My biological father was French - but my mother divorced him when I was three. She remarried and was so angry at my French father that she got rid of every photo of him, and never even told me anything about him

It was not until I was 18 that I was able to locate him. I was still so young and not really aware any laws - plus my adopted father had just passed away so I was really in a state of shock. Thinking about citizenship was the last thing on my mind.

I have lived most of my adult life overseas, and now the way things are going in the United States, I do not feel safe living there - nor do I feel safe for my son anymore.

I believe I have read that if you do not apply before the age of 18 you can not get citizenship - despite having a French parent as I was not born in France but in the US.

However, I did not know my father until after my 18th birthday? Do you think if I provide the details to the French embassy - along with witness statments - that I might still be eligible? This case seems different and I was wondering if an exception might be made.

  • Very related: Born in USA to French father - how do I prove it?
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 17, 2016 at 12:43
  • You likely want to read through all our existing French Citizenship questions - you may find your answer there already
    – Gagravarr
    Jun 17, 2016 at 12:44
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Born in USA to French father - how do I prove it?
    – Giorgio
    Aug 17, 2017 at 19:16
  • Wikipedia says "Parentage to the parent from whom the French nationality is claimed, must be established while the child is still a minor (under 18)." and I read that as that your claim to nationality can be after your 18th birthday, but it needs to have been clear that he was your father before that day. If he is on your birth certificate, then you should be fine.
    – mts
    Aug 17, 2017 at 21:06
  • @mts, If you can provide an official link to your statement about acquisition after 18 with just a birth certificate, would you mind providing an answer to this question? Especially since that specific information is not present in the Wikipedia article or the proposed duplicate.
    – ouflak
    Aug 18, 2017 at 7:00


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.