France grants citizenship to more than 2000 foreign workers for their help with Covid-19
France has granted citizenship to more than 2,000 foreign-born frontline workers as a reward to them for their services to the country throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Marlene Schiappa, junior interior minister in charge of citizenship, said that 2,009 people, including 665 children, had been fast-tracked for naturalisation for "showing their attachment to the nation".
Back in September, Schiappa instructed citizenship authorities to speed up the applications of essential workers who had "actively contributed" in the fight against Covid-19. She ordered that they be allowed to apply for citizenship after just two years in France. Normally, under French Nationality Law, a person can apply for French citizenship by naturalization after five years' habitual and continuous residence in the country.
Among the more than 2,000 individuals granted citizenship are health workers, security guards, checkout workers, garbage collectors, home-care providers and nannies.
Schiappa's office said that over 8,000 people have applied for citizenship under the scheme, adding that all requests were being given "the greatest consideration".
In 2020, 61,371 people were granted French citizenship, a decline of 20% compared with 2019.
*Image courtesy of mohamed Hassan from Pixabay