New Luxembourg nationality law is now in place

The law came into force on April 1

The new nationality law is now in place meaning it will be easier to obtain Luxembourgish nationality.

One of the main requirements under the law, which was passed in parliament in February, is that applicants have to have lived in Luxembourg for at lease five years and must pass a language test or complete accredited lessons.

For those who have been residents for five years or more it is compulsory to pass a Luxembourgish language test at level A2 in the oral exam and B1 in comprehension.

Those going down this route will take a test at the Institut National des Langues (INLL) but can complete a course at any language centre, although taking classes is not obligatory and it is possible to take the test without having had lessons.

People who have been living in Luxembourg for 20 years or more can take a total of 24 hours of Luxembourgish lessons before receiving the language certification for nationality, without having to take an exam.

According to the Article of the law regarding this option the applicant must complete 24 hours of language lessons, which aims to offer an initiation to the language in both oral and comprehension skills.

The course must be organised by either the INLL or a provider whose programme has been approved by the education ministry.

The course provider is then able to certify the applicant as having completed the programme.

It is not yet clear which providers will be able to give such certification but further information should be made available in the coming days.

The exam slots at the INLL are fully booked until the end of the 2017 school year and exam dates will start again from September 15. The next round of 24 hours of lessons for those who have lived in Luxembourg for 20 years or more will start in the first week of May.

These are the key points of the law
Jus soli

People born in Luxembourg to non-Luxembourg nationals can obtain Luxembourgish nationality when they turn 18 on the condition that: They are resident in Luxembourg for at least five consecutive years before their 18th birthday. And one of their parents who is non-Luxembourgish has lived in Luxembourg for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the child’s birth.

People born in Luxembourg to parents who are not Luxembourgish can apply for nationality from the age of 12 on the condition that: The child has lived in Luxembourg for the five years preceding. And one of its parents lived in Luxembourg for minimum one year prior to the child’s birth.

Jus soli, second generation

Children born to a foreign parent but who have one parent who was born in Luxembourg will automatically have access to Luxembourgish nationality.

Naturalisation

Anyone can apply for Luxembourgish nationality provided that:

They have lived in Luxembourg for the past five years; they pass a Luxembourgish language test; they have participated in and passed the course “Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg”.

The language exam

Applicants must pass a language test at A2 in oral expression and B1 in comprehension. However, a compensation mechanism has been introduced, allowing balance for a lower score in oral expression with a higher score in comprehension, for example.

The course

The “Living together in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg” course consists of three modules: six hours covering citizens rights, 12 hours covering the state institutions and six hours on Luxembourg history and European integration. Participants must complete a multiple choice test on all three.

Waiting times

Candidates applying for nationality under the above means will receive an answer between five and eight months after submitting their application.

Candidates who meet any of the criteria below will be granted Luxembourgish nationality the day they present their papers, under what is called the “option” system.

By marriage

Candidates marrying a Luxembourger can acquire the same nationality provided the partner lives in Luxembourg and that the couple has lived in Luxembourg for three consecutive years prior to the application.

Studying in Luxembourg

Foreign nationals who have spent seven years at a state school in Luxembourg and who have lived in the country for at least one year prior to the application may acquire nationality.

20 years’ residency

If you have lived in Luxembourg for at least 20 years and have attended at least 24 hours of Luxembourgish classes.

Refugees

Refugees, stateless people and anyone with subsidiary international protection status may acquire nationality provided they have lived in Luxembourg for five or more years, have passed the language test and completed the course.

Soldiers

Soldiers who have served in the Luxembourg army for a minimum of five years may acquire nationality.

CAI

Candidates who completed the “contrat d’acceuil et d’intégration” (welcome contract) organised by OLAI may acquire nationality provided they have lived in the country for five or more years consecutively. They must also pass the language test and complete the course.

People who moved to Luxembourg before 18

A candidate who moved to Luxembourg before they turned 18 can acquire nationality provided they have lived in the country for five or more years consecutively and pass the language test and course.

Who cannot apply for Luxembourgish nationality?

Applicants will be refused Luxembourgish nationality if they have been convicted of a criminal offence either in Luxembourg or abroad or have served a sentence of 12 months or more. Explanations must be given to any application refused.

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