We all have a colleague, friend or family member who has proudly announced they are now a Luxembourg national. And since the reform of the Luxembourgish nationality law came into effect on 1 April 2017, the number of naturalised citizens has grown considerably. But how do you actually go about getting Luxembourgish nationality? myLIFE is here to guide you through the different scenarios.
Whether it’s becoming a full-blown citizen of your adopted country and having a greater say in how things are done there, opening the door to certain job opportunities, having a passport that enables you to cross certain borders more easily or re-establishing a link with your ancestors, there are myriad reasons for wanting to acquire Luxembourgish nationality.
And ever since the Grand Duchy recognised the dual nationality principle in January 2009, there has been little to stand in your way. You can now become a Luxembourger without losing your original nationality, provided that you satisfy very specific legal conditions. We will provide you with an overview of these conditions, without drilling down into the costs of any particular process, all the documents you may have to provide or the specifics of each of the many particular cases. If you have any doubts, take a look at the excellent decision-making tree created by the folk at Guichet.lu and read the various content provided on the subject.
Automatic possession of Luxembourgish nationality
We should start by saying that there are, of course, situations where an individual automatically has Luxembourgish nationality. This might be through lineage, adoption, birth in Luxembourg or what is known as possession d’état (de facto enjoyment of a certain civil status). Although criteria have been established for each scenario, we will not go into the details here because we would rather focus directly on the voluntary acquisition of Luxembourgish nationality, whether by option or by naturalisation.
Do you want to become a naturalised Luxembourger? You will need to show you have a basic grasp of the language and civic matters!
Conditions you will need to satisfy to acquire nationality
Do you want to become a naturalised Luxembourger? Before you begin any formal administrative process, you will need to show you have a basic grasp of the language and civic matters. The same also applies to a request for acquisition of nationality by option in the case of:
- a parent of a Luxembourgish child;
- marriage to a Luxembourger;
- an adult who has fulfilled the obligations arising from the reception and integration contract;
- an adult who moved to Luxembourg before their 18th birthday;
- an adult with stateless person or refugee status, or subsidiary protection.
With regard to the language, you are required to pass a Luxembourgish exam. Organised by the National Institute of Languages (INL), this exam consists of an oral test (level A2) and a listening test (level B1). Some applicants may be exempted from this exam.
With regard to civic matters, you must be able to produce the “Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg” (“Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg”) certificate concerning the fundamental rights of citizens, state and municipal institutions in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, and the history of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and European integration. You can get this certificate either by attending the “Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg” course (duration: 24 hours) or by passing an exam on the same topic. Some applicants may be exempted from obtaining this certificate.
Acquiring nationality by naturalisation
In order to submit a valid naturalisation application, in addition to the civic and linguistic skills mentioned earlier, you must be an adult at the time of application, have lawfully resided in Luxembourg for at least five years and fulfil the requirements of good repute. Your application will be turned down if:
- you are found to have cheated, lied or concealed important information during the naturalisation process;
- you have been convicted of a criminal offence or received a mandatory (12 months or more) or suspended (24 months or more) prison sentence in Luxembourg or abroad.
OK so far? Great! All you need to do now is gather together all the necessary documentation (a copy of your passport, a full copy of your birth certificate, a copy of your police record, etc.), visit the registrar in your municipality and sign your naturalisation application. The registrar will forward your application to the Ministry of Justice, which will have eight months to approve or reject it.
There are 10 different scenarios for acquiring Luxembourgish nationality by option.
Acquiring nationality by option
There are 10 different scenarios for acquiring Luxembourgish nationality by option. They apply if you:
- are an adult and one of your parents, adoptive parents or grandparents has or had Luxembourgish nationality.
- are the parent of a Luxembourgish child, have lived in Luxembourg for at least five years and satisfy the language and civic criteria mentioned above.
- are married to a Luxembourg national and satisfy the language and civic criteria mentioned above. If you do not live in Luxembourg, this option is available only after a minimum of three years of marriage immediately prior to your application.
- were born in Luxembourg, are over 12 years old, have lived in Luxembourg for at least five years and one of your non-Luxembourgish parents or adoptive parents has had their primary residence in Luxembourg for at least the 12 consecutive months immediately prior to your birth.
- are an adult, have lived in Luxembourg for at least 12 months prior to your application and have completed at least seven years of schooling under the Luxembourg public education system.
- are an adult, have lived in Luxembourg for at least 20 years and have a certificate of attendance at a 24-hour Luxembourgish language course run by the INL or by an institute whose course content has been approved by the Ministry of National Education.
- are an adult who has fulfilled the obligations arising from the reception and integration contract, has lived in Luxembourg for at least five years and satisfies the language and civic criteria mentioned above.
- are an adult who settled in Luxembourg before the age of 18, has lived in Luxembourg for at least five years and satisfies the language and civic criteria mentioned above.
- are an adult with stateless person or refugee status, or subsidiary protection, who has lived in Luxembourg for at least five years and satisfies the language and civic criteria mentioned above.
- are a volunteer soldier who has completed at least one year of good and loyal service, as certified by the Luxembourg Chief of Defence.
Does one of these scenarios describe you? If so, you’re in luck! Gather together as quickly as possible all the necessary documentation (a copy of your passport, a full copy of your birth certificate, a copy of your police record, etc.) and go and see your local registrar so you can sign your naturalisation application. They will acknowledge your option declaration and provide you formal notice of such declaration, probably by post. The date on which you acquire Luxembourg nationality will appear on the option declaration.
If you still have questions on how to get Luxembourgish nationality, ask your municipal authority or visit Guichet.lu. Vill Gléck!