France’s government highly appreciates the hard work of foreigners, especially under the toughest times like the COVID-19 pandemic. To reward hundreds of them for their outstanding job during 2020, France rewarded them with citizenship.
France’s interior ministry said Tuesday that hundreds of foreign health professionals, cleaning ladies, childcare workers, checkout staff have proved their commitment to the French nation during the epidemic. Their jobs expose them to high COVID-19 risks will be naturalised quickly for their commitment during the health crisis.
In September, the interior ministry had invited people who “actively contributed” to the fight against the novel pathogen to apply for fast-track naturalisation.
Of the nearly 3,000 people who responded, 74 had already obtained citizenship and 693 more were in the final stage of the process.
“Health professionals, cleaning ladies, childcare workers, checkout staff: They all proved their commitment to the nation, and it is now the turn of the republic to take a step towards them,” the office of Marlene Schiappa, junior minister for citizenship, said in a statement.
As an illustration, the French immigration authorities have been ordered to reduce the residency period needed for citizenship to two years from the usual five in the case of “great services rendered”.
In comparison, some 112,000 foreigners acquired French nationality last year, including more than 48,000 by naturalisation – 10% fewer than in 2018.