The Val-de-Marne prefecture in the greater Paris region of Ile-de-France, which is responsible for her application, denied her application for citizenship on the grounds that she is “failing to comply with the law” around working hours.
The nurse, whose nationality has not been made public, has a total of three jobs and clocks up 59 hours of work a week and an average of 271 hours a month, which is considered “a violation of working regulations in France”, according to French newspaper 20 Minutes.
According to the French government she should only be working a maximum of 48 hours a week and “an average of 44 hours a week over a period of twelve consecutive days”.
The prefecture also informed the nurse she will be able to reapply for citizenship in two years.
The letter of refusal was shared by a friend of the nurse on Twitter (see below), with the authorities later confirming its authenticity to the French media.
The decision has sparked a wave of outrage on social media, with many Twitter users pointing out that working overtime is very common in French hospitals.
One leader of a union representing medical workers in France said: “So we are refusing nationality to a nurse becasue she's working too much? How low can we go!
“I work between 60 and 70 hours a week, like lots of nurses and doctors… are they going to take away my nationality?”
Je travaille plus de 60 à 70 h par semaine comme nombre de médecins, d’infirmieres …
et je ne parle pas des internes qui peuvent travailler 80 à 90 h par semaine
Qu’on m’enlève donc ma nationalité !
— DrMartyUFML-S (@Drmartyufml) July 13, 2019
However the decision is not unusual, Sanjay Navy, a lawyer at the Lille Bar specialising in foreign law, told the French press.
“I have already seen similar cases. This decision is not isolated, although it is seen more for security guards as they often have multiple employers.”
The nurse is intending to appeal the decision to the Interior Ministry which will have four months to respond.
If the Interior Ministry does not respond positively, the nurse can then turn to the administrative court of Nantes. However this appeal could take up to two years.
In 2016, France naturalised 120,000 people, with an ever-growing number of Brits joining the crowd.
Nearly one million people were granted an EU passport in 2016, with most new citizens becoming Italian, followed by Spanish and British.
In fourth place was France, which gave out passports to 119,152 new citizens over the year, according to figures released by Eurostat.
Around half of these 120,000 passports came via naturalisation, while some 21,000 came via marriage to a French person.