By Mukwuzi Joseph
France has granted citizenship to more than 12,000 foreign-born health workers to thank them for their services during the Covid crisis.
The French government made the announcement on Thursday September 10.
These essential workers include security guards, checkout assistants and other frontline workers.
Marlene Schiappa, junior interior minister in charge of citizenship, said over 16,000 people had applied for a French passport over the past year under a special scheme.
She noted that the scheme sped up the application procces for workers in essential services, allowing them to apply for citizenship after just two years in France, instead of the usual five.
Of these, 12,012 became French, she said.
Among the other categories of employees eligible for the scheme are garbage collectors, home-care providers and nannies.
‘These frontline workers were there for the nation. It is normal that the nation makes a gesture in their favour,’ Schiappa said in a statement.
In 2020, a total of 61,371 people got French citizenship.