Get Luxembourgish citizenship
Last year some 6,800 people applied for Luxembourgish citizenship. A Luxembourgish passport remains one of the most powerful in the world, offering visa-free access to 189 countries, according to the latest ranking published by the Henley Passport Index.
The rules for getting nationality will depend on your case, but for most people it will involve taking a language proficiency test and completing the Living Together course or test.
Who can apply for citizenship?
There are 10 cases in which you can apply for citizenship, although the criteria for application will differ, with many requiring you to take a language proficiency test (spoken test to A2 level, listening test to B1 level) and the Living Together in Luxembourg course or test (rights of citizens, state and local institutions and history of Luxembourg).
This decision tree can help you work out which case applies best to you.
1. Adults with a parent, grandparent or adoptive parent who is or was Luxembourgish. Pretty straightforward but you’ll need evidence such as a birth certificate or passport.
2. Parents of a Luxembourg minor. You must have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least five years, with the final year of residence uninterrupted. You must also have knowledge of the Luxembourgish language and have passed the language test certificate, in addition to the Living Together in Luxembourg course or test.
3. If you marry a Luxembourgish national, you must have taken the Luxembourgish language test and the Living Together in Luxembourg course or test. If you are not a resident of Luxembourg when you married, you can only apply for nationality after 3 years’ marriage, although this waiting period does not apply if you are married to a Luxembourg national who is living abroad as result of holding a post for a Luxembourg public authority or an international organisation.
4. If you were born in Luxembourg and are over the age of 12 years. If you have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 consecutive years before applying and if you were born after 1 July 2013, and that one of your non-Luxembourgish parents or adoptive parents resided legally in Luxembourg for at least 12 consecutive months before your birth.
5. Adults who have completed 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg in a public or private school where the Luxembourgish public curriculum is taught can apply for nationality, provided they have lived in Luxembourg for the 12 consecutive months preceding application.
6. Adults residing legally in Luxembourg for at least 20 years. You must take a Luxembourgish language course that is at least 24 hours in length, organised by either the INL or a provider certified by the minister of education.
7. Those of 12 years of age, who have completed the Contrat d’accueil et d’Intégration (Contract of Welcome and Integration). You must have resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 years and have knowledge of the Luxembourgish language evidenced by passing the language test certificate. You’ll also need to take the Living Together in Luxembourg course or test. If you’ve participated in the citizenship course, you are exempt from taking the module on History and European Integration.
8. Adults who settled in Luxembourg before the age of 18. Provided you have resided in Luxembourg for at least five years and have taken the language proficiency test and the Living Together course or test. However if you have completed more than 7 years of education in Luxembourg (following the Luxembourgish curriculum), you can qualify for citizenship without taking a test.
9. Stateless adults or refugees who have lived in Luxembourg for at least five years. Again, you must take the language proficiency test and the Living Together in Luxembourg course or test. You can count your period of application of recognition as a stateless person or refugee as part of your five years if you have resided in Luxembourg during this time.
10. Volunteer soldiers, who have completed at least one year of service, as certified by the Luxembourg army’s Chief of Staff can apply for nationality.
Good repute – your application will be refused if you have made false statements, concealed information or acted fraudulently. This includes a criminal or custodial sentence of 12 months or more or a suspended sentence of 24 months. You may also be refused nationality of you have committed a criminal offence in another country in the last 15 years.
Whilst application for citizenship is free of charge, you may have to pay for preparation of certain documents such as copies of marital status or extracts of criminal records from police in Luxembourg or another country.
How to apply
You can make your application at your commune or via the civil registrar at Luxembourg City if you don’t live in Luxembourg. The option declaration must be signed by you in person, or by a legal representative (or jointly in the case of minors under the age of 18 years).
If the legal conditions are met and the application contains all the necessary documentation, the civil registrar will record the option declaration. If it’s incomplete, you’ll be asked to prepare the missing documents and submit them within a three-month period. You can appeal a refusal with the Minister of Justice within a month of notification and refusal. You’ll receive confirmation of citizenship by post.
What supporting documents do you need?
- A full copy of your birth certificate and those of children under 18 years.
- A copy of a valid passport or ID.
- Biographical details on how long you have lived in Luxembourg, your profession and other information (see this form). This form authorizes the Ministry of Justice to apply for your criminal records if you are 18 years or more.
- Criminal records issued by a competent foreign authority in the country where you are/have been a national or resided from the age of 18 years during the 15 years preceding your application.
- You may need authorization of the judge supervising guardianship.
Note that all documents must be translated into French, German or Luxembourgish by a sworn translator.
Depending on the case you are applying under you will also need to show language and Living Together test certificates or school records in the case of number 5.
What happens next?
Your application or option declaration will be sent to the Ministry of Justice and if there is no objection you should gain your Luxembourgish nationality after a four-month period.