For members


France introduces new simplified process for citizenship

Foreigners living in France who want to apply for French citizenship can now access a simplified process with the opening of a new online portal. Here's how it works and who is eligible.

France introduces new simplified process for citizenship
French President Emmanuel Macron attends a citizenship ceremony in 2017. Photo by Michel Euler / POOL / AFP

If you’re not French but would like to become French, the government has now launched a (slightly) simplified process for Naturalisation française par décret, with the opening of the NATALI online portal.


NATALI is an online service for submitting your citizenship application – and it’s important to stress that it doesn’t change the qualifications required for citizenship, only how you go about applying.

For foreigners living in France there are two main routes to citizenship; living in France for at least five years (or two years if you completed higher education in France) or marriage to a French citizen for at least four years.

You can find a full list of all the routes to citizenship (joining the French Foreign Legion, for example) HERE, plus a breakdown of all the paperwork you will need HERE

You cannot use the portal at present if you live in the French overseas départements of French Polynesia, French Guiana, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint-Martin-Saint-Barthélémy, New Caledonia or Wallis and Futuna.

You can find NATALI (no, we don’t know what it stands for) here.

What changes?

The new system is intended to streamline the application process by creating a single, nationwide portal where you can submit your citizenship application online.

Once the dossier is submitted, you will only need one in-person appointment – at your local préfecture where you go for the interview where you will be tested on your knowledge of France and French culture, to see if you are sufficiently integrated to become a citizen. Successful applicants will then be invited to an in-person naturalisation ceremony, which again is held at the local préfecture.

Philosophy, household chores and cheese – what you might be asked in your French citizenship exam

Just as before, it is your local préfecture that actually makes the decision on your application, the online portal is just a streamlined way to submit the dossier.

The portal also allows you to create an online account where you can track the process of your application, and where any requests for extra documents or more information will be sent.


The portal went live on February 6th and now all new applications must be made in this way, according to the government’s public service site.

Previously some préfectures would accept applications online, while others demanded a paper dossier be submitted.

At the time of writing, most préfecture websites still contain instructions for the old system, but the government’s public service site says that: “All applications for naturalisation by decree must now be made electronically. Any paper application sent after February 6th, 2023 will be returned to the sender.”

What if I already made my application?

If you have already made an application and received a file number you do not need to make a new one.

Will this process be quicker?

On average getting citizenship takes between 18 months and two years from first submission of the dossier to being given the certificate of naturalisation, although it varies quite substantially between different préfectures.

No-one is promising that this system will be any quicker in delivering decisions, but it should be easier for applicants to use. 

Can I do any advanced preparation?

If you don’t yet qualify for citizenship, but intend to apply in the future, you can begin in advance with preparation of your dossier.

You can head to the French government’s naturalisation simulator HERE, which takes you through a list of questions about your personal circumstances, and then provides you with a downloadable list of documents that you will need in order to submit your dossier.

Some of them are basic and obvious like a passport, some you will need to get nearer the time like recent payslips or tax returns and others may require contact with authorities in your home country such as a recent copy of your birth certificate or a declaration that you have a clean criminal record.

You may also need to get some of your documents translated into French, using the services of a certified translator.

It’s also worth noting that unless you completed higher education in France, you will need a recent certificate of a French language exam to at least B1 level – full details HERE

QUIZ Is your French good enough for citizenship?

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members


How and where can I get a flu vaccine in France?

Looking to get a flu shot in France and not sure how to go about it? Here is what you need to know about the autumn 2023 campaign.

How and where can I get a flu vaccine in France?

France will begin its seasonal flu vaccination campaign in mid October. Every year there are sight variations to the practicalities of the campaign, so there’s how things will work in 2023.


In France, health authorities recommend that high-risk groups get the jab – but anyone who wants the shot can get it.

Members of high-risk groups should receive a flu vaccine voucher (bon de prise en charge), which you can take to a pharmacist who will provide you with a vaccine free of charge. 

Previously, the French government has defined high-risk groups as older people (over 65s), people with certain chronic illnesses (list here), pregnant women, obese people and caregivers who work with vulnerable populations.

People who fit the description of ‘high-risk’ ought to receive a voucher, xxxxx but if this is your first time getting a flu shot in France, or you haven’t your voucher yet, you can visit your doctor who can prescribe it for you. Then you can bring that prescription to the pharmacist who will provide you with the vaccine.

For high-risk people, the flu vaccine is free of charge.

What about people who are not ‘high-risk’?

Although not specifically recommended, the vaccine is open to anyone who wants it. In previous years, France instituted ‘priority period’ during the first couple of weeks of the campaign when it was only open to those in high risk groups, before opening up the shots to everyone. 

However, health authorities have indicated that the 2023-2024 season will do away with the ‘prioritisation period’, meaning anyone, regardless of risk level, can get the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available.

The difference is that those not considered to be in a high-risk group will have to pay for their vaccine, and in previous years, the flu vaccine has not been reimbursed by French social security. Full details of the 2023 campaign are yet to be confirmed, but there is no indication that this will change this year.

During the 2022-2023 season, the cost for a non-priority person varied between €6 and €10 depending on the pharmacy.

Where can I get a flu vaccine?

Doctors, midwives, nurses and pharmacists can administer flu vaccines, and the most common place to get it is at the pharmacy.

Ask your pharmacist if they are available for walk-in vaccine appointments, as many are. If this is not available, they may ask you to make an appointment, which you can likely do on the spot. 

If you want to be vaccinated outside of a pharmacy, you will still have to go to pick up the vaccine. You will then take it with you to your appointment with your doctor, midwife or nurse. If you are not going directly to your appointment after picking up the vaccine, be sure to keep it cool and refrigerated. 

Appointments for flu vaccines can be made online at Doctolib.

When can I get a flu vaccine?

France typically runs its seasonal flu vaccination campaign starting the autumn and running until March. For 2023, it will begin on October 17th for all groups.

Can I get a Covid-19 and flu shot at the same time?

Health authorities recommend that those in at-risk groups get both Covid-19 and flu jabs, and they have specified that there are no health risks of doing both vaccines at the same time.

The Covid vaccination campaign begins on Monday, October 2nd.

READ MORE: France’s autumn 2023 Covid vaccine booster campaign ‘will be open to all’

Like the flu vaccination, it is recommended that high-risk groups get a Covid vaccine booster – but it remains your choice whether you get one, both or neither.

What about children?

The general seasonal flu vaccination campaign is aimed at adults, but the French Haute autorité de santé recommends that all children over the age of 2 with “co-morbidities” get a seasonal influenza vaccine, meaning children in high-risk groups would also receive a voucher to get a flu shot. 

You can also ask your doctor for a prescription for a vaccination if your children are in a high-risk group. 

As for who can vaccinate them, doctors are qualified to vaccinate all minors, including those under the age of 11. Midwives can also vaccinate any minor who is recommended to get a flu vaccine. 

As of August 2023, both nurses and pharmacists in France gained the ability to prescribe and administer 14 different vaccines – including the one against seasonal influenza – to anyone over the age of 11. As such, minors above 11 can get a flu vaccine in a pharmacy, but those under the age of 11 cannot.