Many French doctors have died because of COVID-19 – Photo: AFP
According to the newspaper The Guardian, The granting of citizenship to more than 12,000 frontline workers is part of a special plan of the French Government during the pandemic.
In addition to speeding up the processing of applications that can normally take up to two years, the government has also reduced the permanent residency requirement from five years to two years.
“Frontline workers have responded to the call of the country, so it is right for the country to reach out to them. We have overcome difficulties thanks to them.
I welcome my new compatriots with French citizenship and thank them on behalf of the republic. The whole country thanks them,” – Ms. Marlène Schiappa, French citizenship minister, shared her feelings.
In September 2020, the French Ministry of the Interior invited all those who have “actively contributed” to the fight against COVID-19 to apply for a fast citizenship.
As of September 9, Minister Schiappa said 12,012 applications were accepted out of 16,381 applications.
The new French citizens work a variety of jobs, such as doctors, nurses, cleaners, babysitters for essential workers, domestic helpers, garbage collectors…
“France has treated me very well since I arrived, and has given me many opportunities I never dreamed of before stepping off the Eurostar train in 2016” – John Spacey, a British working for an organization that cares for the elderly in central France, expressed its feelings after being granted citizenship.
In April 2020, the French government also gave all hospital and nursing home staff a tax-free amount of between 1,000 and 1,500 euros to thank them for their hard and dangerous work.
By August 2020, about 320,000 homecare workers in France were given a maximum amount of 1,000 euros each.