I and my wife have been living in France with our son for the last 4 years. We are Indian citizens (our child is a US citizen). I am considering moving to the UK for job opportunities but my wife would like to stay back with our son due to her job and then also apply for her French citizenship.

On the wikipedia page for acquiring French citizenship it says that if the applicant for naturalization is married and has children then they should be living in France with their family at the time of application. The citation to this is given as Le code civil des Français, Article 21-17 which says no such thing and is only concerned with the duration of stay before applying.

I was wondering if anyone know the exact rules for the aforementioned case.

1 Answer 1


On https://www.service-public.fr/particuliers/vosdroits/F2213, you can read :

Lieu de résidence

Vous devez résider en France au moment de la signature du décret de naturalisation.

La notion de résidence est plus large que la notion habituelle de domicile.

Elle implique que vous devez avoir en France le centre de vos intérêts matériels (notamment professionnels) et de vos liens familiaux.

Si vous résidez en France mais que votre époux(se) et/ou vos enfants résident à l'étranger, la nationalité française pourrait vous être refusée.

The last sentence can be approximately translated as If you reside in France but that your spouse and/or children reside in a foreign country, french nationality can be refused to you

This could be a problem for your wife in the situation you have described.

  • 1
    Typical French arbitrariness though. "pourrait vous être refusée". Okay, on what grounds? In which cases? Are there cases where it wouldn't be refused in this situation? Be specific. (I'm not saying "Be specific" to you personally, but rhetorically).
    – Iguananaut
    Aug 3, 2020 at 15:19

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