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How to obtain citizenship in Luxembourg

In this article, we will guide you through the process of obtaining citizenship in Luxembourg, from eligibility criteria to the application process and naturalization requirements.

Daria Saltykova
Author
Daria Saltykova
David Jaramillo
Author
David Jaramillo
Last time updated
26.02.24

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.

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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

Luxembourg citizens have the right to vote in national, local, and European elections, while permanent residents cannot vote or stand for election. 
Find out more about the elections and the political system in Luxembourg in our specialised guide.

Protection against deportation

As a citizen, you have a higher level of protection against deportation, whereas permanent residents can still be deported in certain circumstances.

Passport and access to social benefits

Luxembourg citizenship provide access to a wider range of social benefits, including eligibility for certain government jobs and the ability to obtain a Luxembourg passport, which allows visa-free travel to many countries. On the other hand, permanent residents cannot have a Luxembourg passport and do not have access to all social benefits.

Sense of identity and belonging

Citizenship provides a stronger sense of identity and belonging to the country, which can be important for some individuals, while the permanent residence is more of a legal status.

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.

Naturalization
Option declaration procedure
Reclamation procedure

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.

Documents
PDF
Law on Luxembourg nationality: key points
EN
Law on Luxembourg nationality: key points
Download

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.

What are the citizenship requirements?
What documents are required to obtain citizenship?
How much does it cost to obtain a Luxembourg citizenship?
Where to file the citizenship request?
How long does it take to obtain citizenship?

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:

Birth certificate

Your own and for children under 18 years of age, if any.

Passport

Copies of all pages and copies of children's passports if there are any.

Biographical and non-criminal certificates

– Biographical questionnaire according to the form.
– Certificates of no criminal record in the countries of which you are or were national.
– Non-criminal record from the country or countries where you have lived for the last 15 years, starting from the age of 18.

Documents about the language exam and Luxembourgish life courses

In most cases, the candidate for citizenship will also need to provide 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.

Summary table of all cases
CaseYears of residenceLanguage testIntegration course Additional requirements
Adults with a Luxembourgish parent or grandparent who did not inherit nationalityBirth and nationality certificate of parent or grandparent
Parents of minor Luxembourgish citizens5RequiredRequiredCertificate of Luxembourgish nationality for the child
Spouses of Luxembourg citizensRequiredRequired3 years of marriage for non-residents, a certificate of marriage, and Lux. nationality for the spouse
Persons born in Luxembourg, from the age of 125One 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 Luxembourg1School reports
Adults who legally resided in Luxembourg for 20 years20Required
Adults who met the conditions of the Welcome and Integration contract 5RequiredRequiredA certificate confirming fulfillment of obligations from the contract
Adults who settled in Luxembourg before their 18th birthday5RequiredRequired
Refugees or persons with extended protection status5RequiredRequired
Volunteer soldiers with at least one year of serviceCertificate of completion of one year of service as a volunteer soldier
Persons older than 12 who was born in Luxembourg
Persons with a Luxembourg parent or grandparent
Adults who settled in Luxembourg before the age of majority
Citizenship by marriage in Luxembourg
A parent of a minor citizen of Luxembourg
Persons who have studied in school in Luxembourg
Persons legally residing in Luxembourg for at least 20 years
Persons who have met the conditions of the reception and integration contract
Refugees, protection status, and volunteering soldiers

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.

Useful contacts

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.
faq

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

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