French Citizenship By Marriage For UAE Citizens

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) and France are two countries which have strong ties. Many citizens of the UAE choose to marry French citizens and to eventually become a French citizen themselves.

If you are married to a French citizen and looking to obtain French citizenship, contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to learn more about how we can help you with the process.

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    French Citizenship By Marriage: An Overview

    If you are a citizen of the United Arab Emirates and have a French spouse, you may be eligible for French citizenship.

    This route involves naturalising as a French citizen after marrying a French national. However, there are a number of eligibility criteria which you will need to satisfy in order to become a French citizen yourself.

    In most cases, you will need to have been married to your spouse for 4 years in order to be eligible for French citizenship. This generally increases to 5 years if you have not been residing in France for the years after your marriage.

    You will also need to demonstrate that you and your spouse have remained materially and emotionally together since your marriage, that you have integrated into French life, and that you speak the French language to a sufficient standard. If you are unable to satisfy these criteria, your application is likely to be unsuccessful.

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      Requirements And Eligibility Of French Citizenship By Marriage

      There are a number of eligibility criteria which you must satisfy in order to obtain French citizenship by marriage. These are as follows:

      • Your spouse must have had French citizenship when you were married. They must also have retained this citizenship since your marriage took place
      • If you got married abroad, your ceremony must have been transcribed to the French civil registration system
      • You must not have an active expulsion order or Prohibition of French Territory (ITF)
      • You must have lived with your spouse materially and emotionally since you were married
      • You must have sufficient proficiency in the French language
      • You should have a clean criminal record, according to the French specifications

      Note that, if you do not currently reside in France and you have been married for less than 3 years, you will need to wait until you have been married for at least 5 years in order to apply for French citizenship. If your spouse was registered on the consular registers whilst you were living abroad, the amount of time for which you must have been married goes down to 4 years.

      If you have lived in France continuously since marriage, however, then you will need to have been married for at least 4 years before applying for French citizenship. The amount of time for which you and your spouse have lived in France will therefore determine the exact eligibility criteria which you and your spouse must satisfy.

      French Citizenship By Marriage Application Process

      There are a number of steps which you must complete in order to naturalise as a French citizen by marriage. These steps will generally be as follows:

      • First, you will need to gather all of the required documents (listed in the next section)
      • Next, you will need to submit an application to your local naturalisation platform. This will depend on where you live. You will either deposit your application in person or by post, depending on the rules of your local platform
      • After your application has been received, you and your spouse will need to attend an interview. During this interview, whether or not you and your spouse are living a shared life will be assessed. You will also be assessed on whether or not you have assimilated into French life. Additionally, you will need to sign an affidavit swearing that you and your spouse continue to share both a material and emotional life, and have done so since you were married. Once the interview has concluded, you will be given a receipt
      • If you successfully meet all of the conditions, your application will be successful and your declaration will be registered. If not, the application will be sent to the French department which is in charge of naturalisation, in order to be considered further. If citizenship is still not granted, you may be able to appeal
      • In cases where citizenship is successfully granted, you will then be given a copy of your declaration by your local Prefecture (local representative of the national government). You will have officially been a French citizen since the date recorded on your document. This document also acts as proof of your French nationality, and will allow you to apply for a French passport

      What Documents Will I Require?

      In order to apply for French citizenship by marriage, you will require a number of documents.

      These are generally as follows:

      • 2 copies of a completed Cerfa form (the specific form which you will need to complete is no. 15277)
      • 2 passport photos, to the French specifications. These should be added to your 2 Cerfa forms
      • Evidence of a paid application fee
      • Passport or residence permit
      • Birth certificate
      • Marriage certificate
      • Evidence of your spouse’s French citizenship
      • Your child(ren)’s birth certificate(s) (if applicable)
      • Proof of recent residence. This proof should clearly state your name and address
      • Proof that you have lived together materially and emotionally since marriage, e.g. joint tax notices, shared bills, evidence of a joint bank account, the birth certificate(s) of any shared child(ren)
      • Evidence that you speak French to a sufficient standard
      • In some cases, applicants also choose to apply for the francisation of their name, in order to demonstrate and/or facilitate their integration into French life

      All documents which are not already in French will need to be submitted with a French translation. You will need to submit both the original document itself and the French translation.

      Note that the specific documents which are required for your French citizenship application will depend on your specific circumstances, however. In some cases, a greater amount of evidence may be required. Contact Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about the exact documents which are required in your own case.

      How Much Will The Application Cost?

      You will need to pay a €55 application fee in order to apply for French citizenship. However, there may also be other costs associated with your application, such as getting your required documents translated into French.

      Note that, in the case of Guyana, the application will cost €27.50.

      In some cases, applicants also choose to seek legal assistance with their application. Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 to learn more about how we can make your application process as smooth as possible.

      Bride and Groom holding each other, outside the Louvre Museum in France

      Processing Time: How Long Will It Take?

      If your application is successful, you should hear within 6 months of submission. If not, it will be passed on to the relevant French ministry for further consideration. In this case, you should hear within 2 years whether or not your application has been successful.

      There are a number of reasons why your application may be unsuccessful, such as if you have insufficient proficiency in the French language or if not are not deemed to have adequately integrated into French life.

      In order to maximise the chance of a swift and smooth application process, make sure that you satisfy all of the eligibility criteria when you first apply and that you submit all of the necessary documents.

      It is better to submit as much evidence of your continued material and emotional life with your spouse and of your integration into French society as possible. If you are asked to provide any further information, make sure that you do so promptly.

      Benefits of French Citizenship

      France is a European country which has much to offer its residents. For example, it provides a rich culture, easy travel access to the rest of the EU, and a safe and stable environment in which to start a family. As such, there are a number of benefits to obtaining French citizenship.

      If you plan on living in France for a number of years, one main benefit is that you will be able to live, work, and study in France without immigration restrictions. This means that you will not need to renew or extend your legal status in order to live lawfully in the country. In addition, you will be eligible to vote in France.

      You will also be eligible for a French passport. With a French passport, you will be able to live, work, and study in any member state of the EU, given France’s EU membership. France also has a strong passport more generally, meaning that possession of this document will unlock a number of travel opportunities.

      Note that a passport is not granted immediately upon receiving French citizenship, but must be applied for separately.

      How Can Total Law Help?

      France is a country with a rich culture, a thriving economy, and numerous areas of natural beauty. It also has strong ties with the UAE, meaning that many UAE citizens marry French nationals. If this applies to you, you may be interested in trying to obtain French citizenship.

      However, the process of applying for French citizenship is often complicated. As such, many applicants choose to seek legal assistance with their application. At Total Law, we have many years of experience in advising applicants on cases exactly like this. Our services cover every step of the application process, from working out whether you are eligible in the first place to helping you prepare and submit the application.

      Contact Total Law today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, to learn more about services and to receive bespoke legal advice from our immigration experts.

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                Frequently Asked Questions

                How quickly you can obtain French citizenship after submitting your application depends on a range of factors, such as whether or not you submit your application correctly and how many other applications are simultaneously being processed.

                There may also be a waiting time before you are eligible to apply in the first case, for example in the case of citizenship by naturalisation. The amount of time before you are eligible will depend on the route to citizenship which you are using.

                In the case of citizenship by marriage, you will generally be eligible after 4 years of being married to your French spouse, if you have lived in France for the period after your marriage. This increases to 5 years if you are living outside of France.

                Dual citizenship refers to the simultaneous holding of two countries’ citizenship. This means that, if you have dual citizenship, you are a citizen of two countries at the same time. France does indeed allow dual citizenship, meaning that you can simultaneously be a citizen of France and of another country.

                The UAE also allows dual citizenship, meaning that you can simultaneously be a citizen of the UAE and France.

                Note that different countries have different approaches to dual citizenship, and some countries do not allow it. In such cases, you will need to relinquish your original citizenship in order to become a citizen of a new country.

                Marriage to a French citizen does indeed provide a possible route to a French passport. You will first need to obtain French citizenship, the process for which is outlined in this article.

                Once you have become a French citizen, you can then apply for a French passport. You will need to provide your declaration of French citizenship in order to do so.

                Once you have obtained a French passport, you will be able to travel freely to all countries within the European Union, where you will also be authorised to live, work, and study.