France rewards hundreds of COVID-19 frontline migrant workers with citizenship

Hundreds of immigrants in France who are working on the coronavirus frontline have had their citizenship applications fastracked with 74 people already granted permanent stay.

Back in September, the interior ministry invited people who “actively contributed” to the fight against the novel coronavirus, such as healthcare professionals, cleaners, childcare, and shop workers, to apply for fast-track naturalisation.

According to the office of Marlene Schiappa, junior minister for citizenship, of the nearly 3,000 people who responded, 74 had already obtained citizenship and 693 more were in the final stage of becoming citizens.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, Ms. Schiappa said: ‘Foreign workers gave their time and swung into action for all of us during the Covid crisis.

‘It is now up to the Republic to take a step toward them. 

‘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.’

Additionally, Immigration authorities have also been ordered to reduce the residency period needed for citizenship to two years from the usual five in the case of ‘great services rendered’. 

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