Breaking News: France's Language Requirements Changing

We've just learned that the government of France is changing its citizenship process, adding a requirement for non-native French speakers to provide results from an approved standardized test of French. The handful of tests approved include the Test de français international (TFI™), developed by ETS and distributed by AMIDEAST in the U.S. as well as the Middle East/North Africa.

For citizenship, test takers must show skill levels equivalent to at least a B1 on the Common European Reference Framework (at least 160 on the listening section of the TFI). Applicants must also show similar speaking levels. While the TFI does not have a speaking component, it is the best test for listening skills in that it tests general and workplace communication skills rather than the academic French more typically tested, and because it provides a credential that is also world-recognized by employers.Previously, the French language requirement for citizenship was fulfilled through an government-administered interview. This process will be replaced by the new standardized test requirement in January 2012.

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