My grandpa lived and worked in France for a good amount of time and he sadly passed away and was buried there when Algeria was French which means it was still colonized. I was wondering if there's a chance for my dad to claim residence or citizenship?

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    When you say ”lived and worked in France”, you mean mainland France? Your grandfather was born in Algeria when it was French, right?
    – Relaxed
    Jan 23, 2021 at 18:26

1 Answer 1


The deciding factor is whether your grandfather was a French citizen (statut civil de droit commun) or not (statut civil de droit local). Having lived or even being born in mainland France is not enough to establish that someone from colonial Algeria left the ”native” (“indigène”) status or was granted French citizenship.

Historically, settlers from mainland France and other European countries (Spain, Italy…) were citizens. 35000 Jews were made citizens in 1870. It was possible for other inhabitants (indigènes musulmans which later became this statut civil de droit local) to become citizens but few actually did.

Beyond that, there are special rules for some (but not all) Algerians under the so-called “local civil status” who served as paramilitary forces supporting the French during the war (“harkis”) and for people born in mainland France after 1963 (but not before) to parents who were themselves born in colonial Algeria. Presumably, these do not apply here?

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