Carrying out an ancillary activity as a third-country national family member of a third-country national

Dernière mise à jour de cette page le 01-04-2016

Third-country nationals holding a residence permit for family members, who wish to carry out a salaried activity on an ancillary basis must apply for a work permit before starting work.

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Who is concerned

A work permit is required for third-country nationals (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) who have a residence permit for family members in Luxembourg and wish to carry out a salaried activity on an ancillary basis.

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.

This applies to family members of a third-country national, who themselves are nationals of a third country (i.e. a country which is not an EU Member State or a country treated as such) and wish to carry out a salaried activity on an ancillary basis.

Holders of a "family member" residence permit who wish to carry out paid employment as their main activity must apply for a salaried worker residence permit.

NB: third-country nationals who are family members of an EU citizen (or of a national of a country treated as such) resident in Luxembourg do not need a work permit to carry out a paid activity.

Prerequisites

Third-country nationals must have a valid "family member" residence permit in Luxembourg.

Nonetheless, they must apply for a work permit before beginning an ancillary activity.

Preliminary steps

Third-country nationals resident in Luxembourg for less than one year

Family members who have been resident in Luxembourg for less than one year when the application is submitted will be subject to the labour market test: the employer declares the vacant position with the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi – ADEM), so that it can check whether the vacant position could be filled by an individual available on the national or European labour market.

If ADEM is unable to offer a candidate with the desired profile within 3 weeks, the employer may ask ADEM to provide a certificate allowing them to recruit the individual of their choice.

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.

Third-country nationals resident in Luxembourg for more than one year

Third-country nationals who have been resident in Luxembourg for more than one year when the application is submitted will not be subject to the labour market test.

However, the employer must declare the vacant position to ADEM before recruiting a third-country national residing in Luxembourg who is a family member of a third-country national legally established in Luxembourg, and be able to provide proof that they have done so.

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.

Procedures to be followed by the employer

An employer hiring a third-country worker must:

  • request to see the worker's authorisation to stay / residence permit before beginning the working relationship;
  • request a copy of the worker's authorisation to stay / residence permit and keep said copy for the whole duration of the contract;
  • notify the beginning of the working relationship to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs within 3 working days from the first day of work.

The employer must notify the beginning of the working relationship to the Immigration Directorate in writing (post, email or fax) and specifically state:

  • the identity of the worker and their national identification number (social security number);
  • the start date of employment;
  • the identity of the employer.

Employers who illegally employ one or more posted workers from third countries with no valid authorisation to stay may face administrative and criminal sanctions.

How to proceed

Work permit application

The applicant must submit an application to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs;

They must state their identity (surname(s) and given name(s)), as well as the exact address in their country of residence, and add the following documents to their application:

  • a certified copy of the pages with content of their valid passport;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a certified copy of the applicant's diplomas or professional qualifications;
  • a copy of the employment contract compliant with Luxembourg labour law, dated and signed by both the applicant and the employer;
  • a covering letter to support the application;
  • where the applicant has been resident in Luxembourg for less than one year at the time of the application: the original, recent certificate issued by ADEM authorising the employer to recruit the individual of their choice for the declared vacancy;
  • where the applicant has been resident in Luxembourg for more than one year at the time of the application: evidence that a vacant position declaration has been made to ADEM;
  • a recent certificate of affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS) which must include all the affiliations with the Luxembourg social security or a recent certificate certifying that the person is a co-insured party for social security;
  • proof of payment of the issuance fee of EUR 80 to the bank account IBAN LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (beneficiary: Ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes, Direction de l'Immigration; communication: autorisation de travail dans le chef de [insert name here]);
  • where necessary, a proxy.

Proxy:
third-country nationals may mandate a third party (e.g. the future employer) to submit the application on their behalf. In this case, the proxy 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. 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 certified 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.

Only complete applications will be processed. Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant.

The time required for a response from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is generally a maximum of 3 months. If no response is received within this time, the application has been rejected.

Issuance of a residence permit including a work permit

Since July 2013, work permits have no longer been issued as a separate document; instead, work permit information is now included in the residence permit. As a result, the issuance of a work permit leads to the issuance of a new residence permit for "private reasons", even if the existing residence permit is still valid.

When the application for a work permit is approved, the applicant will receive a letter inviting him to come in person with his valid passport and the above-mentioned letter to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs during opening hours. The applicant will get his photograph and digital fingerprints taken, which will be incorporated into the residence permit. The applicant may also bring a recent photograph compliant with the OACI / ICAO standards ("biometric passport standards").

A few days after the biometric data have been provided, the applicant may pick up the residence permit in person from the Immigration Directorate. The exact date will be communicated to the applicant at the time the biometric data are being collected.

The residence permit takes the form of a chip card containing the biometric data. It includes the work permit.

The residence permit includes information about its holder (surname(s), given name(s), 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 "observations" field.

Work permits are granted for a specific profession in a specific sector regardless of the employer. This restriction applies for the first year. A change in sector or profession is only possible with the approval of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Validity and renewal of work permits

A work permit is valid from the date on which the application was approved.  The permit may be renewed on request provided that all the eligibility requirements are still met and the beneficiary can prove that they actually worked while their work permit was valid.

Note that the period of validity of the "family member" residence permit is not affected by the issuance of a work permit.

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.

Work permit validity period

The initial work permit is valid:

  • for a maximum of one year (without extending beyond the validity period of the residence permit);
  • for a specific profession regardless of employer;
  • for a specific sector.

The sector and profession for which the third-country national is authorised to work are indicated on the residence permit under the "observations" field in the form of an "ISCO" code.

This ​​is a three-digit code representing the profession for which access to the job market is granted, defined according to the ISCO classification (International Standard Classification of Occupations). The ISCO classification is an international classification of professions developed by the International Labour Organisation.

The complete list of ISCO codes is available online. For more information on this classification, please refer to the website of the International Labour Organization.

A change of sector and/or profession is only possible if authorised by the Minister of Immigration and Asylum.

Work permit renewal

From the first renewal, a work permit can be renewed for a maximum of 3 years (without exceeding the period of validity of the residence permit) and gives access to any sector and any profession.

However, if the holder of the residence permit cannot prove that they have actually worked during the period of validity of the residence permit, or if the renewal of the residence permit occurs during a period where they receive unemployment benefits, the residence permit will only be renewed for a maximum duration of one year.

Renewal procedure

Third-country nationals must apply to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs for the renewal of their residence permit within the 2 months prior to the expiry date of the work permit.

The old "work permits" (issued before July 2013 as a separate document) are replaced, at the time of their renewal, by a residence permit which includes the work permit.

The renewal of a work permit may involve one of the 2 following scenarios:

  • either the work permit expires at the same time as the residence permit;
  • or the work permit expires, but the residence permit remains valid.

The following documents must be sent together with the renewal application form, in accordance with the applicable scenario.

Documents to be attached if the work permit and the residence permit expire at the same time
  • a certified copy of the pages with content of their valid passport;
  • a copy of the valid work contract (compliant with Luxembourg labour law), duly dated and signed;
  • a recent certificate of affiliation with the Joint Social Security Centre (Centre Commun de la Sécurité Sociale - CCSS) which must include all the third-country national's affiliations with the Luxembourg social security or a recent certificate certifying that the third-country national is a co-insured party for social security;
  • a recent extract from the criminal record in Luxembourg (if the applicant is aged 18 or over);
  • proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 to the account IBAN account 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 name here]).

After 5 years of a lawful and uninterrupted stay in Luxembourg, third-country nationals may apply for a long-term residence permit.

Documents to be attached if the work permit expires but the residence permit remains valid
  • a certified copy of the pages with content of their valid passport;
  • a copy of the valid work contract (compliant with Luxembourg labour law), duly dated and signed;
  • a recent certificate of affiliation which must include all the third-country national's affiliations with Luxembourg social security;
  • proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 tax to the 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 name here]).

After 5 years of a lawful and uninterrupted stay in Luxembourg, third-country nationals may apply for a long-term residence permit.

Loss, theft or damage to the residence permit

In case of loss, theft or damage to the residence permit, a specific procedure must be followed.

Who to contact

26, route d'Arlon
L-1140 - Luxembourg
Adresse Postale B.P. 752 L-2017
Luxembourg
Tél. : (+352) 247-84040 (from 14.00 to 16.00)
Fax : (+352) 22 16 08
E-mail immigration.public@mae.etat.lu

Heures d'ouverture
Monday to Friday from 08.30 - 12.00