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EULawyer, Lawyer
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 257
Experience:  Titular Attorney (Avocat) at Ioan-Luca Vlad Law Office
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I am a US citizen born in France in 1976. My parents were

Customer Question

Hello. I am a US citizen born in France in 1976. My parents were escaping the racial violence in South Africa, They left France when I was 5years old. How do I qualify for French citizenship
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: French Law
Expert:  EULawyer replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

From your very short question, I cannot tell for sure whether you would qualify under any provision of the French law regarding citizenship. On first sight it would be highly unlikely if you would. The reason is that France follows what is called "jus sanguini", meaning that citizenship is transmitted by blood, and not according to where a person was born. The US follow what is called "jus soli", meaning that citizenship is acquired by place of birth, and not by blood.

There might have been specific conditions entitling you to French citizenship. Some of them would be:

- your parents were legally stateless;

- your parents' citizenship could not be transmitted to you;

- you were registered at that time as a French citizen.

However, in order to see whether any of them applies, you would have to provide a qualified attorney all documents you have from your parents, regarding their situation in France and your birth registration.

I would like to give you two tips, which could help in your search:

1. Try making a request here: It is free and official, and the service will deliver you your French birth certificate. It should contain the nationality of your parents, and therefore any clue as to whether you would qualify as French. They send it abroad as well, also for free. Make sure to fill in as many known details as possible.

2. The other option would be to apply (only in person, sadly) for a Certificate of French Nationality. Here is the link illustrating what you would need to do for that:

I would be happy to reply to further questions you have, especially if you have the French birth certificate, and can say more about your parents' exact legal situation in France. In the meantime, I would appreciate it very much if you could rate my answer, which is the only way I get paid.


Dr. Ioan-Luca Vlad