France grants citizenship to 12,000 foreign workers on Covid frontline

The move is to thank staff for their services during the pandemic

Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55-years-old, reacts as he is vaccinated with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine at the Hopital d’Instruction des Armees Begin, in Saint-Mande, on the outskirts of Paris, on March 19, 2021. Prime Minister Jean Castex, 55-years-old, is due to be given the vaccine on March 19, 2021, to boost confidence in the jab after the European medicine watchdog ruled it was safe to use. France's health authority recommended that only people aged 55 and over should be given the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine due to reports of blood clots, while giving the green light to resume its use after a brief suspension. / AFP / POOL / THOMAS COEX

France has granted citizenship to more than 12,000 foreign-born health workers, security guards, checkout assistants and other frontline workers to thank them for their services during the Covid crisis, the government said Thursday.

Marlene Schiappa, junior interior minister in charge of citizenship, said more than 16,000 people had applied for a French passport over the past year under a special scheme allowing workers in essential services to apply for citizenship after two years in France, instead of the usual five.

Of these, 12,012 became French, she said.

Among other categories of employees eligible for the scheme are refuse collectors, care providers and nannies.

“These frontline workers were there for the nation. It is normal that the nation makes a gesture in their favour,” Ms Schiappa said.

In 2020, a total of 61,371 people obtained French citizenship.

Updated: September 9th 2021, 7:09 PM
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