For members


How much does it cost to get French citizenship? 

Officially, there’s a €55 administration fee for all French citizenship applications - but there are a few hidden expenses you need to know about.

How much does it cost to get French citizenship? 
Official naturalisation documents for France (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD / AFP)

There’s a lot of paperwork involved in becoming a French citizen – and a lot of waiting. And some tests. But there’s also some expense. Here, we explain what you’re likely to have to pay for, and how much it will be.


Exactly what documents you will need depends on several things; how you are applying for citizenship (through residency, marriage or ancestry), where you come from originally and how long you have lived in France.

You can use the French government simulator HERE to get a personalised list of documents.

But here is a look at some of the most commonly required documents, and the average cost.

Birth certificate

Not just any birth certificate. You need one that’s been issued within three months at the time your application is received.

You are also likely to need copies of your parents’ birth and death certificates (if applicable), marriage certificates or divorce decree IF these show the full details of the date and place of birth. You can order them at the same time as your birth certificate.

READ ALSO Birth certificate: Why you need it in France and how to request one

Ordering a birth certificate from the UK currently costs between £35 and £42 per document, plus DHL overseas delivery costs. Order it here.

Ordering a birth certificate from Ireland currently costs €20 for an uncertified copy and €30 for a certified one, plus €3 for overseas delivery. Order it here.

READ ALSO Explained: The difference between French residency and citizenship

The process and cost of ordering a US birth certificate varies by state. Taking Maryland as an example, it costs $25 to request an official birth certificate, and another $2 to get it apostilled. Getting it delivered to France may prove tricky as well, as often agencies will only deliver within the US, which would mean a friend or relative will have to send it over to France.

If you wish to obtain a copy of an Australian birth certificate, you can apply through the official website of the State or Territory Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in which you were born.

Ordering a birth certificate from New Zealand currently costs NZ$33 per document, plus postage – an additional NZ$25. Order it here.

READ ALSO When are children born in France eligible for French citizenship?

Criminal record check

You have to be able to demonstrate a clean criminal record dating back 10 years. 

For the period of your life in France, you’ll need an extrait de casier judiciaire, but you may also require one from other countries you have lived in to cover the 10-year requirement. 

As with the birth certificate, the cost varies depending on the country you need the certificate from, but between €50 and €100 is average.

We explain all about what a clean criminal record is – how to get one, and how much it’s likely to cost you – here.

Proof of competence in French

If applying through residency, you will need to provide proof of your level of French, unless you have studied in a French school or university, or have a diploma from a French speaking country.

The standard required is B1 on the international DELF scale – defined as being “able to handle day-to-day matters that arise in school, work or leisure”. You are not required to be able to speak perfect, error-free French, only to be able to make yourself understood and understand any replies you are given.  

READ ALSO TEST: Is your level of French good enough for citizenship and residency?

There isn’t a special citizenship language exam, you can use any DELF-approved course certificate, but it must have been issued in the last two years, so some people will need to take a new exam to include in their citizenship application.

Sitting the exam is likely to cost you upwards of €100, depending on where you go, and if you’re not confident in your French, especially written French, you might want to pay for some classes in preparation.

One tip for salaried employees in France is to use your annual training budget (Mon Compte Formation) to pay for a French class with an exam at the end, and then the certificate won’t cost you a centime – full details on how to do that here

Translating foreign documents

On top of these costs, there are also translation costs. Documents, such as your birth certificate, that are not in French will need to be translated and for this you must use a certified translator. You can find one local to you by searching online for traducteur agréé.

Expect to pay in the region of €40 per page. Plus postage.

READ ALSO Certified translations: What are the rules for translating documents into French?

Administration costs

Then there’s the fee for actually applying for citizenship. It’s €55. Payable in tax stamps. 

In good news, citizenship applications are now made online, so you won’t need to pay printing costs for printing out all your documents. 

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For members


Why you might get a letter about French benefits

France is introducing stricter residency requirements for certain benefits, including those that foreigners in France can qualify for, and has begun sending letters out to recipients.

Why you might get a letter about French benefits

In April, the French government passed a decree that will tighten up residency requirements for different types of benefits, including the old-age top-up benefit.

Previously, the rule for most benefits was residency in France for at least six months of the previous year to qualify, though some required eight months and others, like the RSA (a top-up for people with little to no income) requires nine months’ residency per year.

However, the government announced in 2023 its intention to increase the period to nine months for several different programmes – which was put into decree in April – in an effort to combat social security fraud, as well as to standardise the system.

The changes, which will go into effect at the start of 2025, do not affect access to healthcare – foreigners can still access French public healthcare as long as they have been resident here for a minimum of three months. 

Similarly, the rules for accessing chômage (unemployment benefits) have not changed yet. Currently, you must have worked for at least six months out of the last 24 months to be eligible, as well as meeting other criteria including how you left your previous job.

This may change in the future, however, with the French government poised to reform the unemployment system again.

READ MORE: How France plans cuts to its generous unemployment system

Which benefits are affected?

The old-age benefit – or the ASPA – will apply the new nine month requirement. Previously, people needed to be in France for at least six months out of the year to qualify.

If you receive this benefit already, you will probably get a letter in the mail in the near future informing you of the change – this is a form letter and does not necessarily mean that your benefits will change.

If you are already a recipient – and you live in France for at least nine months out of the year – then you do not need to worry about your access to the ASPA changing.

If you want to access this benefit, it is available to certain foreigners, even though it is intended to help elderly (over 65) French citizens with low state pensions.

It is only available to foreigners who have been living legally in France for at least 10 years, and starting in 2025 you will need to spend nine out of 12 months a year in France. You can find more information at THIS French government website.

Otherwise, prestations familiales, or family benefits will be affected by the new nine month residency rule. These are available to foreigners with valid residency cards, as long as their children also live in France.

This includes the family allowance (given out by CAF), which is available for families on low incomes with more than two children, as well as the ‘Prime à la Naissance’, which is a means-tested one-off allowance paid in the seventh month of pregnancy to effectively help with the start-up costs of becoming a parent, will also be affected by the new nine month residency rule. 

READ MORE: France’s family benefit system explained

If you receive these benefits already, then you will likely receive a letter explaining the changes shortly.

And finally – the RSA, which is the top-up benefit for people with little to no income, was already held to the nine month standard, so there will be no residency-related changes.