Foire aux questions - TCF - Accès à la nationalité française
The "TCF for French nationality" was specifically designed to meet the new provisions introduced by the French Ministry of the Interior, Overseas Departments, Local Authorities and Immigration related to the command of French language knowledge for candidates for French nationality.
The "TCF for French nationality" comprises two compulsory examinations:
- listening comprehension (29 questions). This examination lasts: 30 minutes. Test conditions: shared examination room.
- speaking expression (3 tasks). This examination lasts: 12 minutes. Test conditions: individual interview with an examiner.
Your "TCF for French nationality" certification is only valid for an application for French nationality by marriage or naturalisation. You cannot use it to apply, for example, to a French university, or to build an immigration application for Quebec.
The "TCF for French nationality" sessions are organised throughout the year. It is your responsibility to contact your nearest approved TCF centre as soon as possible.
Since 1 January 2012, candidates for French nationality must prove that they have mastered French to a level of B1 "oral" (i.e. in activities such as "listening", "spoken interaction" , "spoken production") defined by the Common European Framework of Reference.
For the TCF, this B1 level is achieved when the candidate obtains both:
- a score of at least 300 points for the listening examination;
- a score of at least 6/20 for the speaking examination.
You can apply for the "TCF for French nationality" as many times as you wish.
You must, however, wait two months30 days between taking each TCF, regardless of the application.
N.B. If you fail, you can approach the Préfecture, which is only authorised to offer you an individual interview with a Préfecture agent to check your language level without having to retake the test [decree no. 2013-794 of 30 August 2013].
The "TCF for French nationality" requires no specific preparation, as in theory language practice of any kind prepares candidates for taking the test: radio, television, press, conversation, etc. You can nevertheless familiarise yourself with the test format using the tools listed on this page.
Your results are sent to the test centre within 15 days (excluding weekends and public holidays) from the date that the test papers are received by the CIEP. You must collect your certificate directly from the centre at which your took the "TCF for French nationality" examinations.
Your certification is valid for two years.
For example, if you took the "TCF for French nationality" examinations on 18 June 2012, your certification would be valid until 17 June 2014. Past this date, your certification will no longer be valid.
You are exempt from taking the "TCF for French nationality" if you already hold:
- a diploma for a level of French equal to or better than the Vbis level of the list of diplomas, i.e. the French certificate of general education, the CAP or BEP;
- the DELF B1, DELF B2 or DALF (C1 or C2);
- a valid general TCF certification complete with speaking examination (subject to having obtained at least a level B1 in both listening and speaking);
- a valid general TCF for Quebec (subject to having obtained at least a level B1 in listening and speaking).
There are other possible cases: if you are 60 years or older, if you cannot read/write, if you are disabled or if you have studied French and/or achieved a qualification in a francophone country, you can approach the Préfecture before applying for your TCF ANF to verify your eligibility for an individual interview by a Préfecture agent [decree no. 2013-794 of 30 August 2013].
To find out about other French evaluation mechanisms , go to the website for the French Ministry for the Interior.