In the context of the coronavirus, the Government has put in place specific measures for third-country nationals concerning both the entry into and stay in Luxembourg.
A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg to work in a seasonal job for less than 3 months, must obtain a work permit.
Who is concernedA third-country national (i.e. a person from a country that is neither a member of the European Union (EU), nor from a country treated as an EU member state—Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) must have a work permit if they wish to work in a seasonal job in Luxembourg for less than 3 months.
Third country nationals who apply for a permit to work in Luxembourg as a seasonal worker can only carry out an activity of a seasonal nature.
The following are considered to be seasonal activities:
- harvesting (incl. grape harvesting, etc.);
- packaging of harvested products;
- leisure and holiday instructors and coordinators;
- holiday tour guides and tourist guides;
- surveillance and maintenance of beaches, outdoor swimming pools and camp sites;
- positions in retail stores, hotels and restaurants which are only open at certain times of the year, or which have a regular and foreseeable season-related increase in activity during the year;
- jobs in companies involved in aviation and in the transport of passengers that have a regular and foreseeable increase in activity at certain times of the year;
Moreover, before coming to Luxembourg, the third-country national must first:
- hold a valid passport;
- check whether or not they must have a visa to enter the Schengen Area, and if necessary, apply for one;
- be in possession of the original certificate issued by the ADEM granting the employer the right to hire a third-country national.
Before hiring a third country national, the employer must obtain a certificate from the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi - ADEM) authorising them to hire the person of their choice.
Once the certificate has been obtained, the third-party national can then sign a dated employment contact with their future employer. The start date of the contract can mention 'upon obtaining the work permit for seasonal workers'.
How to proceed
Work permit application
The third-country national or their employer must apply for a work permit (on plain paper) from their country of origin:
- to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs; or
- to a Luxembourg diplomatic or consular representation or to a diplomatic or consular mission representing Luxembourg.
Except in exceptional cases (e.g., third-country nationals who already hold a residence permit in Luxembourg), the application must be submitted and approved before coming to Luxembourg. Applications submitted from Luxembourg are inadmissible.
Supporting documents to be included with the application
The application for a work permit must specify the applicant's identity (surname, first name(s) and exact address in the country of residence) and must be accompanied by the following documents and information:
- a copy of the valid passport, in its entirety;
- an extract from their criminal records or an affidavit (sworn oath) established in the country of residence;
- a copy of their diplomas or professional qualifications;
- a copy of the seasonal employment contract, dated and signed by both the applicant and the future employer in Luxembourg;
- the original copy of the certificate from the National Employment Agency granting the employer the right to hire a third-country national;
- proof of suitable housing for the third-country national, or that suitable housing will be provided. This proof is not necessary if the third-country national has already been admitted to Luxembourg as a seasonal worker at least once in the last five years;
- proof that the third-country national has applied for or already has health insurance;
- a power of attorney if the application for a work permit is made by the employer.
Power of attorney: third-country nationals may mandate on a third party (e.g. the future employer) to submit the application in their place. In this case, the mandate holder, with the exception of attorneys, must provide proof of their mandate in the form of a written power of attorney (proxy), duly dated and signed by the principal. The signature must be preceded by the handwritten note 'bon pour procuration' ('good for power of attorney').
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.
Only complete applications will be processed. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.
Processing the application
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 shall be deemed to have been rejected.
If the work-permit application is approved, the applicant will receive their work permit by post.
Once they have arrived in Luxembourg, the third-country national must accomplish the formalities required for short-term stays in the country. For these formalities, they will be required to produce their passport and, where applicable, their visa.
Loss or theft of the work permit
If the work permit is lost, stolen or damaged, a replacement document can be provided on presentation of a police certificate of theft/loss to the Immigration Directorate.
Revocation of the work permit
A work permit which has been granted can also be withdrawn if the employer:
- has been sanctioned for illegal work or employment of third-country nationals illegally staying in Luxembourg;
- has gone bankrupt, undergoes compulsory liquidation, or if no economic activity is carried out;
- has failed to meet the legal requirements in matters of social security, tax, labour law or working conditions;
- has not met the obligations required by labour law;
- has eliminated a full-time position in the 12 months immediately prior to the application in order to create a position for a seasonal worker.
If the withdrawal is due to one of these reasons, the employer is required to pay a compensation to the seasonal worker.
The compensation amounts to the salaries due for the period provided for in the employment contract which would have been worked if the work permit had not been revoked.