Family reunification for third-country nationals

Dernière mise à jour de cette page le 28-04-2017

A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg for a period of more than 3 months for reasons of family reunification with another third-country national must follow a procedure in two consecutive steps:

  • step 1 - before entering the country:
    • apply for a temporary authorisation to stay from the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs;
    • hold a valid passport;
    • for persons subject to visa requirements in order to enter Luxembourg: request, where necessary, a type D visa after having obtained the temporary authorisation to stay;
  • step 2 - after entering the country:
    • make a declaration of arrival in the new commune of residence in Luxembourg;
    • undergo a medical check;
    • submit an application for a residence permit as a third-country salaried worker.

Forms / Online services

Effectuez votre démarche :

Who is concerned

Every third-country national (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) requires an authorisation to stay and then a residence permit if they live abroad and wish to reside in Luxembourg with a family member who is also a third-country national.

The application for an authorisation to stay must be submitted by the sponsor (the third-country national residing in Luxembourg) before the person concerned enters the country. However, they may mandate a third party 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 who wish to live with them in Luxembourg.

Family reunification is not possible for all family members. The definition of a family member includes:

  • the spouse or registered partner of the sponsor, aged 18 or over at the time of the application for family reunification (family reunification of a spouse is not allowed for polygamous marriages, if the sponsor already has a spouse living with them in Luxembourg);
  • the unmarried children aged under 18 of the sponsor and/or their spouse or partner where they have custody and the children are dependent on them or where, in the case of shared custody, the other party sharing custody has given their agreement;
  • the first-degree direct ascendants (mother and father) of unaccompanied minors who have been granted international protection.

The minister may widen the possibilities for family reunification to the following persons provided the applicant has lawfully resided in Luxembourg for at least 12 months:

  • first-degree direct ascendants of the sponsor or their spouse or partner (mother and father), where they are dependent on the sponsor or their spouse or partner and lack the necessary family support in their country of origin;
  • unmarried children aged 18 or over of the sponsor or their spouse or partner, where they are objectively unable to provide for their own needs on account of their state of health;
  • the legal guardian or any other family member of an unaccompanied minor who has been granted international protection and who has no direct ascendants.

Non-EU nationals who are family members of an EU citizen (or a national of a country treated as such) living in Luxembourg must obtain a residence permit. The procedure to be followed depends on the duration of their stay:

Specific case: simplified procedure for children born in Luxembourg

There is a simplified procedure for children born in Luxembourg to parents who are third-country nationals, and who are residing legally in Luxembourg. Such new-born children will be granted, on application, a "family member" residence permit.

The application must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • a certified copy of the pages with content of their valid passport;
  • the child's birth certificate;
  • a photo compliant with the ICAO / OACI standards;
  • proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 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]).

Specific case: a third-country national wishing to come to Luxembourg to get married

There is no specific provision for entering the country in order to get married. Third-country nationals wishing to marry a third-country national legally residing in Luxembourg must follow the normal procedures for a three-month stay. If necessary, they must also apply for a short-stay visa, and must meet the conditions for entry and for a short stay.

Prerequisites

In order to bring their family to Luxembourg, third-country nationals residing in Luxembourg (the "sponsor") must meet a number of conditions. They must:

  • hold a residence permit that is valid for at least one year;
  • demonstrate the intention to apply for a long-term residence permit;
  • provide proof that they have stable, regular and sufficient resources (salary, wages, income from assets) to support themselves and the family members under their care, without having to resort to social welfare.
    The level of the resources of the third-country national who is applying for family reunification for members of their family is assessed with reference to the average monthly minimum wage of an unskilled worker over a period of 12 months. The resources of the third-country national must be at least equivalent to this reference level. If the resources are below this level, the Minister may nonetheless issue a favourable decision, having taken into account the current situation of the third-country national (such as the stability of their job and income, access to home ownership or the use of accommodation free of charge);
  • have appropriate accommodation to host the family member(s) (floor area of at least 12 m² for the first occupant and 9 m² per additional occupant, with natural light through windows that can be opened and closed properly and which measure at least 1/10 of the floor area, heating, running water, electricity, etc.);
  • have health insurance cover for themselves and the family member(s) (health insurance certificate or certificate of co-insurance covering their stay in Luxembourg issued by a Luxembourg or foreign social security body and/or by a private insurance company).

The minimum stay in Luxembourg condition does not apply:

  • to a sponsor who wishes to bring their children aged under 18 to Luxembourg if they have sole custody;
  • to a sponsor who holds an "EU Blue Card" (highly qualified worker)", "transferred worker" or "researcher" residence permit, or who has long-term resident status in another EU Member State and who is exercising their right to reside in Luxembourg and whose family had already been established in the other Member State. Such persons may be accompanied by their spouse or registered partner, as well as their unmarried children aged under 18, when they enter Luxembourg.

Special case: special provisions for recipients of international protection

Recipients of international protection may apply for family reunification, and will only have to fulfil the conditions applicable to accommodation and resources if the sponsor submits their application after a period of 3 months has elapsed from the date international protection was granted.

In addition to the family members referred to above, it is also possible to apply for family reunification for the following persons:

  • the first-degree direct ascendants (mother and father) of unaccompanied minors who have been granted international protection;
  • following approval by the Minister: the legal guardian or any other family member of an unaccompanied minor who has been granted international protection and who has no direct ascendants.

The family member of the sponsor must, when planning their journey:

  • check whether or not they have to obtain a visa to enter the Schengen area;
  • hold a valid passport which, where applicable, has the required visa.

How to proceed

Step 1: before entering the country

Application for an authorisation to stay

Third-country nationals wishing to come to Luxembourg as a family member must submit an application for a temporary authorisation to stay (on plain paper) from their country of origin:

The application must be submitted and approved before coming to Luxembourg, except in certain special cases (i.e. third-country nationals who already hold a residence permit in Luxembourg). Applications submitted from inside Luxembourg are inadmissible.

The application for a temporary authorisation to stay must contain the applicant's identity details (surname(s), given name(s) and address) and must be accompanied by the following documents and information:

  • a copy of the sponsor's residence permit, which is valid for more than one year;
  • the sponsor's proof of sufficient resources to cover their needs and those of their family members (e.g. payslips, tax return, income from assets) at least equivalent to the minimum wage for unskilled workers over a period of 12 months. The proof must cover the 12 months prior to submitting the application;
  • proof of the sponsor's appropriate accommodation in Luxembourg for themselves and their family members (e.g. rental agreement, property deed).
    The floor area must be at least 12 m² for the first occupant and 9 m² per additional occupant, with natural light through windows that can be opened and closed properly and which measure at least 1/10 of the floor area, heating, running water, electricity etc.);
  • proof of health insurance cover for the sponsor and his/her family members (certificate of medical cover or certificate of co-insurance for health care during their stay in Luxembourg issued by a Luxembourg or foreign social security body and/or a private insurance company);
  • where necessary, a proxy.
    Proxy: third-country nationals may mandate a third party to submit the application in their place. 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).

These documents are not required for applicants for an authorisation to stay as a highly skilled worker ("EU Blue Card"), a transferred worker or a researcher who submit the application for an authorisation to stay for their family members at the same time as their own application.

Additional documents to be attached depending on the case

Sponsor's spouse or registered partner

The sponsor's spouse or registered partner must attach to the application:

  • a certified copy of the valid passport of the spouse/partner, in its entirety;
  • the birth certificate of the spouse/partner;
  • a recent extract from the criminal records or a sworn affidavit by the spouse/partner, issued in their country of residence;
  • a certificate attesting to the marriage or registered partnership (marriage certificate, registered partnership certificate, family record book, etc.).
Descendants (children) of the sponsor or sponsor's spouse/partner

Descendants (children) of the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse/partner must attach to the application:

  • a certified copy of the child's valid passport, in its entirety;
  • proof of the family relationship with the sponsor (child's birth certificate, family record book, etc.);
  • if the parents are divorced (only applicable to children aged under 18):
    • a copy of the judgement granting custody of the child aged under 18 to the parents residing in Luxembourg;
    • and, if the other parent has visiting or accommodation rights, the notarised authorisation of the parent residing abroad attesting to their agreement to the child moving to Luxembourg (accompanied by an identity document for the parent residing abroad);
  • in the case of shared custody (only applicable to children aged under 18); the notarised authorisation of the parent who does not reside in Luxembourg attesting to their agreement to the child moving to Luxembourg (accompanied by an identity document for the parent residing abroad).
Ascendant (parent) of the sponsor or sponsor's spouse/partner

The ascendant (parent) of the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse/partner must attach to the application:

  • a certified copy of the parent's valid passport, in its entirety;
  • the parent's birth certificate;
  • a recent extract from the criminal records or a sworn affidavit by the spouse/partner in their country of residence;
  • a document attesting to the family relationship (e.g. birth certificate of the sponsor or the sponsor's spouse/partner);
  • a document certifying the applicant's marital status and family situation, as well as proof that they do not have the necessary family support in their country of origin (e.g. family record book or any equivalent document issued by the authorities of the applicant's country or origin);
  • proof that the parent was under the responsibility of the sponsor prior to their application for family reunification (e.g. proof of regular payments by the sponsor to the parent's address);
  • a document attesting to the financial situation of the parent in their country of origin (e.g. proof of the parent's own resources, such as income, assets, etc.).

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 alternatively 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 9 months. If no response is received within this time, the application has been rejected.

In case of a favourable reply, the third-country national receives a "temporary authorisation to stay" sent by post. This temporary authorisation to stay is valid for a duration of 3 months. During that time, the third-country national must:

  • either apply for an entry visa to the Schengen area, if they are subject to visa requirements;
  • or, if they are not subject to visa requirements, enter Luxembourg territory and make a declaration of arrival to the administration of the commune where they reside.

After entering Luxembourg, the third-country national must take steps to obtain a residence permit.

Passport and visa

If they are not subject to visa requirements, the third-country national may enter Luxembourg with their authorisation to stay.

Third-country nationals subject to visa requirements must, before beginning their journey and from their country of origin, submit a type D visa application and present their authorisation to stay:

The visa, valid for a maximum period of 3 months, is affixed in the passport in the form of a seal.

If the applicant's passport is due to expire in less than 6 months, they are advised to renew it before coming to Luxembourg.

If the third-country national has a valid residence permit for family members of an EU citizen or a valid residence permit issued by another EU Member State, a visa is not required. The third-country national must nonetheless have a temporary authorisation to stay.

Step 2: after entering the country

Declaration of arrival

When entering Luxembourg territory, the third-country national must hold valid travel documents (visa and passport, where applicable), as well as their temporary authorisation to stay.

They 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 temporary 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 serves both as a work permit and authorisation to stay until the residence permit is issued.

Medical check

The third-country national must undergo a medical check for foreigners as soon as possible which consists of:

  • a medical examination by a doctor established in Luxembourg and authorised to work as a general practitioner or a practitioner specialised in internal medicine or paediatrics;
  • and TB screening by the Health and Social Welfare League (Ligue médico-sociale - LMS).

After receiving the results of these examinations, the Immigration Medical Department (Service Médical de l'Immigration - SMI) of the National Health Directorate (Direction de la Santé) will issue a medical certificate, which will be sent to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to allow the residence permit application to be processed.

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 EUR 80 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]).

When the application is approved, the applicant will receive a letter inviting them to come in person with their valid passport and said letter to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs during opening hours. The applicant will get their 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 their residence permit in person at 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 also contains the work permit.

The residence permit includes information about its holder (name(s), first name(s), nationality, date and place of birth), as well as specific information about the residence permit (permit category, period of validity of permit).

Certain residence permit categories include additional information in the "observations" field. In the case of the residence permit for a "family member", the observations on the permit includes information on eligibility for work.

Period of validity and renewal

The residence permit is valid from the date of the arrival declaration at the commune. It is renewable on request as long as the eligibility conditions are met.

NB: 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.

Period of validity of the residence permit

Holders of a "family member" residence permit are eligible for:

  • education and professional guidance ;
  • training;
  • advanced training and retraining courses.

Holders of a residence permit who wish to carry out a professional activity can submit an application to carry out an ancillary activity as a family member, or submit an application for a residence permit for salaried workers or for self-employed workers.

The first residence permit is valid for one​​​ year.

As an exception, the family members of a family already established in another Member State of the European Union have the right to accompany or join a third-country national who has obtained long-term resident status in another EU Member State and who is exercising their right to reside in Luxembourg. Family members will be granted a residence permit valid for a period of 5 years

Renewal of the residence permit

In order to renew a residence permit, third country nationals must apply to the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Européennes) within the 2 months prior to the expiry date of the residence permit.

The application for renewal must be accompanied by the following documents:

  • a certified copy of the pages with content of their valid passport;
  • 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 Luxembourg criminal records (if the applicant is aged 18 or over);
  • proof of payment of a fee of EUR 80 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]).

NB: if the holder of a "family member" residence permit also holds a permit for ancillary work, they must check whether the work permit expires at the same time as the residence permit. In that case, they must enclose a copy of the valid work contract compliant with Luxembourg labour law, duly dated and signed, to their application.

After 5 years of a legal and uninterrupted stay in Luxembourg, they may directly submit an application to obtain long-term resident status.

The holder of a family member residence permit may, after a maximum of 5 years of residence, apply for a residence permit in their own right, independently of the sponsor, if they have sufficient resources.

In the event of a change in the family situation (divorce, dissolution of registered partnership, marriage annulment, death of the sponsor), family members who can demonstrate 3 years of legal residence in Luxembourg may apply for a residence permit in their own right (on paper), so that they are no longer dependent on the residence permit of the sponsor.

Family members may also apply for a residence permit in their own right (on plain paper), without having to meet the three-year residence condition where a couple relationship has broken down under particularly difficult circumstances, notably due to domestic violence.

Loss, theft or damage to the residence permit

In case of loss, theft or damage to the residence permit, a specific procedure needs to 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