Acquiring Luxembourgish nationality by option

This page was last modified on 01-04-2017

Luxembourgish nationality can be assigned to non-Luxembourgish nationals by option. This grants the person in question all the rights and obligations associated with being a Luxembourgish national. The option procedure does not have any retroactive effect.

Acquiring Luxembourgish nationality by option is possible in 10 specific cases.

The forms listed in the "Forms" section are to be submitted in person to the commune of residence, together with all other legally required documents. If the applicant lives broad, the application must be presented to the civil registrar of the City of Luxembourg.

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

Any non-Luxembourgish person who meets the conditions listed below can acquire Luxembourgish nationality by option.

The option procedure is open:

  • to adults with a parent, adoptive parent or grandparent who is or was Luxembourgish (case no. 1); or
  • to parents of a Luxembourgish minor (case no. 2); or
  • in the event of marriage to a Luxembourgish national (case no. 3); or
  • to persons born in Luxembourg, over the age of 12 (case no. 4); or
  • to adults having completed 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg (case no. 5); or
  • to adults residing legally in Luxembourg for at least 20 years (case no. 6); or
  • to adults having fulfilled the obligations arising from the Welcome and Integration Contract (Contrat d'accueil et d'intégration) (case no. 7); or
  • to adults who settled in Luxembourg before the age of 18 (case no. 8); or
  • to adults with stateless person, refugee or subsidiary protection status (case no. 9); or
  • to volunteer soldiers (case no. 10).

If none of these situations applies to the applicant, they may instead be able to submit an application for naturalisation or reclaim their Luxembourgish nationality.

Prerequisites

Case no. 1: adults with a parent, adoptive parent or grandparent who is or was Luxembourgish

The option procedure is open to adults:

  • whose parent or adoptive parent is or was a Luxembourgish national and such nationality was not passed on to them; or
  • whose grandparent is or was a Luxembourgish national and such nationality was not passed on to their parent.

Case no. 2: parents of Luxembourgish minors

The option procedure is open to parents of Luxembourgish minors, provided that:

  • they have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least five years. The final year of residence immediately preceding the option declaration must have been uninterrupted;
  • they have knowledge of the Luxembourgish language, as evidenced by a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • they have taken the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

Case no. 3: in the event of marriage to a Luxembourger

The option is open in the event of marriage to a Luxembourger, provided that:

If the applicant is not a resident of Luxembourg, Luxembourgish nationality can only be acquired after 3 years of marriage immediately preceding the option declaration. This waiting period does not apply to applicants living abroad as a result of their spouse holding a position granted by a Luxembourg public authority or by an international organisation.

Case no. 4: persons born in Luxembourg, over the age of 12

Persons born in Luxembourg can apply for Luxembourgish nationality from the age of 12:

  • if they have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 consecutive years immediately preceding the option declaration;
  • if one of their non-Luxembourgish parents or adoptive parents resided legally in Luxembourg for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding their birth.

Applicants born before 1 July 2013 are only required to meet the first condition.

Case no. 5: adults having completed at least 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg

Adults who have completed at least 7 years of schooling within the Luxembourgish public school system or a private school system applying the Luxembourgish public curriculum can apply for Luxembourgish nationality, provided that they have resided in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg for at least 12 consecutive months immediately preceding the option declaration.

Case no. 6: adults residing legally in Luxembourg for at least 20 years

Adults who have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 20 years can apply for Luxembourgish nationality. The final year of residence immediately preceding the option declaration must have been uninterrupted.

The applicant must take a Luxembourgish language course, which aims to offer an introduction to the language through a focus on speaking and listening skills. The length of the course is 24 hours.

The course must be organised by the National Institute for Languages or by a provider offering a course certified by the minister responsible for national education.

The organiser will document course attendance.

Case no. 7: adults having fulfilled the obligations arising from the Welcome and Integration Contract (Contrat d'accueil et d'intégration)

Adults who have fulfilled the obligations arising from the Welcome and Integration Contract can apply for Luxembourgish nationality, provided that:

  • they have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 years. The final year of residence immediately preceding the option declaration must have been uninterrupted;
  • they have knowledge of the Luxembourgish language, as evidenced by a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • they have taken the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

Holders of a certificate of participation to the citizenship courses to be taken as part of the conclusion of a Welcome and Integration Contract (Contrat d'accueil et d'intégration) are exempted from taking the module "History of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and European integration" (L’histoire du Grand-Duché de Luxembourg et l’intégration européenne). The exemption is recognized automatically, there is no procedure to carried out.

If the applicant does not attend the necessary courses and just wants to take the exam, they will not be exempted from taking the module "History of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and European integration".

Case no. 8: adults settled in Luxembourg before the age of 18

Adults who settled in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg before the age of 18 can apply for Luxembourgish nationality, provided that:

  • they have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 years. The final year of residence immediately preceding the option declaration must have been uninterrupted;
  • they have knowledge of the Luxembourgish language, as evidenced by a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • they have taken the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

Case no. 9: adults with stateless person, refugee or subsidiary protection status

Adults who have stateless person status, refugee status or subsidiary protection status can apply for Luxembourgish nationality, provided that:

  • they have legally resided in Luxembourg for at least 5 years. The final year of residence immediately preceding the option declaration must have been uninterrupted;
  • they have knowledge of the Luxembourgish language, as evidenced by a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • they have taken the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

The period between submission of the application for international protection or the application for recognition as a stateless person and the granting of refugee status, subsidiary protection status or stateless person status is deemed a period of usual and lawful residence within the meaning of the Law on Luxembourgish nationality.

Case no. 10: volunteer soldier

Volunteer soldiers who have completed at least one year of good and loyal service, as certified by the Luxembourg army's Chief of Staff, can apply for Luxembourgish nationality.

Condition of good repute

Acquiring Luxembourgish nationality is subject to a condition of good repute, irrespective of the applicant's circumstances. Consequently, Luxembourgish nationality is refused:

  • if the applicant has made false statements, concealed important information or acted fraudulently during the option procedure; or
  • if the applicant has received, either in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or abroad:
    • a criminal sentence or a custodial sentence of 12 months or more; or
    • a suspended sentence of 24 months or more.

The facts underlying a foreign conviction must also constitute a criminal offence under Luxembourg law and, if applicable and except in the case of rehabilitation, the sentence must have been definitively served less than 15 years before the option declaration.

Costs

The option procedure is free of charge.

However, the preparation of certain documents to be produced as part of the option procedure may incur charges, the amount of which is set by the issuing authority. Example:

  • Luxembourg communes may request the payment of a municipal tax in exchange for preparing copies of marital status records;
  • foreign authorities may apply a charge for the issuance of marital status records or extracts from the criminal record.

How to proceed

Submitting an option declaration to the civil registrar

Applications to acquire Luxembourgish nationality by option are made to the civil registrar of the commune of the applicant's usual place of residence.

If the applicant does not live in Luxembourg, the application must be made to the civil registrar of the City of Luxembourg.

The applicant must appear in person before the civil registrar. They may be accompanied by a person of their choice.

The option declaration must be signed by the applicant or their legal representative.

If the application is for a child under the age of 18 (case no. 4), the minor and their legal representatives must appear in person and sign the option declaration jointly.

Signature by proxy is not permitted.

If the legal conditions are met and if the application contains all the necessary documentation, the civil registrar will record the option declaration.

If the application submitted is incomplete, the civil registrar will request that the applicant produce the missing documents. If the documents are not submitted within a period of 3 months, the application will not be considered.

The civil registrar can refuse to register the declaration. In this case, an appeal against this decision can be made to the Minister of Justice within one month of notification of this refusal. If the appeal is rejected by the Minister, a reversal on appeal may be petitioned before the administrative tribunal.

As a rule, the person in question is notified of the option declaration by the civil registrar by post. The date on which Luxembourgish nationality was acquired is stated on the option declaration.

Supporting documents to be submitted with the application

Prior to applying for the option declaration, the applicant must submit the following documents to the civil registrar:

  • a full copy of their birth certificate and, if necessary, that of their children under 18;
  • a copy of their valid passport and, where appropriate, that of their children aged under 18. If they do not have a passport, another identity or travel document may be provided;
  • precise biographical details signed by the applicant or their legal representative;
  • if applicable, an extract from the foreign criminal record or a similar document issued by the competent public authority of the countries in which the applicant has lived from the age of 18 during the 15 years immediately preceding the initiation of the option procedure;
  • if applicable, authorisation of the judge supervising guardianship to initiate an option procedure;
  • if applicable, the decision of the Minister granting an exemption to submit any of the required documents. This exemption can be obtained upon reasoned request from the Minister of Justice, who has sole authority to grant it.
If a required document has not been drafted in French, German or Luxembourgish, the applicant must submit it with a translation in one of these three languages. The translation must be performed by sworn translator or by a foreign public authority.

The civil registrar will request the issuance of the record no. 2 of the criminal record from the public prosecutor's office after having obtained the applicant's approval. Applicants are advised to send the authorisation form to the civil registrar approximately 15 days before going to the communal office to sign the option declaration. If applicants refuse to give this authorisation, the application will not be considered.

Record no. 2 of the criminal record is not required where the person applying for the option procedure has not yet reached the age of 18.

Other documents to be attached as appropriate depending on the case.

Case no. 1: additional supporting documents for adults

Case no. 2: additional supporting documents for the parent of a Luxembourgish minor

  • a certificate of Luxembourgish nationality for the child under 18;
  • a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • a certificate confirming the applicant attended the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

Case no. 3: additional supporting documents in the event of marriage to a Luxembourger

  • a full copy of the marriage certificate;
  • a certificate of Luxembourgish nationality for the spouse;
  • a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • a certificate confirming the applicant attended the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course;
  • if applicable, a certificate confirming that the spouse holds a position abroad granted by a Luxembourg public authority or by an international organisation.

Case no. 5: additional supporting documents for adults having completed at least 7 years of schooling in Luxembourg

  • school reports or other certificates issued by the competent authority.

Case no. 6: additional supporting documents for adults residing legally in Luxembourg for at least 20 years

  • a certificate confirming participation in the Luxembourgish language course.

Case no. 7: additional supporting documents for adults having fulfilled the obligations arising from the Welcome and Integration Contract

  • a certificate confirming fulfilment of the obligations arising from the Welcome and Integration Contract;
  • a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • a certificate confirming the applicant attended the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

Case no. 8: additional supporting documents for adults settled in Luxembourg before the age of 18

  • a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • a certificate confirming the applicant attended the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

Case no. 9: additional supporting documents for adults with stateless person, refugee or subsidiary protection status

  • a Luxembourgish language test pass certificate;
  • a certificate confirming the applicant attended the "Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg" course or passed the test covering the topics taught in this course.

Case no. 10: additional supporting documents for volunteer soldiers

  • a certificate confirming that the applicant completed at least one year of good and loyal service as a volunteer soldier.

Review of the application by the Ministry of Justice

The civil registrar will send the option declaration and supporting documents to the Ministry of Justice directly and without delay.

If the minister has no objection to the option declaration, the applicant will acquire Luxembourgish nationality after a period of 4 months from receipt of the application by the Ministry of Justice.

If this is not the case, the minister may impose the measures outlined below.

Cancellation of the option declaration

The option declaration will be cancelled by the minister:

  • if the civil registrar has recorded the option declaration in violation of the law; or
  • if the applicant has made false statements, concealed important information or acted fraudulently.

The option declaration may be cancelled within the period of 4 months following the receipt of the application by the Ministry of Justice.

Cancellation of the option declaration means that the person in question does not obtain Luxembourgish nationality.

The civil registrar who recorded the option declaration will inform the person concerned.

In the case of false statements, concealment of important information or fraud, the cancellation of the option declaration is accompanied by a ban on initiating a naturalisation, option or reclamation procedure for a period of 15 years.

The ministerial decision to cancel the option declaration may be subject to a reversal on appeal petitioned before the administrative tribunal within a period of 3 months from notification of the decision. The appeal must be lodged by a court lawyer.

Correction of the option declaration

The minister will instruct the civil registrar to correct the option declaration in the event of a purely clerical error or omission, the indication of an inappropriate legal basis or an error regarding the marital status of the applicant.

The correction shall by made through an annotation on the option declaration.

Who to contact

Ministère de la Justice
13, rue Erasme
Centre Administratif Pierre Werner / Kirchberg
L - 1468 - Luxembourg
Postal box L - 2934 Luxembourg
Grand-Duché de Luxembourg
Phone: Infoline nationalité : lundi - vendredi de 8h30-12h et 13h30-17h, du Luxembourg : 8002 1000 (numéro gratuit), de l'étranger : (+352) 247 88588 ; Certificat de nationalité (Heimatschein) - (+352) 247 84532 ; Secrétariat – (+352) 247 84547
Fax: (+352) 26 20 27 59
Email Nationalite@mj.public.lu

Opening hours
du lundi au vendredi (exceptés les jours fériés) de 8h30 à 11h30 et de 14h30 à 16h00 (sauf horaires particuliers durant les périodes de Noël et les vacances d'été)