Moving to Luxembourg?
Luxembourg’s Visa Requirements
Schengen Visas: Do You Need One?
Expats who have visited or lived in Europe before may be familiar with the concept of the Schengen visa. In fact, the convention which aimed to eliminate border controls between participating countries was signed in a town called Schengen, in Luxembourg. With this type of visa, you are free to travel between the participating countries without requiring additional visa documents or being subject to border controls.
Schengen visas are valid for 90 days and are a good short-term option if you are making a preliminary trip to Luxembourg. Not all visitors are required to apply for a Schengen visa: if you’re not sure, check this list of countries (in French) to see if you will require a visa.
Long-Term Stays for Union Citizens: Only One Document Is Needed
So-called Union citizens, i.e. EU/EEA nationals and Swiss citizens, who are planning on living in Luxembourg, have no need for such a Schengen visa, nor do they need to apply for a residence or work permit.
In general, however, as long as a Union citizen can prove that they have sufficient resources at their disposal (e.g. in the form of a job in Luxembourg), they only need to apply for a Registration Attestation (Attestation d’enregistrement) at the responsible municipality where they are planning to stay for more than three months.
Residence Permit for a Salaried Employee: It Is More Complicated
If you aren’t such a Union citizen, you will need to secure a valid entry visa, i.e. a temporary authorization to stay (Autorisation de Séjour Temporaire), as well as a residence permit in order to work as an expat in Luxembourg. There are various categories based on which you might be able to apply for these. The following information refers to the application process for salaried employees.
Before Your Move
There are a few steps your prospective employer has to take before you can apply for your residence permit. They have to declare the vacant post to the Administration de l’Emploi (Employment Office) and prove that they could not find a suitable employee in Luxembourg’s or the EU’s labor market for the position in question. Only then can they hire you and only then can you apply for an AST — Authorisation de Séjour Temporaire (Temporary Residency Authorization). You must apply for an AST before your move to Luxembourg. There are many different AST categories under which you can apply, including salaried worker, highly-qualified worker (EU Blue Card), transferred worker, independent worker, researcher, student, au pair, and several more.
In order to apply for an AST, you need to submit the following documents:
- a certified copy of your valid passport
- your birth certificate
- a copy of your police record
- your curriculum vitae
- certified copies of your diplomas and other professional qualifications, with official translations if necessary
- an employment contract dated and signed both by you and your employer. (The contract must conform to Luxembourg labor law.)
- a letter of motivation (explanatory letter) to support your application
- the original recent certificate issued by Agence pour le Développement de l’Emploi, which confirms that your employer has approval to offer a foreigner the position
After you have received a positive response, it is time to get ready for your move to Luxembourg.
Formalities after Your Arrival
EU/EEA citizens and Swiss nationals need, as previously mentioned, only make an Attestation d’Enregistrement (Registration Attestation). Third-country nationals, however, are not completely done with the red tape yet. Within three days of your arrival, you need to visit the authorities of your municipality, the so-called Administration Communale, to make a Déclaration d’Arrivée (declaration of arrival). Do not forget to bring your AST along. You should receive a copy of your declaration which, together with your AST, provides proof of legal residence until the official permit for an employed worker is issued.
From that point on, you have 90 days to apply for your Titre de Séjour (residence permit) for a salaried employee. During this time you should undergo a medical examination by a Luxembourg doctor and report to the Ligue Médico-Sociale for a tuberculosis test; the results will be sent to the Direction de l’Immigration (Immigration Directorate), to which you should submit the following documents:
- an application form for a residence permit
- a certified copy of your passport
- a certified copy of your AST
- a certified copy of your arrival declaration
- proof of suitable housing, e.g. a rental contract
- proof of payment of the 50 EUR fee
Once the Immigration Directorate has received and processed both your application and medical results, you are sent a letter inviting you to present yourself personally; you must take your passport and a biometric photograph with you. Your fingerprints and the biometric photograph are stored and integrated into your residence permit, which you can usually pick up a few days later. After you’ve picked up your residence permit, you need to return to your municipal authority to receive a Certificat de Residence (Certificate of Residency).
Your residence permit is valid for one year. It can, however, be extended for the duration of two years on your first and for the duration of three years on your second renewal — just make sure you renew your visa at least two months before it expires!
We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.