Fast tracks leading to French residency and citizenship

VLS TS Visitor

Non-European nationals who wish to come to France for a long period (more than 3 months) for non-professional purposes can submit an application for VLS TS Visitor, ruled by Article L. 426-60 of CESEDA (French Code ruling Foreigners Stay and Residency)

This visa can be granted for a maximum period of one year, renewable as many times as the candidate meets the conditions. Thus, in the current state of the regulations, nothing prevents a holder of VLS TS who has stayed for 5 years from applying for naturalization, which naturally remains subject to the assessment by the administration of all the conditions governing the acquisition of French nationality.

This is a fairly short circuit and leaves little margin of appreciation to the administration as long as the file is properly set up.

This visa implies in particular a commitment not to work in France. On the other hand,  sufficient financial resources to live for the duration of the stay are required; however, their level is quite low in theory: € 1,269 net monthly per person.  Naturally, a higher amount is preferable.  These can be own resources (annuities or pensions, income from real estate, etc.) or those of a family member.


Shorter residency paths leading to eligibility for citizenship

A particularly quick way to obtain naturalization, by decree, is to obtain a degree in France.

Among the conditions for the admissibility of an application for naturalization are  the length of stay or the length of residence required before an application is submitted. According to Article 21-17 of the Civil Code, this period is in principle 5 years before the filing of the application.

But exceptions are provided for in article 21-18, allowing to submit an application after only two years of residence in France for a foreigner who has successfully completed two years of higher education in order to acquire a diploma issued by a French university or higher education institution.

It should be noted that it is not required that the courses have been taught in French, so it is largely possible to use the many institutions that offer courses in English (most often for MBAs).

To be complete, it should be added that two other types of situation give rise to the exception and therefore to a sufficient stay of two years:

  • those who have rendered, or who can render, by their abilities and talents important services to the France;
  • those who present an exceptional path of integration, appreciated in relation to the activities carried out or the actions carried out in the civic, scientific, economic, cultural or sporting fields.

Finally, in certain situations (refugees, reintegration, persons who have completed military service in France and other exceptional cases after the opinion of the State Council), no minimum  duration of internship is necessary.