A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg for private reasons for a period of more than 3 months, 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 visa type D 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;
- submit an application for a residence permit.
Who is concerned
Every third-country national (i.e. a national from a country which is not an EU Member State or a country treated as such - Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland) requires an authorisation to stay and then a residence permit if they wish to reside in Luxembourg for private reasons for a duration of more than 3 months.
A third-country national may apply for an authorisation to stay for private reasons in 2 cases:
- the third-country national can live off their own resources;
- the third-country national does not fulfil the conditions for family reunification, but has personal or family ties which are so important that a refusal to grant them residence would violate their right to privacy and family life in a disproportionate manner compared to the motives of refusal. The existing ties are evaluated on how strong, old and stable they are. In the event that the claimed relationship is a partnership (unregistered), both partners cannot be linked to a third person through marriage, a registered partnership or a long-term relationship. The applicant must also provide proof of sufficient resources.
The temporary authorisation to stay application must be submitted by the third-country national. However, he may mandate a third party to carry out the necessary procedures.
It should be noted that the law provides for other very specific cases in which a temporary authorisation to stay can be requested for private reasons. As those cases are not listed in this information sheet, it is recommended to contact the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs directly for more information.
There are 2 different cases:
- the third-country national can live off their own resources. Resources are evaluated according to their nature and regularity, as well as compared to the monthly social minimum wage for unskilled workers;
- third-country nationals who do not comply with the conditions for family reunification must prove that they have sufficient resources. The criteria to evaluate these resources are:
- all the applicant's resources;
- voluntary assumption of living expenses by a third party who has the Luxembourg nationality or is legally authorised to reside in Luxembourg for at least one year.
These resources must at least be equal to the current social inclusion income and are evaluated compared to the conditions of accommodation.
Moreover, third-country nationals must:
- hold a valid passport;
- check whether or not they have to obtain a visa to enter the Schengen area.
How to proceed
Step 1: before entering the country
Application for an authorisation to stay
The third-country national must submit an application for an authorisation to stay (on plain paper) from his 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.
The application must be submitted and approved before coming to Luxembourg, except in certain special cases (i.e. third-country nationals who already hold a residence permit in Luxembourg). 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 copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- an extract from their criminal records or an affidavit (sworn declaration) established in the country of residence;
- proof of suitable housing in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (rental agreement, property deed, etc.);
- proof of comprehensive health insurance valid in Luxembourg;
- a document certifying the applicant's marital status and family situation (e.g.: family record book or any equivalent document issued by the authorities of the applicant's country or origin);
- where necessary, a proxy.
third-country nationals may mandate 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).
Depending on the case, other documents may have to be attached:
- third-country nationals who can live off their own resources (case no. 1) must join the proof that they have sufficient resources to live in Luxembourg (e.g. pension certificate, bank certificate issued by a Luxembourg banking institution). Resources are evaluated according to their nature and regularity, as well as compared to the monthly social minimum wage for unskilled workers;
- Third-country nationals with stable, long-standing and strong personal or family ties with a person legally residing in Luxembourg (case no. 2) must also provide:
- proof of these stable, long-standing and strong personal or family ties (e.g. household composition certificate from the country of origin, any other equivalent document issued by the authorities of the applicant's country of origin);
- in the event the relationship put forward is a partnership (unregistered): proof from both partners that they are not related with another person through marriage, a partnership or a long-term relationship (e.g. extract of the marital status, family book record, certificate of celibacy, composition of household and/or residence certificate issued by the country of origin);
- proof of sufficient resources (e.g. statement of financial support established by a guarantor residing in Luxembourg) amounting to at least the social inclusion income.
The documents enclosed must be originals or certified true copies (except for the passport where a plain copy will suffice). 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.
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:
- either apply for an entry visa to the Schengen area, if he/she is subject to visa requirements;
- or, if he is not subject to visa requirements, enter Luxembourg territory and make a declaration of arrival to the administration of the commune where he resides.
After entering Luxembourg, the third-country national must take steps to obtain a residence permit.
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 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 applicant's passport is due to expire in less than 6 months, he/she is advised to renew it before coming to Luxembourg.
If the third-country national has a valid residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen or a valid residence permit issued by another EU Member State, a visa is not required. Third-country nationals are nonetheless required to have a temporary authorisation to stay in Luxembourg.
Step 2: after entering the country
Declaration of arrival
When entering Luxembourg, the third-country national must hold a valid travel document (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 or authorisation issued by another EU Member State);
- the original temporary authorisation to stay;
- a valid proof of address (i.e.: rental agreement, electricity bill, etc.), where applicable.
The applicant will receive a copy of the declaration of arrival as a receipt.
The third-country national 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 and European Affairs (ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes) to allow the residence permit application to be processed.
Residence permit application
Third-country nationals must submit an application for a residence permit for third-country nationals 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 copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- a copy of the temporary authorisation to stay;
- a copy of the declaration of arrival issued by the communal administration;
- proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 to the account IBAN account LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (BIC: CCPLLULL, beneficiary: Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Européennes, Direction de l'Immigration; message: titre de séjour dans le chef de 'insert your name here').
When the application is approved, the applicant will receive a letter inviting them to make an appointment with the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs in order to have their photograph and fingerprints taken, which will be incorporated into the residence permit. The applicant may also bring a recent photograph compliant with OACI/ICAO standards ('biometric passport standards').
A few days after the biometric data have been collected, the applicant can pick up the residence permit in person at the Immigration Directorate, by appointment.
The residence permit takes the form of a chip card containing the biometric data.
The residence permit includes information about its holder (name(s), first name(s), nationality, date and place of birth), as well as specific information about the residence permit (permit category, period of validity of permit).
Certain residence permit categories include additional information in the field "observation". In the case of the residence permit for "personal reasons", the observation on the permit includes information on eligibility for work.
Validity period 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 eligibility conditions are met.
Note: foreigners who intend to leave the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for more than 6 months must return their residence permit to the Minister and make a declaration of departure at the administration of the commune where they resided.
The residence permit is valid for a maximum of 3 years.
The residence permit for "personal reasons" contains an note in the field "observation" on the third-country national's eligibility for work.
In order to renew a residence permit, non-EU nationals must apply to the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs within the 2 months prior to the expiry date of the residence permit.
The specific application form for renewal of the residence permit must be submitted together with the following documents:
- a copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- 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 the Luxembourg social security or a recent certificate certifying that the third-country national is a co-insured party for social security;
- a recent extract of their Luxembourg criminal record;
- proof of sufficient resources: or a proof of own sufficient resources (e.g. pension certificate, bank certificate issued by a Luxembourg banking institution, certificate issued by the Fonds national pour la solidarité, employment contract) or a statement of financial support issued by a guarantor residing in Luxembourg;
- proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 to the account IBAN account 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').
Note: if the holder of a residence permit for "private reasons" also holds a permit for ancillary work activities, he must check whether the ancillary work permit expires at the same time as the residence permit. In that case, he must enclose a copy of the valid work contract compliant with Luxembourg labour law, duly dated and signed, with his application.
After 5 years of lawful and uninterrupted stay on the territory of Luxembourg, third-country nationals may submit an application for a long-term residence permit.
Loss, theft or damage to the residence permit
If the residence permit is lost, stolen or damaged, a special procedure needs to be followed.
Forms / Online services
Engagement de prise en charge pour une autorisation de séjour ou le renouvellement d'un titre de séjour pour raisons privées
Modèle de demande d’autorisation de séjour d’un ressortissant de pays tiers pour raisons privées
Demande en délivrance d'un titre de séjour pour ressortissant de pays tiers
Demande en renouvellement d'un titre de séjour ou d'une autorisation de travail pour ressortissant de pays tiers détenteur d'un titre de séjour "vie privée"
Liste des observations sur les titres de séjour pour ressortissants de pays tiers