UPDATE 1: On March 17, 2021, the Minister of Justice confirmed that the Government does intend to extend the Article 89 Deadline to December 2022. As of early May, no bill has been published confirming our hypothesis that late June will be the earliest time frame that the law is amended.
UPDATE 2: On April 25th, 2021, European Commission president Ursula Van der Leyen confirmed that fully vaccinated Americans will be able to enter Europe starting at some point in summer, seeming to confirm our predictions from this article about travel timelines.
Impact from 2020 – Covid-19
By March 20th, 2020, Europe and the US had banned their citizens from traveling to the other destination due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Luxembourg was under a State of Emergency from March 18th, 2020-June 24th, 2020. During this time, Government institutions that are part of the citizenship application process were closed. Because international travel was deemed untenable in 2020, the Chamber of Deputies of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg unanimously voted on June 18th, 2020, to ban the entry of foreigners to Luxembourg. They also voted to extend the deadline to apply for citizenship under Article 89 to December 31st, 2021.
Current Events at the Start of 2021
As of February 2021, the new United States government has indicated that it does not plan to lift its travel restrictions on European Union countries. Respectively, so long as the US continues to block Europeans from entering the US, the EU will continue to block Americans from traveling to Europe. All the while, the European Union has also indicated that for the time being that vaccinated foreign individuals will not have more travel rights to the EU than their unvaccinated compatriots.
At the same time, more contagious variants of the Covid-19 virus have caused some European countries to shut down all flights from outside the European Union, notably France, which along with the UK and Germany are the most common transit points to flying from the US to Luxembourg.
These restrictions may stay in place for some time. Even once they are removed, undoubtedly it will still be a requirement to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of the flight to the country.
The EU plans to have 70% of its adult population vaccinated by the end of summer. However, there have been significant problems in the rollout of the vaccination program and supply problems throughout the first quarter of 2021. (Update, 70% of the EU adult population to be vaccinated by “mid-July”. PCR tests will not be necessary for fully vaccinated individuals).
For these reasons, we believe that is unlikely that normal travel between the US and the EU will be restored before mid-summer at the very earliest.
This will either require thousands of people to travel to Luxembourg by the end of the year (for those under Article 89) but some time after mid-summer OR it will require Luxembourg to once again prolong the Article 89 deadline. (Edit, Prediction correct, the Government has confirmed that it will delay the deadline to Dec. 2022).
We believe that IF Luxembourg will delay the deadline, such a decision will not come before late June 2021.
We also have predictions for applicants who applied under different parts of the Law than Article 89. For them, all indicators seem to be that everything else will stay stable this year. Processing of Article 7 cases seems stable at around 24 months processing time. Article 23: we expect no changes as well in 2021. (Edit April 2021, Prediction incorrect, Article 7 processing is picking up speed.)
Predictions for Interest in Starting a New Application
Next are our predictions for interest in starting a new application in 2021. We are eagerly awaiting to see how the year will go.
As we have tried to prove throughout this study, we see anecdotal evidence from our applicants. Our study shows that politics and the current social events in the US seemed to be a partial factor in driving a much-increased interest in clients and prospective clients reaching out to us in 2020. How will the new US president affect demand? How will the evolution of the Covid-19 pandemic affect demand?
Because these two particular factors are unprecedented in 2021, it’s hard to know. But we do know that for Luxembourg Dual Citizenship in particular, politics and current events clearly aren’t the EXCLUSIVE drivers in people’s decisions to apply for dual citizenship. Here is our best prediction. So long as the US passport keeps people from entering certain countries in the world they previously could, we will still experience above-average interest in Luxembourg Dual Citizenship in 2021.
These numbers are compared to the annual average over the last 11 years. Even if Americans are able to travel internationally again, if a large enough number travel to Luxembourg in the second half of the year, this will undoubtedly draw interest from friends and family who may also decide to start applications in large numbers as well.
Want to learn more? Over the next two weeks, we will be releasing our annual research on who are the American-Luxembourgers. They are the new dual citizens. You can check all of our research on the dual citizenship trends in 2020 in one place: https://www.luxcitizenship.com/luxembourg-dual-citizenship-trends-2020/.
To see our demographic report about the new American-Luxembourgish dual citizens, check out: https://www.luxcitizenship.com/american-luxembourgers/.