France rewards over 700 immigrants who have been working on the coronavirus frontline by granting them citizenship.
France Rewards Frontline Immigrant Workers
Over 700 immigrants in France working on the coronavirus frontline have been granted citizenship or are in the final stages of receiving it. The interior ministry invited residents assisting with the efforts against the pandemic to apply for accelerated naturalisation.
“Health professionals, cleaning ladies, childcare workers, checkout staff: They all proved their commitment to the nation, and it is now the turn of the republic to take a step towards them,” said the office of Marlene Schiappa, the junior minister for citizenship, in a statement on Tuesday.
“Foreign workers gave their time and swung into action for all of us during the Covid crisis,” said the statement. “It is now up to the Republic to take a step toward them.”
As the pandemic makes its way around the world, frontline workers have been exposed to the virus at a high rate, many of whom have died from the disease. France is in the top 10 countries worst impacted by COVID-19, with more than 2.5 million confirmed cases and close to 62,000 deaths.
To show gratitude to those committed to the health of the nation, the French government sped up their naturalisation applications. The directive states: “Certain foreigners mobilised and were particularly exposed in order to fight against the COVID-19 epidemic. They actively participated in the national effort with dedication and courage. The state wishes to recognise their commitment.”
The process started in September when the ministry invited all immigrant frontline and healthcare workers to apply for the fast-track naturalisation process.
After the announcement, nearly 3,000 people responded to the offer, and 74 had already obtained citizenship while 693 were in the final stage of completing the process.
In conventional cases, the applicant must have lived in the country for at least five years. However, in September, Schiappa ordered officials to reduce the residency period in France required to obtain citizenship by naturalisation to two years from the usual five in the case of “great services rendered.”
Read also: The Advantages of Having Dual Citizenship
Although this is an exceptional situation, there are many ways to attain citizenship.
What is Citizenship by Investment?
Citizenship by Investment programmes allow one the opportunity to legally acquire a new nationality in return for an investment in the economy of the host country. Such programmes confer citizenship status without causing any major disruptions to an investor’s life, provided they pass all the due diligence checks first, make a qualifying investment and provide all the correct documentation.
Only a few countries currently offer Citizenship by Investment. There is a higher concentration of CBI programmes in the Caribbean, a region considered the cradle of second citizenship by investment.
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