A third-country national who is in Luxembourg for less than 3 months and wishes to work during this period must have a work permit.
Who is concerned
All third-country nationals (i.e. a nationals from a country which is not an EU Member State or a country treated as such - Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) require a work permit if they wish to carry out a paid activity during a stay of less than 3 months (including trainees).
The following are not subject to a work permit, on condition that they work in Luxembourg for less than 3 months per calendar year:
- staff from fairground attractions, circuses and other travelling establishments;
- workers in the entertainment industry without regular employment;
- invited researchers, conference speakers and university lecturers;
- persons on business trips, such as travel to visit business partners, to explore and develop professional contacts, to negotiate and conclude contracts, to participate in fairs, shows and exhibitions as well as to take part in meetings of the board of directors and general meetings of the company;
- all persons carrying out a service within the same group of companies (excluding any work carried out in the framework of subcontracting).
The application for a work permit must be submitted by the third-country national. However, he may appoint a third party, such as the employer, to carry out the necessary procedures.
Note that third-country nationals who are family members of an EU citizen (or of a national of a country treated as such) do not need a work permit to carry out a paid activity.
Before submitting the work permit application, the non-EU national must meet the conditions regarding short-term stay, such as:
- hold a valid travel document;
- and, where applicable, a visa.
Before hiring a third-country national, employers must declare the vacant position to the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi – ADEM). Following the declaration of a vacant position, the ADEM checks whether the job offer can be filled by a person available on the national or european job market.
If the job offer cannot be filled with a person registered with the ADEM within a 3 week deadline, the employer is allowed to conclude an employment contract with a person of his choice under certain conditions.
The employer must submit an application on plain paper to the ADEM's director and request a certificate granting him the right to hire a person of his choice, namely a third country national.
The employer must sign a dated employment contract with the future employee. It may be stated in the contract that the start date is 'subject to the employee obtaining a work permit'.
The employer must submit the original ADEM certificate to the third-country national, who will attach it to his work permit application.
An employer hiring a third-country worker must:
- request to see the worker's work permit before beginning the working relationship;
- request a copy of the worker's work permit and keep said copy for the whole duration of the contract;
- notify the beginning of work to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs within 3 working days from the first day of work.
Employers who illegally employ one or more posted workers from third countries with no valid authorisation to stay or permit may face administrative and criminal sanctions.
How to proceed
Work permit application
Third-country nationals must apply for a work permit before commencing work in Luxembourg.
Applicants must send their application for a work permit on plain paper to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
They must state their identity (surname and first name), as well as the exact address in their country of residence, and add the following documents to their application:
- a certified copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- a CV;
- a certified copy of the applicant's diplomas or professional qualifications;
- a copy of the employment contract compliant with Luxembourg labour law, dated and signed by both the applicant and the employer;
- a covering letter to support the application;
- the original certificate from the ADEM's director granting the employer the right to hire a third-country national;
- Where necessary, a proxy.
third-country nationals may mandate a third party (e.g. the future employer) 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 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.
Response from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
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 sent within this time, the application has been rejected.
In the event the work permit is granted, applicants receive a work permit by post.
When entering Luxembourg territory, third-country nationals must hold a passport and, where applicable, a visa, and carry out the procedures required for a short-term stay.
Forms / Online services
Who to contact
Immigration Directorate – Department for Foreigners (Direction de l'immigration – Service des étrangers)26, route d'Arlon
Postal address :
B.P. 752 L-2017 Luxembourg
Fax : (+352) 22 16 08Information desk: Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 12.00 / Application for and issuance of biometric residence permits (only by appointment): Mon.-Fri. from 8.30 to 12.00 and from 13.00 to 16.00