This 2020 article reflects trends in 2019 and information available in January 2020. The information is now out of date. The Ministry of Justice has released how many Americans in total applied for Luxembourgish citizenship and it was more than our predictions. Check out the American-Luxembourgers Study and our more recent blog articles for more information.
Over 2,100 Americans Have Reclaimed Luxembourg Citizenship
To view “American-Luxembourgers” LuxCitizenship’s interactive research report on American people reclaiming Luxembourg Citizenship, please click here.
Annual Statistics Released
The Luxembourg Ministry of Justice has released its annual statistics report on how many people have obtained Luxembourg citizenship. In 2019, 11,451 people obtained Luxembourg Citizenship through various procedures. These include Reclaiming Luxembourg Citizenship and Citizenship by Option. The number also includes procedures like Naturalization from living in Luxembourg. The following article breaks down the total numbers. Then we analyze the total numbers and trends for American applicants.
A Decrease in Total Applicants
There is one surprising trend for 2019. 2019 is the first year in 5 years that the total number of applicants has decreased. 425 people or 4% less applied than in 2018. All the same, 400 people more reclaimed Luxembourg Citizenship. 1,100 fewer people applied under a law for foreigners born in Luxembourg.
Looking further, 44% of the total applicants or 5067 people reclaimed Luxembourg citizenship under Article 89. 7% more went through the Article 23 Citizenship by Option process.
Applications by Country
Of the 11,451 applicants, the French were the largest group (2,446 – 21%). Then in second place are the Brazilians (2,117 – 18%). The Belgians came in third place (1,335 – 12%). The total number of Brazilians more than doubled from 2018 (935).
So where does that leave the Americans? 730 Americans (6%) obtained Luxembourg citizenship in 2019. This puts Americans in 5th place in 2019. Compared to 2018, this is a 9% increase in total US applicants (659 – 2018).
Number of Americans Reclaiming Luxembourg Citizenship Grows 77% Year on Year
Of these 730 Americans, 639 or 88% reclaimed Luxembourg citizenship under the Article 89 process. An additional 37 people or 5% went through the Citizenship by Option process. The remaining 7% went through other processes like naturalization. The Ministry of Justice does not publish statistics on individuals who obtained Luxembourg nationality certificates through the Article 7 process. These applicants have their citizenship recognized instead of “obtaining” it.
Trends for 2020
Looking ahead to 2020, we know three things to be true.
First, December 31st, 2020 is the last day possible to reclaim Luxembourg citizenship. After this date, the program comes to an end. It will not be possible to obtain citizenship through this path after. Therefore, it is reasonable to expect a large number of people will apply in 2020. Many people applied for Luxembourg Ancestor Certificates in past years without traveling to Luxembourg.
Second, from 2013 until 2019, the number of US citizens reclaiming Luxembourg citizenship grew on average 77% year. A total of 2,090 Americans reclaimed Luxembourg Citizenship from January 1, 2009, until December 31, 2019. If we multiply the total cases from January-December 2019 by 77%, then we can expect at least 1,195 more Americans to reclaim Luxembourg citizenship in 2020.
Third, the Luxembourg Government does not publish how many people apply for a Luxembourg Ancestor Certificate. We do know from speaking to the government that numbers were up in 2018. Many of those applicants did not receive their Luxembourg Ancestor Certificates until the very end of 2019. Some are even still waiting as of February 2020. Many applicants then could not travel before 2020.
Huge Increase in Citizenship Applications in Last 3 Months of 2018
While Luxembourg doesn’t publish statistics on how many applications they received, we do know just how long it took to issue all of our clients’ Luxembourg Ancestor Certificates. Above, we’ve graphed out how long it took to issue 100 Luxembourg Ancestor Certificates. If we assume that an equal number of Government staff were processing applications at any time, then the length of the processing time gives us an idea of the volume received.
In 2017, it took between 8 and 10 months, or 245-305 days, to issue a Luxembourg Ancestor Certificate. For 2018 applications, it took on average over 323 days to process applications. So, we know that total applications were up for almost all of 2018. This also means that for dates submitted where it took longer than 323 days to issue the Certificate, that the government received an above-average number of applications.
Therefore, we understand that the total number of applications increased in the last 3 months people could apply for Luxembourg Ancestor Certificates. In fact, total applications jumped significantly by December 2018 as applicants rushed to apply before the deadline.
American-Luxembourgers to Surpass 1% of Luxembourg Citizen Population
In summary, there are clear reasons to believe the total number of Americans who will reclaim Luxembourg Citizenship will increase significantly in 2020. If we took the average growth of 77% year on year, then we could expect 1,195 Americans to reclaim Luxembourg Citizenship in 2020. This would mean a total of 3,285. The current number of Luxembourg citizens in Luxembourg is 322,400.
Consequently, the total number of American citizens who reclaim Luxembourg citizenship will be greater than 1% of the total population of Luxembourgers living in Luxembourg. We think that’s a very unique phenomenon.
You can view our interactive research report American-Luxembourgers to learn more about the American-Luxembourgers. We will be conducting a new research study in 2020 on who are the American-Luxembourgers. If you’ve reclaimed Luxembourg Citizenship, we welcome you to sign up to participate using the form below.