A guide to Luxembourg’s visas, permits, and citizenship to help those who are planning on living, studying, or simply immigrating to Luxembourg.
Since 2008, the work permit and the residence permit (for third-country national workers) have been merged into a single permit, the Autorisation de séjour. Since 2009, dual or multiple citizenships have been permitted.
Luxembourg visas and permits
Luxembourg is a member of the Schengen Area. Schengen visa holders are able to move freely between the states on a short-term basis for up to 90 days, for either the purpose of tourism or business. With a Schengen visa, it is possible to enter one country and travel freely throughout the Schengen zone. Passport holders of certain other countries can benefit from the same rule.
EU citizens and others who are allowed free movement may enter Luxembourg and stay there for up to three months with a valid identity card or passport. In order to stay longer, they must either be employed by a company, self-employed, enrolled at a public or private educational institution or have sufficient resources to not be a burden on the social security system and have health insurance coverage. They must go to the local authority offices in their place of residence within three months of arrival, in order to apply for a registration certificate.
There is no need for a visa or permit for such individuals. Nationals from new member states must still apply for a work permit from the employment office.
For most non-EU nationals who wish to stay for up to three months, a visa is required. A short-stay visa can be applied for at a local Luxembourg embassy or consulate usually by submitting an application, a valid passport, proof of reason for visit, accommodation details and a return-ticket. They must also fill in an arrival certificate within three days at the administration communale (local authority offices).
If they plan to stay for more than three months, it is necessary to apply for a temporary residence permit as an employee or self-employed person, sportsperson, student, pupil, intern, researcher or family member from the immigration ministry before they arrive in Luxembourg, as this permit serves both as a residence and a work permit, replacing the typical work permit. This can also be done at the local consulate or embassy. If there is not an Embassy of Luxembourg available, a Dutch or Belgian embassy can usually provide the same applications.
How to apply for a Luxembourg visa or permit
Certain documents must be provided, such as a passport that is valid until a certain date after arrival, birth certificates of all family members, marriage or divorce certificates, proof of financial means and proof of school admission for students, and most of the documents will need to be translated. It usually takes three months for the permit to be awarded.
According to the European Employment Services, ‘Residence permits will be granted to employees as long as: it does not detract from the recruitment priority to which some workers are entitled; the activity in question must serve the country’s economic interests; the employee has the required technical skills; the vacancy for which the work contract has been signed has been declared at the ADEM (Employment Administration).
It is possible to be granted a waiver and be issued a residence permit if you are a qualified third country national applying for a job for which there is a shortage of qualified applications. Remember that permits are easier to obtain if your profile is attractive to Luxembourg. In the case of a highly skilled profession, a third country national may receive a ‘highly qualified worker’ residence permit.
Registering with your local authority
Anyone with the intent of staying longer than a year will have to apply for a foreigner’s identity card and register with the communal administration. The administration will supply the forms for the card and the list of required documents. The required items on the list can vary by commune, but there are some common items that appear on all communal lists. Typically you are expected to have a passport that has your provisional residence permit in it, a work permit or proof of financial resources, three passport size photos, medical certificate, a certificate of address change, a certificate of good conduct and a tax stamp.
Tax stamps must be obtained from an office of the Administration des Enregistrements et Domaines, a department of the Ministry of Finance generally referred to simply as l’Enregistrement. There isn’t an office in every town, but your town hall will advise you where the nearest office is. EU nationals are entitled to a free tax stamp. Citizens of the Americas, Singapore and Hong Kong are charged around EUR 10. Nationals of all other countries pay around EUR 30.
Once you submit your application for your identity card, you can expect it to take up to one year for the identity card to be issued to you. Do not be surprised if while you are waiting for the identity card you get a call from the local police. They may call to ask you some routine questions or to verify information like your salary.
Luxembourg ID cards
Everyone over the age of 15 must carry an identity card or passport at all times to prove their legal status or residence in the country. If you move house within Luxembourg, you must apply to have your identity card updated, and it is your responsibility to make sure you renew your card well in advance of its expiration date.
Citizenship in Luxembourg
Previously, those who planned to make Luxembourg their new home and wished to apply for citizenship were required to renounce their current citizenship. However, a legal change has been approved to allow dual citizenship.
To become a citizen you must be at least 18 years old, have lived in Luxembourg for at least 10 years and be fluent in all three national languages (French, German and Luxembourgish). Alternatively, you can apply for citizenship after five years of living in Luxembourg if you have ties with the country through birth, adoption or marriage.
Terms ( French – German)
Visa: Visa – Visa
Work permit: Permis de Travail – Arbeitserlaubnis
Passport: Passeport – Passport
Identity card: Carte d’Identité – Personalausweis
Citizenship: Citoyenneté – Staatsbürgerschaft