Unlike others, my story have a bit different. My father is a French before I was born. However, due to the difficulty of Vietnamese government, he could not admit me as his son. Now, VN accepted dual citizenship and many new policies. My father also made me as his son through DNA testing and I am officially became his son.

Therefore, I wonder do I need an interview to have French nationality? I am 18, living in USA as a F1 student. I have never been to France so far.

  • 1
    possible duplicate of My father is French can I get French citizenship? Nov 13, 2014 at 0:33
  • There are major differences with the other question: The person is not in France, the father was possibly not born in France and paternity was not established immediately. It's reasonable to ask if that makes a difference.
    – Gala
    Nov 13, 2014 at 10:17

2 Answers 2


If you were born to a French father, then you are most likely already a French citizen. You don't need to become one.

In practice, it depends on what you mean by “officially became his son”. If you have paperwork to prove both his citizenship at the time of your birth and the fact that he is legally your father to the satisfaction of the French authorities, then you should be able to get your French citizenship recognized. It's not up to the consulate to grant you citizenship or not, you “just” have to prove to them that you already have it. The fact that your father is presumably not mentioned on your birth certificate does make things a bit more complicated however. I am not sure exactly how you should go about proving all that in this case. Worse case, you will need to fight for it in front of the court system.

Incidentally, the two main avenues to actually become a French citizen without being born as one (namely “naturalisation” and “déclaration”) do not apply to you. You would need to either reside in France or be married to a French citizen. So you really need to get your French citizenship by descent recognized because nothing else would work in your situation.

Formally, since don't need to (and cannot) apply for citizenship, there is no specific procedure. But if you want to use that citizenship in practice (e.g. to vote or get a passport and travel to France), you will need to apply for an official document establishing it (ID card, passport). So you will need to make an appointment and talk to a consular officer but that's not a formal “interview” per se.

Since you presumably never had a French passport or ID card before, I think you will need to request a certificat de nationalité française and present that to the consulate to get your first national ID card. As you were not born in France, you will need to apply for the certificate by mail to the Service de la nationalité des Français nés et établis hors de France (see the website of the French consulate in Los Angeles for more detail).

If you are not comfortable reading legalese in French, you will definitely need someone who is to help you because most of the documentation is only available in French and the French authorities will expect you to address them in that language. Beyond that, the best is probably to hire a lawyer because it's not uncommon to have difficulties in getting the authorities to recognize your rights in this area. But it's not cheap and finding one that is familiar with nationality law from the US might not be easy.


" My father is a French before I was born[...] My father also made me as his son through DNA testing and I am officially became his son."

  • You need to prove that you are your father’s son; this could involve the use of a lawyer if the filiation is not clear or if there are mismatching details.

"Therefore, I wonder do I need an interview to have French nationality?"

  • No, they are going to send it to you through the mail, without seeing you or knowing who you are. The French are used to grant citizenship and all advantages that come with it for no reason at all to all who ask… they were waiting for you and hoping you would ask them for the honor.

  • I mean be serious, it can be a long process, and if they have an excuse for not adding another citizen they will do it. Go visit an embassy and ask for what you need to provide for the Nantes's tribunal that deals with demands for French citizenship.

"I am 18, living in USA as a F1 student."

  • If you were hoping that the French citizenship would ease your situation as a student, forget about it.
  • The US immigration is so contrary, perverse, unreasonable, cantankerous, and difficult to deal with that it would not make any difference to them whether you are an educated French citizen or a beggar form a 3d world country. They try every bureaucratic trick to get rid of you, I do speak from experience. From what I have seen most Europeans just give up and leave and only desperate individuals who really need to stay in the US tolerate the ill-treatments.
  • If you were hoping for the French citizenship to be useful as a student, forget about it, you are most unlikely to get it in time. In some rare cases it could be fast, but I personally know several persons whose grandfather and father were French citizens but who were not declared and registered as French at birth; they had to hire a lawyer and wait for over 10 years for a positive ruling. i know some for whom it took over 20 years, not even speaking about the countless rejected dossiers from hopefull applicants whose ancestors where part of a French colony. It is possible yes, and i am one of them, but it is more likely not.
  • In your case, since you don’t seem to have any real links to France, it might be easier and more practical for you to try to get the U.S. citizenship,or residence, particularly if you plan to live in the US.
  • There is no such thing as a “Nantes tribunal of french citizenship”. You first need to apply for something (e.g. naturalisation) and get a refusal and then go in front of the tribunal administratif (and it's indeed the one in Nantes that deals with cases that have to do with citizenships and visas).
    – Gala
    Nov 13, 2014 at 15:07

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