Vous êtes ici : Accueil > Actualités > French language requirements reinfored for naturalizations

French language requirements reinfored for naturalizations

Le 30 janvier 2024
French language requirements reinfored for naturalizations
more stringent language requirements for naturalization in France. A disguised intelligence quotient test for French naturalisations?

The French legislator has imposed stricter language requirements on candidates for French naturalisation by decree under the draft law to control immigration. Instead of requiring a B1 level, henceforth a B2 level of French will be required, which in particular will require a great level of comprehension and argument, making the B2 a general intellectual proficiency examination.

The French legislator has included these provisions in as a means of controlling immigration and ameliorating integration of foreign persons, including a new clause in article 21-24 of the French Civil Code, stating that the "person concerned will justify their language level such as to allow for understanding of concrete or abstract subjects in a complex text, to communicate spontaneously, and to be able to express oneself clearly and in detailed fashion on a variety of subjects." This appears more to be an examination of one's intelligence quotient than one's French language ability, and appears to be an attempt at "immigration choisie", to weed out less capable applicants.

In practice, this means showing a B2 language certificate. But this level of language requires effectiveness in argumentation, such appears to this author to be a test of cognitie ability: the individual must be able to express his/her opinions and defend them in a conversation, and provide appropriate explanations, arguments, and comments, develop a point of view on a subject and express the advantages and disadvantages of various options, construct a logical argument, etc. This places a considerable onus on the candidate not just to be able to converse in French, but to demonstrate some intellectual acuity.

Assuming that the draft law is promulgated, this will indeed place an additional burden on candidates for naturalisation by decree. This new law will not change the requirements for persons who have completed higher education in France or have aged out of the language requirement.