Lived in Luxembourg for 5 years? You could gain nationality

The Luxembourg government recently published its approved nationality bill which enters law on April 1. But who is entitled to become Luxembourgish? What do you need to become a national?

Justice Minister Felix Braz recently explained that the aim was to grant access to the Luxembourgish nationality in a manner which is fair and encourages social cohesion.

The key points of the changes are laid out below:

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”.
Photo: Lex Kleren

The language exam

To obtain nationality, applicants must achieve level A2 in oral expression and B1 in comprehension. To pass these tests, they must correctly answer 50 percent of the questions or more. The exam fee and cost of lessons will be reimbursed to candidates who go on to acquire the nationality.

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 at the INL.

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 sentenced of 12 months or more. Explanations must be given to any application refused.

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