Hundreds of migrants working on the coronavirus frontline in France have had their citizenship applications fast tracked as a reward for their sacrifice.
France’s junior minister for citizenship Marlène Schiappa said people who helped with efforts against COVID-19, such as healthcare professionals, cleaners, childcare and shop workers have been invited to apply for sped-up neutralisation.
“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.”
To receive French citizenship, the applicant must usually have been a resident in France for five years with a steady income and demonstrated integration into society.
For those working on the COVID-19 frontline only need to have lived in France for only two years to be granted citizenship.
More than 70 applicants have obtained citizenship since September and 693 more are in the final stage of the process, authorities said.
France is the fifth-worst hit country by coronavirus, reporting over 2.4 million infections and more than 60,000 deaths since the outbreak started in February. The country’s care homes have been particularly affected.
Africans born outside Europe constitute 46.5% of immigrants in France, while 33,3% were born in Europe.