Visas & Immigration

Work visas and permits in Luxembourg

Planning a move to Europe’s most cosmopolitan country? Find out all that you need to know about applying for Luxembourg work visas.

Luxembourg work visa
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By Kieren Healy

Updated 3-4-2024

Working in Luxembourg is an attractive option for an increasing number of expats. However, before you start searching for your dream job in the Grand Dutchy, you should check what kind of documents you need to legally work there, as most people from outside the European Union (EU) will require a work visa.

There are a few different routes to obtaining a work visa for Luxembourg, and to help you understand the requirements and process, this article covers the following:

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Working in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is an increasingly popular destination for expats, thanks to its high average wages, low crime rates, and great transport links. Companies like Amazon, Paypal, and Skype have chosen to set up shop there, making it more attractive for workers in the technology sector. However, the most important industry in Luxembourg is finance, which is directly or indirectly responsible for just under 30% of the country’s jobs.

A landscape view of the sun setting over Luxembourg City, with tall buildings in the background
Luxembourg City (Photo: Johny Goerend/Unsplash)

Luxembourg is one of the most cosmopolitan places on earth, with around 47% of the population hailing from other countries. This can be seen most clearly in the cities, where foreign workers usually live. Due to its location, Luxembourg also attracts almost 200,000 cross-border commuters who actually live in France, Germany, or Belgium. In fact, around 70% of the country’s workforce consists of either immigrants or cross-border commuters.

Luxembourg is part of the European Union, so its workers are protected by EU labor laws. The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes in French, and Ministerium für auswärtige und europäische Angelegenheiten in German), which is a subsection of the Immigration Directorate, grants all visas.

Your chances of finding a job in Luxembourg will depend on your chosen sector. For instance, the country is particularly welcoming – and in need of – skilled workers, as its economy relies heavily on banking, insurance, and more recently, technology. Therefore, it offers the EU Blue Card for a number of tech jobs that come with a lower salary requirement. Those wanting to apply must have an offer of only 1.2 times the average gross salary in Luxembourg (€67.824), rather than the usual 1.5 (€84.780) required for other sectors.

Who needs a work visa in Luxembourg?

Citizens of most EU countries – except for Croatia – do not require a permit to work in Luxembourg. Additionally, citizens of member states of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which includes Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein can work there without a special permit. However, non-EU citizens will need to obtain a work visa to legally work in the country.

a smartly-dressed woman smiling while looking at her phone, sat in front of a laptop at a desk
Photo: Daria Pimkina/Unsplash

All newcomers to Luxembourg need to register their arrival at their local Census Office (bureau de la population in French, Einwohnermeldeamt in German). This is mandatory if you plan to spend more than 90 days in the country, and you will need to bring your passport or ID card with you.

The process is a little more complex if you are a non-EU citizen. You will usually require an employment contract first and must submit an application for temporary authorization to stay at the Immigration Directorate (Department for Foreigners) before entering Luxembourg. On arrival, you will then need to pass a medical check before you can apply for a residence permit.

It is important to note that now the UK is no longer part of the European Union, the status of British citizens has changed, and they will need to go through the same procedures as other non-EU workers.

Types of work visa in Luxembourg

There are several different types of work visas available in Luxembourg, including:

  • Salaried workers
  • Highly qualified workers
  • Young au pairs
  • Investors
  • Researchers

Salaried worker visas in Luxembourg

This visa is available for workers who have a job offer from a company in Luxembourg. The employer must follow several steps in the application process.

Requirements

The employer handles most of this application, so you will first need to find a company to hire you. In theory, this visa is only granted when there are no suitable candidates available within Luxembourg or the EU job market.

How to apply

The employer must first declare a vacant position to the National Employment Agency – ADEM (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi in French). If there is no suitable candidate in the local or EU job market to fill the vacancy within three weeks, the employer can issue an employment contract to a non-EU candidate.

a close-up of two hands shaking in a formal job interview
Photo: Cytonn Photography/Unsplash

The employer will need to submit an application to the director of the ADEM, requesting a certificate of permission. Once this is done, the employer and employee can sign a contract.

The employee must request his own residence permit, however, they can ask the employer for help and supporting documents.

Visa costs

There is a standard fee of €80, which also applies to renewals.

Visa length

The visa has a maximum duration of one year, after which it can be renewed for a maximum of three years. Notably, the applicant cannot change jobs or sectors without government permission before renewing the visa for the first time.

Highly qualified worker visas (EU Blue Cards)

The highly qualified worker visa is also known as the EU Blue Card. The procedure for obtaining one is similar to the salaried worker visa but is only available for particular jobs.

Requirements

Similar to a salaried worker visa, you must have an offer of employment before you can apply for an EU Blue Card. This must be for highly qualified work. Furthermore, the salary must be either 1.5 times the average gross salary in Luxembourg or, for certain desirable professions, 1.2 times the average. These professions are usually in the technology sector. You will also need evidence of your diplomas and professional qualifications, which must be provided in English, French, or German.

How to apply

The employer must declare a vacant position to the ADEM, then sign a contract with the highly qualified worker. The employee will need to provide their documents, including their passport, CV, qualifications, and employment contract.

Visa costs

There is a standard fee of €80, which also applies to renewals.

Visa length

The EU Blue Card is initially valid for four years. If the contract is less than four years, it is valid for the period of the contract plus three months. It can also be renewed.

Young au pair visas in Luxembourg

An au pair visa is only valid for people aged 18 to 30. You will need an approved host family to apply for this visa.

Requirements

You must have proof of education, showing that you attended school until a minimum age of 17. Additionally, you will need to show basic knowledge of the host family’s spoken language. You must also have some knowledge of either English, French, German, or Luxembourgish.

Finally, you must have a signed hosting agreement with the host family and a medical check-up showing that you are able to carry out the duties of an au pair.

How to apply

You will need to apply for an au pair visa before entering Luxembourg. Notably, you cannot enter the country before your visa is approved. The au pair will need to submit the application but can ask the host family for help and supporting documents.

Visa costs

This visa costs €80.

Visa length

The visa has a maximum duration of one year. It is important to note that an au pair visa cannot be renewed, and an au pair cannot transfer to another visa.

Investor visas in Luxembourg

There are high financial requirements for an investor visa, which is available to those who are planning to support the economy in Luxembourg.

Requirements

To apply for this visa, you must be able to invest one of the following amounts:

  • At least €500,000 in an existing company registered in Luxembourg
  • At least €500,000 in a new business that will be registered in Luxembourg and will create at least five jobs
  • At least €3,000,000 in a management and investment structure registered in Luxembourg
  • At least €20,000,000 to be deposited with a financial institution established in Luxembourg

You will also need to commit to maintaining your investment for a period of time, which is usually five years.

How to apply

To obtain an investor visa, you will need to gain approval from either the Ministry of the Economy or the Ministry of Finance. You must provide proof of your project plans, which can vary on a case-by-case basis.

Visa costs

There is a standard fee of €80, which will be charged again if the worker renews the permit.

Visa length

The visa has a maximum duration of three years, after which it can be renewed as long as the investment conditions are still being met.

Researcher visas in Luxembourg

A researcher visa is available to academics who have signed a hosting agreement with an educational institution in Luxembourg.

Requirements

You will need a higher education diploma that allows you to access doctorate programs. You should also have a signed hosting agreement with your research institute of choice.

How to apply

The research institute must first apply for accreditation, then draw up a hosting agreement with the applicant. You will need to apply for your visa before entering Luxembourg, and you should not enter before it is approved.

Visa costs

There is a standard fee of €80, which also applies to renewals.

Visa length

The visa is valid for one year, or for the duration of the research project. If the research is ongoing, renewals are possible.

Work visas in Luxembourg for students

Students must provide proof of sufficient resources in order to apply for a student visa. While studying in Luxembourg, you have the right to work up to 15 hours per week, or more during the summer and other holiday periods, in any job you choose.

a male student reaching up to take a book off the shelf at a library in Luxembourg
Photo: Lynn Kintziger/Unsplash

You can read more about the student visa and the different types of educational institutions on offer in the Grand Dutchy in our article on studying in Luxembourg.

Work visas for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and the self-employed

As a self-employed worker, you will need to provide evidence of relevant qualifications in order to receive a visa. You must also provide proof that you have sufficient resources to carry out your plans.

Moreover, when you apply for your visa, you will need to show that your business proposal will serve the interests of the country.

A self-employed residence permit costs €80 and is valid for three years. Renewals are also possible.

Work visas for seasonal/temporary workers

A seasonal work visa is only available for specific jobs that are classified as seasonal activities.

These include harvesting crops, tour guides and other holiday jobs, and short-term hospitality roles.

To get this visa, you will first need a signed seasonal job contract. The company must declare a vacant position. If there are no local or EU candidates that are able to fill the position within three weeks, the company can write to the director of ADEM, requesting a permission certificate to hire a non-EU national. You will need this permission certificate, along with your signed contract, to request the visa.

A seasonal worker’s visa is valid for no more than five months over a total period of 12 months. Notably, seasonal workers cannot change to a different visa category.

Volunteering and work experience in Luxembourg

You must be under 30 years old to obtain a volunteer visa for Luxembourg. The National Youth Service or SNJ (Service national de la jeunesse in French) must approve your application. You will also need proof from your volunteer program, including confirmation of living expenses.

Volunteer visas are valid for one year. They are not renewable, and volunteers cannot change to a different visa category.

Work visas in Luxembourg for family members

Family reunification covers non-EU nationals who want to bring family members to Luxembourg. This includes spouses or registered partners, and unmarried children under 18. In some cases, parents and older children may be given permission. However, this is on a case-by-case basis.

A little boy playing outside with a fishing net in a park in Luxembourg
Photo: Lynn Kintziger/Unsplash

If you are living in Luxembourg, you will effectively act as the sponsor for your family members. You will need to demonstrate your intention to apply for a long-term residence permit, provide proof of resources, and have suitable accommodation. You will also need health insurance coverage for your family members.

Once in Luxembourg, family members can apply for a work permit. During their first year of residence, they will be treated as non-EU nationals, and can only apply for jobs if there are no suitable local or EU candidates. After one year, this requirement stops.

Appeals and complaints about work visas in Luxembourg

If your application for a visa is denied, you can appeal. To do this, you will need to make your appeal to the Administrative Tribunal.

For problems regarding a residence permit, you can go to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, which has ultimate control over decisions about visas and permits.

Useful resources

  • Guichet.lu – a government website that provides more information about applying for various work permits in Luxembourg
  • Guichet.lu – provides information for British nationals in Luxembourg who are affected by Brexit
  • ADEM – the national jobseekers’ portal in Luxembourg which provides job listings and other important information about working in the country
  • Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs – provides relevant, up-to-date news for those looking to live and work in Luxembourg