The Government announced in 2013 that its programme would include a total reworking of the Law of 2008 on Luxembourg nationality. On 14 March 2016, Minister for Justice Félix Braz presented the details of the reform. It covers first-generation right of birthplace (jus soli), the conditions for naturalisation, and the conditions for acquiring Luxembourgish nationality by option.
Right of birthplace (jus soli)
Until now, only the children of people who were themselves born in the Grand Duchy could acquire Luxembourgish nationality in this way (second-generation right of birthplace). The reform bill adds first-generation right of birthplace, i.e. children born in the Grand Duchy to non-Luxembourgish parents would automatically receive Luxembourgish nationality on coming of age (at 18), on condition that they had lived in the Grand Duchy for at least five consecutive years and that one of the parents had lived in the Grand Duchy for at least twelve consecutive months immediately preceding the birth.
The same conditions apply to the option procedure; an application may be made at any time after the child's twelfth birthday.
The procedure for naturalisation consists of lodging a request to acquire Luxembourgish nationality with the Ministry of Justice. The conditions laid down in the reform provide for a number of conditions that must be met before such an application can be lodged.
Thus applicants must:
- be habitually resident in the Grand Duchy and legally resident for at least the past five years; the last year of residence immediately prior to the declaration of naturalisation must be uninterrupted;
- have some knowledge of the Luxembourgish language, attested by a certificate of success in the Luxembourgish language assessment examination (level A2 for oral expression and level B1 for aural comprehension). An unsatisfactory mark for oral expression may be offset by the mark obtained in the aural comprehension test;
- either have attended the 'Vivre ensemble au Grand-Duché de Luxembourg' course, or have passed the examination for the course, which contains modules on citizens' fundamental rights, State and municipal institutions in the Grand Duchy, and the history of the Grand Duchy and European integration.
There are a number of scenarios in which a non-Luxembourger may acquire Luxembourgish nationality by option. The procedure may be embarked on in the following cases:
- a child born in the Grand Duchy, from the age of 12 years onwards, subject to a number of conditions;
- a person marrying a Luxembourgish national, subject to a number of conditions;
- an adult who has spent at least seven years of his/her education in public education in the Grand Duchy or at a private institution applying Luxembourg's public education syllabuses, subject to a number of conditions;
- an applicant whose habitual place of residence is in the Grand Duchy and has been legally resident for at least twenty years;
- an applicant with the status of a stateless person or refugee or has subsidiary protection, subject to a number of conditions;
- a volunteer soldier who has served well and loyally for at least one year;
- an adult whose natural or adoptive parent has or had Luxembourgish nationality and the nationality was not attributed to the applicant;
- a natural or adoptive parent of a Luxembourgish national, subject to a number of conditions;
- an applicant who has performed the obligations resulting from the 'welcome and integration contract', subject to a number of conditions;
- an applicant who immigrated to the Grand Duchy before the age of 18 years, subject to a number of conditions.
Conditions of being of good repute
The new law also lays down the ways in which a person may be automatically excluded from acquiring Luxembourgish nationality. Luxembourgish nationality is always refused to any applicant who has been sentenced to serve at least twelve months in prison or to suspended prison terms of at least 24 months either in the Grand Duchy or elsewhere; in the case of a foreign prison sentence, this rule only applies if the grounds for the sentence also constitute a criminal offence under Luxembourg law and the sentence was carried out less than fifteen years prior to applying for naturalisation.(Source: Ministry of Justice)