Change Edition

Applying for permanent residency
Guide to

Applying for permanent residency

by Sarita Rao 6 min. 21.09.2021
Who can apply for a carte de séjour, how to get it after 5 years' residency, and UK nationals must re-apply before 30 June 2021
Third-country nationals who are a family member of an EU citizen may have the right to permanent residence
Third-country nationals who are a family member of an EU citizen may have the right to permanent residence
Photo credit: Marc Wilwert

If you have resided in Luxembourg for an uninterrupted period of five years, EU citizens (or nationals from a country treated as such) and members of their family who are also EU nationals can apply for a permanent residence permit (carte de séjour) to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Third-country nationals who are a family member of an EU citizen (spouse, registered partner, ascendent or descendent) also have the right, under certain conditions, to permanent residence. 

UK nationals who arrived before 31 December 2020, must apply for a special carte de séjour (with photograph and biometric details) by 31 December 2021. This process, and who it applies to, is outlined at the end of the article. 

Before you apply:

You must be able to prove that you have been lawfully resident for an uninterrupted period of at least five years in Luxembourg. This DOES NOT include:

  • Temporary absences that do not exceed six months per year
  • Longer absences to complete military service
  • Uninterrupted absences for up to 12 consecutive months because of pregnancy and childbirth, a serious illness, studies or professional training, or a work posting

Are you entitled to apply earlier?

You may be granted permanent residency before five years if:

  • You were working or self-employed and you have reached the age of retirement (or taken early retirement) and you were working in another EU member state for the past 12 months and have been living in Luxembourg for an uninterrupted period of more than three years.
  • Workers or self-employed people who stop working due to permanent incapacity to work and have been living in Luxembourg for an uninterrupted period of more than two years.
  • Workers or self-employed people who receive an accident pension from the Luxembourg state because of permanent incapacity to work due to a work-related accident or illness (no duration requirements).
  • Workers or self-employed people who, after three years of uninterrupted activity and residence in Luxembourg change for a salaried or self-employed cross-border job with another EU member state but are still resident in Luxembourg or return to Luxembourg at least once a week.

How to apply

You will need a copy of your passport or ID – if it’s not in German, French or English, you will need to attach an official translation by a sworn translator

Fill in this form, and take it with your ID copy to your commune where staff can make the application for you and confirm you have been a resident for more than five consecutive years.

You will receive your permanent residence permit by post within one month of submitting your application.

The permit has unlimited validity so long as you are not absent from Luxembourg for more than two consecutive years.

If you are a third-country national who is a family member of an EU national you will need a copy of your passport in its entirety (so every page) and a photograph to OACI/ICAO standards. The application form is different (find it here), and you can get more information on the application process and exceptions (for example in the event of the death of a spouse), here. If a permit is given, it will be valid for up to 10 years. 

UK Nationals 

If you are registered with Luxembourg as a UK citizen or the family member of a UK citizen living in Luxembourg, and you were living here before the end 2020, you must re-apply for your permanent residence permit. You must submit your application before the end of the transition period, 31 December 2021. 

Which UK nationals should apply or re-apply?

  • British nationals residing in Luxembourg at the end of the transition period (so 31 December 2020). This includes those who already hold a carte de sejour, but also anyone who arrived before the end of the transition period. 
  • Nationals of third countries who are family members of a British national 
  • Any British nationals and family members who already have a right to residence but were temporarily away at the end of the transition period. 

Family members include spouses, registered partners, children under 18 years, unmarried adult children who are not able to register as students or paid employees, and parents living in the Grand Duchy, who are financially supported by the British national in Luxembourg. 

Which UK nationals do not need to apply or re-apply?

  • British nationals who also hold the nationality of another EU member state or EEA passport (Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein) or Switzerland. 
  • Family members of the British national who hold another EU nationality as above. 
  • British nationals who have a diplomatic card (carte diplomatique) or a legitimation card (carte de légitimation) or another residence document issued for members of the resident diplomatic and consular corps or for EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies, and international organisations with their headquarters based in Luxembourg. 

How to re-apply for permanent residency

UK nationals re-applying for their residency card will need to give fingerprints
UK nationals re-applying for their residency card will need to give fingerprints
Photo: dpa

UK nationals have been able to re-apply for their carte de séjour since 1 July 2020, and can do so up until 31 December 2021.

If you are listed as a UK national (primarily) on your carte de séjour then you should have received a letter from the government which outlines the process for re-application. 

To re-apply, you must fill in a form which can be downloaded here, or requested from the Immigration Directorate by emailing brexit.immigration@mae.etat.lu. 

All members of the same family (spouses, children, parents) are asked to submit their residence permit applications together, at the same time. 

The following supporting documents will be required: 

  • British nationals must submit a copy of their ID card or passport (main ID page).
  • Third-country nationals who are family members of a British national must submit a full copy (all pages) of their passport.

When your application has been processed, you will get a letter with an appointment with the Immigration Directorate, when you will have your photograph and fingerprints taken, and this data will be incorporated into your new residence permit. You must also bring a recent photo compliant with OACI/ICAO standards. 

A week after this appointment you will be able to pick up your residence permit in person at the Immigration Directorate, but you must make an appointment to do so. Your new residence document will be a chip card containing your biometric data.

Your residence card will be valid from the first day after the end of the transition period (so potentially 1 January 2021) and will vary in duration of validity according to the permit it replaced - so between 5 to 10 years. It will be renewable on request.  


The Luxembourg Times has a new LinkedIn page, follow us here! Get the Luxembourg Times delivered to your inbox twice a day. Sign up for your free newsletters here.


More on this topic

There are many places to learn the national language, and at some places, enrolment has already opened for classes starting in September
Some tutors specialise in preparing students for the Luxembourg nationality test Photo: Jacques Schneider