Luxembourg citizenship by descent

Article Breakdown

Acquire Luxembourg nationality by descent

Luxembourg Passport CoverIf you want to reclaim your Luxembourg nationality, you must be in direct line of descent from an ancestor who had the Luxembourg nationality on 1 January 1900, according to article 89 of the modified Luxembourg nationality law of 8 March 2017.

In this situation, you have until December 31, 2022 (rather than December 31, 2021, as previously stipulated) to sign the nationality reclamation declaration in the presence of a civil registrar.

However, you must meet certain requirements. You must also:

  • be at least 18 years old;
  • be a descendant from an ancestor who was a Luxembourg citizen on 1 January 1900 but lost (either themselves or one of their descendants) their Luxembourgish nationality; and
  • have submitted an application for certification to the Ministry of Justice before 31 December 2018.

Become a Luxembourg citizen by acquisition: It is possible to do the process and apply for Luxembourg nationality by “acquisition” for those who have a paternal figure in the entire line of descent until it reaches the applicant, or the first woman of the descent line was born after 01/01/1969.

The procedure is completed in a single step, with no need for the applicant to travel to Luxembourg, and the certificate granted includes the phrase “possède la nationalité luxembourgeoise.” There is no deadline for placing an order for this modality. The procedure can be carried out at any time.

Luxembourg: New Nationality Law

On March 8, 2017, the parliament passed a new law aimed at making naturalization easier for foreigners living in the country and, ultimately, increasing their political engagement. The new legislation, which includes various novelties, went into effect on April 1.

Foreigners can now petition for naturalization and acquire citizenship after 5 years of living in Luxembourg with a Luxembourg residence permit, rather than 7.

In addition to the existing language test and oral comprehension test, applicants must attend or pass the ‘Living together in the Grand Duchy‘ course for 24 hours.

Another important component of the reform is that besides jus sanguinis, the new law also implements jus soli, which allows a child born in Luxembourg to non Luxembourg citizens to obtain nationality at the age of 12 if they lived in Luxembourg for the five years preceding their application and one of the parents lived in Luxembourg for at least 12 consecutive months immediately prior to the child’s birth.

There are additional exceptions to these main norms stated. Simplified procedures are given as ‘options’ in 11 distinct instances, including marriage, volunteer military service, and 20+ years of residence in the nation.

Candidates may still be denied nationality if they have earned a two-year suspended prison sentence or a one-year prison sentence.

Luxembourg Country Landscape Photo

Alternative Luxembourg citizenship options

In certain circumstances, an individual can automatically obtain Luxembourg citizenship. This could be accomplished through ancestry, adoption, or birth in Luxembourg.

Possession d’etat (de facto enjoyment of a certain civil status) is another scenario that might lead to a Luxembourg passport.

Luxembourg citizenship is simple to obtain if you match the conditions. The Luxembourg government follows the same process outlined on the official website and analyzes applications in a timely manner.

This efficiency is a significant advantage for Luxembourg. Not every European Union country strictly adheres to the guidelines. Malta, for example, asserts that five years of lawful residency is sufficient to petition for Maltese citizenship.

However, it rarely grants it, preferring applicants to take the (much more lucrative for Malta) route of citizenship by investment.

Conditions for Recovering Luxembourg Citizenship

You must have started a citizenship application before December 31, 2018 to be eligible for citizenship recovery.

  • A Luxembourg Ancestor Certificate should have arrived in the mail.
  • Furthermore, in order to gain Luxembourg citizenship, you must visit Luxembourg before December 31, 2022.

Luxembourg citizenship by Naturalization

Luxembourg Coat of ArmsAny third-country national who meets the key requirements can get Luxembourg citizenship through naturalization. These are the following:

  • You’re over the age of 18.
  • You have lived in Luxembourg legally for at least five years (The year immediately before applying for citizenship must be uninterrupted)
  • You have a rudimentary understanding of Luxembourgish (A2 level oral expression, B1 comprehension)
  • You have taken the “Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg” course or completed the exam and have understanding of Luxembourgish civics.

During the naturalization process, you have not made any false claims, concealed any crucial facts, or acted fraudulently.

You do not have a criminal record that includes a prison term of 12 months or more or a suspended sentence of 24 months or more.

Once you’ve met all of the prerequisites, the next step is to gather your application materials, which should include the following:

  • a duplicate of your birth certificate
  • a photocopy of your passport
  • completed, signed, and dated biographical questionnaire
  • Criminal record certificates from your country of citizenship and any other countries where you have lived since the age of 18 in the 15 years before your application for Luxembourg citizenship.
  • Passing the Luxembourgish language test and oral exam
  • Certificate proving attendance at the “Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg” course or passing the exam

The paperwork are then submitted to the authorities in Luxembourg. The application will be reviewed by the Ministry of Justice’s Nationality Office.

They may request additional documents if they determine that the ones you’ve submitted are insufficient or inappropriate in some way.

Naturalization will be granted (or denied) by the Minister of Justice within eight months after the submission date. This timetable is usually strictly adhered to. In many circumstances, it may be done in less than eight months.

Optional Luxembourg citizenship

There are ten particular situations in which a non-Luxembourgish person can become a Luxembourg citizen by option. Citizenship by option is available in the following circumstances:

  1. Adults who have a Luxembourgish parent, adoptive parent, or grandparent.
  2. Marriage to a Luxembourgish national by the parents of a Luxembourgish minor
  3. Individuals born in Luxembourg who are over the age of 12
  4. Adults in Luxembourg who have completed 7 years of schooling
  5. Adults who have been lawfully residing in Luxembourg for at least 20 years
  6. Adults who have completed the Welcome and Integration Contract (Contrat d’accueil et d’intégration) responsibilities
  7. Adults who arrived in Luxembourg before reaching the age of 18
  8. Adults having stateless status, refugee status, or secondary protection status
  9. Soldiers who volunteered

If none of these scenarios apply to you, going the naturalization route is likely to be a better fit. It is also much faster than Option 6, which requires 20 years of having legally resided in Luxembourg.

For more information on obtaining Luxembourg citizenship by option, visit the official Luxembourg government website.

Application fees for Luxembourg citizenship

Unlike in many other countries, the naturalization procedure in Luxembourg is free of charge, though there may be some related charges for producing the necessary documents.

How can I obtain a residence permit in Luxembourg?

Rounded Luxembourg Flag IconTo obtain Luxembourg citizenship through naturalization or investment, you must first reside in Luxembourg for at least five years. As a non-EU citizen, you’ll need a residence permit to stay longer than the standard 90-day tourist visa. Luxembourg has a variety of options for obtaining residency, including job, self-employment, and family reunification.

If you have enough money to support yourself without working in Luxembourg (for example, from remote employment with a non-Luxembourg employer or dividends from an online business situated outside of Luxembourg), you can apply for an unique residency route.

For personal reasons, it is referred to as residence. This is the best route for remote workers and internet company owners interested in beginning their EU citizenship journey in Luxembourg. This residency pathway will be discussed in further depth in the following section.

Luxembourg residency for personal reasons

This is the path to take if you wish to stay in Luxembourg for more than three months and have enough money to support yourself. This residency visa can be renewed every three years for a total of five years, which is required to obtain Luxembourg citizenship.

The residency permit is obtained in two steps.

First, before entering the country:

  • Apply to the Immigration Directorate for a temporary stay permit.
  • If you are from a country that requires a visa to enter Luxembourg, apply for a Type D visa after receiving your temporary stay permit.

Second stage: Following entry into the country:

  • Inform your new community of residency of your arrival.
  • Pass a medical examination
  • Apply for a residency permit.

The most significant factor in obtaining private residency is having enough finances to support yourself without having to work in Luxembourg or claim social security.

When you apply, the Ministry will consider the nature and consistency of your resources. In addition, they will compare the amount to the monthly minimum pay for unskilled workers (which is currently set at EUR 2,313.38, as of May 2022).

You can demonstrate your financial resources by displaying a pension certificate, a bank certificate, or other similar papers.

Investment residency in Luxembourg

Luxembourg does not have a citizenship by investment scheme, but it does provide a route to residency for those who invest in the country. After five years, this can lead to citizenship. The following are examples of investment types:

  • New company – EUR 500,000 investment and the creation of 5 jobs in Luxembourg
  • Existing enterprises – EUR 500,000 investment in a Luxembourg-based existing firm.
  • EUR 3 million for management and investment framework
  • Holding a bank deposit – EUR 20 million in a Luxembourg bank for 5 years

Please keep in mind that these Luxembourg residency by investment options need the applicant to submit a thorough application to the Luxembourg government. As with the passive income path, the timescale to citizenship remains five years.

Furthermore, in order to preserve their residency status, the resident investor must spend at least six months of the year physically present in Luxembourg. We see no benefit in obtaining Luxembourg citizenship through residence through investment.

Is dual citizenship allowed in Luxembourg?

Yes, Luxembourg allows dual citizenship, so Luxembourg citizens do not have to renounce your other foreign citizenships.

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