A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg to carry out a salaried activity 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 (Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes);
- be in possession of 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:
An employer who has not been presented with a suitable candidate from the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi - ADEM) within 3 weeks following his declaration of a vacant position can request a certificate from the director of the ADEM which will allow him to recruit a third-country national.
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:
- either reside abroad and intend to set up residence in Luxembourg to carry out a salaried activity;
- or already legally reside in Luxembourg without having worked there and wish to carry out a salaried activity;
- or already legally reside and work in Luxembourg but intend to carry out a profession or work in an area of activity for which they are not yet duly authorised.
Third-country nationals with a valid residence permit for salaried workers in Luxembourg and who, depending on the case and the type of residence permit held, change their sector of work or their profession during the validity period of their residence permit, do not need a new authorisation to stay in order to continue carrying out a professional activity.
Non-EU nationals who are family members of an EU citizen (or of a national of a country treated as such) living in Luxembourg do not need a specific permit to carry out a paid activity.
Third-country nationals must meet the following requirements first:
- hold a valid passport;
- check whether or not they have to obtain a visa to enter the Schengen area;
- be in possession of the original certificate issued by the National Employment Agency (ADEM) authorising the employer to hire a third-country national.
Before recruiting a salaried worker, employers must make a declaration of vacant position to the ADEM. The declaration will allow the employment agency to check whether there is a suitable candidate available on the local or EU 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, including a non-EU national.
To this end, the employer must submit an application on plain paper to ADEM's director and request a certificate granting him the right to hire 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 an authorisation to stay for salaried workers/work permit".
The employer must hand over the original certificate to the third-country national, who will attach it to his application for the authorisation to stay.
An employer hiring a third-country worker must:
- request to see the worker's authorisation to stay / residence permit before beginning the working relationship;
- request a copy of the worker's authorisation to stay / residence permit and keep said copy for the whole duration of the contract;
- notify the beginning of the working relationship to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs within 3 working days from the first day of work.
The employer must notify the beginning of the working relationship to the Immigration Directorate in writing (mail, email or fax) and specifically state:
- the identity of the worker and their national identification number (13-digit social security number);
- the start date of employment;
- the identity of the employer.
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
Step 1: before entering the country
Application for an authorisation to stay
The future third-country worker must submit an application for a temporary 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, first name(s) and address) and must be accompanied by the following documents and information:
- a copy of the valid passport, in its entirety;
- an extract from the criminal records or an affidavit (sworn declaration) established in the country of residence;
- a curriculum vitae;
- a copy of their diplomas or professional qualifications;
- a copy of the employment contract (compliant with Luxembourg law), dated and signed by both the applicant and his 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;
- where necessary, a power of attorney.
Power of attorney: third-country nationals may mandate a third party (e.g. the future employer) to submit the application on their behalf. 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, 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 (except for passports and diplomas, for which plain copies 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.
The time required for a response from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is generally a maximum of 4 months. If no response is received within this time limit, the applicant can consider that their application has been denied.
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 they are subject to visa requirements;
- or, if he is not subject to visa requirements, enter Luxembourg territory and make a declaration 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 they do not require a visa, the third-country national may enter Luxembourg with their authorisation to stay and their passport.
If the third-country national does require a visa, they must apply for a type D visa before their trip and from their country of origin. The application, along with their authorisation to stay, must be submitted to:
- to the Luxembourg diplomatic or consular body 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 third-country national has a valid residence permit for family members 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.
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 their 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 their declaration of arrival as a receipt.
The copy of the declaration of arrival together with the authorisation to stay both serve as a work permit and authorisation to stay until the residence permit is issued.
The non-EU national salaried worker must undergo a medical check for foreigners as soon as possible which consists in:
- a medical examination by a doctor established in Luxembourg and authorised to work there 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 to allow the residence permit application to be processed.
Residence permit application
Third-country workers 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 residence permit application must be filed using a special form and must be accompanied by the following documents:
- a copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- a copy of the temporary authorisation to stay;
- a copy of the declaration of arrival established by the communal administration;
- proof of suitable housing (rental agreement, property deed, etc.);
- proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 to 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 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. It also contains the work permit.
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 'observations' field.
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. The residence permit is renewable on request as long as the application conditions are met and its holder can prove that he has effectively worked for the duration of validity of the residence permit.
First residence permit
The first residence permit for salaried worker is valid:
- for a maximum of 1 year;
- for one profession only with all employers;
- in only one sector.
As an exception, a non-EU national who obtained the status of long-term resident in another Member State of the European Union, and who obtained an authorisation to stay as a salaried worker in Luxembourg, will receive a residence permit valid for a period of 5 years renewable on request.
The sector and profession for which the non-EU national is authorised to work are indicated on the residence permit under the field "observations" in the form of an "ISCO" code.
This is a three-digit code representing the profession for which the access to the job market is granted, defined according to the ISCO classification (International Standard Classification of Occupations). The ISCO classification is an international classification of professions developed by the International Labour Organization.
A change of sector and/or profession is only possible if authorised by the Minister of Immigration and Asylum.
Renewal of the residence permit
As of the first renewal, the residence permit is renewable for a maximum duration of 3 years and gives access to any sector and any profession.
However, if the holder of the residence permit cannot prove that he has actually worked for the duration of validity of the residence permit, or if the renewal of the residence permit occurs during a period where he receives unemployment benefits, the residence permit will only be renewed for a maximum duration of one year.
In order to renew a residence permit, third country nationals must apply to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs within 2 months prior to the expiry date of the residence permit.
The application for renewal must be filed using a special form and must be accompanied by the following documents:
- a copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- a copy of the valid work contract (compliant with Luxembourg labour law) duly dated and signed;
- a recent certificate of affiliation which must include all the salaried worker's affiliations to the social security;
- a recent extract of their Luxembourg criminal record;
- proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 to 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').
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 of the permit
If the residence permit is lost, stolen or damaged, a special procedure needs to be followed.
Forms / Online services
Modèle de demande d’autorisation de séjour d’un ressortissant de pays tiers en vue d’une activité salariée
Demande en délivrance d'un titre de séjour pour ressortissant de pays tiers
Demande en renouvellement d'un titre de séjour pour ressortissant de pays tiers en qualité de travailleur salarié
Commande d'un certificat d'affiliation auprès du Centre commun de la Sécurité sociale (CCSS)
Démarche en ligne
Liste des observations sur les titres de séjour pour ressortissants de pays tiers