The acquisition of Luxembourg citizenship by naturalization confers on the foreigner the status of Luxembourg citizen with all the rights and duties attached to it. Here you can find out how to obtain Luxembourgish nationality.
The Luxembourg passport allows you to travel to 187 countries in the world without a visa. It is considered by Henley Passport Index to be one of the most powerful passports in the world. Luxembourg is thus tied for first place with Japan and Singapore, and Finland, Germany and South Korea are tied for second place.
Luxembourg Naturalization Law of 2017
Since April 1, 2017, a new law allows residents in Luxembourg for at least 5 years to acquire Luxembourg nationality through naturalization under certain conditions. The applicant is not obliged to renounce his or her original nationality because of the principle of dual nationality.
Who can apply for Luxembourg nationality?
Luxembourg nationality is automatically granted to a person who is 18 years old and born in Luxembourg, provided that:
- she has resided and lived regularly in Luxembourg for at least five consecutive years, just before her majority;
- one of the parents has lived in Luxembourg for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the birth.
If these two conditions are met, a child born in Luxembourg will be able to obtain nationality from the age of 12 via the “option procedure”.
The acquisition of Luxembourg nationality by option is possible in 10 specific cases:
- adult with a Luxembourg parent or grandparent
- parent whose minor child is a Luxembourger
- person married to a Luxembourg citizen
- person born in Luxembourg over 12 years old
- adult who has completed at least 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg
- a person of legal age who has lived in Luxembourg for more than 20 years
- an adult who has fulfilled the commitments of the reception and integration contract
- a person of legal age who settled in Luxembourg before his/her 18th birthday
- an adult with stateless, refugee or subsidiary protection status
- volunteer soldier.
The second-generation right to land remains in force in Luxembourg. A child born in Luxembourg, whose parents or adopters were also born in the Grand Duchy, will automatically benefit from the Luxembourg nationality.
In addition to the cases of recovery of the Luxembourg nationality above, any person who meets the conditions to be naturalized, can ask for the Luxembourg nationality under the following conditions:
- be of legal age (over 18) at the time of application
- have been legally resident in Luxembourg for more than 5 years and at least 1 year continuously at the time of filing the application for naturalization
- meet the requirements of good character. That is, the applicant must not have made false statements, or concealed material facts or defrauded in any way in the application for naturalization. He/she must also not have been convicted of any criminal or prison sentence of 12 months or more, or a suspended sentence of 24 months or more.
Minimum period of residence in Luxembourg
Since 2017, the residence requirement under the new law has been reduced from 7 years to 5 years to apply for Luxembourg citizenship.
Conditions to apply for Luxembourg naturalization
The applicant for Luxembourg naturalization must have passed the Luxembourg language evaluation test . This test is organized by the National Institute of Languages of Luxembourg. It consists of two separate tests: oral expression and oral comprehension. These tests take place over 2 days. The candidate must participate in both tests.
- For the oral expression part, the required level is A2 (of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages). This corresponds to the ability to hold a basic conversation in Luxembourgish. The candidate must be able to introduce himself, ask for directions, shop in a store, ask for news about someone etc.
The exam lasts about 15 minutes during which the candidate must speak in Luxembourgish in front of two examiners, one in a moderating position and the other in an observing position. The exam consists of two distinct parts.
For the first part, the candidate chooses a subject from among the two proposed. He must answer questions asked by one of the examiners. For the second part, the candidate chooses one image out of the three proposed. He must describe this image.
- For the listening comprehension test, the required level is B1. The candidate must be able to understand the topics of everyday life, at work, among friends, on the radio, etc. During this exam, which lasts about 25 minutes, the candidate listens to 3 different texts and must answer multiple choice questions each time. The correction is done by two examiners.
A system of compensation between the two tests has been introduced. The candidate must achieve a passing grade on the speaking test to pass the language evaluation exam. If the student does not obtain an average score on the oral exam, his or her score may be compensated by the score obtained during the oral comprehension test.
Test results are sent a fortnight after the last test by post.
The registration fees for the exam and the Luxembourg language courses can be reimbursed by the state. However, if the candidate does not take either of the exams, he or she will simply have to retake the exam and pay the registration fee again.
Civic education:“Livingtogether in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
In order to obtain nationality or naturalization, the candidate must obtain a certification “Living together in Luxembourg” in addition to the language test
This certification is obtained by participating in the civic education courses “Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg”, organized by the Service de la formation des adultes of the Ministère de l’Education nationale, de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse. The courses are mandatory. A certificate of attendance is given to participants at the end of the course.
The course “Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg” is made up of 3 modules for a total of 24 hours:
- Fundamental rights of citizens (6-hour module)
- The state and communal institutions of Luxembourg (12-hour module)
- The history of Luxembourg and European integration (6-hour module).
You can also take the “Living together in Luxembourg” exam by having revised the different subjects yourself via the website Living together in the Grand Duchy.
Persons who have completed at least 7 years of schooling in the framework ofLuxembourg public education, or who have a residence permit and who have been residing in Luxembourg since December 31, 1984, are exempt from the conditions of evaluation of the spoken Luxembourg language, and from the civic education courses,
Access to the forms to register for the course Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg
What is the procedure for applying for Luxembourg nationality?
Before filing the application for naturalization, the applicant must have passed the language tests and taken the civic education courses (see above).
An application for naturalization, dated and signed, should be addressed to the Minister of Justice.
Please note that all documents must be submitted to the commune of your place of residence.
For all inquiries about the right to Luxembourg nationality, please contact the Nationality Infoline of the Ministry of Justice:
- from Luxembourg, the number 8002 1000 (free number), and,
- from abroad, the number +352 247-885 88.
The infoline can be reached from Monday to Friday from 8.30 a.m. to 12.00 p.m. and from 1.30 p.m. to 5.00 p.m.
Under certain conditions, the costs incurred (with a ceiling) to acquire Luxembourg nationality can be reimbursed. The request must be made to the Ministry of Justice, Service de l’Indigénat.
For other topics related to integration visit our “Integration” pages
Luxembourg nationality confers the right to vote in Luxembourg elections.
The principle of dual nationality
Since January 1, 2009, it is possible to acquire Luxembourg nationality while retaining one’s original nationality. This is the principle of dual nationality.
Be careful, however, if Luxembourg accepts this principle of dual nationality, it is not the case in all countries. It is possible that the country of origin of the applicant for Luxembourg nationality does not apply this principle. It is up to the candidate to check with the authorities of which he/she is already a national.
Applications for Luxembourg nationality
The 2017 law as well as the Brexit had a non-negligible effect on Luxembourg nationality applications. In 2019, as in 2018, more than 11,000 applications were processed each year, compared to just over 9,000 in 2017. In 2020, nearly 9,400 people were granted Luxembourg citizenship.
The French are the first beneficiaries with nearly 2,500 new Luxembourg citizens. Some of them have benefited from the law passed in 2009, allowing them to benefit from the nationality if a grandfather was himself Luxembourgish on January 1st, 1900. More than 1,300 Belgians have benefited from this same system.
Brazilians are the second largest beneficiaries of the 2017 law with over 2,000 new Luxembourgers. They are followed by the Portuguese, the largest foreign community in the country, who wish to establish more lasting ties with Luxembourg.
The Brexit has prompted more than 400 long-time British residents of Luxembourg to apply for Luxembourg citizenship in 2019.
Overall, and as a consequence, the share of foreigners in the overall resident population of Luxembourg is decreasing.
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