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Get your residence permit or visa
How to:

Get your residence permit or visa

by Sarita Rao 13 min. 18.10.2021
EU or third country national? Here are the rules for residing in Luxembourg
You must get your visa before you arrive in Luxembourg Photo: Gerry Huberty
You must get your visa before you arrive in Luxembourg Photo: Gerry Huberty

If you want to make Luxembourg your new home, how do you go about doing it? Well, a lot depends on where you are coming from. Here’s a guide on finding out what you need to do.

The LT Expat Hub also includes articles on citizenship and applying for the “carte de sejour” for permanent residency.

This article does not include details on third country nationals currently not allowed to enter Luxembourg and applications for special permission to visit family. For more information on this please visit this webpage

EU/EEA and Swiss nationals

If you are staying for less than 90 days you have the right to work and reside in any EU member state. You must hold a valid passport or ID card.

If you want to stay and work for more than 90 days you must be employed, self-employed or have sufficient financial means to support yourself (including medical insurance).

Declare your arrival and register at your commune with a valid ID, your family record book or marriage certificate (for spouses), a partnership certificate (for partners), and the birth certificates of your children. All documents must be in English, French or German or translated by a sworn translator.

You then have 3 months to fill in a registration certificate. Here’s what you should take with you.

Employed (10 hours or more per week)

  • ID or passport.
  • Employment contract signed by you and your employer.

Self-employed

  • ID or passport.
  • Copy of your business permit or a letter from the Ministry of Economy certifying you don’t require a permit.
  • Where applicable a licence to practice (such as a doctor), or a service provider contract.

Not working

  • ID or passport.
  • Proof of sufficient resources to avoid dependency on the social welfare system, such as a pension, a bank certificate, benefits paid by another state.
  • Affiliation to a health insurance scheme including hospital/ambulance and medical costs.

Student

  • ID or passport.
  • Proof of registration with a public or private institution in Luxembourg.
  • Declaration of sufficient resources (this can be provided orally).
  • Affiliation to a health insurance scheme.

Family members of EU citizens who are also EU/EEA or Swiss citizens

  • ID or passport.
  • Registration certificate of EU citizen.
  • Marriage, partnership or birth certificate.

After five years of uninterrupted residency you can apply for a permanent residency permit.

Third country nationals who are a family member of an EU citizen

Staying less than 90 days

For a stay of less than 3 months, third-country nationals considered to be family members of an EU citizen are only required to hold a valid passport, and where applicable an entry visa (more on this later).

If you hold a valid authorisation to stay as a family member issued by another EU member state or the Luxembourg authorities then you don’t need a visa to enter Luxembourg.

Third country nationals who are family members of an EU citizen can carry out paid professional activity without requesting prior authorisation, but the employer must declare the vacant position with ADEM (and prove they have done this) before recruiting a third country national.

Third country nationals who are family members of an EU national can do paid work in Luxembourg Photo: Maria Pasqui
Third country nationals who are family members of an EU national can do paid work in Luxembourg Photo: Maria Pasqui

Staying more than 90 days

Before entering Luxembourg, you must hold a valid passport, and you can enter if you do not require a visa. If you do require a visa you must obtain it before you come to Luxembourg. The documentation required to obtain a visa varies according to the type of family member, and you can find more details (in French) here.

You can send your application to the Immigration Directorate in Luxembourg or to a Luxembourg diplomatic post or consulate in your home country. You’ll find a list of these here.

The application must indicate your identity (last and first names) and your address in your country of residence. Supporting documentation will depend on your situation.

Spouses or registered partners

  • A copy of the filled in pages of a valid passport (the passport must be valid for more than 6 months).
  • Marriage certificate, family record or deed of partnership.
  • A copy of the registration certificate of the EU citizen that you are joining or coming with.

Non-registered partners of EU citizens must provide proof that neither partner is married or in a partnership with anyone else, and proof of the long-term nature of the relationship.

Children

  • A copy of the filled in pages of a valid passport (the passport must be valid for more than six months).
  • Proof of the family relationship with the EU citizen family member such as a birth certificate.
  • If the child is over 21 years then proof that they are still financially dependent or in education must be provided.
  • If parents are divorced and the child is under 18 years, then a copy of the ruling granting custody of the child to the parent residing (or who will reside) in Luxembourg. If the other parent has visiting rights then you must provide notarised authorisation that the parent who lives abroad agrees to the child moving to Luxembourg.
  • A copy of the registration certificate of the EU citizen that will accompany the child or that the child will join.

Residence permit

You must apply for a residence permit within 3 months of arriving in Luxembourg. You will need:

  • A copy of your ID or passport (filled in pages only).
  • An identity photo. 
  • Registration certificate of the EU citizen.
  • Marriage or birth certificate and proof of financial support.
  •  Non-registered partners must prove their long-term relationship.

It can take up to 6 months for the Immigration Directorate to process your residence permit but you will be given a receipt of application that will give you the same rights as a resident.

Your residence permit will be valid for 5 years (or the same amount of envisaged stay of your EU family member), and you must renew it 2 months prior to the expiry date.

If the EU family member dies, leaves the country or files for divorce, and you have been living in Luxembourg for at least one year before this, you will not lose your right to residence.

Third country nationals

Here’s where things get a bit more complicated, so if in doubt, contact the Immigration Directorate to clarify what you need to do, and when.

Less than 90 days residency in Luxembourg

Nationals from certain non-EU countries must have a valid travel document and visa before they enter a country in the Schengen area.

Schengen visa

The visa will allow you freedom of movement within the Schengen area: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Norway, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Which nationalities?

Your nationality will determine whether you need a visa and what type you need, which will also include the duration and nature of your visit. A list of nationalities that require a visa to enter Luxembourg is given here, those exempted, are listed  here

Schengen visas cover several European countries. Photo: Shutterstock.
Schengen visas cover several European countries. Photo: Shutterstock.

A Schengen visa must be requested from the consulate of the country that is your primary destination from the country in which you legally reside. So for Luxembourg you will need to apply to a Luxembourg consulate or diplomatic mission representing Luxembourg. Any Luxembourg visa application and supporting documents must be translated into English, French or German by a sworn translator.

Types of visa

A short stay visa (visa C) is required to transit through or stay in the Schengen area for a period of 90 days.

A long stay visa (visa D) will be required if you intend to work and carry out a salaried activity in Luxembourg, or if you are joining a family member who is an EU citizen (unless you have a residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen issued by Luxembourg or an EU member state, in which case you don’t require a visa).

Costs of visas

Short stay visa C costs 80 Euros, whilst long-term visa D costs 50 Euros. Children between 6 to 12 years pay a reduced fee of 40 Euros, and nationals from Russia, Moldova, Ukraine, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Albania, Georgia, Macedonia, Armenia, Azerbaijan and Cape Verde pay a fee of 35 Euros.

There is no fee for children under 6 years, family members of EU or EEA nationals, and certain categories from countries who already pay a reduced fee.

This also applies to pupils, students and teachers accompanying them on school or educational trips, third-country scientific researchers and representatives of non-profit making organisations aged 25 years or less who participate in conferences, sport or cultural events.

Applying for a short stay Visa C

If you wish to stay in Luxembourg for less than 90 days over a period of 180 days, you should lodge your visa application at least 15 calendar days before your intended visit (and not more than 3 months before the visit).

You will need to submit the following documents:

  • Two recent and identical identity photos
  • A valid passport or travel document (valid for at least 3 months after the expiry date of the requested visa).
  • It is not mandatory but is strongly recommended that you include an affidavit of support from a Luxembourg resident to prove you are financially supported.
  • An official letter of invitation for a business visit, a hotel reservation and return airline ticket.
  • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence (bank account statement) or an affidavit of support.
  • Proof of legal residence in your country of residence.
  • Health insurance covering the period of your stay.

The visa will take the form of a visa sticker in your passport, and can be issued for one or multiple entries depending on the reasons for your stay, covering a maximum 180-day period. This visa does not give you the right to carry out paid activity in Luxembourg.

Applying for long stay Visa D

Third country nationals who wish to stay for longer than 3 months or wish to work in Luxembourg must apply from their home country for a temporary authorisation to stay from the Immigration Directorate of Luxembourg. The application will depend on the reasons for your stay, and you can review what you will need to provide in the list below:

Within 90 days of receipt of your temporary authorisation to stay, you must submit 2 copies of the long stay visa application (D) in person in the diplomatic or consular mission for Luxembourg in your country of residence. The application should include 2 recent identical ID photos, a valid passport and your temporary authorisation to stay. You will get a stamp or vignette in your passport which is valid for a period of 90 days up to a maximum of one year.

If you want to work in Luxembourg, you’ll need to apply for a work permit from the Immigration Directorate.

Medical check-up for third country nationals

Third country nationals applying for a residence permit and who hold a temporary authorisation to stay must undergo a medical exam by a doctor entitled to practice in Luxembourg. You must also have a TB screening. A medical certificate will then be sent to the Immigration Directorate. You can find out more from the Immigration Medical Department

You must apply within three months of arrival in Luxembourg for a residence permit. You will need to submit your medical certificate and declaration of arrival, together with your authorisation to stay and visa type D in your passport.

Things will then vary depending on whether you are a salaried worker, self-employed, a student or fall into another category, and are not a family member of an EU national.

To be certain of the exact documentation you will need for your residence permit we recommend you go to the guichet immigration pages and view the options under the tabs for third country nationals who wish to stay for more than 90 days.

You can find more information in English and French on the guichet site here.


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More on this topic

Who can apply for a carte de séjour, how to get it after 5 years' residency, and UK nationals must re-apply before 31 December 2021
Third-country nationals who are a family member of an EU citizen may have the right to permanent residence