In the last few weeks, we have had an increasing number of requests relating to the acquisition of French nationality or other kinds of ways to live legally in France. Some mixed couples living in Hong Kong have suddenly decided to call it a day after months of demonstrations followed by the situation imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We face a similar situation in the United Kingdom following Brexit, couples either apply for settled status for the French spouse in the United Kingdom or start to look into moving their British family back to France.
In any case, it is always easier when one of the spouses is French, and this is the topic of this article.
You will at some point need a visa to live in France, so why not apply for French citizenship?
Applying for French citizenship is possible if
It is a quite straight-forward process but does require some forward thinking since the whole process will take up to twelve (12) months.
You do not have to apply in France and can do so at the French Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.
In the meantime, if you need to go to France and reside there, you will have to obtain a long-term visa to be able to enter the French territory and reside there. The visa will be valid from four (4) to twelve (12) months. Once again this is quite a straight-forward process if you are married to a French national.
If you plan to stay in France longer than a year, and you do not for one reason or another want to apply for French citizenship, then you can alternatively apply for what is called a resident card “carte de resident“, which is valid for ten (10) years, and is renewable. You can only apply at the prefecture of your place of residence in France.
If you have any questions or need assistance to apply for any of these documents, you may contact the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sarah Jane Tasteyre is a French lawyer practising French family law in Hong Kong and in the United Kingdom, advising French nationals on their rights when living abroad.
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