Learn about the French passport advantages, along with whether you need to surrender your existing one in order to complete the French passport application. Read on to discover more about applying for ‘un passeport Français’.
If you are a foreign resident in France that has acquired French citizenship, you can apply to get a France passport so that you can travel around the world as an EU citizen. A French passport will allow you to enter many non-European countries without requiring a visa and, as France allows dual nationality, getting a French passport will mean that you can have two passports.
This guide to how to get a French passport includes:
- Benefits of getting a French passport
- Who is eligible for a French passport
- How to apply for a French passport
- Renewing or replacing a French passport
- French passport costs
There is also a further information section at the end of the guide with links to useful websites and web pages containing additional information on the passeport Francais (French passport).
The French passport
The French passport is one of two forms of ID you are entitled to upon obtaining French citizenship, the other being the French national ID card (Carte Nationale d’Identite). The national ID card allows you to travel freely around the EU, but you will need a French passport to travel outside of Europe.
France now issues biometric passports, and as of June 2009, all French passports issued to carry the holder’s biometric data including digital photograph and fingerprints. This is in line with current EU requirements.
The standard French biometric passport is a small dark red 32-page booklet with a microcontroller containing the holder’s biographic information. As with many passports, the key personal information – photograph, signature, personal details including height and eye colour, and unique passport number – is printed on a single page at the back of the passport.
French passports are issued by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and are available from town halls in France and from French embassies and consulates abroad.
If you get a French passport, you will enjoy certain additional benefits with your French citizenship. French passport advantages include:
- being able to travel freely in and out of France an unlimited amount of times while the passport is valid
- the ability to travel around the world as a French and EU citizen
- the option of having dual nationality and have two passports, as long as your country of origin also permits this
- the freedom to travel to 156 countries either without a visa or getting a visa on arrival. France is ranked 8th in the world on the Passport Index
French passport eligibility is based on French citizenship. In order to get French citizenship, you must have lived in France for five continuous years and be able to prove that you have integrated into French society through knowledge of French language, culture and citizenship responsibilities.
The five year residency period is reduced or waived in certain circumstances such as being married to a French citizen or having a French parent. See our guide to French citizenship and permanent residence for more information.
You can apply for a French passport at the following places:
- any French town hall if you live in France. A list of town halls is available here
- the Police Prefecture if you live in Paris
- any French embassy or consulate if you live abroad. A list of French embassies and consulates is available here
You can fill out an online pre-application passport form here if you have created an online account and have made the payment for your passport upfront.
You will need to provide the following to accompany your French passport application:
- ID card (or birth certificate and proof of French nationality if you do not have a French ID card)
- Photograph that conforms with the passport guidelines
- Biometric data (taken at the location you are making your application)
- Pre-application number if you filled in an online pre-application
- Proof of address
- Passport fee or proof of payment of fee
The passport will take a few days to be issued. The exact time will depend on your location and the time of the application (for example, it will take longer to issue a French passport in the period leading up to the summer holidays). When the passport is ready, you will receive an SMS to inform you that it is ready for collection if you have provided a mobile number. The passport must be collected within 3 months of being made available otherwise it will be destroyed.
For a French passport application made by a child aged under 18, the child must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
The standard French passport is valid for 10 years (5 years for children aged under 18). You will have to renew the passport once it expires and you can apply for a replacement if your French passport gets lost or stolen.
The procedure for French passport renewal is similar to applying for a first passport, except that you will need to bring along your existing French passport instead of other ID. If your French passport has already expired and is more than five years out of date (or more than two years if an older model rather than a French biometric passport), you will need to bring along either your French national ID or a birth certificate together with proof of French citizenship.
You can renew your French passport either before or after the expiry date. If you renew before your current French passport has expired, the validity period on your new passport won’t be reduced.
If your French passport is lost or stolen, you should report the incident to either a town hall or police station in France or a French embassy or consulate plus local police if abroad. To apply for a replacement French passport, you will need to go through the same procedures as applying for or renewing a standard French passport.
In certain circumstances, you can apply for an emergency temporary passport. This can be issued if you are in an emergency situation such as being displaced for humanitarian, medical or professional reasons. Emergency French passports are usually made available on the same day.
Where you can apply for them will depend on where you are located. You can find out the nearest location to you by submitting your postcode here.
The current French passport costs are:
- Standard passport – 86 EUR
- Passport purchased abroad from a French embassy or consulate – 96 EUR
- Passport replacement or renewal – 86 EUR
- Passport replacement/renewal abroad from a French embassy/consulate – 96 EUR
- Emergency temporary passport – 30 EUR
- Emergency temporary passport abroad from a French embassy/consulate – 45 EUR
- Passport for child aged 0-14 – 17 EUR (27 EUR if abroad from a French embassy/consulate)
- Passport for a child aged 15-17 – 42 EUR (52 EUR if abroad from a French embassy/consulate)
- Emergency temporary passport for a child – 30 EUR (45 EUR if abroad from a French embassy/consulate)
To pay for a French passport, you need to purchase a tax stamp which can be purchased online, in some newsagents and in some financial and tax centres.
- Service-Public France, French government public services website with information about French passports
- Website of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Development, who issue French passports
- Website of the French Office of Immigration and Integration
- Details on town halls in France where French passports can be obtained
- Make an online pre-application for a French passport
- Tracking service for French passports where you can track your application