A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg to take part in a programme for voluntary service 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;
- be in possession of 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 a temporary authorisation to stay and then a residence permit if they live abroad and wish to reside in Luxembourg to take part in a volunteer programme.
The application for the temporary authorisation to stay must be submitted by the volunteer. However, he may call upon a third party, such as the organisation where he will volunteer, to carry out the necessary procedures.
In order to come to Luxembourg to participate to a volunteer programme, third-country nationals must:
- have completed their mandatory education and be less than 30 years old;
- register with the National Youth Service (Service national de la jeunesse - SNJ);
- have concluded a volunteering agreement with an approved host institution to carry out a specific volunteer project or a project in the framework of a volunteer programme;
- have the approval of the National Youth Service;
- provide proof that the organisation in charge of the volunteer programme vouches for them for the duration of their stay, in particular with regards to living and return expenses;
Third-country nationals must also:
- have a valid passport;
- check whether or not they require a visa to enter the Schengen area.
How to proceed
Step 1: before entering the country
Temporary authorisation to stay
The future third-country volunteer 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.
Except special cases: (e.g. third-country nationals who already hold a residence permit in Luxembourg), the application must be submitted and approved before entering the country. Applications submitted from Luxembourg are inadmissible.
The application for a temporary authorisation to stay must contain the applicant's identity details (surname(s), first name(s) and address in the country of residence) and must be accompanied by the following documents and information:
- a copy of their valid passport, in its entirety;
- where applicable, a copy of the residence permit issued in another EU Member State if they already reside in the Schengen area;
- an extract from their criminal records or an affidavit (sworn declaration) established in the country of residence;
- a volunteering agreement concluded with an approved host institution to carry out a specific volunteer project or a project in the framework of a volunteer programme;
- proof that the organisation in charge of the volunteer programme vouches for them for the duration of their stay;
- where necessary, a power of attorney.
Power of attorney:
third-country nationals may mandate a third party 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, 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 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 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 60 days. If the information or supporting documents provided are incomplete, the Minister will inform the applicant on any additional information to be provided and will grant a reasonable period of time in which to submit the information required The 60-day deadline will then be suspended until the required documents or information are received within the set deadline. Should the additional information or documentation fail to be supplied within the deadline, the application is 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 temporary 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 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. Third-country nationals are nonetheless required to have a temporary authorisation to stay in Luxembourg.
Step 2: after entering the country
Declaration of arrival
Third-country nationals must come to Luxembourg with valid travel documents (passport and visa, where required) within 90 days of the issuance of 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 issued by another EU Member State or a country treated as such - Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein or Switzerland);
- the original copy of the 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 copy of the declaration of arrival together with the temporary authorisation to stay are valid as a right of residence until the residence permit is issued.
Before applying for the residence permit, the third-country volunteer 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 as a general practitioner, a practitioner specialised in internal medicine or pediatrics;
- 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 Affairs (Ministère des Affaires étrangères) to allow the residence permit application to be processed.
Residence permit application
Third-country volunteer workers must submit an application for a residence permit for third-country volunteer workers 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 established by the communal authority;
- 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.
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 field "observation".
Validity period of the residence permit
The residence permit is valid from the date of declaration of arrival at the commune.
Attention: 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 issued to the third-country volunteer worker is valid for one year.
As an exception, the validity period can be the same as the duration of the volunteer programme, if the latter is more than one year.
Third-country nationals may reside in Luxembourg as volunteer workers for a limited period of maximum one year or for the duration of the volunteer programme. The residence permit for a third-country volunteer is non-renewable. Moreover, the volunteer worker cannot change the residence permit category after expiration of the residence permit for volunteer workers.
Loss, theft or damage to the residence permit
In case of loss, theft or deterioration of the residence permit, a specific procedure needs to be followed.
Forms / Online services
Authorisation to stay for a third-country national wishing to participate in a program for voluntary service - Explanatory note
Autorisation de séjour d'un ressortissant de pays tiers qui participe à un programme de volontariat (volontaire) - note explicative
Modèle de demande d’autorisation de séjour d’un ressortissant de pays tiers en tant que volontaire
Demande en délivrance d'un titre de séjour pour ressortissant de pays tiers
Liste des observations sur les titres de séjour pour ressortissants de pays tiers