If you are a third-country national legally residing in Luxembourg, you can apply for family reunification if you fulfil the following conditions:
- hold a residence permit that is valid for at least one year (this requirement is not necessary if the applicant is a highly qualified third-country national, a beneficiary of international protection, a long-term residence permit holder in another MS and who is exercising the right to reside in Luxembourg and whose family was already established in the other MS, an intra-corporate transferee or a researcher. These persons may be accompanied by their spouse or registered partner, as well as their unmarried children aged under 18, when they enter Luxembourg);
- have a perspective to obtain a long-term residence permit;
- provide proof that s/he has stable, regular and sufficient resources (salary, wages, income from assets) to support him/herself and the family members under his or her 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 having free accommodation);
- have appropriate accommodation to host the family member(s) (floor area of at least 12 m2; for the first occupant and 12 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 him/herself and the family member(s) (health insurance certificate covering their stay in Luxembourg issued by a Luxembourg or foreign social security authority and/or by a private insurance company).
Eligible family members include:
- your adult spouse or registered partner of the sponsor, aged 18 or over at the time of the application for family reunification (family reunification for a spouse is not allowed in the case of polygamous marriages, i.e. if the sponsor already has a spouse living in the family Luxembourg);
- your unmarried children under 18 years of age. They can be of the sponsor and/or the spouse or partner for whom they have custody and where the children are dependent on them, or, in the case of shared custody, where the other party sharing custody has given his/her consent;
- your direct ascendant, dependants or those under your spouse's/partner's responsibility who have no means of support in their countries of origin;
- your adult unmarried children if they are not capable of looking after their own needs;
- the first-degree direct ascendants (mother and father) of unaccompanied minors who have been granted international protection.
The authorities 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.
Your family members must obtain an authorisation of stay for family member and, if necessary, a visa for entering into the country. Once in the territory the family member must apply for a residence permit which validity will not extend beyond the expiry date of your own residence permit.
Where and how to apply
The sponsor or the family member directly or through an attorney must submit an application for an authorisation of stay for family reunification to the Directorate of Immigration before the family member's arrival in Luxembourg.
The Minister may, in exceptional cases, accept applications when the family members are already on the territory of Luxembourg.
Once granted, the family member must, if necessary, obtain a visa at the embassy or consulate in the country of origin within 90 days.
For the purposes of the application for a residence permit to stay, your family member must show:
Additional documents to be attached depending on the case
Sponsor's spouse or registered partner:
Descendants (children) of the sponsor or sponsor's spouse/partner:
In case of shared custody (only applicable to children aged under 18): the notarised authorisation of the parent who does not reside in Luxembourg duly authorising the child to move to Luxembourg (accompanied by an identity document for the parent residing abroad).
Ascendant (parent) of the sponsor or sponsor's spouse/partner:
You must also present the following proofs, regarding your situation (as the person currently residing in Luxembourg):
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.
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 90 days. During that time, the third-country national must:
After entering Luxembourg, the third-country national must take steps to obtain a residence permit.
|Duration of validity of permits||The residence permit, which will be issued after the family member's arrival in Luxembourg, is valid for one year, and renewable if the necessary conditions continue to be met. In any case, the validity of the residence permit of the family member cannot exceed the validity of the residence permit of the sponsor.|
The family member 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:
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 serve both as a work permit and authorisation to stay until the residence permit is issued.
The family member must undergo a medical examination before applying for the residence permit.
Residence permit application
Third-country nationals must submit an application for a residence permit for third-country nationals to the Directorate of Immigration within 3 months of entry into Luxembourg.
The following documents must be sent together with the residence permit application:
|Conditions for renewal|
Renewal of the residence permit
In order to renew a residence permit, third-country nationals must apply to the Directorate of Immigration within 2 months prior to the expiry date of the residence permit.
The application for renewal must be filed using a special form and must be accompanied by the following documents:
Negative decisions related to authorisation to stay can be challenged before the First instance Administrative Court within three months of notification of the ministerial decision.
If the First instance Administrative Court rejects the appeal the decision a further appeal can be filed before the Administrative Court within 40 days of judgement notification.
|Access to labour market|
Rules concerning access to the labour market of the family member of a third-country national depend on whether it is an accessory or main activity.
A work permit is required for the third-country national before starting work.
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.
In case the family member resides in Luxembourg for less than one year when the application is submitted, it will be submitted to the labour market test.
In case the person resides in Luxembourg for more than one year at the moment of the application, the labour market test is not required, but the employer must declare the post vacancy before considering the recruitment of the person. 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 joint it to their work permit application.
Family members must apply for a salaried worker residence permit or for an independent worker residence permit.
Family members must apply for a residence permit which allow them to work in Luxembourg according to the requirements established for salaried workers, independent workers or highly qualified workers.
The access of family members to the labour market is subject to certain conditions during the first year of residence (it is not a waiting period) after the family reunification. If the family member applies for an authorisation as a salaried worker, s/he can have access to the labour market but is subject to a labour market test during the first year of residence.
During the first year of his/her legal employment on the territory, the family member holding a “salaried worker” residence permit shall have access to the labour market, limited to a single sector and a single occupation with any employer.
Another possibility is that the spouse can apply as a self-employed worker if s/he fulfils the required conditions.
If the third-country national family member fulfils the conditions of a highly qualified worker, s/he will not be subject to the labour market test and will have immediate access to the labour market.
|Access to education|
Holders of a "family member" residence permit are eligible for:
After 5 years of a legal and uninterrupted stay in Luxembourg, they may directly submit an application to obtain long-term resident status.
Holders 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, provided they can prove that 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.
- Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs
- Diplomatic missions abroad
- Directorate of Immigration
- Ministry of Labour and Employment and Social and Solidarity Economy
- Agency for the Development of Employment
- Ministry of Education, Children and Youth
- Local Authorities (in French)
- Guichet en Ligne (long term resident status)