Home Travel & Adventure French Citizenship Applications Decline in 2023, Reflecting a Shift in Trends

French Citizenship Applications Decline in 2023, Reflecting a Shift in Trends


A lower number of people wanted to become French citizens in 2023, marking a 21.7 per cent decrease in acquisitions compared to the previous year.

According to data from the French Interior Ministry, the trend of obtaining French citizenship has fluctuated in recent years; in 2021, there was a high demand linked to the pent-up demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the system for recognising the commitment of foreigners during the pandemic times.

On the other hand, the interest in French citizenship in 2022 returned to regular levels. In 2023, the decline in obtaining French citizenship was driven by acquisitions by decree, which dropped by 33.8 per cent, while the increase of 18.8 per cent was noticed in acquisitions by declaratory means, indicating family reunification cases.

Acquisitions due to marriage have increased by 18.2 per cent but have not yet returned to pre-pandemic levels. Although fewer in number, obtaining acquisitions by the benefit of French ancestors and brothers or sisters of French people continued to increase, up by 25.5 per cent.

Acquisition of French nationality happens in two ways: by the declaration of nationality and by naturalisation. The statement concerns those who are married or have a relationship with a French person, including a descendant, brother, or sister, among others, while naturalization is subject to several conditions, especially the length of their stay in the country.

Data show that naturalisation rates have fluctuated in the last decade, starting at almost 100,000 people being naturalised in 2010 and dropping to some 64,000 in 2012, and even more than the last five years. Since then, naturalisations have increased gradually, except for 2020, which marked the lowest record of naturalisations due to the pandemic, and 2023, which is marking a new all-time low.

However, considering that citizenship acquisitions are becoming more consistent, following a low demand in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the pent-up demand in the two following years, naturalisation rates are likely to decrease.

Comparing the data throughout the years, it is evident that 2023 levels are closer to 2020 levels, which is the lowest record in the decade, than to 2012, which is the second lowest, showing that the interest of foreign-born nationals to become French residents is decreasing.

Data further show that 40,064 naturalisations were recorded in 2023 – down by 4.4 per cent compared to 2020 levels. On the other hand, naturalisations by marriage were up by 6.7 per cent, from 18,223 recorded in 2020 to 19,455.

However, naturalisations for French descendants have reached the highest level in 2023 – 2,121, up by 73 per cent compared to 2020.

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Monte OZ
Monte OZ is a highly accomplished and respected international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger based in Africa. With a passion for storytelling, a sense of adventure, and an eye for all things captivating, Monte has become a prominent figure in the world of travel, entertainment, and lifestyle journalism. Born and raised in Africa, Monte developed a deep appreciation for the continent's diverse cultures, rich heritage, and vibrant entertainment scene. His upbringing fueled his desire to share Africa's untold stories and showcase its dynamic lifestyle to a global audience. Monte's extensive experience and expertise have made him a sought-after authority on all things related to travel, adventure, entertainment, and lifestyle in Africa. As an international freelance journalist, Monte has made significant contributions to various prestigious publications worldwide. His captivating articles, insightful interviews, and engaging features have graced the pages of leading entertainment magazines, lifestyle publications, and reputable news outlets. Monte's unique ability to capture the essence of Africa's entertainment and lifestyle scene has garnered widespread acclaim and recognition. With a love for exploration and a thirst for adrenaline, Monte also thrives as an active adventure reporter. He has embarked on daring expeditions, immersing himself in Africa's wild landscapes, and documenting his adrenaline-pumping experiences. Whether it's conquering treacherous peaks, exploring remote jungles, or engaging in heart-pounding activities, Monte's adventurous spirit and daring escapades inspire readers to embrace their own sense of adventure. In addition to his work in journalism and adventure reporting, Monte is a leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger in Africa. Through his influential blog, he offers readers an insider's view of the continent's vibrant entertainment scene, trendy hotspots, fashion trends, culinary delights, and cultural experiences. Monte's unique blend of storytelling, personal insights, and expert recommendations has made his blog a go-to resource for entertainment and lifestyle enthusiasts seeking the pulse of Africa's dynamic culture. Beyond his professional pursuits, Monte is a passionate advocate for promoting Africa's talent, creativity, and cultural diversity. He actively supports and champions emerging artists, musicians, designers, and entrepreneurs, helping to showcase their work to a broader audience. Monte's dedication to promoting Africa's vibrant entertainment and lifestyle industry has positioned him as a respected influencer and tastemaker within the African and global entertainment communities. With a commitment to excellence, a passion for exploration, and a talent for captivating storytelling, Monte Oz continues to captivate audiences worldwide. As an international freelance journalist, travel and active adventure reporter, and leading entertainment & lifestyle blogger, his work has left an indelible mark on the world of journalism, travel, and entertainment, solidifying his position as a trusted authority and go-to resource for all things related to African travel, adventure, and lifestyle.