Permanent residency

Citizenship for international students in Luxembourg

This article spills the beans on how international students can fast-track Luxembourg citizenship. Enjoy the benefits of living and working anywhere in Europe, all thanks to a smart move early on in your student life.

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The primary requirement for obtaining Luxembourg citizenship is having legally resided in Luxembourg for five years. Therefore, international students pursuing their university studies in Luxembourg can commence the citizenship application process at the end of this period, provided they fulfil several other, relatively attainable requirements.

Luxembourg nationality and general ways to obtain it

Luxembourg's nationality is highly coveted due to its significant advantages, such as the freedom of movement within the European Union and the country's high standard of living. While these benefits can be attained with a residency permit, it's crucial to understand that citizenship extends far beyond, offering additional advantages, including:

Right to vote and participate in elections
Luxembourg citizens can participate in national, local, and European elections, unlike permanent residents who lack voting rights or eligibility for candidacy.
Protection against deportation
Citizenship provides a stronger safeguard against deportation compared to permanent residency, which may still be subject to deportation under certain circumstances.
Passport and access to social benefits
Luxembourg citizenship grants access to a broader array of social benefits, including eligibility for specific government positions and the acquisition of a Luxembourg passport facilitating visa-free travel to numerous countries. Conversely, permanent residents do not possess a Luxembourg passport and have restricted access to social benefits.
Sense of identity and belonging
Citizenship fosters a deeper sense of identity and belonging to the country, a sentiment that may hold significant personal importance, while permanent residency primarily signifies a legal status.
Want to know more about the advantages of Luxembourg citizenship? Read our article on this topic.
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Now, while these benefits are appealing, the question arises: how can one obtain Luxembourg nationality? There are various avenues for acquiring citizenship, broadly categorised into two groups: automatic entitlement and voluntary acquisition.

By operation of law
By voluntary acquisition

With these diverse options, which is most suitable for a student? The answer isn't singular, as a student may qualify for different categories based on personal circumstances. For instance, a student may marry during their studies, thereby becoming eligible for citizenship through the option declaration process. We won’t go into all the existing possibilities for students, we will focus on naturalisation, the most common method for students to obtain citizenship, whether studying in Luxembourg or having completed studies there over several years.

Other methods described

If you want to learn more about other ways to obtain citizenship apart from naturalisation, we recommend our article on Luxembourg citizenship which deals with this subject in a more general way.

Can students get Luxembourg citizenship?

As discussed in the previous section, there are numerous pathways to citizenship, and students may choose different routes based on their circumstances. However, we will focus here on naturalization, the most common path for students.

It entails the following requirements:
Check the eligibility
To obtain citizenship as student, you need to fulfil the following requirements.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.
Legal age
Be at least 18 years old.
Uninterrupted residence
Have lived legally in Luxembourg for 5 years.
Pass language exam
Successfully pass the Luxembourg language exam: Sproochentest Lëtzebuergesch.
Pass the integration course
Confirm your understanding of the principles of integration into the local culture with the certificate of the local course “Vivre Ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg”.
No offence
Have a clean reputation, which means not committing crimes: not hiding important information, not making false statements, not having a criminal record, not being accused of fraud, etc.
Check the eligibility
To obtain citizenship as student, you need to fulfil the following requirements.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.

While these requirements apply to both European and non-European students, the ease of fulfilling them varies. So first, we will go through the particularities and implications for non-European students and then we will go into the details of the procedure for obtaining citizenship once the requirements have been fulfilled.

For non-EU students in Luxembourg

Let's explore how a foreign student can obtain Luxembourg citizenship through the story of Juan, a passionate Mexican engineering student dreaming of studying in Luxembourg and eventually acquiring Luxembourg nationality. 

Case explanation

To embark on his adventure, Juan must first apply for a residence permit in Luxembourg to pursue his studies in the country. This initial step is the most challenging as it involves meeting two key requirements:

Admission to University
Sufficient funds

Meeting the second requirement poses the greatest challenge for Juan, as it's often difficult for students who aren't employed in the country to sustain themselves, relying on family assistance or limited part-time work. Fortunately, Juan's family can provide financial support, and he plans to work part-time during his studies. Thus, he enrolls at the University of Luxembourg and gains acceptance, gathers the necessary documents demonstrating his financial capacity, and successfully applies for the residence permit.

With his residence permit secured, Juan embarks on his university studies in Luxembourg. Over the next five years, he immerses himself in the local community, learning Luxembourgish and engaging in cultural activities. Upon completing his studies and fulfilling the five-year residency requirement in Luxembourg, Juan understands that to apply for citizenship, he must demonstrate integration into Luxembourgish society, knowledge of its culture through the "Vivre Ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" exam, and proficiency in the language.

While Juan has acquired a foundation in Luxembourgish through his experiences in Luxembourg, including his studies, friendships, and integration into the country, he feels the need to further enhance his language skills to pass the Luxembourgish exam. Consequently, he enrolls in a Luxembourgish course and, after a few months, feels prepared to take the exam, successfully passing it.

You will find various articles related to studying in Luxembourg including topics about universities, visas, residence permits, living costs and more in our blog:
Employment for students in Luxembourg
How to obtain a student visa in Luxembourg in 2024
Cost of living for students in Luxembourg
Top universities in Luxembourg
How to study in Luxembourg?
How to find a job at university in Luxembourg
University fees for international students in Luxembourg

Steps to obtain Luxembourg citizenship as an international student

Once the various requirements for naturalisation have been met, it's time to initiate the application process. Below, we outline the necessary documents, how to apply, associated costs, and the duration of the process.


To apply, you must submit the following documents to the civil registrar of your commune in support of your application:
Ready to move on?
The documents to be sent must be written in the official languages of Luxembourg (French, German, and Luxembourgish) or translated by a sworn translator.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.
Birth certificate
Your own and for children under 18 years of age, if any.
Copy of all pages and copies of children's passports if there are any.
Biographical and non-criminal certificates
Biographical questionnaire according to the prescribed 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.
Language and integration certificates
1. On passing the Sproochentest Lëtzebuergesch, the Luxembourg exam. It contains two parts: an oral test (level A2) and a listening test (level B1). 2. On successful completion of the Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg integration course. This document can be obtained in 2 ways either by attending the course or by taking the test at once without attending the course.
Ready to move on?
The documents to be sent must be written in the official languages of Luxembourg (French, German, and Luxembourgish) or translated by a sworn translator.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.


You must personally submit the application at the Civil Registry of the municipality where you reside. If the documentation is complete, your application will be forwarded directly to the Luxembourg Nationality Department at the Ministry of Justice for processing. In case of incomplete files, the Registry Office will request the missing documents within 3 months. Failure to submit within the specified timeframe will result in the application not being considered.


The application process itself is free; however, there may be fees associated with preparing necessary documents:

  • Some municipalities may charge a municipal fee for preparing copies of civil status certificates,
  • Obtaining declarations from local authorities regarding family status or criminal records often incurs fees,
  • Translation of documents into one of the three official languages by a sworn interpreter typically involves a cost,
  • The registration fee for the Luxembourgish language exam is set at 75 euros. Additionally, if you need to take a language course, this will entail an additional cost. 


The Minister of Justice grants or denies naturalisation within 8 months of the naturalisation application and the application takes effect on the date of the ministerial decree.

Upon a positive decision, the ministry issues an order and notifies the applicant by mail. Alternatively, you can monitor changes on the website in your personal profile under the "Personal Information" section, specifically the "nationality" column. There the information will be updated faster than you get the letter in the mail.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are the requirements for Luxembourg citizenship the same for EU and non-EU students?

Is knowledge of the Luxembourgish language mandatory for obtaining citizenship?

Are there any financial requirements for students applying for Luxembourg citizenship?

Can international students work while studying in Luxembourg?

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We took photos from these sources: Muhammad Rizwan on Unsplash

Authors: Luz
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