A new nationality act to enter into force on April 1st 2017

On March 8th 2017, Luxembourg passed into law new nationality rules. (Official Gazette of 17/03/2017).

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On March 8th 2017, Luxembourg passed into law new nationality rules. (Official Gazette of 17/03/2017).

The key features of the new law include:

Right of birthplace (jus soli)

Article 6 provides for the first-generation right of birthplace, i.e. children born in the Grand Duchy to non-Luxembourgish parents, to automatically acquire nationality by virtue of law, when they turn 18, provided that they had habitually and lawfully resided in the Grand Duchy for at least five consecutive years immediately prior their 18th birthday and that one of their parents or adopters, had habitually and lawfully resided in the Grand Duchy for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the birth.

The same right can be optionally enforced, application may be lodged any time after the child’s twelfth birthday (Article 26).


Article 14 provides for the eligibility conditions:

  • Habitual residence and lawful stay for at least five years, the last year immediately proceedings the declaration of naturalisation must be uninterrupted.
  • Knowledge of the Luxembourgish language, attested by a certificate level A2 for oral expression and level B1 for comprehension. A mechanism has been introduced, to allow balance for a lower score in oral expression with a higher score in comprehension (the arithmetic mean must be equal or greater than half of the points).
  • Have attended the 'Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg' course, or have passed the examination for the course.


Article 23 to Article 33 provide for the scenarios and conditions to acquire the nationality by option, inter alia:

  • A person marrying a Luxembourgish national. Habitual residence in Luxembourg (unless couple has been married for at least three years immediately prior to the application), knowledge of the Luxembourgish language and attendance of the course ‘Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg' are mandatory requirements. (Article 25).
  • Adult persons who attended for at least seven years a public school in Luxembourg or a private school applying the Luxembourgish curriculum, providing they are habitually and lawfully residents in the country for twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the application. (Art 27).
  • An applicant whose habitual place of residence is in the Grand Duchy and has been lawfully resident for at least twenty years.The last year immediately preceding the declaration must be uninterrupted. Knowledge of the national language required, although simplified conditions (Article 28).
  • An applicant who has performed the obligations resulting from the 'welcome and integration contract' laid down by the law of 16/12/2008, subject to the conditions provided for by the new legislation (Article 29).
  • An applicant who immigrated to the Grand Duchy before his/her 18th birthday, subject to the same conditions as those laid down by Article 14 (Article 30).

Tanel Feldman

Immigration Law Associates

Tanel Feldman

Senior Partner , Immigration Law Associates

Immigration Law Associates provides in-depth advice on rights and obligations triggered by the cross-border element of a given legal situation. Our know-how is built on an extensive experience in EU law and is supported by a network of partners across the EU. Social security coordination : • Autonomous application of the social security coordination regulations and ECJ case-law, to any situation involves a cross-border element EU Company law : • Establishment -permanent activities • Establishment -self-employment activities International Private Law : • Law applicable to the employment relationship Labour and employment law : • Freedom of movement of workers-equal treatment, access to social benefits • Employment contracts and termination of employment • Working conditions • Employee benefits • Transfer of undertakings • Authorisations of work for third-country nationals Special regimes : • Posted workers • Frontier workers • Highly mobile workers • Employment of record • Intra-EU mobility of third-country nationals