Luxembourgish nationality becoming increasingly popular

7,142 new Luxembourgers in 2016.

15-nationaliteIn all, the Ministry of Justice last year approved 7,142 applications to acquire or recover Luxembourgish nationality; applicants were nationals of 85 different countries.

Procedure for recovering nationality

According to data from the Ministry of Justice, more than half the passports granted during the period from 2011 to 2016 were obtained by people recovering Luxembourgish nationality. It was mainly French and Belgian nationals (85%) who used this route to obtain Luxembourgish nationality.

Recovery of nationality is possible for:

  • foreigners who were Luxembourgers originally, but have since lost their Luxembourgish nationality;
  • foreigners with an ancestor in direct line who was Luxembourgish on 1 January 1900;
  • Luxembourgish women who lost their Luxembourgish nationality by acquiring the foreign nationality of their husband as a result of their marriage.


Unlike recovery, it is mainly Portuguese and Italian nationals who use the naturalisation procedure to obtain Luxembourgish nationality. In 2016, 1,088 Portuguese nationals acquired Luxembourgish nationality by naturalisation, and only one by recovery.

An application for naturalisation is admissible if the applicant meets the following five conditions:

  • the applicant must have reached 18 years of age on the day of submitting the application for naturalisation;
  • the minimum compulsory period of residence in the country in order to acquire Luxembourgish nationality is seven years;
  • the applicant must have passed the evaluation test in the spoken Luxembourg language and must have attended civic instruction classes;
  • the applicant must provide sufficient evidence of good repute.

In early February 2017, Parliament adopted legislation reforming the Law on nationality ; this will take effect from 1 April. This new legislation alters the conditions required for naturalisation. Recovering lost Luxembourgish nationality is to be discontinued, and will cease to be possible after 2018.


(article written by the editorial team of the portal

  • Updated 20-02-2017