Work for applicants for international protection

Applicants for international protection (aiming to be granted refugee status or, failing that, subsidiary protection status) may apply to work temporarily in certain specific cases. This temporary work permit (autorisation d’occupation temporaire – AOT) is only valid for one profession and one specific employer.

The AOT is valid for 6 months and can be renewed.

The granting of an AOT does not entitle the holder to a residence permit, or to the payment of full unemployment benefits. The right to specifically allocated social aid is reserved for applicants for international protection, provided they meet certain conditions defined by Grand-Ducal regulation, and is checked by the Luxembourg Reception and Integration Agency (Office luxembourgeois de l’accueil et de l’intégration – OLAI) when the AOT has been granted.

Who is concerned

This applies to third-country nationals who have submitted an application for international protection (right of asylum) with a view to being granted refugee status or subsidiary protection status and whose application for international protection is therefore still being processed.

Applicants for international protection who are unaccompanied minors and who wish to carry out an activity as part of a "student job" can apply for an exemption in order to get a temporary work permit.

The exemption can be requested from the Immigration Directorate where the "student job" contract must be presented.


An application for a temporary work permit can be submitted to the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi – ADEM) 6 months at the earliest after the application for international protection has been submitted to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, if a decision on the application for international protection has not yet been taken by the Minister responsible for asylum, and provided that the applicant for international protection is not responsible for the delay in taking the decision.

How to proceed

Temporary work permit application

Before hiring a third-country national, employers must declare the vacant position to the ADEM. The ADEM checks whether the position could be filled by persons registered with the Agency.

The employer must submit the application to ADEM together with a declaration of vacant position.

If there are no available candidates registered with ADEM, the employer applies for the AOT for the applicant for international protection

The application submitted to ADEM by the employer must include:

  • the AOT application form in 2 copies, duly completed and signed;
  • a copy of the certificate of application for international protection;
  • where applicable, a copy of the certificates attesting the professional qualifications of the worker;
  • a copy of the employment contract, dated, signed and compliant with Luxembourg labour law;
  • the CV of the person concerned;
  • a letter explaining and justifying the employment of the applicant by the employer;

Temporary work permit applications are approved or rejected by the Minister responsible for immigration.

Permit validity and renewal

The permit is valid for 6 months for a specific employer and for one profession, and can be renewed.

AOT applications and renewals may be rejected for reasons connected with the situation, changes to or the organisation of the employment market, in particular with regard to priority given to employing citizens of EU Member States or countries treated as such (Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland) and third-country nationals with lawful residence who are receiving unemployment benefits.

A temporary work permit is no longer valid:

  • when it expires;
  • when one of the parties to the employment contract ends the working relationship;
  • when the application for international protection is definitively rejected or cancelled.

A temporary work permit will be withdrawn:

  • if the beneficiary works in a different profession to that authorised;
  • if the beneficiary fraudulently resorted to dishonest practices or incorrect declarations to obtain it.

The applicant's employment contract will be terminated automatically when the temporary work permit expires or is withdrawn.

Who to contact

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