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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was wondering if it is possible for a foreigner to obtain French citizenship through farming. I know there are programs encouraging young people (I'm 32, don't know if that's still young or not!) to take up farming, or working with the existing farmer who is looking to sell his property in order to learn the profession.

The info I can't seem to find is whether or not this would be a path to citizenship for a foreigner, (I'm American) by becoming a farmer/buying a farm. I love the farm life, so this isn't like I'm looking to do something I don't like in order to gain citizenship. Any input on this possibility would be greatly appreciated.

Matt
 

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Hmmmm; I think you may have a problem or two.

First off would be how you'd get a working visa.
Second is how good your French is.
Third is there's a minimum residence requirement before you can even be considered for naturalisation (5 years, I think).

Your aspiration may be admirable, but, honestly, farming is one of those occupations where there are more people than jobs, and even if you do have a job/farm, there are mega-hoops to jump through, all of which involve a very good command of French, and - according to those in the business - it's barely a living wage which is returned - even with EU subsidies etc.

Sorry to be negative, but unless someone else knows better than I, I think that's how it is.

hils
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the response. I was thinking citizenship further down the road, sorry for lacking clarity. So, how would one purchase a farm and bring goods to market? Illegally w/o a visa? I know foreigners have bought farms, but it's a question of making a living off one, I suppose.

From the time I spent on a French farm, they seemed to be pretty well off. I would imagine there are all sorts of income ranges, however. My research has shown the government is looking to encourage younger people into the farming field. My French is intermediate level, but it is improving every day. :)

Thanks again for the reply.
 

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Bev is the guru on visa stuff; as a Brit it doesn't affect me. But, as I understand it, you have to prove you can sustain yourself (according to Embassy figures), before you'll even get into the country - except on a short-term tourist visa, with no right to work.

I'm sure it can be done somehow, but I can't advise how. Europeans can come over for fruit harvesting, but I think any agriculteur would be hard-pressed to justify hiring a non-European for such a job, which is what your working visa would depend upon. You really do have to have a USP.

Illegally is absolutely NOT an option, and I strongly advise against it. Apart from the "powers that be" scouring forums such as this to spot would-be offenders, the French authorities WILL catch up with you and retribution WILL be severe.

h
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Illegally is absolutely NOT an option, and I strongly advise against it. Apart from the "powers that be" scouring forums such as this to spot would-be offenders, the French authorities WILL catch up with you and retribution WILL be severe.

h
I wasn't advocating that, nor willing to do it. I merely asked it as a question. Thanks again, hils!
 

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As far as I know, there is no special program for farmers - not for visas and not for taking nationality. You would need a working visa - or possibly an "entrepreneur" visa (or perhaps a competences et talents - where you would propose a project that might benefit France). See the Visa section of your local French Consulate's website to get started.

After living and working for 5 years (I think it is now) you can apply for nationality - but you'd be under the normal "naturalization" process: Acquisition de la nationalité française - Service-public.fr (which includes having a certain level of French, which is proved by having the proper level certificate).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I am a farmer myself and have looked at the potential to Farm in France myself.

It is a difficult profession to enter in France no doubt, very insular and traditional and not the easiest place to start out farming if you are from another country. You need to be sure its where you want to farm and be determined to persevere as you will likely hit the French Bureaucracy full on in such a profession and find it tricky finding something suitable and viable. Also, as you will be needing a visa to farm in France, a significant sum / down-payment will help your visa application if your seen to be bringing money to France and investing in a 'viable' business in the country.

I could recommend one or two people to talk to but seeing as I'm new on here it may offend if I start off circulating names and referrals in my first reply. One or two do advertise in the France/UK agricultural press and I would suggest you use them initially to track down contacts, you will soon find out who is good and those that are less so!

Hope that helps,

John
 
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