Conditions of residence for self-employed third-country nationals

This page was last modified on 01-04-2016

A third-country national who wishes to come to Luxembourg to carry out an activity as a self-employed worker for a period of more than 3 months must follow a procedure in 2 consecutive steps:

  • Step 1: before entering the country:
    • submit an application for a temporary authorisation to stay to the Immigration Directorate at 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;
    • then apply for a residence permit for self-employed third-country nationals.

Forms / Online services

Carry out your procedure:

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 a temporary authorisation to stay and then a residence permit for self-employed workers if they:

  • either reside abroad and intend to set up residence in Luxembourg in order to carry out a self-employed activity;
  • or already lawfully reside in Luxembourg without having worked there and wish to set up as a self-employed worker.

The application for a temporary residence certificate must be submitted by the applicant. However, he may mandate a third party to carry out the necessary procedures.

Non-EU nationals who are family members of an EU citizen (or of a national of a country treated as such) living in Luxembourg or who have long-term resident status or who are under international protection in Luxembourg do not need to meet the conditions for a residence permit for a self-employed workers in order to carry out a self-employed activity. However, they have to check whether they meet the conditions of access to the profession.

Prerequisites

Third-country nationals must meet the following requirements first:

Moreover, in order to be granted a residence permit as a self-employed worker, third-country nationals must:

  • provide proof of required qualifications to carry out the planned activity and, where applicable, be registered on the respective professional lists or registers;
  • where applicable, ensure they fulfill the conditions set out by law to access the professions of craftsman, trader, industrialist and certain liberal professions;
  • provide proof that they have sufficient resources to carry out the desired activity in Luxembourg;
  • ensure that the activity carried out serves the interests of the country in terms of social or cultural interest or economic benefit, i.e.:
    • as a response to an economic need;
    • integration in the national or local economic context;
    • viability and sustainability of the business project;
    • in terms of job creation;
    • investments, namely in research and development, innovation or specialisation.

Preliminary steps

Before applying for a temporary authorisation to stay, the applicant must fulfil the conditions of access to the profession concerned:

  • if the self-employed activity requires a business permit, the applicant must join to his application the outline consent from the Ministry of the Economy regarding the issuance of the business permit.
  • if the activity is subject to any other authorisation, accreditation or registration, the applicant must attach a copy of the authorisation or accreditation/registration to his application for a temporary authorisation to stay, or, failing this, the outline of consent from the competent authority.

How to proceed

Step 1: before entering the country

Application for a temporary authorisation to stay

The future third-country self-employed worker must submit an application for a temporary authorisation to stay for self-employed workers (on plain paper) from his 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 have a residence permit for Luxembourg). Applications submitted from Luxembourg are inadmissible.

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

  • a certified copy of the valid passport, in its entirety;
  • a birth certificate;
  • an extract from the criminal records or an affidavit (sworn oath) established in the country of residence;
  • a curriculum vitae;
  • a business and a financing plan;
  • proof that the applicant has the necessary economic resources to carry out his business project;
  • in the case of a takeover of a business, the balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the past three financial years;
  • in the case of an activity subject to a business permit, the agreement in principle;
  • in the case of an activity subject to other authorisations, accreditations or registrations, the agreement in principle from the competent authority.
  • 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 legalised 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 sender.

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.

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 90 days. During that time, the third-country national must:

  • either apply for an entry visa to the Schengen area, if he is subject to visa requirements;
  • or, if he is not subject to visa requirements, enter Luxembourg territory and make a declaration of arrival to the administration of the commune where he resides.
After entering Luxembourg, the third-country national must take steps to obtain a residence permit.

Passport and visa

If he is not subject to visa requirements, the third-country national may enter Luxembourg with his temporary authorisation to stay.

Before travelling and leaving the country of origin, the third-country national subject to a visa must present the temporary authorisation to stay and complete the visa type D application at the Luxembourg diplomatic or consular mission in his country of residence or, failing this, at the embassy or consulate of the country in the Schengen area which represents Luxembourg with regard to the issuance of visas (Belgian embassy or consulate only).

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, he/she is advised to renew it before coming to Luxembourg.

If the third-country national has a valid residence permit as a family member 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 in Luxembourg.

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 his temporary authorisation to stay.

Third-country nationals 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 and present:

  • 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 temporary authorisation to stay are valid as an 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 a 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 (Direction de l'Immigration) of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes) to allow the residence permit application to be processed.

Residence permit application

Self-employed 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 temporary authorisation to stay;
  • a copy of the declaration of arrival established by the communal authority;
  • 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 your name here').

When the application is approved, the applicant will receive a letter inviting him to come in person with his/her valid passport and said letter to the Immigration Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs during opening hours. The applicant will have his photograph and fingerprints taken, which will be incorporated into the residence permit. Applicants may also bring a recent photograph compliant with OACI/ICAO standards ('biometric passport standards').

A few days after the biometric data have been collected, the applicant may pick up the 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 includes the work permit for the self-employed activity in question (provided the holder has the required business permit to carry out the activity).

The residence permit includes information about its holder (surname, first name, 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 field "observation".

Validity period and renewal

Validity period of the residence permit

The residence permit for self-employed is valid for 3 years at the most as from the date of declaration of arrival in the commune.

As an exception, in the case of a first-time application for a residence permit as a self-employed worker, the third-country national who had long-term resident status in another EU Member State will be granted the resident permit for self-employed worker with a 5-year validity.

Beware: foreigners who intend to leave the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg for more than 6 months must return their residence permit to the Minister of Foreign and European Affairs and make a declaration of departure at the administration of the commune where they resided.

Renewal

In order to renew a residence permit for self-employed worker, the third-country national must apply to the Immigration Directorate at the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (ministère des Affaires étrangères et européennes) within 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;
  • supporting documents justifying that the conditions of access to the profession are still met;
  • the certificates of affiliation which list all the prior affiliations of the self-employed with the Luxembourg social security and, where applicable, those of his employees
  • a copy of the personal income tax return for the previous year;
  • for companies:
    • a complete balance sheet of the period preceding the application, as well as proof that it was duly filed with the Trade and Companies Register (RCS);
    • a copy of the corporate income tax return for the previous financial year;
    • proof that the annual financial statements have been filed with the Trade and Companies Register;
  • a copy of the VAT declaration, as well as proof that it was duly filed;
  • a recent extract from the criminal record in Luxembourg;
  • 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 your name here').

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

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

Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
26, route d'Arlon
L-1140 - Luxembourg
Postal box B.P. 752 L-2017
Luxembourg
Phone (+352) 247-84040 (from 14.00 - 16.00)
Fax (+352) 22 16 08
Email immigration.public@mae.etat.lu

Opening hours
Monday to Friday from 08.30 - 12.00