A stateless person is a person who does not have a nationality and who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law (article 1 of the New York Convention of 28 September 1954 relating to the status of stateless persons).
Statelessness can be the consequence of contradictions between several laws on nationality, of the absence or malfunction of civil registers in certain countries, of State successions and transfers of sovereignty, of the deprivation of nationality, or of the strict application of ius sanguini or ius soli in certain countries.
Who is concerned
The status as a stateless person can be applied for by persons who:
- cannot claim to be a national of a country;
- reside in Luxembourg.
Statelessness does not apply to persons:
- who are at present receiving from organs or agencies of the United Nations other than the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees protection or assistance so long as they are receiving such protection or assistance;
- who reside in Luxembourg and who are recognized by the Luxembourg authorities as having the rights and obligations which are attached to the possession of the Luxembourg nationality;
- with respect to whom there are serious reasons for considering that they have committed a crime against peace, a war crime or a crime against humanity, a serious non-political crime outside Luxembourg prior to their admission to Luxembourg, or that they have been guilty of acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations;
- who have already been granted the status as a stateless person in another country;
- whose application for the status as a stateless person is already under investigation in another country.
How to proceed
Submitting the application
Applicants have to submit the application for the status as a stateless person via the duly completed and signed form to the Department for Foreigners at the Immigration Directorate under the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, and provide the following information in particular:
- the identity of the applicant (name, first name, date and place of birth, address in Luxembourg, etc.);
- where applicable, the same information concerning the applicant's spouse, children and parents;
- the reason for the application.
Applicants will have to prove their statelessness by providing precise and serious evidence. They namely have to prove that they have lost the nationality which was theirs by birth or that they never were a national of any state.
They do not need to prove that they do not have a nationality but only that they cannot claim to have the nationality of any of the states to which they can be linked.
These are namely the states:
- in which they were born, or;
- where their family members reside, or;
- in which they have stayed or resided.
Applicants are required to submit the following together with their application:
- a copy of their identity card (a copy in full of the passport, ID card, travel authorisations "laissez passer");
- a document attesting the applicant's family status (family record book);
- a certificate of nationality;
- any other document deemed useful by the applicant;
- where applicable, a copy of the decision on the stateless status issued by another state;
- where applicable, a copy of the authorisation to stay issued by another state.
The documents enclosed must be originals or certified true copies (except for the passport where a plain copy will suffice). Should the authenticity of a document be in doubt, the Minister of Immigration can request that the document be authenticated by the appropriate local authority and legalised by the Embassy (or alternatively notarised with a Hague apostille).
If the documents are not drawn up in German, French or English, an official translation by a certified translator must be attached.
After the form and supporting documents have been submitted, the Department for Foreigners sends a confirmation of receipt to the address indicated on the form.
The Department for Foreigners may request additional information if deemed necessary to process the application.
Processing the application
With the agreement of the applicant, the administration can request further information from the competent authorities in the different countries to which the applicant can be linked.
If deemed necessary, the administration can summon the applicant to an interview.
The Department for Foreigners will send the final, individual and reasoned decision in writing to the address indicated on the form within 3 months after the submission date of the complete application. This time limit may be extended in the event of complex cases.
Approval of the application
In the event of approval of the application for the status as a stateless person, the applicant is invited to come to the Department for Foreigners at the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in order to have the biometric travel document for stateless persons drawn up.
The travel document has as maximum period of validity of 5 years, and is renewable on request.
The application for renewal of the travel document must be sent to the Department for Foreigners together with:
- a copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- proof of payment of a fee of EUR 50 to account IBAN LU46 1111 1298 0014 0000 (BIC: CCPLLULL; beneficiary: ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Direction de l'immigration; communication: titre de séjour dans le chef de [insert name here]).
In the event of loss, theft or damage to the travel document, the applicant can submit an application for replacement of a travel document together with the following documents:
- a copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- in case of loss or theft of the travel document: the declaration of theft or loss established by the police;
- in case of damage to the travel document: the damaged travel document;
- proof of payment of a fee of EUR 50 on the account IBAN LU46 1111 1298 0014 0000 (BIC code: CCPLLULL ; beneficiary: ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Direction de l'immigration; communication: titre de séjour dans le chef de [insert name here]).
Application for a residence permit
The recognition of the status as a stateless person does not automatically give the right to a residence permit.
The beneficiary of the status is considered a third-country national and must, after obtaining the biometric travel document, submit an application for a temporary authorisation to stay and then an application for a residence permit.
Refusal of the application
In the case of a negative decision, applicants can submit an appeal against the decision (recours en annulation) within 3 months from the notification of the decision.
Appeals must be initiated by petition to the administrative tribunal through a lawyer.
The appeal does not have a suspensory effect.
Forms / Online services
Demande en renouvellement d'un titre de voyages biométrique pour apatrides
Who to contact
Immigration Directorate – Department for Foreigners (Direction de l'immigration – Service des étrangers)26, route d'Arlon
Postal address :
B.P. 752 L-2017 Luxembourg
Fax : (+352) 22 16 08Information desk: Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 12.00 / Application for and issuance of biometric residence permits (only by appointment): Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 16.00