman lost her French citizenship upon the acquisition of a foreign citizenship.

  • it is not clear if this would apply to your mother

French citizenship by birth in France
...
Birth in France to foreign parents
If both parents are foreign, simply being born in France does not confer French citizenship at birth, except for children born to unknown or stateless parents, or if the citizenship laws of the parents' country/-ies of origin do not allow citizenship to be transferred to the child.

There are cases in which a child born in France to foreign parents can acquire French citizenship at various points during their childhood and upon turning 18, subject to certain conditions.

French citizenship acquired at age 13-16
The foreign parents of a child aged between 13 and 16 can obtain French citizenship for their child by making a declaration if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The child was born in France;
  • The child has had their primary residence in France since the age of 8;
  • The child resides in France on the day on which the parents make the declaration;
  • The child consents to the declaration being made (unless the child has a mental or physical disability that renders consent impossible).

French citizenship acquired at age 16-18
A child aged between 16 and 18 and born to foreign parents can obtain French citizenship by making a declaration if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The child was born in France;
  • The child resides in France on the day on which they make the declaration;
  • The child has had their primary residence in France for a total (but not necessarily continuous) period of at least 5 years since the age of 11.
  • The child does not require parental consent to make this declaration, unless they have a mental or physical disability that renders them unable to perform the procedure unilaterally.

French citizenship acquired automatically at age 18
A child born to foreign parents acquires French citizenship automatically upon turning 18 if all of the following conditions are met:

  • The child was born in France;
  • The child resides in France on his 18th birthday; and
  • The child has had his primary residence in France for a total (but not necessarily continuous) period of at least 5 years since the age of 11.

Sources:

  • Thanks very much for your help, Mark. I will have to dig through some of my mother's documents and see what I can find. I do have her French birth certificate and Canadian naturalization certificate showing where she was born. I also have my grandparents' "titre de voyage" document. My mother naturalized as a Canadian citizen in 1958 after my birth, so I don't believe the dual citizenship laws of the time would change my eligibility. In addition to those stated documents, are there any other obvious ones that would help in obtaining a CNF? – tca90 Nov 18 at 16:23
  • @tca90 please add that information to the question. That she was naturalized after your birth should make everything straight forward for the application. – Mark Johnson Nov 18 at 16:28
  • @tca90 the link contains a link to the pdf with the application form (all in French) which includes a list of documents that may be needed. – Mark Johnson Nov 18 at 16:31
  • Thanks again, Mark. I added that fact to the original question. Would you happen to know if I'm successful in obtaining a CNF, would I have difficulty transmitting French nationality to my children who are all over 18 years old at current? – tca90 Nov 18 at 16:40
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    @tca90 be careful. This answer describes current French nationality law, which is almost certainly not relevant to your mother's birth in 1932 or yours in 1955. From the information given here, it seems likely that your mother lost her French nationality before your birth if she was married a non-Frenchman before your birth. Furthermore, France has a 50-year rule about "exercising" French nationality (see for example the answer to Will it be possible to get French citizenship?). – phoog Nov 18 at 17:34

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