As a member of the European Union and the Schengen Area, Luxembourg offers many advantages to its citizens: access to the EU job market, free movement within the EU, and a high standard of living. If you are interested in becoming a citizen of Luxembourg, there are several requirements that you need to be aware of.
For many years, the Luxembourg passport has been and is ranked one of the best in the world. The ranking is based on the number of countries that can be accessed visa-free by their holders. According to the Passport Ranking Index, the Luxembourg passport currently holds the 4th position globally, allowing citizens to visit 188 countries without a visa.
How Luxembourg citizenship differs from permanent residence
For non-citizens, obtaining permanent residence in Luxembourg can be a significant milestone in their journey toward settling down in the country. It grants them the right to stay and work in the country indefinitely and access certain social benefits. However, permanent residence is not the same as citizenship, and there are several crucial differences between the two statuses, the most important ones are the following:
Right to vote and participate in elections
Protection against deportation
Passport and access to social benefits
Sense of identity and belonging
Dual citizenship is recognized in Luxembourg. That means that if you become a citizen of Luxembourg, you can still maintain your original citizenship in your home country. However, it is essential to note that some countries do not recognize dual citizenship, so check with your home country's embassy or consulate to understand the implications of dual citizenship in your specific case.
Who can obtain Luxembourg citizenship and in which cases
In Luxembourg, there are several ways to obtain citizenship for people of other nationalities: by naturalisation, by option, and by reclamation in case the individual previously had citizenship of the Grand Duchy.
In some cases, citizenship can be acquired automatically, without the need for an application, by operation of law. This applies to individuals born to a Luxembourgish parent or adopted by a Luxembourgish citizen – they receive citizenship automatically.
There are specific eligibility requirements that must be met before you can obtain Luxembourg citizenship in each case and these requirements vary depending on your personal situation. Luxembourgish nationality can be obtained by following one of the common procedures.
This is the most common method of obtaining citizenship for non-Luxembourgish individuals. It requires meeting certain eligibility criteria, such as language proficiency, length of residence in Luxembourg, and proof of integration into Luxembourgish society. The application process can take several months and involves various documents and interviews.
This option is available to persons:
- with a Luxembourg parent or grandparent;
- whose minor child is a Luxembourger;
- married to a Luxembourg citizen;
- born in Luxembourg over 12 years old;
- who have completed at least 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg;
- of legal age who have lived in Luxembourg for more than 20 years;
- who have fulfilled the commitments of the reception and integration contract;
- of legal age who settled in Luxembourg before his/her 18th birthday;
- with stateless, refugee, or subsidiary protection status;
- who have been volunteer soldiers.
This option allows the individual to claim Luxembourg citizenship without going through the naturalization process if they meet certain eligibility criteria and can provide the required documents.
This option is available to individuals who lost their Luxembourgish citizenship due to certain circumstances, such as acquiring foreign citizenship or living outside of Luxembourg for an extended period. The individual can reclaim their Luxembourg citizenship by meeting certain eligibility criteria and going through the application process.
In the following text sections, we will focus on voluntary acquisition procedures. And explore who can obtain Luxembourg citizenship in each case, and which documents and procedures are required.
To make things easier the Guichet.lu governmental website provides a downloadable clear scheme in English for anyone who wants to understand the conditions under which he or she can become a resident.
How to obtain Luxembourg citizenship via naturalization procedure
One way to acquire Luxembourg nationality is through the process of naturalization, which grants all the civil and political rights associated with Luxembourg nationality to the person who successfully completes the process.
Naturalization is the process of applying for, and obtaining, Luxembourg nationality, as authorized by the Ministry of Justice.
The procedure applies to foreign nationals who meet certain requirements, including a minimum period of residence, knowledge of one of the official languages of Luxembourg, and no previous criminal convictions. Applicants may apply for citizenship by naturalization once these requirements have been met.
To be eligible for naturalization, you must be an adult, meaning you have reached the age of 18 and you must meet the following criteria:
Proof of knowledge of Luxembourgish
Understanding the principles of integration
You can read more about the ways to learn the Luxembourgish language in the country, as well as about the test and how to get a tax deduction or reduced price in our special guide article — Ways to learn Luxembourgish: courses, schools, language centers.
To obtain citizenship in Luxembourg, it is necessary to provide specific documents that meet certain requirements.
- The documents must be original or certified copies.
- As well as they must be written in the official languages of Luxembourg (French, German, and Luxembourgish) or translated by a sworn translator.
- Additionally, the documents must be valid and up-to-date, consistent, legible, and comply with the specific requirements of the Luxembourg authorities.
However, the requirements for the documents may vary depending on the specific circumstances of the applicant. Therefore, it is advisable to seek guidance from the relevant authorities or a qualified immigration lawyer to ensure that the documents submitted meet the necessary requirements.
To apply you must submit the following documents to your residence commune:
Biographical and non-criminal certificates
Biographical questionnaire is a kind of application form you will be required to provide with your documents. You can download it and see the information you need to mention there, using the link below.
In the case of custody or guardianship over children, you will need the permission of the supervising judge in addition to the above-mentioned papers.
The procedure itself is provided to all people for free. However, sometimes you will have to pay to prepare the documents you need for the dossier. As well as some additional fees and costs that are not covered by the government.
The overall cost in fees can be around 500 euros
- Certain communes ask for payment of a municipal fee in exchange for preparing copies of family status records, usually the price is between 25 and 50 euros.
- Obtaining the criminal record certificate in Luxembourg is free, but all the other countries of your residence can require a fee. To obtain a criminal record certificate in Luxembourg, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Attach a scan of your international passport and Titre de sejour. After your request, a paper certificate will be sent to you by post in a few days.
- Translation into one of the three official languages from a sworn interpreter is also a paid service, and the prices will vary depending on the translator. Usually, one document costs around 30-50 euros to be translated. For a family with a kid, the cost of the package would be close to 300 euros, as our readers share.
- The registration fee for the Luxembourg language test is set at 75 euros. In addition, you need to learn the language in a course or with a tutor – this is also an additional cost. However, you can get a tax deduction for the test and tuition.
- Registration for the Vivre Ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg course is free, so is taking the test without attending.
To apply, you will need to do this in person at the Registry Office of the municipality where you reside and have been registered. The application must be signed by the applicant or his/her legal representative.
- If all the necessary documentation is properly collected, the application will be submitted and sent directly to the Ministry of Justice without any delay.
- If the file is incomplete, the Registry Office will request the lacking documents, which must be sent within 3 months. The application will not be considered if it is not sent in the allocated time, and you will need to start from the beginning.
Under normal circumstances, it takes the Ministry of Justice up to eight months to review an application for Luxembourgish citizenship. However, due to the impact of COVID-19 and an increase in refugee applications, the processing time has been extended to 10 months.
Once a positive decision has been made, the ministry will issue an order and notify the applicant by mail, using the official residential address on file. Alternatively, applicants can also monitor changes to their application status through their personal profile on the Guichet.lu website. In the "Personal Information" section, the "Nationality" column will be updated faster than the notification letter arrives by mail.
How to obtain Luxembourg citizenship by option procedure — optional citizenship
Acquiring Luxembourgish nationality by option is possible in 10 specific cases. For all cases, the application procedure and its costs are the same as in the naturalization process.
The main difference between the naturalization and the option is that naturalization is available to anyone who meets the eligibility criteria, while the option is only available to people with specific family ties to Luxembourg.
As for the documents, for all cases, it will be necessary to present the following basic documents along with some special papers:
Biographical and non-criminal certificates
Documents about the language exam and Luxembourgish life courses
Now when it comes to other documents that must be attached depending on the case, we will examine each case one by one looking at the requirements and the additional necessary documents. You can see a brief table of all the cases here.
|Years of residence
|Adults with a Luxembourgish parent or grandparent who did not inherit nationality
|Birth and nationality certificate of parent or grandparent
|Parents of minor Luxembourgish citizens
|Certificate of Luxembourgish nationality for the child
|Spouses of Luxembourg citizens
|3 years of marriage for non-residents, a certificate of marriage, and Lux. nationality for the spouse
|Persons born in Luxembourg, from the age of 12
|One of their non-Lux. parents resided in Lux. for 12 consecutive months preceding their birth
|Adults who received at least 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg
|Adults who legally resided in Luxembourg for 20 years
|Adults who met the conditions of the Welcome and Integration contract
|A certificate confirming fulfillment of obligations from the contract
|Adults who settled in Luxembourg before their 18th birthday
|Refugees or persons with extended protection status
|Volunteer soldiers with at least one year of service
|Certificate of completion of one year of service as a volunteer soldier
This procedure is available to individuals born in Luxembourg, who have reached the age of 12. If they have legally resided in Luxembourg for 5 consecutive years preceding the application and one of their non-Luxembourgish parents or adoptive parents resided legally in Luxembourg for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding their birth, they can receive the citizenship.
Furthermore, individuals born before July 2013 only need to fulfill the first requirement of residency of 5 years.
This procedure is available to adults who did not inherit Luxembourgish nationality from their parent or grandparent, even though their parent or grandparent was a Luxembourgish national.
If someone has lived in Luxembourg for at least five years before they turned 18 and followed the laws, they might be able to apply to become a Luxembourgish citizen. But they also need to prove they can speak one of the official languages in Luxembourg (Luxembourgish, French, or German) well and that they are part of Luxembourgish society.
This procedure of acquiring citizenship is available to persons married to a Luxembourg citizen. The couple must have been married for 3 years (only for non-residents), and the person must successfully pass the Luxembourg language exam and have taken the Vivre Ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg course.
Every legal resident of Luxembourg, regardless of nationality or origin, may establish a marriage or civil partnership. If you plan to acquire citizenship by marriage to a Luxembourg national, you can find more information in this downloadable brochure.
This procedure is available to parents of Luxembourgish minors. The parent must have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 years and have successfully passed the Luxembourg language exam, as well as Vivre Ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg course.
This procedure is available to adults who received at least 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg and lived at least a year in the country officially before application. This option is available for both students of public and private schools in the Grand Duchy.
Read more about how the education system in Luxembourg in our guide article — Luxembourg schools: how does the school education system work. The article can answer your questions about different levels of education and help you choose a facility in case you are looking for one for your kids.
This type of procedure to acquire citizenship is available to adults who have been living (or at least registered) in Luxembourg for the last 20 years. The year before the application must be uninterrupted in a matter of residence in the country.
Besides that, the person must successfully pass the language test and provide a certificate.
In Luxembourg, the Welcome and Integration Contract (Contrat d'accueil et d'intégration, CAI) is a tool designed to facilitate the integration of newly arrived immigrants into Luxembourgish society. The CAI is a legal document that sets out the rights and obligations of immigrants who wish to settle in Luxembourg. It covers a range of topics, including language learning, employment, housing, education, and social integration. The CAI also provides access to a range of services and support systems to help immigrants integrate into Luxembourgish society.
So when a person is involved in the Welcome and Integration Program, they can receive citizenship on the same conditions, as other applicants, but after fulfilling the obligations arising from the Welcome and Integration Contract. The person still is required to legally reside in Luxembourg for at least 5 years, pass the language exam and take the course about adaptation to living in the country.
If someone has stateless person status, refugee status, or subsidiary protection status, or served in the Luxembourgish Army for a year, they may be able to apply for Luxembourgish nationality.
If someone has applied for international protection or recognition as a stateless person and later receives refugee status, subsidiary protection status, or stateless person status, the time they spent waiting for their application to be processed can be counted towards the five-year residency requirement for Luxembourgish citizenship.
However, these persons still need to legally reside in the Grand Duchy for at least 5 years, and also pass the exam and prove integration.
How can you lose and reclaim Luxembourg citizenship
While obtaining Luxembourg citizenship can be a significant achievement, it's important to note that it can be lost under certain circumstances.
- Luxembourgish citizens can lose their citizenship if they voluntarily acquire the nationality of another country that does not support double nationality or if they renounce the Luxembourgish nationality in writing.
- Additionally, Luxembourgish citizenship can be revoked if it was obtained through fraudulent means or if the individual has engaged in activities that are considered to be seriously prejudicial to the interests or security of Luxembourg.
You can not renounce or revoke the Luxembourgish nationality if the individual will be left without citizenship as a result.
Reclaiming Luxembourg citizenship
If you have lost your citizenship due to certain circumstances, it may be possible reclaiming Luxembourg citizenship. One way to regain your nationality is through a process called reintegration.
This option is available to individuals who were
- Born in Luxembourg and lost their nationality due to acquiring another nationality;
- Lost their nationality due to marriage to a foreign national;
- It also works for descendants of an ancestor who held the Luxembourgish nationality as of 1 January 1900, and the latter or one of their descendants lost this nationality.
To start the process of regaining your Luxembourg citizenship, you will need to apply in person at the Registry Office of the municipality where you reside and provide them with the necessary documentation, such as copies of the birth certificate of a person and their kids, copies of valid passports, detailed biography and application.
The documents should be filed to the commune of residence, like in all other cases for obtaining citizenship in Luxembourg. If the applicant cannot provide some of the required documents, they may need to get permission from the Minister of Justice. This can be done by submitting a written request explaining why they cannot provide the documents. The Minister of Justice has the power to grant or refuse this request.
To get more information or get a consultation regarding your specific case, please contact the special Nationality questions helpline of the Ministry of Justice:
- there is a free number from Luxembourg: 8002 1000,
- for the callers abroad: +352 247-885 88.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Who is eligible to apply for Luxembourg citizenship?
What documents do I need to provide when applying for Luxembourg citizenship?
How long does it take to get Luxembourgish citizenship?
Do I need to speak Luxembourgish to become a Luxembourgish citizen?
Is it necessary to renounce my current citizenship to become a Luxembourgish citizen?
Can I acquire Luxembourg citizenship by investment?
We took photos from these sources: Inkredo Designer for Unsplash, Luxtoday