Pathways to citizenship for third-country nationals in Luxembourg

The main objective of this study of the European Migration Network is to provide objective and reliable information about the pathways to citizenship for third-country nationals in Luxembourg, with a particular focus on the ordinary naturalisation procedure.

The laws and regulations regarding the acquisition of nationality in Luxembourg underwent a complete overhaul in 2017, with the amended Law of 8 March 2017 on Luxembourgish nationality abrogating the Law of 23 October 2008. This new Nationality Law instituted a number of important overarching modifications and additions that are addressed throughout the study. In general, the Luxembourg Nationality Law does not differentiate between applications introduced by EU citizens or third-country nationals.

Apart from obtaining Luxembourgish nationality by simple operation of law, i.e. automatically and without any action being taken by the person concerned, the Luxembourgish Nationality Law foresees three modes through which a third-country national can acquire Luxembourgish nationality by procedural means: acquisition of nationality via ordinary naturalisation, via option or via reclamation.

A look at the statistics regarding the acquisition of nationality via procedural means, including all the pathways open to third-country nationals, for the period 2014 to 2018 show that the simplified option procedure (regrouping all the 10 specific cases) is the most common pathway through which third-country nationals have acquired Luxembourgish nationality, followed by the reclamation procedure and the ordinary naturalization. In this context, it is important to make a distinction between acquisitions by residents of Luxembourg and by persons that are not residing in Luxembourg.

Luxembourg introduced the principle of multiple nationalities through the legislative reform of 2008, which resulted in a significant increase of acquisitions of Luxembourgish nationality, as applicants are no longer required to renounce their other nationality or nationalities.