Luxembourg, 12 July 2016
On Monday 11 July a conference on the subject of the reform of naturalisation law in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg was held at the Court of Justice of the EU, organized by the Union Syndicale Luxembourg.
Mr Félix Braz, Minister of Justice, gave a comprehensive and interesting talk about the progress of the draft law (press file).
The Union Syndicale Luxembourg welcomes the improvements which the new law would bring and notes that the Ministry of Justice has widely consulted with all concerned parties in Luxembourg on the draft.
The conference was a great succes (more than 300 participants) and the questions and answers session at the end showed that there is strong interest in the new modalities for acquiring the Luxembourgish nationality (many British citizens were present).
The Ministry of Justice also promised to reply to any written questions.
The Union Syndicale Luxembourg again thanks the Ministry of Justice and the European Court of Justice for hosting the conference.
Miguel Vicente Núñez
1) When will the new law on naturalisation come into force?
According to the bill on Luxembourg nationality (parliamentary document no. 6977), the law is due to enter into force on 1st January 2017.
However, the bill will still undergo amendment during the legislative procedure, which could have an impact on the date of entry into force of the future legislation on Luxembourg nationality.
2) While leaving aside the special case posed by 'Brexit', and leaving aside local electoral law, what are the advantages of Luxembourg nationality for a citizen of another EU country, whether they are European officials or not? Is there a brochure or other documentation about it?
The constitutional and legislative texts grant Luxembourgers a certain number of political and civil rights.
They have an active and passive voting right in national elections. In other words, they are electors. They may also stand as a candidate in national elections.
Luxembourg nationality is a prerequisite for jobs involving participation, either directly or indirectly, in the exercise of public office and functions which are intended to uphold the general interests of the State or other legal persons subject to public law. For example, this requirement applies to judges, public prosecutors and police officers.
General documentation about Luxembourg nationality is available on the Internet site of the Justice Ministry:
3) Which countries of the EU do not allow dual or multiple nationality with the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg?
The Luxembourg authorities do not have an up-to-date list of the European Union countries which do not allow dual or multiple nationality.
Before initiating the procedure, candidates are recommended to contact the embassy or consulate of their country of origin to find out whether they would keep or lose the nationality of their country of origin following voluntary acquisition of Luxembourg nationality.
4) Does the Luxembourg State pay for Luxembourgish language courses?
The State will reimburse candidates who have signed a declaration of naturalisation, option or recovery of Luxembourg nationality, for the costs of registering for an evaluation test in the Luxembourgish language and Luxembourgish language courses, under conditions to be laid down by a Grand-Ducal regulation (see Article 15(6) of the bill).
5) I have been living in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for over 20 years. Is the certificate showing that I attended 24 hours of language courses before 1/1/2017 accepted as fulfilling the language condition under the new law? Will the attendance list at the course suffice?
If your usual and legal place of residence has been in the Grand-Duchy for at least 20 years, candidates may opt for Luxembourg nationality, provided that they have attended 24 hours of courses in the Luxembourgish language, organised by the National Language Institute (see Article 28 of the bill).
These courses are also recognised if they are attended before the future law on Luxembourg nationality comes into effect.
The candidate must produce a certificate substantiating attendance at Luxembourgish language courses, which is issued by the National Language Institute.
6) I have been living in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for over 20 years. A few years ago, I attended a 90-hour language course organised by the European institutions. Is the certificate I obtained accepted as meeting the requirement to have attended 24 hours of language courses under the new law?
7) Which organisations are recognised for giving officially-approved language courses in accordance with the new law?
Only courses in the Luxembourgish language, organised by the National Language Institute will be taken into account in the context of the option procedure.
8) I am married to a Luxembourger, and have been living in the Grand-Duchy for over 20 years. Would I obtain Luxembourg nationality automatically, without any obligation to attend citizenship course or the 24-hour language courses?
If your usual and legal place of residence has been the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for at least 20 years, and if you are married to a Luxembourger, acquisition of Luxembourg nationality will not be automatic, and you have to apply for an option procedure.
You will not be required to have passed the evaluation test of the Luxembourgish language, nor will you have to have attended the course "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" (Living together in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg).
However, attendance at Luxembourgish language courses for 24 hours organised by the National Language Institute (see Article 28 of the bill) will be mandatory.
9) Can a child who has attained majority, born in Luxembourg to non-Luxembourgish parents, who has resided here for over 5 years still receive dual nationality automatically, and without attending the courses that would otherwise be mandatory?
The law of the soil of the first generation has two aspects:
I. A child born in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg will obtain Luxembourg nationality on reaching the age of majority, provided that:
- he/she has had a usual residence and complied with the residence requirements in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for at least five consecutive years immediately preceding majority; and
- that one of his/her non-Luxembourgish parents or adoptive parents had their usual residence and complied with the residence requirements in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the birth (see Article 6 of the bill).
To be able to acquire Luxembourg nationality automatically, the child must not have reached 18 years of age before the future law comes into effect.
II. There will be an option, starting from twelve years of age, for a candidate born in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg, provided that:
- he/she has had a usual residence and complied with the residence requirements in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for at least five consecutive years immediately preceding the declaration of option; and
- one of his/her non-Luxembourgish parents or adoptive parents has had a usual residence and complied with the residence requirements in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding birth (see Article 26 of the bill).
They will not be required to have passed the evaluation test of the Luxembourgish language, nor will they have to have attended the course "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" (Living together in the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg).
10) I have a daughter born in Spain (of Spanish parents) in 1990, who has lived in Luxembourg with us since 1992 until the beginning of 2015. At that time, after completing her education, she began living in Spain and still does. Would she be able to apply for Luxembourg nationality in 2017, or is it imperative to be living in the Grand-Duchy at the time when the application is made for the nationality in order to be entitled to it, even if she lived here for over 20 years and her parents are still living here? If she came back to live in Luxembourg in the future, what rights would she have? Would my daughter's situation change if one (or both) of the parents were to acquire Luxembourg nationality?
To be able to apply for Luxembourg nationality, a person must reside in Luxembourg at the time when the naturalisation or option procedure is submitted. There is one exception to this principle:
residence in Luxembourg will not be required in the case of marriage to a Luxembourger (see Article 25 of the bill).
11) If, in the case of a married couple of foreigners in Luxembourg, one of them (who has resided in the Grand-Duchy for over 20 years) obtains (dual) Luxembourg nationality under the new law, will his/her spouse (who has resided in Luxembourg for 15 years) obtain it automatically in view of his/her marriage to a (future) Luxembourger, or does a separate application need to be made according to the full new criteria?
Each spouse will have to submit an option procedure.
12) In the event of acquisition of the Luxembourg nationality, what will happen to my 16% expatriation allowance?
USL is seeking legal advice on this subject.