12,000 COVID-19 Frontline workers granted French citizenship

Frontline workers who were in the coal face of the Covid-19 pandemic in France have been granted citizenship. This was enabled by a special fast track scheme structured for those whose professions put them at risk during the pandemic.

The residency requirement for French citizenship is five years, but the French government reduced it to two years as part of the fast track scheme.

Speaking on this development, the French citizenship minister , Marlene Schiappa stated, “The country pulled through thanks to them. I welcome our new compatriots to French nationality and thank them in the name of the republic. The country also thanks them.”

Frontline workers who were involved in mitigating the effects of the pandemic were, in September 2020, invited by the interior minister of France to apply for the fast track naturalisation.

Around 16,381 were reported to have applied and 12,012 applications were approved. The frontline workers were professionals in health care, security, cleaning, domestic helps, as well as refuse workers.

The French government has taken several steps to show appreciation to frontline workers during the pandemic. 20,000 home care workers were given bonuses of up to €1,000 in August, 2020 while French hospital staff and nursing home workers received tax-free bonuses of up to €1,500 euros.

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