France has granted citizenship to over 2,000 foreign-born frontline workers to reward them for their services to the nation during the coronavirus pandemic, the government said Wednesday.
Marlene Schiappa, junior interior minister in charge of citizenship, said that 2,009 people, including 665 minors, had been fast-tracked for naturalisation for “showing their attachment to the nation”.
Schiappa had instructed the authorities in September to speed up the citizenship applications of essential workers who had “actively contributed” to the fight against Covid-19.
She had ordered that they be allowed to apply for citizenship after just two years in France, instead of the usual requirement of five years.
Those involved include health workers, security guards, checkout workers, garbage collectors, home-care providers and nannies.
Over 8,000 people have applied for citizenship under the scheme, Schiappa’s office said, adding that all requests were being given “the greatest consideration”.
In 2020, 61,371 people acquired French citizenship, a decline of 20 percent compared with 2019.