Carrying out a salaried activity on an ancillary basis as a holder of a residence permit for private reasons

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

Third-country nationals who are allowed to lawfully reside in Luxembourg for private reasons may be authorised to carry out a salaried activity on an ancillary basis.

To that end, they have to apply for a work permit.

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Who is concerned

A work permit is required for all 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 hold a residence permit for "private reasons" in Luxembourg and who 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 mandate a third party, such as the future employer, to carry out the necessary procedures.

Holders of a "private reasons" 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 hold a valid residence permit for "private reasons".

Preliminary steps

Before recruiting a third-country national, employers must make a declaration of vacant position to the ADEM. The procedure to follow depends on how long the third-country national has been staying in Luxembourg.

Staying in Luxembourg for less than one year

Third-country nationals 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 must make a declaration of vacant position at the National Employment Agency (Agence pour le développement de l'emploi - ADEM). The declaration will allow the employment agency to check whether there is a suitable candidate available on the local or EU job market.

If the job offer cannot be filled with a person registered with the ADEM within a 3 week deadline, the employer is allowed to conclude an employment contract with a person of his choice, under certain conditions, including a non-EU national.

To this end, the employer must submit an application on plain paper to the ADEM's director and request a certificate granting him the right to hire a third country national.

The employer must then sign a dated employment contract with the future employee. The contract may include a let-out clause specifying that the employment contract will take effect "from the moment the work permit has been obtained".

The employer must submit the original certificate to the third-country national, who will attach it to his work permit application.

Staying in Luxembourg for more than one year

Third-country nationals who have lawfully 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 for private reasons, and be able to provide proof that he has done so.

The employer must sign a dated employment contract with the future employee. The contract may include a let-out clause specifying that the employment contract will take effect "from the moment 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 the work permit application.

Procedures specific to 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 work to the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs within 3 working days from the first days of work.

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

  • the identity of the worker and their national identification number (13-digit 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 or permit may face administrative and criminal sanctions.

How to proceed

Work permit application

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

The application must contain the applicant's identity details (surname, first name) and address in the country of residence and must be accompanied by the following documents and information:

  • 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 job 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 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: autorisation de travail dans le chef de [insert name here]);
  • where necessary, a proxy.
    Proxy:
    third-country nationals may give mandate to a third party (e.g. the future employer) 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').

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 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 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.

Validity and renewal of work permits

Work permit validity period

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 "private reasons" residence permit is not affected by the issuance of a work permit.

The initial work permit is valid:

  • for a maximum of one year (without extending beyond the validity period of the residence permit);
  • for one profession only, whoever the employer is;
  • in only one 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 the classification, see 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:

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 Luxembourgish criminal records (only if the applicant is aged 18 or over);
  • proof of sufficient resources to cover for living expenses; either proof of own sufficient resources (e.g. pension certificate, bank certificate issued by a Luxembourg banking institution, employment contract) or a statement of support issued by a guarantor residing in Luxembourg;
  • proof of payment of a EUR 80 tax into the 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 to the account IBAN account LU46 1111 2582 2814 0000 (BIC: CCPLLULL, bénéficiaire : 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 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