Navigating the intricate dance of dual citizenship can feel like a tango with bureaucratic nuances.

In France, it’s a blend of rich culture, undeniable perks, and a dash of paperwork.

Let’s waltz through what it truly means to embrace the French “joie de vivre” with dual nationalities.

Let’s dive in!

What Is Dual Citizenship?

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A person with dual citizenship is a citizen of two countries at the same time, which has both advantages and disadvantages because it is a complex legal status. 

One benefit of dual citizenship that is often cited is the ability of an individual to possess two passports; however, a potential drawback is the possibility of double taxation.

What are the Benefits Of having Dual Citizenship

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There are many benefits to being a dual citizen, from quality of living to global mobility.

âś…Security

A second passport from a stable country can be life-saving in any political, economic, or social unrest in one’s home country.

âś…Global Mobility

Passports are restrictive in their visa-free mobility, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. A second passport can offer individuals from these countries increased global mobility.

âś…Business

New business opportunities open up to dual citizens who can now do business in the host country and travel abroad more freely.

âś…Tax Optimization

Dual citizenship may prove advantageous for tax optimization purposes. For example, some countries only tax income earned from that country and do not subject capital gains to taxes. This allows investors to manage their wealth more efficiently and effectively.

âś…Quality of Life

Second, citizenships can offer access to world-class health care, education, and an improved lifestyle.

Does France Allow Dual Citizenship?

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France allows dual citizenship— the country recognized dual citizenship on 9 January 1973. As such, you are allowed to keep both French citizenship and another citizenship from another country of residence.

However, in cases where one country does not allow dual citizenship, you will be required to choose whether you want to keep the French citizenship or the other one. 

For example, due to an agreement between France and the Netherlands, nationals of the Netherlands who acquire French citizenship will cease to be nationals of the Netherlands anymore, and vice versa.

How Long Do You Need To Live In France To Win Citizenship?

To be eligible for French citizenship, you must live in the country for at least 5 consecutive years. If you are married or have children, you must live in France with your family for the said period (5 years).

You will be required to prove that you have been residing in France for the last 5 years and that your primary source of income is in France. You must also meet a set of requirements to be eligible for citizenship in France.

Another way you can obtain French citizenship is by birth. However, citizenship by birth is only applicable if:

  • You were born in France, and one of your parents was born in France.
  • One of your parents is French.
  • You were born in France, and one of your parents is a French citizen.
  • French parents adopted you.

What are the Benefits Of Having French Citizenship?

If you see your long-term future in France, you may wish to consider applying for either permanent residence or French citizenship – though, in both cases, you do need to have been living in the country for at least five years. 

In a nutshell, both options allow you to stay in France long-term, although some important differences exist between the two.

Not least is the fact that while you have a legal right to apply for residency, the French authorities make clear that nationality is a favor and, therefore, not guaranteed.

The permanent residency permit, carte de resident, allows you to stay in the country for 10 years and, as it’s renewable, you could, in theory, carry on indefinitely. This status also entitles you to certain rights, such as healthcare. 

However, you are not allowed to vote in elections or hold public office.

If you become a French citizen, you are entitled to live, work, and vote in France permanently and access all government-offered public benefits. 

In addition to that, French citizenship has the added bonus of entitling you to live and work in other European Union (EU) countries. Also, you don’t have to give up your nationality if you become a French citizen: you can have French dual citizenship.

How Can I Move To France As A Non-Eu Citizen?

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Non-EU citizens who want to settle permanently in the French territory must apply for and obtain a d visa (long-stay visa).

France issues different types of long-stay visas that you must obtain depending on the purpose of your entry to French territory.

Moving to France to Work

France issues different categories of work visas for individuals who wish to come to France for work. You must choose the category you belong to and begin the application process.

Highly qualified non-EU workers can also apply for an EU Blue Card, a work and residence permit that will allow them to live and work in France for a maximum period of four years and can be renewed.

Moving to France to Study

You must obtain a student visa if you want to move to France for study purposes. French student visas are separated into different categories, so you must choose the one that suits you.

Within two months of your arrival in France, you must register at the Immigration and Integration Office.

This type of visa also allows you to work for a specific amount of hours per week (60% of regular working hours in France).

Moving to France for Family Reunification

Family members of non-EU citizens can join their family in France by applying for a French family visa.

This type of visa is issued to:

  • Spouses (if you are legally married).
  • Children under the age of 21.
  • Parents (if they depend on you and there is no other family member to care for them).

The family members residing in France must prove that they have the necessary financial means to support the other family members coming to France. Then, you can continue to book an appointment with the French embassy to attend the interview.

Once you arrive in France, you have to register and obtain a residence permit from the French authorities.

Moving to France for Retirement

If you want to move to France to spend your retirement days there, you will need to obtain a residence permit (Carte de SĂ©jour) since France does not issue retirement visas. 

You can apply for a residence permit for retirees at the nearest prefecture or sub-prefecture in your residence in France.

Keep in mind that you will need to get a long-stay visa before applying for a residence permit.

Living In France

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France has everything anyone could want: a fabulous climate, dramatic landscapes with incredible contrasts, affordable property, accessible healthcare, and arguably some of the best cuisine and wine in the world.

France is a popular expat destination for professionals, families, and retirees. Europeans are especially fond of France when it comes to retirement or semi-retirement.

In part, the appeal of living in France comes from the nation’s accessibility from the other parts of Europe, and in part, because while geographically close, France is uniquely different from any European country in almost every way.

The Pros and Cons of Living in France

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Pros

âś…Accessibility

France is the most accessible destination for Europeans when it comes to traveling. France shares land borders with eight different countries; for the others, a trip to France is just a short hop on an airplane or a longer journey by train.

There are multiple flights worldwide as the country is one of the major tourist destinations globally.

Once in mainland France, the exceptional road network means it’s easy to get to your destination of choice. The further south you go, the more likely you will experience excellent summer weather.

âś…Diversity

France offers such diversity in terms of landscape and climate that you can find a place to holiday no matter what you want to do and see or when you want to go. 

You can mountaineer in the Alps of Auvergne-RhĂ´ne-Alpes and experience snow and ice even in summer. Alternatively, you can head to the Med and soak up the sun on the French Riviera while northern Europe suffers under heavy grey skies.

âś…Lifestyle

In winter, France has some of the best snow-sports resorts in Europe.

No matter when you travel to France, you can soak up the vibrant cultural heritage and history and immerse yourself in this nation’s best bits. 

There is everything for everyone living in France: lovely beaches and resorts for seaside retirement, stunning mountains and valleys for hikers, and an ideal climate for devoted gardeners – all you need for an active and healthy life in retirement. 

âś…Reasonably Populated

France is a big country and is okay with overcrowding issues. 

This is one reason rural properties have remained reasonably priced in many areas.

âś…Affordable Property Can Be Found

Cheaper properties mean you can fulfill your desire to own a home if you move to France.

If you love a bit more space and are prepared to go rural, there are some bargains for buying a house in France. You can buy an old house needing renovation for about €55,000 or less and turn it into your perfect pad in the sun.

CONS

❌Cost Of Living In France

On average, France is not the cheapest country in Europe.

Compared to Portugal, Cyprus, or Spain, France is not the best value-for-money retirement destination. However, its distinct lifestyle offsets the relatively high cost of living, and it’s precisely why France is one of the best countries to retire abroad.

Besides, you are after a quiet retirement in a rural area. In that case, you will find that both renting and buying a property in France will cost you much less than in North America, northern Europe, or the UK, and day-to-day living expenses will be a pleasant surprise. 

Away from the coast is also cheaper. For example, you will find that your cost of living in Dordogne will be lower than in your home country, while the quality of life will be much higher. 

Go even further inland to Burgundy, and you will find a very affordable and greatly enjoyable lifestyle for retirement. 

The best things in France, such as the weather and nature, come free anyway.

❌Dealing With Bureaucracy

Paperwork can get complicated in France, and the bureaucracy is sometimes overly complex.

However, it’s mostly the settling down period that is affected. It’s naturally overwhelming when you have to do everything at once: get a residency, sort out accommodation, register with a doctor, connect utilities, buy a car, etc. And all this is done in a foreign language.

This very naturally takes us to the next issue:

❌Learning The Language

To have the broadest life experience while living in France, you do need to learn the language.

As difficult as it might seem, learning French will make everything easier for you. If you are anywhere in France for more than a few weeks, it will help if you can learn more than your basic school French. 

There are various tips all over the web on how to learn French, so be brave and determined, and you will succeed.

Once you have mastered some key phrases and learned to pronounce them correctly, it will be enough to get you through day-to-day situations. Then you will see what an advantage it is to be able to speak a local language – and further learning will be more enjoyable.

Moving To France

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France is an excellent place to live, work, and retire, a refined country and one of the most popular places in Western Europe, rich in history, culture, and diversity

France is a highly developed country and the seventh largest economy in the world, constantly ranking high in education, health care, and life expectancy.

This is why France has a big flock of expats every year. The country is home to more than 6 million foreigners from all over the world. 

France also offers excellent opportunities, good public services, work-life balance, a perfect climate, and delicious cuisine.

Who Can Move To France?

Anyone wishing to move to France can easily do so, but the moving process may be different for people outside of the EU:

  • EU/EEA and Switzerland citizens who wish to move to France permanently do not need a French visa or permit

They will be required to show their valid passport or national ID. However, there are some other legal processes that may apply to them after moving to the country.

  • Non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens need a type of D visa (long-stay visa) and a residence permit to be allowed to stay in France for longer than 3 months.

Conclusion

Gaining dual citizenship in France is more than just having two passports—it’s an embrace of culture, history, and the finer nuances of administrative tape.

As you cha-cha through the process, remember: every step brings you closer to becoming a true citizen of both worlds.

Dual Destiny!

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