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What do I need before leaving?

Are you a non-EU citizen living in Luxembourg and would you like to bring your non-EU family members to live with you there? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights your family members can enjoy during their stay.

If you are a third-country national legally residing in Luxembourg, you can apply for family reunification if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • hold a residence permit that is valid for at least one year (this requirement is not necessary if the applicant is a highly qualified third-country national, a beneficiary of international protection, an intra-corporate transferee or a researcher);
  • have a perspective to obtain permanent residence;
  • provide proof that s/he has stable, regular and sufficient resources (salary, wages, income from assets) to support him/herself and the family members under his or her care, without having to resort to social welfare;
  • have appropriate accommodation to host the family member(s);
  • have health insurance cover for him/herself and the family member(s) (health insurance certificate covering their stay in Luxembourg issued by a Luxembourg or foreign social security authority and/or by a private insurance company)

Eligible family members include:

  • your adult spouse or legal partner;
  • your unmarried children under 18 years of age;
  • your direct ascendant, dependants or those under your spouse's/partner's responsibility who have no means of support in their countries of origin;
  • your adult unmarried children if they are not capable of looking after their own needs.
Your family members must obtain an authorisation of stay for family member and, if necessary, a visa for entering into the country. Once in the territory the family member must apply for a residence permit which validity will not extend beyond the expiry date of your own residence permit.


Where and how to apply

Residence permit

The sponsor or the family member directly or through an attorney must submit an application for an authorisation of stay for family reunification to the Directorate of Immigration of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs before the family member's arrival in Luxembourg.

The Minister may, in exceptional cases, accept applications when the family members are already on the territory of Luxembourg.


Once granted, the family member must, if necessary, obtain a visa at the embassy or consulate in the country of origin within 90 days.

If a visa is not required, the family member must enter Luxembourg within 90 days of the granting of the residence permit.

Documents required

For the purposes of the application for a residence permit to stay, your family member must show:

  • documents proving the family relationship;
  • a copy of his/her complete passport, certified as conforming to the original;
  • a birth certificate;
  • a criminal record or an affidavit.

You must also present the following proofs, regarding your situation (as the person currently residing in Luxembourg):

  • proof of stable and regular financial resources, sufficient to support yourself and family without having to rely on the social security system;
  • proof of adequate accommodation;
  • proof of health insurance for yourself and your family members;
  • a copy of your residence permit in Luxembourg valid for duration of over one year.
Duration of validity of permits The residence permit, which will be issued after the family member's arrival in Luxembourg, is valid for one year, and renewable if the necessary conditions continue to be met. In any case, the validity of the residence permit of the family member cannot exceed the validity of the residence permit of the sponsor.
Further requirements

The family member 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);
  • the original 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 authorisation to stay serve both as a work permit and authorisation to stay until the residence permit is issued.

The family member must undergo a medical examination before applying for the residence permit.

Residence permit application

Third-country nationals must submit an application for a residence permit for third-country nationals 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:

  • a certified copy of the pages with content of their valid passport;
  • a copy of the authorisation to stay;
  • a copy of the declaration of arrival established by the communal authority;
  • proof of suitable housing (rental agreement, property deed, etc.);
  • proof of payment of a fee of 80 EUR

Negative decisions related to authorisation to stay can be challenged before the First instance Administrative Court within three months of notification of the ministerial decision.

If the First instance Administrative Court rejects the appeal the decision a further appeal can be filed before the Administrative Court within 40 days of judgement notification.


Access to labour market

Access to labour market

The access of the family member of a third-country national varies if it is as an accessory activity as family member that when s/he requests a residence permit as a salaried worker as main activity

a. Family member who wish to carry out a salaried activity on an ancillary basis: A work permit is required for the third-country national before starting work.

The application for a work permit must be submitted by the third-country national. However, they may appoint a third party, such as the future employer, to carry out the necessary procedures.

In case the family member resides in Luxembourg for less than one year when the application is submitted, it will be submitted to the labour market test.

In case the person resides in Luxembourg for more than one year at the moment of the application, the labour market test is not required, but the employer must declare the post vacancy before considering the recruitment of the person. The employer must sign a contract with the third-country national. The contract may include a let-out clause specifying that the employment contract will not take effect until the work permit has been obtained. The employer must provide proof of the vacant position declaration to the third-country national, who must attach it to their work permit application.

b. third-country nationals’ holders of a "family member" residence permit who wish to carry out paid employment or self-employment as their main activity must apply for a salaried worker residence permit or for an independent worker residence permit.

Family members must apply for a residence permit which allow them to work in Luxembourg according to the requirements established for salaried workers, independent workers or highly qualified workers.

The access of family members to the labour market is subject to certain conditions during the first year of residence (it is not a waiting period) after the family reunification. If the family member applies for an authorisation as a salaried worker, s/he can have access to the labour market but is subject to a labour market test during the first year of residence.

During the first year of his/her legal employment on the territory, the family member holding a “salaried worker” residence permit shall have access to the labour market, limited to a single sector and a single occupation with any employer.

Another possibility is that the spouse can apply as a self-employed worker if s/he fulfils the required conditions.

If the third-country national family member fulfils the conditions of a highly qualified worker, s/he will not be subject to the labour market test and will have immediate access to the labour market.