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Luxembourg: New Citizenship Law

(Dec. 4, 2008) The aim of the Law of October 23, 2008, on Luxembourgian citizenship is to take into account the societal changes of the last 50 years and consolidate the integration of foreigners residing in Luxembourg. The Law, which will enter into force on January 1, 2009, allows dual citizenship or even multiple citizenships. Luxembourgian citizens who voluntarily either acquire or recover a foreign citizenship will not lose their citizenship once the Law takes effect. However, they will continue to lose such citizenship until July 10, 2009, if they acquire or recover the citizenship of one of the countries that ratified the 1963 Convention on the Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality and Military Obligations in Cases of Multiple Nationality. (Council of Europe, Convention on the Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality and Military Obligations in Cases of Multiple Nationality [Council of Europe Treaty Series No. 43], (last visited Dec. 2, 2008).) These countries include Austria, Denmark, France, Italy, Norway, and the Netherlands. Luxembourg has renounced the Convention's Chapter I, entitled “Reduction of Cases of Multiple Nationality,” but only with effect as of July 10, 2009. France has also renounced the same chapter of the Convention, as of March 5, 2009. Therefore, Luxembourgian citizens who voluntarily acquire or recover French citizenship before March 5, 2009, will continue to lose their citizenship.

Under the new Law, naturalization may be granted to an applicant when the following conditions are met. The person must:

· be at least 18 years of age;

· be able to prove that he has been legally residing in Luxembourg for the seven years preceding his application;

· be able to show that he is integrated into Luxembourgian society, notably by a sufficient knowledge of at least one of the languages spoken in Luxembourg and by having attended the required civic instruction courses; and

· have no criminal record.

(Loi du 23 Octobre 2008 sur la nationalité luxembourgeoise, MEMORIAL [Luxembourg 's official gazette], Oct 27, 2008, available at