In this post, we discuss the latest on citizenship as well as Article 89’s deadline extension.
Spring 2021 Citizenship Updates
Looking for information on whether you can still apply for Luxembourg dual citizenship in 2021? Take our 2021 dual citizenship eligibility test. Have more questions? Contact us.
Scroll to the bottom of the page for our updates and information on Covid-19 and travel to Europe in 2021.
Citizenship Updates: Article 89
In response to a Parliamentary Question, Luxembourg’s Justice Minister Sam TANSON has confirmed on March 17, 2021, that the Government will submit a bill to extend the Article 89 Deadline to December 31, 2022. The National (Government-owned) TV broadcaster and the Embassy in Washington DC have both announced the news. Because the Governing parties hold an absolute majority in the Chamber of Deputies, we and the media consider that the extension is already effective. However, a law still needs to be officially voted on. We will confirm once this does transpire on our social media. But for now, Article 89 applicants have until December 31, 2022, to travel to Luxembourg.
In response to the same Parliamentary Question from Deputy Sven CLEMENT (Pirates, Luxembourg City), Minister Sam TANSON also confirmed that the Phase 1 to submit a new application to recover Luxembourgish nationality by an ancestor living on Jan 1, 1900, will not be re-opened. That said, there remain multiple paths to dual citizenship through ancestry. Check out our eligibility test to find out if you qualify.
We are sure that we speak for all applicants in saying that we share your relief! We hope that you will be able to travel to Luxembourg soon. See our sections at the bottom of the article for more information about Covid-19 in Europe and the prospects of travel over the next few months.
Citizenship Updates: Article 7
The Ministry of Justice completed processing correctly submitted 2018 requests for Luxembourg Nationality Certificates under Article 7 in December 2020. All of our 2018 clients have received their certificates of nationality. We understand that the Ministry is still processing 2018 requests for other countries such as Brazil. We are normally able to track the progress of Article 7 case processing very closely. However, we did not accept new Article 7 cases from January 1-June 1, 2019. Therefore, we have no clients receiving Article 7 Certificates in the first half of 2021.
To the extent of our knowledge in speaking with the Government and other professionals around the world working on Luxembourgish nationality, in 2021 we expect the same processing time of 24-27 months to receive a Luxembourgish nationality certificate. We expect to start announcing detailed processing times again in summer 2021.
Citizenship Updates: Article 23 Citizenship by Option
For individuals with a parent or grandparent that has or had Luxembourg citizenship (nationality), it is possible to obtain Luxembourg citizenship by option. For the citizenship by option process, there is no application deadline. However, you must travel to Luxembourg. It normally takes the Government in Luxembourg only 1-3 days to process a request for a Parent or Grandparent Nationality Certificate, plus mailing time to the USA. This processing time also applies to those who are applying under the 7-23 Posthumous Recognition of Citizenship by Option as well. This same processing time remains effective in 2021 as it did in 2020.
The Passport Office in Luxembourg has normal operating hours from 08:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Monday-Friday. The Embassy and Consulates of Luxembourg in the United States have limited operations due to Covid-19. However, it is possible to apply for a passport with justification for why you need it in the short term. This remains the plan for the foreseeable future. If you have a demonstrable urgent need for a Luxembourgish passport, IE you are planning to move to Europe imminently, you should call the respective office for your address to see if arrangements can be made. For more information, visit https://guichet.public.lu/en/citoyens/citoyennete/papiers-identite/titre-voyage/passeport-biometrique-non-resident.html.
Updates on Covid-19 in Europe and Luxembourg
The Covid-19 situation in Europe remains difficult in large part due to the emergence of new variants of the virus that first appeared in late 2019. Luxembourg is not itself under a lockdown. But, as of publishing time, all restaurants remain closed for dine-in service (interior/exterior). Many other businesses remain closed due to strict sanitary measures, the Government has limited gatherings to no more than 3 people with only one party from outside the household, and a curfew remains in place from 11 p.m. The Luxembourgish Government has proposed that some of these measures may be lifted from after Easter. However, this isn’t proven, as hospitalizations related to Covid-19 remain above the desired threshold.
While Luxembourg is not officially in lockdown, the same cannot be said for the rest of Europe. In terms of Luxembourg’s immediate neighbors: France is not in lockdown but has a curfew from 6 p.m., and restaurants are closed. Individuals are only allowed to fly into France for emergency reasons, and a PCR test is required for ground transport into France from Luxembourg. Germany has a federal government, so lockdown measures vary from one place to another. From Luxembourg, an individual does not require a PCR test if they spend less than 24 hours in Germany. Many businesses in bordering towns in Germany remain closed or require an appointment to enter.
It’s a complicated picture in Belgium. Belgium had one of the strictest lockdowns in Europe and banned non-essential travel. It is possible to enter once again in Belgium. However, a PCR test is required, and most non-essential businesses are closed. Beyond Luxembourg’s neighboring countries, lockdowns and travel restrictions vary across Europe. But, generally speaking, you must take a PCR test to travel between most European countries. You also must take a PCR test to fly from another European (or international) destination into Luxembourg.
Unfortunately, Europe is not experiencing the increasing speed in the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccines that the United States is experiencing. Currently, in Luxembourg, less than 5% of the population has received their first vaccine. While the European Union promises that European adults should be able to be vaccinated by the end of July, the suppliers of the vaccines in Europe continue to experience supply problems and slowdowns.
For the latest updates and official government information on Covid-19 in Luxembourg, please visit https://www.covid19.lu/.
Updates on Travel to Europe and Luxembourg
For all intents and purposes, travel is not currently possible to Europe for non-European citizens or residents. Some dual citizens born in the United States who do not have proof of a permanent residence in Europe have been turned away at the border. Some countries do have very limited urgent exemptions permitting passengers with a valid negative PCR test issued less than 72 hours before the flight to enter Europe. We always advise calling your airline to confirm that you will be able to fly. The primary path to enter Europe is for an urgent business matter. This normally requires an official letter attesting to the urgent need to enter Europe.
We have received a number of questions about when it will be possible to travel to Europe again. We believe that this could possibly become more clear after Easter, but that may also be early. Permission for Americans to enter Europe as a whole will require the United States to permit European citizens to enter. As of publication, President Joe Biden has indicated this will not be the case due to the emergence of the more contagious Covid-19 variants.
This summer, some countries may permit vaccinated individuals to enter their borders. On March 17th, 2020, Europe announced a new measure – a digital travel pass for proof that an individual is vaccinated or tested negative for Covid-19 during the required period. So far, the pass is only meant for European citizens. As of publication, being vaccinated does not grant non-Europeans any additional travel rights within or to Europe. Again, we believe that there may be some clarity on the possibility of travel to Europe for non-European citizens after Easter. We expect much more clarity on the matter by May.
Updates on Our Travel Predictions
If we had to guess how things may go, we do not expect that a Europe-wide decision will be taken on if vaccinated non-Europeans will be able to enter European borders this summer. We do expect that vaccinated individuals will be able to enter Southern European countries that depend on tourism for economic survival. However, this is not yet confirmed. Normally, once within Europe, an individual can travel freely with no border controls. According to the Press, this is a hot point of discussion among European diplomats. Answers are unclear still.
We continue to receive inquiries about when it is possible to travel to Europe. We are hearing about a lot of clients that are purchasing tickets for the fall. It does seem reasonable that vaccination rates will pick up in Europe by the fall. Rules could really change by this time of year. However, we also know in the current climate that it’s hard to predict what will happen tomorrow. We advise anyone not yet legally entitled to freely enter Europe as a dual citizen to always purchase refundable tickets and travel accommodation.
For more information about the evolving Covid-19 situation in Luxembourg and around the world, see https://today.rtl.lu.
For official European travel guidance, please refer to https://reopen.europa.eu/en.
Daniel Atz moved to Luxembourg in February. There, he is working on new projects that will benefit American-Luxembourgish dual citizens. As part of Daniel’s move, he’s also working on developing new services on the ground in Luxembourg. These include our new Luxembourg relocation services and Luxembourg Professional Opportunities matchmaking.
At the start of 2021, LuxCitizenship welcomed Sarah Friedman to our team in New York City as General Manager. Sarah has an extensive career background in immigration and international program development. Sarah will be overseeing client services and ensuring that the New York office runs as efficiently and dynamically as ever. At the current time, our team remains working remotely. However, Sarah will be available to handle all inquires.
LuxCitizenship also published in February its 2021 Edition of the annual interactive American-Luxembourgers study. The new 2021 version includes updates like more interactive features. It also includes a survey on dual citizens’ relationship with Luxembourg and a Google trends analysis on Americans seeking out dual citizenship in 2020 and why.