Becoming a Luxembourg citizen
The acquisition of the Luxembourg citizenship by naturalisation confers abroad the status of Luxembourger with all the attached rights and duties.
Since the 1st of April 2017, a new law authorises the residents having been living in Luxembourg for at least 5 years to acquire the Luxembourg nationality by naturalisation under certain conditions. Furthermore, the applicant is not obliged to give up his nationality of origin owing to the principle of dual nationality.
The Luxembourg passport offers the possibility to travel to 187 countries in the world without a visa. It is considered by the Henley Passport Index study to be one of the most powerful passports in the world behind Japan and Singapore tied for first place, Finland, Germany and South Korea tied for second place.
Law 2017 on Luxembourg naturalisation
The new law of 2017 plans the automatic allocation of the Luxembourg nationality to any person being 18 years old and who was born in Luxembourg provided that:
- He/she has been living in a regular way in Luxembourg for at least five consecutive years, just before their majority;
- That one of his/her parents have lived in Luxembourg during at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the birth.
If these two conditions are gathered, it will be possible in the future for a child born in the Luxembourg to obtain the nationality from 12 years old via the “option procedure”.
NB: the acquisition of the Luxembourg nationality by the option is possible in 10 precise cases. In order to know those 10 cases go on the website of Guichet.lu.
The second generation “jus soli” applies in Luxembourg. A child born in Luxembourg whose one of the parents or adopting parents was also born in the Grand duchy, will automatically be provided with the Luxembourg nationality.
In brief, every person who satisfies the conditions to be naturalised, and who does not go into the field of the recovering of the Luxembourg nationality, can ask for the Luxembourg nationality under the following conditions:
- Being major (more than 18 years old) at the time of the request
- Having lived legally in Luxembourg for more than 5 years and at least for 1 year in a continuous way at the time of the deposit of the citizenship application
- Meeting the requirements of good repute. That is the applicant will not have to have made false declarations, or hidden important facts or to have cheated in some way when applying for the citizenship. He will also have to not have been the object of any condemnation of a criminal punishment or a firm detention of a duration of 12 months or more, or a conditional sentence of 24 months or more.
Minimum period of residence in Luxembourg
The period of residence planned by the new law of 2017 passes from 7 years to 5 years before the nationality can be asked for.
Conditions required to be a naturalised Luxembourg citizen
Test of language
The candidate for the Luxembourg naturalisation will have to have passed the spoken Luxembourg language evaluation test. The spoken Luxembourg language evaluation test is organised by the Institut National des Langues du Luxembourg.
For the oral expression the required level is A2, which corresponds to a basic conversation: being capable of appearing, asking for directions, going shopping, asking about someone, etc.
For the oral understanding, the expected level corresponds to B1: it is necessary to be capable of understanding the subjects of the daily life, at work, between friends, on the radio etc.
The candidate will have to participate in both of the tests. A system of compensation between the tests was introduced. The candidate has to obtain the average in the oral expression test to pass the language evaluation one. If he does not get the average to the oral test, his note can be compensated with the note obtained during the test of oral understanfing.
Registration fees for the examination and the Luxembourg language courses will be paid off by the State.
Attend to civic education courses: “Living together in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg”
The candidate for Luxembourg nationality must also have attended the civic education courses “Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg”. Organized by the Adult Training Department of the Ministry of National Education, Children and Youth, a minimum of 3 courses are mandatory (2h/ course). There are no exams, but a certificate of participation is given to participants.
In the new law, the course of civics is replaced by the course “Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg” established by 3 modules for a total of 24 hours of lessons:
1. The fundamental rights of the citizens (6-hour module)
2. The Luxembourg State and municipal institutions (12-hour module)
3. The history of Luxembourg and the European integration (6-hour module).
In order to obtain the nationality or the naturalisation the certificate for the course “Living together in Luxembourg” is compulsory.
The people who achieved at least 7 years of schooling within the framework of the Luxembourg State education, or who have had a residence permit since before the 31st of December 1984 and who have been living in Luxembourg since then are exempted from the evaluation of spoken Luxembourgish, and from the civics lessons.
What procedure in order to ask for the Luxembourg nationality?
Before any submission of the application for naturalisation form, the candidate must have passed the language tests (mentioned beforehand) and attended the civics classes (mentioned beforehand).
Send an application for naturalisation, dated and signed, to the Minister for Justice (form available on the www.guichet.public.lu website).
Be careful, all the files are to be submissed with the municipality of your place of residence.
For any inquiry concerning the access to the Luxembourg nationality, please contact the Infoline Nationalité from the Ministry for Justice:
- From Luxembourg, via the number 8002 1000 (free number), and;
- From foreign countries, via the number +352 247-885 88.
The Infoline can be contacted from Monday to Friday from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm and from 13:30 pm to 17:00 pm.
Under certain conditions the expenses paid (with a max) for acquisition of the Luxembourg nationality can be reimbursed. The request must be made to the Ministry of Justice, Service of Indigeny.
The principle of dual nationality
Since the 1st of January 2009, it is possible to be granted the Luxembourg nationality, while keeping your nationality of origin. It is called the principle of dual nationality.
Be careful however, if Luxembourg accepts this principle, this is not the case in all the countries, and it is possible that the country of origin of the applicant for the Luxembourg nationality does not apply this principle. It is the responsibility of the candidate to verify with the authorities of which he already has the nationality.
The Luxembourg nationality confers the right to vote for the Luxembourg elections.
The law of 2017 and the Brexit have had a significant effect on applications for Luxembourg nationality. In 2019, as in 2018, more than 11,000 applications were processed per year, compared to slightly more than 9,000 in 2017.
The French are the main beneficiaries with almost 2,500 new Luxembourg citizens. Some of them have benefited from the Law introduced in 2009, allowing them to benefit from the nationality if a forefather was himself Luxembourgish on 1 January 1900. More than 1,300 Belgians also benefited from this same measure.
Brazilians are the second largest beneficiaries of the 2017 law with more than 2,000 new Luxembourgers in 2019. They are followed by the Portuguese, the leading foreign community in the country, who wish to establish more lasting ties with Luxembourg.
Brexit has prompted more than 400 British people who have been living in Luxembourg for a long time to apply for Luxembourg nationality in 2019.
Overall, and as a result, the share of foreigners in the overall population residing in Luxembourg is decreasing.
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