Luxembourg: Relaxed citizenship eligibility rules proposed

A proposed law would ease naturalization eligibility rules from seven years of residency to five years and would reduce the requisite language test score. More foreign workers in Luxembourg stand to benefit from the proposed law since citizenship allows work without a work permit.  

Residency Requirement

The law also proposes to lower the residency requirement from five to three years for foreign nationals who have completed the Contrat d’accueil et d’intégration (an agreement for foreign nationals over the age of 16 from outside the European Union to commit to integrating into Luxembourg society) and minors legally residing in Luxembourg.

Foreign nationals would be able to enter and exit during their residency period under the proposed law, but would be required to reside in Luxembourg for twelve consecutive months prior to filing a citizenship application.

The proposed law would also allow a child at least 18 years old and born in Luxembourg to be eligible for citizenship if he or she resided in Luxembourg for twelve consecutive months prior to turning 18 and if one of the parents resided in Luxembourg for at least twelve months prior to his or her birth.

Language Requirement

Current rules require a B 2 level of understanding of the spoken Luxembourg language and an A 2 speaking level.  The proposed law would set both the understanding and speaking level at A 2 and would clarify the civics course requirement.

New Category of ‘Opt-In’ Citizens

The following foreign nationals would also be eligible for citizenship without having to take a civics course or meet the standard residency rules, and in the case of children and students, without having to take a language test:

  • Children who are at least twelve years old and are born in Luxembourg to non-Luxembourgish parents;
  • Spouses of Luxembourgish nationals; and
  • Students who have resided in Luxembourg for at least seven years.

Those who have resided in Luxembourg for at least 20 years would also be eligible for citizenship upon passing a civics and language test.

What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

Foreign nationals residing in Luxembourg would benefit from signing an integration contract upon entry so they can benefit from the relaxed citizenship eligibility rules once the bill comes into effect.

The law is still under consideration. Employers would benefit from the law since citizenship allows work without a work permit.

Stuart Beaty

Celsium, Birmingham, UK