Conditions of residence for students from third countries

This page was last modified on 07-07-2017

A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg for a period of more than 3 months to study, must follow a procedure in 2 consecutive steps:

  • Step 1: before entering the country:
    • submit an application for a temporary authorisation to stay to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs;
    • hold a valid passport;
    • for persons subject to visa requirements in order to enter Luxembourg: request a type D visa after having obtained the temporary authorisation to stay;
  • Step 2:after entering the country:
    • make a declaration of arrival in the new commune of residence in Luxembourg;
    • undergo a medical check;
    • apply for a residence permit for third-country students.

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

Who is concerned

A third-country national (i.e. from a country which is neither an EU Member State nor a country treated as such - Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland) who resides in a third country and wishes to establish his residence in Luxembourg to study will need an authorisation to stay and then a residence permit.

The following persons are considered to be students:

  • persons enrolled in a higher education establishment in Luxembourg;
  • in order to pursue, as a main activity, a complete study cycle on a full-time basis leading to an academic degree or diploma issued by said establishment.

Researchers enrolled in doctoral programmes (PhD) are also considered as students.

The following are considered to be higher education establishments:

  • the University of Luxembourg;
  • education establishments awarding the advanced technician's certificate (brevet de technicien supérieur - BTS);
  • approved private higher education establishments.

No prior authorisation is required for a third-country national who is a family member of a EU citizen (or of a citizen from a country treated as such).

The student must submit the application for the authorisation to stay in person. However, he may mandate a third party, such as the university, to carry out the necessary procedures.

Prerequisites

However, third-country nationals must meet the following requirements first:

  • have a valid passport;
  • check whether or not they have to obtain a visa to enter the Schengen area;
  • fulfil the conditions to be considered a student.

How to proceed

Step 1: before entering the country

Temporary authorisation to stay

The future third-country student must submit an application for a temporary authorisation to stay (on plain paper) from his country of origin:

The application must be submitted and approved before entering the country. Applications submitted from Luxembourg are inadmissible.

The application for a temporary authorisation to stay must contain the applicant's identity details (surname(s), given name(s) and address) and must be accompanied by the following documents and information:

  • a certified copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
  • a birth certificate;
  • an extract from the police records or an affidavit (sworn oath) established in the country of residence;
  • a copy of the registration as a full-time student in an approved higher education establishment in Luxembourg;
  • proof of sufficient resources to cover for living expenses and return-travel costs. The monthly resources must at least be equal to 80 % of the current guaranteed minimum income. The following may be used as proof:
  • parental authorisation if the student is under 18;
  • a health insurance certificate covering illness in Luxembourg;
  • where necessary, a proxy.

Proxy:
third-country nationals may give a mandate to a third party to submit the application in their place. In this case, the proxy holder, with the exception of attorneys, must provide proof of their mandate in the form of a written power of attorney, duly dated and signed by the principal. The signature must be preceded by the handwritten note "bon pour procuration" ("good for 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 certified by the embassy (or 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.

The time required for a response from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is generally a maximum of 3 months. If no response is received 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:

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

Particular case: Students taking part in an EU or bilateral exchange programme

A third-country student who has lawfully resided in another Member State as a student for at least 2 years and who wishes to continue his studies in Luxembourg in the framework of an EU or bilateral student exchange programme must also obtain an authorisation to stay before coming to Luxembourg.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • a certified copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
  • a birth certificate;
  • an extract from the criminal records or an affidavit (sworn oath) established in the country of residence;
  • a copy of the full-time registration in the approved higher education establishment in Luxembourg;
  • a file listing his academic background to date and a justification stating that the planned study cycle in Luxembourg supplements the cycle already completed;
  • a copy of the registration as a full-time student in a higher education establishment;
  • proof of sufficient resources to cover for the cost of living and return travel (minimum 80% of the guaranteed minimum income);
  • parental authorisation if the student is under 18;
  • a health insurance certificate covering illness in Luxembourg.

Passport and visa

If he is not subject to visa requirements, the third-country national may enter Luxembourg with the authorisation to stay and a valid passport.

Third-country nationals subject to a visa obligation must submit, before their journey and from their country of origin, a type D visa application and present their temporary authorisation to stay to the Luxembourg diplomatic or consular representation in their country of origin, 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 visa, valid for a maximum period of 3 months, is affixed in the passport in the form of a seal.

If the passport is due to expire in less than 6 months, it should be renewed before coming to Luxembourg.

If the third-country national has a valid residence card 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 in Luxembourg.

Step 2: after entering the country

Declaration of arrival

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

They must make a declaration of arrival at the administration of the commune where they intend to establish residence, within 3 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;
  • where applicable, a valid proof of address (i.e.: rental agreement, electricity bill, etc.).

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 an authorisation to study and as an authorisation to stay until the residence permit is issued.

Medical check

A third-country student must undergo a medical check for foreigners as soon as possible which consists of:

  • 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 paediatrics;
  • 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 Affairs (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) to allow the residence permit application to be processed.

Residence permit application

The third-country national student must submit an application for a residence permit for third-country national students 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 pages with content of the valid passport;
  • a copy of the authorisation to stay;
  • a copy of the declaration of arrival established by the communal authority;
  • proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 tax to the account IBAN LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (BIC: CCPLLULL, 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 to come in person with his/her valid passport and said letter to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs during opening hours. The applicant will get his photograph and fingerprints taken, which will be incorporated into the residence permit. The applicant may also bring a recent photograph compliant with the OACI / ICAO standards ("biometric passport standards").

A few days after the biometric data have been provided, the applicant can collect his 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.

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". In the case of the "student" residence permit, the observation on the permit includes information on eligibility for work.

Carrying out a paid activity

During their studies, access to the job market is restricted for holders of a residence permit for third-country students.

Depending on the level of studies engaged in, a third-country student may carry out a paid activity with his residence permit:

  • during the 2 first semesters of a bachelor's degree or an advanced technician's certificate (BTS): the student is not authorised to carry out a paid activity.
    Exceptions: a paid activity in a higher education establishment of 10hrs/week maximum is permitted;
  • as of the 3rd semester of the bachelor's degree or advanced technician's certificate, master's degree and doctorate: the student is authorised to carry out paid work for a maximum of 10 hours per week (in average).
    Exceptions
    : this restriction of 10 hours per week does not apply to:
    • paid work carried out during school holidays;
    • research work carried out in the higher education establishment or in an accredited research institute forming part of a doctorate programme;
    • employment contracts concluded by assistants of the University of Luxembourg.

Before hiring a third-country student (or in case of a change of employment contract), the employer must send a written declaration to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, stating:

Once these formalities are accomplished, the student may be hired by simply showing his residence permit for student.

Employers hiring a third-country student have to:

  • request to see the student's temporary authorisation to stay/residence permit before the working relationship can begin;
  • request a copy of the student's temporary authorisation to stay/residence permit and keep said copy for the whole duration of the contract;

The employer must notify the beginning of the working relationship to the Immigration Directorate in writing (mail, email or fax) within 3 working days as from the worker's first day of work and specifically state:

  • the identity of the worker and their national identification number (matricule - 13-digit social security number);
  • the start date of employment;
  • the identity of the employer.
Employers must notify the Minister of any change to the nature or duration of the contract and of the number of work hours per month.

Employers who illegally employ one or more posted workers from third countries with no valid authorisation to stay or residence permit may face administrative and criminal sanctions.

Traineeship

Students wishing to undertake a traineeship must complete certain formalities depending on the type of traineeship:

  • for a mandatory unpaid traineeship forming part of the academic study cycle, the residence permit for students will suffice as a valid authorisation;
  • a paid traineeship (a traineeship including an employment contract and a salary, and thus assimilated to a job) is compared to a job. The restrictions regarding access to the job market apply;
  • work which is essentially educational in nature and carried out in the framework of paid internship training courses (stage de formation) or paid probationary training (stage probatoire) is not considered to be equivalent to a job (i.e. paid employment), and the limitation of 10h/week does not apply.

Internship training courses ou probationary training are defined as the training course specified in article L.151-in the Labour Code, and which must:

  • be essentially educational in nature;
  • be organised and supervised by a Luxembourg or foreign higher education establishment;
  • or be organised by an employer on the basis of an internship contract between the employer and a student or pupil.

The provision and terms of execution of the internship are set by the Grand Ducal regulation of 10 August 1982 on the conditions and terms for training courses and probationary training as specified in article 1, para.2 of the law of 22 July 1982 on the occupation of pupils and students during school holidays (currently article L.151 of the Labour Code).

In order to be considered to be educational work in the sense of article L.151-1 of the Labour Code, the internship training or probationary training organised by an employer on the basis of an internship contract concluded between the employer and the pupil or student must:

  • be fully part of the training, in accordance with the programmes of the Luxembourg or foreign education establishment;
  • be informative or provide orientation;
  • not assign the student or pupil to tasks that require a work output comparable to that of the employer's permanent employees.

Period of validity and renewal

Period of validity of the residence permit

The residence permit is valid from the date of the declaration of arrival at the commune. It is renewable on request as long as the application conditions are met.

The residence permit for students is valid either for a minimum of 1 year or only for the duration of the study cycle in the event its duration is shorter.

The residence permit for "students" contains an observation on eligibility for work.

Attention: foreigners who intend to leave the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for a durationof more than 6 months must return their residence permit to the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and make a declaration of departure at the administration of the commune where they resided.

Renewal procedure

In order to renew a residence permit, non-EU nationals must apply to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs 2 months prior to the expiry date of the residence permit.

The following documents must be sent together with the renewal application form:

  • a certified copy of the pages with content of the valid passport;
  • proof of registration in a higher education establishment;
  • parental authorisation if the student is under 18;
  • proof of sufficient resources to cover living and return-travel costs. The following may be used as proof:
  • A recent certificate of affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS) which must include all the third-country national's affiliations with Luxembourg social security;
  • a recent copy of the criminal record in Luxembourg;
  • proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 tax to the account IBAN LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (BIC: CCPLLULL, beneficiary: ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Direction de l'immigration; Communication: titre de séjour dans le chef de 'insert your name here').

Salaried activities after the completion of studies

Every third-country national who has been awarded his/her higher education diploma (studies of at least 5 years) in Luxembourg can obtain a residence permit to carry out a professional activity through a simplified procedure for:

  • (salaried) worker or
  • self-employed worker.

In order to benefit from this procedure, the third-country national must send an application for an authorisation to stay for salaried workers to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs before the expiry date on the authorisation to stay for salaried or self-employed workers and also attach/state:

  • a certified copy of the pages with content of their valid passport;
  • A recent certificate of affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS) which must include all the third-country national's affiliations with Luxembourg social security;
  • a recent copy of the criminal record in Luxembourg;
  • a copy of his higher education diploma, stating that he successfully completed his academic cycle in Luxembourg;
  • that the paid work which he intends to carry out is in direct relation to his academic education;
  • for salaried activity: a certificate from the National Employment Administration (ADEM) giving the employer the right to recruit a person of his choice, and a copy of his employment contract (dated, signed and compliant with Luxembourg labour law);
  • for self-employed activity:
    • a business and a financing plan;
    • a proof that the applicant has the necessary economic resources to carry out his/her business project or to takeover a business;
    • in the case of a takeover of a business, the balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the past three financial years;
    • in the case of an activity subject to a business permit, the agreement in principle;
    • in the case of an activity subject to other authorisations, accreditations or registrations, the agreement in principle from the competent authority.
  • proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 tax to the account IBAN LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (BIC: CCPLLULL, beneficiary: ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Direction de l'immigration; Communication: titre de séjour dans le chef de 'insert your name here').

Loss, theft or damage to the residence permit

In case of loss, theft or damage to the residence permit, a specific procedure needs to be carried out.

Who to contact

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
26, route d'Arlon
L-1140 - Luxembourg
Postal box B.P. 752 L-2017 Luxembourg
Luxembourg
Phone: (+352) 247-84040 (from 14.00 to 16.00)
Fax: (+352) 22 16 08
Email immigration.public@mae.etat.lu

Opening hours
Information desk: Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 12.00 / Application for and issuance of residence permits (only by appointment): Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 16.00