Luxembourg Migration Made Easy: 2023 Guide for Foreign Nationals
Luxembourg is a small but prosperous country in the heart of Europe, with a rich history and culture. It is also a popular destination for foreign nationals who want to live, work, study, or visit this diverse and multilingual nation. However, before planning to move to Luxembourg, it is essential to know the visa and immigration requirements that apply to different situations and countries of origin.
In this article, we will provide an overview of the main aspects of Luxembourg migration, such as visa types, residence permits, exceptional cases, and integration services.
Trends of Luxembourg Migration
The conditions to enter and stay in Luxembourg depend on the length of the planned stay and the country of origin of the foreign national. There are two main categories of visas: short-stay visas and long-stay visas.
Short-stay visas are for stays of less than 90 days in any 180 days. They are also known as Schengen visas, as they allow free movement within the Schengen area, which includes 26 European countries. Short-stay visas are required for nationals of certain non-EU countries who wish to visit, transit through, or work in Luxembourg. A list of these countries can be found on the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs website. Short-stay visas can be obtained from a consular authority of one of the Schengen countries or an external service provider authorized by Luxembourg.
Long-stay visas are for stays of more than 90 days in Luxembourg. They are also known as national visas or type D visas. Long-stay visas are required for nationals of non-EU countries who want to reside, work, study, or join their family members in Luxembourg. A list of these countries can be found on the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs website. Long-stay visas can be obtained from a Luxembourg diplomatic or consular representation abroad.
In addition to a visa, foreign nationals who intend to stay in Luxembourg for more than 90 days must also apply for a residence permit. A residence permit is a document that authorizes a foreign national to reside in Luxembourg for a specific purpose and duration legally. There are different types of residence permits depending on the situation and status of the applicant, such as salaried worker, self-employed worker, student, researcher, family member, investor, etc.
The procedure to obtain a residence permit varies according to the permit type and the applicant’s country of origin. In general, it involves submitting an application form and supporting documents to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs before entering Luxembourg or within three months after arrival. The application is then examined by the authorities and approved or rejected within a specific timeframe. If approved, the applicant must undergo a medical check-up and register with their commune of residence. The residence permit is then issued by the Immigration Directorate and delivered by post.
The residence permit is valid for a limited period and can be renewed upon request. After five years of lawful and uninterrupted stay in Luxembourg, EU citizens and their family members can apply for a permanent residence permit, which grants them unlimited access to the labor market and social benefits. Non-EU citizens can apply for long-term resident status after five years of legal and continuous residence in Luxembourg under certain conditions.
Some exceptional cases may affect the visa and immigration procedures for foreign nationals who want to come to or stay in Luxembourg. These include:
- International protection: This is a specific protection status granted to people who have fled their country due to persecution, war, or severe harm. It includes refugee status and subsidiary protection status. People who seek international protection in Luxembourg must apply to the Immigration Directorate or an open reception center within three days of entering Luxembourg. They are then entitled to material assistance, health care, and legal aid while processing their application.
- Status as a stateless person: This is a legal status granted to people not considered nationals by any state under its law. It allows them to benefit from certain rights and obligations in Luxembourg. People who claim to be stateless must submit an application at the Immigration Directorate with proof of their identity, nationality, and residence.
- Brexit: This is the term used to refer to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union on 31 January 2020. It has implications for British citizens who live or plan to live in Luxembourg after 31 December 2020, which is the end of the transition period agreed between the UK and the EU. British citizens who reside or work in Luxembourg before 31 December 2020 must apply for a new residence permit before 30 June 2021. British citizens who arrive in Luxembourg after 31 December 2020 must follow the same rules as other third-country nationals.
Luxembourg is a diverse and multicultural country, with almost half of its population being foreign nationals. The government promotes social cohesion and integration through various policies and programs that aim to facilitate access to information, language learning, education, employment, culture, and participation for newcomers.
One of these programs is the Welcome and Integration Contract (CAI), an optional agreement between a foreign national residing legally in Luxembourg for over three months and the State. The CAI offers personalized guidance and support on various aspects of life in Luxembourg, such as administrative procedures, language courses, civic instruction courses, and orientation days. The CAI is valid for two years and can be renewed once.
Luxembourg migration is a complex and dynamic phenomenon that involves various legal, administrative, and social aspects. Foreign nationals who want to move to Luxembourg should be well informed about their rights and obligations regarding visa and immigration procedures and about the opportunities and challenges of living in a multicultural society. By doing so, they can make their transition smoother and more successful.