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I've been living in France just over two years now. I'm fluent in French (I have a degree of B2-language level, and I'm preparing for the C1). I'm going to start the second year of university this September, and I've been doing volunteer work all of the time I've lived here. The problem is that I'm an Eastern European asylum seeker whose asylum request was denied. So I'm here as an individual without a residency permit. Is there a way I can obtain French naturalisation by talent visa? What do I need to do next? Where do I go from here?

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    First you have to get the talent visa. Do you already know what that entails? How long ago was your asylum request denied?
    – phoog
    Jul 15 '21 at 22:41
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    What's your current status? When you say “individual without residency permit” do you mean you are effectively undocumented / “sans papier”?
    – Relaxed
    Jul 15 '21 at 22:41
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Eligibility criteria for naturalisation are relatively straightforward, the biggest hurdles for you are going to be:

  • Gaining the visa / residence permit in the first place
  • Having a stable job (required for a talent visa anyway but often an issue for people on another kind of visa)

Beyond that, you need to reside in France for a few years, know basic French (you've got that covered), have no criminal past, etc. but becoming French after a few years with a talent visa is perfectly doable.

There is however one particular requirement that might trip you up: Any period of illegal stay can be held against you. If you are currently “sans papier”, overstayed your initial visa, ignored an OQTF or are otherwise illegally present in France (as far as French immigration law is concerned), becoming a French citizen by naturalisation might be very difficult.

It is possible to overcome that over time but the law doesn't give any specific threshold and the courts give the ministry a lot of discretion in this matter. I came across precedents where someone's naturalisation application was frozen due to a few months of irregular stay a decade earlier.

Note that if naturalisation is impossible, it might still be possible to become French by déclaration (e.g. by marrying a French citizen), the requirements are different.

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