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Number of people becoming Luxembourg citizens fell in 2021

Number of people becoming Luxembourg citizens fell in 2021

by Kate OGLESBY 18.01.2022
The drop came as people qualifying for nationality through family ties were unable to travel to the Grand Duchy because of Covid-19
Luxembourg City panorama
Luxembourg City panorama
Photo credit: Shutterstock

The number of people who acquired Luxembourgish citizenship in 2021 fell by more than a quarter compared to the previous year, with the pandemic preventing many people travelling to the Grand Duchy to fill in the necessary paperwork. 

Just over 6,800 people became citizens of the Grand Duchy in 2021, the Ministry of Justice said on Tuesday, but this was a fall of more than 25% compared to 2020 when nearly 9,400 people acquired nationality.

“Because of restrictions related to the Covid-19 pandemic lots of candidates [wanting citizenship] living abroad were unable to travel to the Grand Duchy to do the formal citizenship process,” the ministry said in a statement. “These are principally [citizenship] candidates from Brazil and the United States.”

Around 20% of people who became citizens last year did so because they have family ties to Luxembourg, meaning they may not be currently living in the country. A law introduced in 2009 means that anyone who has Luxembourgish lineage has the right to become a citizen of the country. The legislation was originally supposed to run out in 2018 but was extended a number of times, most recently because of Covid, and will now apply until later this year.  

Almost 70% of those who officially became Luxembourgish last year were residents who had been living in the country for at least five years and had passed a Luxembourgish language test. The so-called Sproochentest comprises a spoken and listening exam and a score of at least 50% on the spoken test is required to pass, although the result in the listening exam can be offset against it.  

An adult who has been living in the Grand Duchy for 20 years can apply for citizenship by taking 24 hours of Luxembourgish language lessons.  

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