Foreign workers Coming to work in Luxembourg
All nationals from European Union (EU) Member States or countries treated as such are entitled to free movement within the EU, giving them the right to work and live anywhere in the EU. Before starting a job in Luxembourg, you will need to complete various administrative procedures. Read on for an overview of the steps you will need to take.
Who can work in Luxembourg?
Nationals who reside legally in another European Union Member State automatically have access to the Luxembourg labour market.
The following countries are assimilated to EU Member States:
- Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as signatories to the Agreement on the European Economic Area;
- the Swiss Confederation.
Anyone wishing to take up residence in a municipality in Luxembourg (and work in the country) must register their arrival with the population office at the municipal administration in their chosen place of residence.
Anyone who wants to come and work in Luxembourg without residing there must, in principle, obtain a work permit before starting their new job.
Third-country nationals will need an authorisation to stay (autorisation de séjour) and then a residence permit.
There are currently people of more than 170 different nationalities living and working in Luxembourg. Around 70% of the country's workforce does not have Luxembourg nationality. This part of the workforce is composed of migrant workers or cross-border workers – the latter from Germany, Belgium or France.
How to request a work permit
Third-country nationals must send a written application for a work permit to the Directorate of Immigration in the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs. You will find more details about the application and the supporting documents required here. The Ministry will usually reply within 3 months. If no response is received within this time limit, the applicant can consider that their application has been denied.
A work permit is valid from the date on which the application was approved. The first permit is valid for a maximum of one year (as long as it does not extend beyond the validity period of the residence permit). The permit may be renewed on request, if the required conditions continue to be met and the beneficiary can prove that he has worked for the duration of the work permit.
From the first renewal, the permit is valid for a maximum of three years.
The first work permit is valid for a single profession within a specific sector, for any employer.
A renewed work permit is valid for all sectors and all professions.
The procedure is explained in detail here.
All EU citizens have the same social security benefits linked to a contract of employment as those enjoyed by Luxembourg nationals. These include sick leave and maternity leave, unemployment benefit and family allowance, benefits related to work-related accidents and occupational illness, disability allowance and an old-age pension.
In most cases, the legal formalities for registering in Luxembourg (registration with the social security and tax authorities, etc.) will be performed by your new employer.
Three questions for...
Jeff Hurt, EURES Luxembourg National Coordinator with ADEM, the National Employment Agency.
- Mr Hurt, you are the national coordinator of the European employment network EURES. What are the main services offered by this platform?
EURES was set up in 1994. It is a cooperation network that promotes freedom to work in the 27 EU Member States, the European Economic Area and Switzerland. The offices, coordinators and advisers are in daily contact with employers to seek out interesting vacancies, and with job seekers to provide them with relevant information about available jobs and working and living conditions in different countries. EURES offers a targeted mobility programme (grants and funding for mobility within the EU), recruitment assistance (language courses) and an online employment portal known as European Job Days. EURES services are free of charge.
As well as the European network, EURES Luxembourg is a member of the EURES Greater Region cross-border partnership, together with Rhineland-Palatinate, the Saar, the Grand Est, Wallonia and the German-speaking Community of Belgium. EURES Greater Region particularly focuses on practical questions for cross-border employers: national social security systems, tax regulations and legal systems in the four countries.
- Since you took up this job, what changes have you observed on the Luxembourg job market?
I began working for the network in 2006 and I have been EURES Luxembourg National Coordinator since 2018. During this period, it has become more difficult to find (highly) qualified staff. There is no longer a surplus of skilled, experienced professionals in the region, and we are needing to look further afield to find suitable candidates. Given this context, it is important for countries to launch new initiatives and reposition themselves on a regular basis. Attracting and retaining talent requires an effective strategy. That's the only way that the country will be able to become a real "talent hub".
To find new talent for the national market, EURES Luxembourg has launched a new platform as part of a pilot project: work-in-luxembourg.lu. If any of your readers are interested in finding a great job in Luxembourg, we would encourage them to register on the portal!
- Why do you think Luxembourg should be considered as one of the best places to live and work?
Luxembourg is the most cosmopolitan country that I know, with a wide variety of cultures and nationalities. And the living conditions are very attractive: social security, a multilingual and inclusive education system, social stability, nature, culture, a good work-life balance, etc. The country is also right at the heart of Europe and other major European cities are within easy reach (Paris, Brussels, Cologne, etc.). But people also need to be aware that living costs can sometimes be very expensive.
EURES has 3.9 million job vacancies, 1 million CVs and 5,000 registered employers!