French citizenship will become easier for people seeking to become French nationals. The French government decided to change the previous tightened naturalisation laws.
The French interior minister Manuel Valls has introduced the new measures, at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday. According to France24, “Regional platforms” will start processing the applications in eastern France next week on behalf of local offices in an attempt to harmonise the way applications are being processed in the various French regions. In the Lorraine region, naturalisation decisions will now be made by a committee including the local prefect and “two qualified persons chosen by him for their ability to evaluate a person’s path towards integration.” If successful, the new procedures will apply nationwide from 2015.
Moreover, the language tests for graduates of French speaking universities and people over 60 will be removed. Moreover, applicants who failed the written test will have a second chance to acquire the French citizenship by giving an interview in French.
Pierre Henry, executive director of France Terre d’Asile, an organisation which lobbies for migrants’ rights, said about the new law. “I can only welcome measures that facilitate the naturalisation process for people who have been here for a very long time and are the backbone of their family – I’m thinking of immigrant women who have been rejected because they do not speak the language.”
Back on October 2012, Valls who was born a Spanish citizen and became French when he was 20 years old, had stressed that some of the language requirements should remain in place.
Moreover, the minister also stressed that candidates must support the core values of the French republic, including the beliefs in secularity and solidarity as well as liberty, egality and fraternity. Valls had stressed, “naturalisation has to remain the natural conclusion of a successful integration.”