How to become a Luxembourg citizen by naturalisation?
Since the reformed legislation on Luxembourgish nationality came into force on 1 April 2017, the number of naturalisations has been exploding. In 2017, some 9,000 people have applied for a Luxembourg passport. It is three times more than the previous year. In 2016, the figure was only 2,796! The reform has relaxed the rules. But what is the procedure and what documents do you need if you want to acquire Luxembourg nationality by naturalisation?
The new law of 8 March 2017 recognises 3 possibilities of obtaining or acquiring the Luxembourg nationality: by simple operation of law, by option and by naturalisation. Under certain conditions, Luxembourg nationality is automatically granted by simple operation of law: filiation, adoption, birth on Luxembourg soil or de facto enjoyment of this status (you believe in good faith to be Luxembourgish and acts as such, even though you are not).
24 hours of Luxembourgish language
The acquisition of the Luxembourg nationality by option is possible in ten cases: adults with a parent, adoptive parent or grandparent who is or was Luxembourgish, parents of a Luxembourgish minor, in the event of a marriage to a Luxembourgish national, etc. If you have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 20 years and if your final year of residence immediately preceding the option declaration has been uninterrupted, you can acquire the Luxembourg nationality by simply taking a Luxembourg language course organised by the National Institute of Language (LNS) or by a provider offering a course certified by the minister responsible for national education. The course has a total duration of 24 hours and aims to offer an introduction to the language through a focus on speaking and listening skills. No test is required. You just have to provide the course attendance attestation.
If the Luxembourg nationality by simple operation of law or by option does not apply to you, you can become Luxembourgish by naturalisation. Naturalisation is open to all adults provided that you meet 3 conditions. Firstly, you must have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least five years and your final year of residence preceding the naturalisation application must have been uninterrupted. Secondly, you must either attend the Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg course or pass the test without attending the course. Free of charge and available in English, the test and the course cover the fundamental rights of citizens (3 X 2 hours), the state and municipal institutions in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (6 x 2 hours), the history of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the European integration (3 x 2 hours).
The third perquisite for voluntary acquisition of nationality is the knowledge of the Luxembourgish language, as evidenced by a Luxembourgish language exam pass certificate. Organised by the INL, the Luxembourgish oral exam is not free – the registration fee is set at EUR 75 – and consists of a spoken test (A2 level) and a listening test (B1 level). In the spoken test, you have to show your ability to use simple language by introducing yourself to the examiner and by describing a visual aid. In the listening test, you have to listen 3 tracks – a radio news item, an everyday conversation between two people, a discussion or presentation on a specific topic – and, after each track, answer a multiple-choice test paper by tickling your answer on your answer sheet (be careful because there is sometimes a slight difference between the options!). In order to pass the Luxembourgish language exam, you must get a score of at least 50% on the spoken test. A score less than 50% on the spoken test may be offset by the score obtained on the listening test. In this case, you can still pass the exam if the arithmetic average of the scores obtained in the 2 tests is equal or higher than 50% of the full score. Registration for the exam can be made online and the registration form (in French) should be sent, along with the supporting documents, before the registration deadline. One piece of advice: don’t delay in registering at the Sproochentest. The wait time for registration may be long (several months)!
After having fulfilled the prerequisites, you must submit the following documents to the civil registrar of your commune: copy of birth certificate, copy of a valid passport, biographical details, Luxembourgish language exam pass certificate, the Vivre ensemble au Grand Duché de Luxembourg certificate and criminal record certificates (from your country and from Luxembourg). Be patient! The minister of Justice will grant your naturalisation within a period of 8 months from submission of the naturalisation application!
For more information, you can contact the Nationality Infoline: 8002 1000. And don’t forget to visit our website to discover our solutions tailor-made to you.
Immigration has always played a decisive role in the Grand Duchy’s economic development and and this trend is not going to stop. In 1961, the number of inhabitants in Luxembourg amounted to 314,900 people with a proportion of 13.2% of foreigners.
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