Americans traveled to Luxembourg to reclaim their Luxembourg citizenship at the lowest rates in 7 years. We report on what likely caused this downshift in appearances at the Bierger Center.

Lowest Year For Total New Luxembourgers Since 2015

Luxembourg’s Ministry of Justice has released its Nationality Statistics for 2021. Overall, 6,801 people acquired Luxembourgish citizenship in 2021. This figure includes all nationalities of the world and all procedures for Luxembourgish citizenship, including naturalization. This is a 28% decrease from the 9,389 people who got Luxembourg citizenship in the first year of the Covid-19 pandemic. This is also a 41% decrease from the last pre-Covid-19 year, 2019, where 11,451 got Luxembourgish citizenship.

Out of all nations and all nationality procedures (including naturalization for Luxembourg residents), the US came in 10th place with 139 adults and Brazil 11th place with 137 adults. The top five nationalities applying were: French (1,704), Portuguese (1,141), Belgian (899), German (289), and Italian (283).

Rankings for the United States and Brazil Down Dramatically

In 2020, the United States was in 5th place with 438 people who got citizenship through reclaiming through ancestry, acquisition by option, and naturalization. By comparison, that’s a decrease of 299 applicants or 68%. In 2021, American applicants represented 2% of all people getting Luxembourgish citizenship, where we represented 5% in 2020.

Because of international travel restrictions, very few American and Brazilian citizens were able to travel to Luxembourg in 2021. In 2021, it was possible for people living in the United States to travel to Luxembourg with a negative Covid-19 test from June 28th until September 22nd. Then, exclusively fully vaccinated travelers could travel to Luxembourg starting November 7th and running through the end of the year. In total, it was legal for US travelers to enter Luxembourg for a total of 140 out of 365 days in the year (38% of the year).

It should be noted that the government’s statistics are actually based on individuals who have received their citizenship, not just made the in-person citizenship declaration in Luxembourg. It takes 4 months for an applicant to receive dual citizenship. Therefore, anyone who applied in September – December 2021 is not included in the published figures. On the other hand, these figures do include applications from September-December 2020, as someone who applied on September 1, 2020 got their citizenship on January 1, 2021. That last 4-month period of September-December 2021 included two months of eligible international travel days.

Statistics For Article 89

Of the 6,801 people who got Luxembourg citizenship in 2021, 1,358 (20%) Reclaimed Luxembourg Citizenship through an ancestor alive January 1, 1900 (Article 89). The countries with the most citizens reclaiming under Article 89 for 2021 were France (739) and Belgium (416). The US was in fourth place with 77, just behind Brazil with 90.

By comparison, for the US this is an 81% decrease from 2020’s 395 and an 88% decrease from 2019’s 639. 2021 was the lowest year for Americans reclaiming Luxembourg Citizenship since 2014. For Brazil, this is a 95% decrease from 2020’s 1751 and the lowest year since 2016.

Article 89: How Many People Still Need To Travel to Luxembourg?

Based on these statistics, approximately 1,996 American adults and 10,342 Brazilian adults must travel to Luxembourg before December 31, 2022 in order to reclaim Luxembourg citizenship before this final deadline date for Article 89. We do not expect a further delay of the deadline unless all individuals (including vaccinated, unvaccinated and those vaccinated by vaccines not recognized in Luxembourg) from these countries cannot travel to Luxembourg for a substantial part of the year.

LuxCitizenship Statistics

LuxCitizenship clients accounted for 15 (20%) of the 77 adult applicants who got citizenship in 2021 under Article 89. LuxCitizenship clients accounted for 11 (65%) of 17 Americans who got Luxembourg citizenship under Article 23 for a parent or grandparent who had Luxembourgish citizenship. The Government does not distinguish between article 23 and the 7/23 combo in its statistics. For Article 89 and 23, the official figures do not include individuals who applied in September-December 2021 as there is a 4-month processing time before citizenship becomes effective. The Luxembourg Government releases no statistics related to Article 7. 252 LuxCitizenship clients received citizenship under Article 7 in 2021.

LuxCitizenship is preparing to release its 2022 edition of its American-Luxembourgers Dual Citizen Study and the first edition of its Brazilian-Luxembourgers Dual Citizen Study. Our goal is to start releasing the videos and reports in the first week of February 2022. Stay tuned to our Facebook for the announcement of its release: