France toughens language rules for immigrants
New French language rules to be introduced on 1 January next year will require would-be citizens to give written proof that they are competent enough in the language to manage their daily lives.
An announcement in the government’s official gazette says the new immigration rules require candidates to “prove knowledge of the French language consistent with understanding the essential points needed to manage daily life”.
Previously candidates had to prove their language ability in interviews with government officials. But from January, they will have to provide evidence by ‘producing a diploma or certificate delivered by a state-recognised organism.”
According to the business daily Les Echos, around one million foreigners living in France do not speak French.
The paper says the government has become increasingly concerned over the problem and was spending 60 million euros to promote French-language skills and integration among immigrants.
Official figures show France grants citizenship to about 100,000 candidates every year.
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