They’ve certainly earned it.
France has agreed to accept more than 12,000 new citizens — all of whom have served as frontline worker’s during the coronavirus pandemic.
The news comes almost a year after the Ministry of the Interior announced that they would fast track any naturalization applications submitted by frontline workers last year. Of the 16,381 the ministry saw, 12,012 have been approved for citizenship as of Thursday, they said in a statement.
The accelerated process saw that applicants, whose arrival in France amounted to as few as two years ago, would be eligible for naturalization, as opposed to the current five-year requirement.
New countrymen and women include healthcare workers, caretakers, garbage collectors and others.
“Frontline workers responded to the call of the nation, so it is right that the nation takes a step towards them,” said ministry delegate Marlène Schiappa in their statement.
“I would like to welcome our new compatriots to French nationality and say thank you on behalf of the Republic: The country has also held out thanks to them!” she added.
The nation has 67 million more than 6.8 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, resulting in 115,000 deaths since early 2020.