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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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Why are flights to and from France so expensive this summer?

Airline activity has gone from being virtually non-existent because of the lockdowns and travel bans during the pandemic to recovering almost 100 percent over the last couple of years.  

Why are flights to and from France so expensive this summer?

But, if you’ve been looking for a flight to or from France in the summer, you’ll notice that the prices are higher than in previous years, and even more than before the pandemic. 

But it’s not just in France where these crazy price rises have been recorded, it’s happening all over Europe.

Rising prices

Ryanair’s outspoken CEO Michael O’Leary warned us last summer that the end of the €10 plane ticket was nigh – and so it has proved, as airfare inflation continued to rise.

On average, plane tickets were 20.1 percent more expensive in March 2023 than they were in the same month in 2022. International flights were 19.8 percent more expensive in April 2023 than a year previously, while domestic flights cost 15.5 more over the same 12-month period.

Prices increases have accelerated in the first three months of 2023, France’s civil aviation authority the DGAC said, jumping 23.6 percent.

Prices for domestic flights are now 31.1 percent higher than April 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic, while international flights are 32 percent more expensive, according to figures from the Direction générale de l’aviation civile (DGAC).

Prices between French airports and other destinations in the European Economic Area, including Britain are up 26.2 percent; while flights to North African countries are 7.8 percent more expensive.

Cause and effect

Several factors explain the increase. One is the unexpected rush back to travel after the pandemic, which continues to take the industry by surprise – which lead to chaos at some European airports last summer due to staffing shortages.

Despite the return of passengers, business travellers have not come back in the same numbers in the post-pandemic world – in part because firms and executives have discovered the joy of Zoom. But the sluggish recovery has hit the bottom lines for certain flights, and prompted some airlines to abandon routes altogether.

The price of oil is often put forward by companies, although the price of a barrel is falling. Fuel costs represent around one third of the price of a ticket.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has indicated that the price hikes are due to the increase in the price of kerosene. “High fuel prices, as well as other inflationary cost increases, can have an impact on ticket prices that can increase if airlines are unable to absorb or avoid the cost themselves,” they explained.

The CEO of easyJet, Johan Lundgren, told the French news agency AFP that while the price of fuel has risen by 71 percent, the average rate of the low-cost airline has increased by 31 percent, the equivalent to €14. For this reason, “it is still within the reach of many clients,” he justified.

Plus, the increase in travel time of one to two hours to and from certain Asian destinations due to the ban on overflying Russia is also adding to long-haul costs, airlines have said.

Can you still get a good deal?

You may not be able to get flights as cheaply as you once could, but there are still things you can do to keep costs down.

Book flights “sufficiently in advance” because the closer to the flight date, the more expensive the tickets tend to be. So, if you haven’t booked your flight yet, now is the time to do so.  

Avoiding the peak holiday season in July and August can also help save you money. If possible, take an early summer holiday in June or a later one towards the end of August and the beginning of September.  

Check on websites such as Skyscanner for the cheapest options on all the different airlines. It can also find cheaper tickets for you if you’re willing to make stopovers instead of flying direct. 

Be flexible in your travel dates. Look for midweek departures, or take off from a secondary airport, which may offer lower prices than main ones.

Anyone who lives in one of France’s Overseas Territories, you can benefit from the something called aide à la continuité territoriale (ACT) once every three years, subject to a means test. This is a voucher for a reduction of €270 to €440 valid on a round-trip economy class air ticket from the Overseas Territories to Metropolitan France.

Are there any alternatives?

It’s not helpful for transatlantic trip, but rail travel can be a great alternative to flying if you’re travelling within Europe.

READ ALSO: 6 European cities you can reach from France by high-speed train

The French train system, almost exclusively operated by state-owned company SNCF, is admired in many countries for its efficiency and relative value. 

While people who actually use them on a everyday basis might dispute the system’s hallowed reputation, it’s hard to argue with the pleasure of getting on a TGV in Paris and ending up in Marseille just over three hours later or Bordeaux in two hours.

Be aware, too, that a small number of flights no longer happen because of a government ban.

READ ALSO EXPLAINED: How does France’s domestic flight ban really work