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Immigration & Work Permits

Work Permits

Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Luxembourg, as established by immigration laws.  Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Luxembourg market.  If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.

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EU/EEA (European Economic Area) and Swiss citizens do not need a work permit or visa to work in Luxembourg.

Non-Luxembourg nationals willing to stay for more than three months in Luxembourg have to apply for a residence permit (EEA nationals) or a foreign identity card (others) and to register in the municipality where they intend to live within three days of their arrival in Luxembourg.

Non-EEA nationals must obtain a work permit prior to the start of their employment activity in Luxembourg. An individual work permit is granted by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on recommendations of the Department of Employment. Priority is given to Luxembourg nationals and EU-nationals. In principle, for the first application, a work permit valid for one year and renewable will be granted. Exceptionally, in case of a group of workers seconded temporarily to Luxembourg, a collective permit can be delivered on behalf of the foreign company for a duration of maximum eight months.

Process of sponsoring a non-EEA worker

An employer in Luxembourg is not allowed to employ a non-EU citizen until the first has advertised the position at the Luxembourg employment office (Administration de l’Emploi – ADEM). Only if the available position cannot be filled by a Luxembourg resident may the employer offer the job to a non-EU citizen.

When non-EU citizens have been offered a job in Luxembourg, employers have to make sure that employees have applied for a temporary residence certificate (Autorisation de séjour temporaire) at the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before arrival in Luxembourg. Also, employees must request an Autorisation de séjour d’un ressortissant de pays tiers en vue d’une activité salariée. Application for authorisation to stay must be sent to the Direction de l’Immigration du ministère des Affaires étrangères.

  • Ministère des Affaires Etrangères, du Commerce Extérieur, de la Coopération, de l’Action Humanitaire et de la Défense
    At: 26, route d’Arlon, B.P. 752 L-2017 Luxembourg
    Tel: 24 78 40 40
    Fax: 22 16 08

The necessary documents vary depending on the type of application, however, the following documents are required in the majority of cases.

  • Certified copy of the applicant’s valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Certified copy of diplomas and professional qualifications
  • An affidavit or police record
  • Work contract, dated and signed by the applicant and the employer (if applicable)

All documents not in French, German or English should be translated into one of these languages by a sworn translator, and authenticated with an apostille certificate from a competent authority in the applicant’s place of residence.

If a reply has not been received within three months, the applicant can consider the application refused. It is important to note that once the Autorisation de séjour has been issued, the applicant must enter Luxembourg within 90 days or, if a visa is required, the application for a visa must be sent within 90 days.

Time

Applicants can generally expect a decision within 4-12 weeks from the date on which their application has been lodged.

Use the Shield GEO Employer of Record Solution

Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hands, coordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.

Types of visas in Luxembourg

Category Description of Visa
Short Stay Visas (“C”) A short stay visa (visa C) allows to transit through or stay in the Schengen area for an uninterrupted period of 90 days maximum or for 90 days accumulated in stages over 180 days for:

• tourist or family visits;
• business trips (visiting professional partners, negotiating and concluding contracts, etc.);
• participating in conferences (conference speakers and university lecturers) exhibitions, fairs or shows;
• participating in board of directors' meetings and general meetings;
• providing services within the same business group, etc.;

Third country nationals subject to a visa obligation who wish to stay in Luxembourg for less than 90 days over a period of 180 days for business, family or tourist visits, etc. must apply for a short stay visa (visa C).

Visa applications should in principle be lodged at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit and cannot be lodged earlier than 3 months before the start of the intended visit.

Holders of a multiple-entry visa may lodge the application before the expiry of the visa valid for a period of at least 6 months.

The applicant must submit a completed and signed Schengen visa application in person at:
- the Luxembourg diplomatic mission or consulate in his country of residence;
- or, failing that, the embassy or consulate of the country in the Schengen area which represents Luxembourg for the issuance of visas.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
1) 2 recent and identical identity photos;
2) a valid passport or a travel document accepted in the Schengen area, which is valid for at least 3 months after the expiry date of the requested visa;
3) supporting documents associated with the purpose of the journey, such as:
- an authenticated formal obligation (undertaking of financial responsibility) from a guarantor resident in Luxembourg;
- official letter of invitation for a business visit;
- a hotel reservation;
- a return airline ticket;
- proof of sufficient means of subsistence (bank account statements, cash, credit cards, etc.);
- proof of legal residence in the normal country of residence;
- health insurance covering the travel period.

Before sending the formal obligation to the third country national for whom he is acting as guarantor, the guarantor must:
1. officially authenticate his signature on the form at his commune of residence;
2. send the form to the Passport, Visa and Legalisation Office (Bureau des passeports, visas et légalisations) for a stay of less than 90 days or to the Immigration Directorate for a stay of more than 3 months along with:
o his last 3 salary slips or a document stating his monthly revenue;
o a copy of his passport or national identity card;
o if he is a foreign national, proof of lawful residence in Luxembourg;
o a copy of the non-EU national's valid passport for whom he is a guarantor.

If his application is accepted, the guarantor receives an official stamped copy of the document. The foreign national then has 6 months to use this document to apply for his visa.

The issuance of the visa alone does not necessarily give the right of entry or stay in Luxembourg.
Other supporting documentation, in relation to the purpose of the visit, may be requested.

Applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of their lodging. In particular cases, namely whenfurther scrutiny of the application is needed or if the if the application is submitted to a consulate of a State representing Luxembourg, this period may be extended up to a maximum of 30 calendar days.
As an exception, when additional documentation is needed in specific cases, the period may be extended up to a maximum of 60 calendar days.

When the visa is granted, it is affixed in the passport in the form of a visa sticker.
The visa type C allows for stays for a duration not exceeding 90 days over any 180-day period. The visa can be issued for one or several entries, depending on the reasons of stay.

It does not give the holder the right to carry out a paid activity in Luxembourg. In this case, the person must apply for a visa type D.
Possession of a visa does not confer an irrevocable right of entry. The holder of a visa is required to show evidence, atexternal borders, that he fulfills the conditions of entry in accordance with the Schengen Borders Code (article 5).

Extension of the visa C

When applying for a visa extension, the applicant must show that he cannot leave Luxembourg before the expiry of his visa or the authorized period of stay, for reasons of force majeure, for humanitarian reasons or for serious personal reasons.
As a rule, the visa can only be extended if the applicant has stayed less than 90 days in the Schengen area, in the course of the past 180 days, and if his current visa is not expired.
The application has to be sent to the Passport, Visa and Legalisation Office.

Cost: EUR 60
Long Stay Visas (“D”) If foreigners wish to travel to Ireland for more than 3 months, for example to pursue a course of study, for work or to settle permanently in Ireland with family members who are already resident in Ireland, then they can apply for a long stay ‘D’ visa for a single entry.

Before applying for a visa D, a non-EU national must apply, from his country of origin, for a temporary authorisation to stayat the Immigration Directorate of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes).

The application procedure for the authorisation to stay depends on the proposed activity:
• salaried worker (employee);
• self-employed worker;
• highly qualified worker;
• researcher;
• sportsman;
• student;
• pupil;
• private reasons;
• au pair;
• salaried worker posted by a company established outside the EU;
• trainee.

In the 90 days following receipt of the temporary residence certificate, the applicant must submit, in person, a long stay visa application (D) in 2 copies to the Luxembourg diplomatic or consular mission in his country of residence or, failing that, to the embassy or consulate of the country in the Schengen area which represents Luxembourg for the issuance of long-stay visas (only the Belgian embassy or consulate).

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:
• 2 recent and identical identity photos;
• a valid passport or a travel document accepted in the Schengen area, which is valid for at least 3 months after the expiry date of the requested visa;
• the temporary authorization to stay.

When the visa is granted, it is affixed in the passport in the form of a stamp or vignette.

A visa type D is valid for a period of 90 days to 1 year maximum.

Cost: EUR 50
EU Blue Card A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg to work as a highly qualified worker for a period of more than 3 months, must follow a procedure in 2 consecutive steps:

1. The future third-country worker must submit an application for a temporary authorisation to stay (on plain paper) from his country of origin:
• to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs;
• to a Luxembourg diplomatic and consular representation;
• or to a diplomatic or consular mission representing Luxembourg.

2. The application must be submitted and approved before coming to Luxembourg, except in certain special cases (i.e. third-country nationals who already hold a residence permit in Luxembourg).
Applications submitted from inside Luxembourg are inadmissible.

The application for a temporary authorisation to stay must contain the applicant's identity (surname, first name and contact details) and must be accompanied by the following documents and information:
• a certified copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
• a birth certificate;
• a copy of the police record or an affidavit (sworn oath) established in the country of residence;
• a curriculum vitae;
• a certified copy of the applicant's diplomas or professional qualifications;
• a copy of the employment contract (compliant with Luxembourg law), dated and signed by both the applicant and his future employer in Luxembourg. The contract must have a duration of at least one year and provide for a gross annual salary of at least 1.5 times the average gross annual salary (i.e. EUR 71,946 in 2015) or, where applicable, 1.2 times the average gross annual salary (i.e. EUR 57,556.80 in 2015);
• a covering letter to support the application;
• where necessary, a proxy.

The documents enclosed must be originals or certified true copies.

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 an apostille of the Hague).

If the documents are not drawn up in German, French or English, an official translation by a sworn translator must be attached.
If the information or documents provided are incomplete, the applicant will be given a reasonable deadline to submit the missing documents and information. The application may be rejected if the deadline is not met.

The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs has maximum 3 months to send a reply. If no decision is sent within this time, the application has been rejected.

In case of a favourable reply, the third-country national receives a "temporary authorisation to stay", sent by post. This temporary authorisation to stay is valid for a duration of 90 days. During that time, the third-country national must:
• either apply for an entry visa to the Schengen area, if he is subject to visa requirements;
• or, if he is not subject to visa requirements, enter Luxembourg territory and make a declaration of arrival to the administration of the commune where he resides.

After entering Luxembourg, the third-country national must take steps to obtain a residence permit.

Passport and visa

Third-country nationals who are not subject to visa requirements may enter Luxembourg with their authorisation to stay and their valid passport.

Before travelling and leaving the country of origin, the third-country national subject to a visa must bring the authorisation to stay and submit a visa type D application form to the Luxembourg diplomatic or consular mission in his country of residence or, failing that, at the embassy or consulate of the country in the Schengen area which represents Luxembourg with regard to the issuance of visas (Belgium or the Netherlands).

The visa, valid for a maximum period of 3 months, is affixed in the passport in the form of a seal.

If the third-country national has a valid residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen or a valid residence permit issued by another EU Member State, a visa is not required. The third-country national must nonetheless have a temporary authorisation to stay.

Declaration of arrival

When entering Luxembourg territory, the third-country national must hold valid travel documents (visa and passport, where applicable), as well as his temporary authorisation to stay.

He/she must make a declaration of arrival at the administration of the commune where he intends to establish residence, within3 days of arrival in Luxembourg, presenting:
• a valid travel document (passport and, where applicable, a visa or a residence permit issued by another EU Member State);
• the original temporary authorisation to stay;
• a valid proof of address (i.e.: rental agreement, electricity bill, etc.), where applicable.

The applicant will receive a copy of the declaration of arrival as a receipt.

The copy of the declaration of arrival together with the authorisation to stay are valid as a work and residence permit until the residence permit is issued.

Medical check

The third-country worker must undergo a medical check for foreigners as soon as possible which consists in:
• a medical examination by a doctor established in Luxembourg and authorised to work as a general practitioner or a practitioner specialised in internal medicine or pediatrics;
• and a TB screening by the Health and Social Welfare League (Ligue médico-sociale - LMS).

After receiving the results of these examinations, the Immigration Medical Department (Service Médical de l'Immigration - SMI) of the National Health Directorate (Direction de la Santé) will issue a medical certificate, which will be sent to the Immigration Directorate (Direction de l'Immigration) of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes) to allow the residence permit application to be processed.

Residence permit application

Third-country workers must submit an application for a residence permit for third-country nationals, also called EU Blue Card, to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs within 3 months of entry into Luxembourg.

The following documents must be sent together with the residence permit application form:
• a certified copy of the valid passport, in its entirety;
• a copy of the authorisation to stay;
• a copy of the declaration of arrival established by the communal authority;
• proof of suitable housing (rental agreement, property deed, etc.);
• proof of payment of a EUR 80 tax into the IBAN account LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (BIC: CCPLULL, beneficiary: ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Direction de l'immigration; Communication: titre de séjour dans le chef de 'insert your name here').

When the application is approved, the applicant will receive a letter inviting him/her to come in person with a valid passport to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs during opening hours. The applicant will get his/herphotograph and fingerprints taken, which will be incorporated into the residence permit. The applicant may also bring a recent photograph compliant with OACI/ICAO standards ('biometric passport standards').

A few days after the biometric data have been provided, the applicant may pick up the residence permit in person at the Immigration Directorate. The exact date will be communicated to the applicant at the time the biometric data are being collected.

The residence permit takes the form of a chip card containing the biometric data. It includes the work permit.

The residence permit includes information about its holder (surname, first name, nationality, date and place of birth), as well as specific information about the residence permit (permit category, date of beginning and end of validity of the permit).

Certain residence permit categories include additional information in the field "observation".

After receiving his/her residence permit, the applicant must return to the administration of the commune of residence with the passport in order to confirm the arrival declaration and obtain a certificate of residence.

The residence permit is valid from the date of the arrival declaration at the commune. The residence permit is renewable on request as long as the application conditions are met and its holder can prove that he/she has effectively worked for the duration of validity of the residence permit.

The first residence permit for highly qualified workers is valid:
• for 2 years;
• or, if the employment contract has a duration of less than 2 years, for the duration of the contract plus 3 months;
• for one profession only with all employers;
• in only one sector.

The sector and profession for which the non-EU national is authorised to work are indicated on the residence permit under the field "observations" in the form of an "ISCO" code.

It is a 3-digit code representing the profession for which the access to the job market is granted, defined according to the ISCO classification (International standard classification of occupations). The ISCO classification is an international classification of professions developed by the International Labour Organization.

The complete list of ISCO codes is available online. For more information on the classification, see the website of the International Labour Organization.

A change of sector and/or profession is only possible if authorised by the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs.

Renewal of the residence permit

If the conditions are met for the first renewal and for each subsequent renewal, the residence permit is valid for:
• 2 years;
• and for any salaried activity which meets the conditions of higher professional qualifications.

Renewal procedure

Third-country nationals must submit an application for renewal of the EU Blue Card to the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes) within 2 months prior to the expiry date of the residence permit.

The application for renewal must be accompanied by the following documents:
• a certified copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
• a copy of the work contract (valid and compliant with Luxembourg labour law), duly dated and signed, for a annual gross salary of minimum 1.5 times the average annual gross salary;
• proof of payment of a salary (e.g. the last 3 salary slips, tax return, etc.);
• a recent certificate of affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS) which must include all the salaried worker's affiliations;
• a recent residence certificate;
• a recent extract from the Luxembourg police records;
• proof of payment of a EUR 80 tax into the IBAN account LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (BIC: CCPLULL, beneficiary: ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Direction de l'immigration; Communication: titre de séjour dans le chef de 'insert your name here').

Cost: EUR 80
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