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Unsponsored immigration

Highly skilled individuals

What unsponsored immigration routes are available for highly skilled foreign nationals to seek employment in your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

In principle, highly qualified workers are eligible only for the sponsored immigration route. Exceptions exist, but they exist for all types of worker, not just highly qualified workers (eg, residence permit for private reasons or ‘vie privée’).

Entrepreneurs

What unsponsored immigration routes are available for entrepreneurs seeking to establish a business in your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

Entrepreneurs seeking to establish a company in Luxembourg must refer to the national legislation regulating such matters.

The recent amendment of the Immigration Law of August 29 2008 brought some clarification with regard to executive directors of companies intending to establish or having established a company in Luxembourg.

Such executive directors are eligible for a residence permit in the capacity of employed worker (salaried worker, EU Blue Card, ICT manager or specialist) or in the capacity of self-employed worker.

The law sets out specific criteria that the group intending to establish a company in Luxembourg must meet, as well for the activities that are eligible for such right.  

Investors

What unsponsored immigration routes are available for foreign investors seeking to invest in your jurisdiction? What are the eligibility criteria, application procedures and maximum period of stay for each?

The Immigration Law of August 29 2008, lays down four investment schemes determines third-country nationals’ right to gain residency in Luxembourg. 

The Grand Ducal Regulation of December 5 2017 limits the economic sectors eligible for investment in the sense of Articles 53bis(1)(1) and (2) of the Immigration Law. Real estate investments are expressly excluded from the law.

Own-account investments and investment entities are foreseeable.

Third-country nationals who are eligible for investment schemes will be issued an investor residence permit valid for three years and renewable under the same conditions.

Ancestry

Are any immigration routes open to foreign nationals based on ancestry or descent?

Yes, immigration routes are open on grounds of descent and ancestry.

Other routes

Are there any other unsponsored immigration routes?

Yes, other unsponsored immigration routes are available, such as self-employment and long stay for private reasons.

Extensions, permanent residence and citizenship

Extensions and status changes

Can short-term visa or work permit holders switch to long-term visas? If so, what conditions and procedures apply?

Short-stay visas (C visas) issued under the EU Visa Code cannot be converted into residence permits.

The relevant question would be whether third-country nationals may convert short stay into long stay in Luxembourg.

In principle, third-country nationals may not enter the territory of the Grand Duchy before the issuance of the temporary authorisation of stay.

Article 39(2) of the Immigration Law of August 29 2008 provides for the possibility to switch short stay to long stay in Luxembourg where the return to the home country would represent an exceptional burden.

Seasonal workers may, however, switch short stay to long stay in Luxembourg.

Under what conditions can long-term visas be extended?

The common immigration procedure requires an application for a temporary authorisation of stay followed, where required, by an application for a visa. In Luxembourg, third-country nationals must declare arrival within three days of the date of entry and then lodge the application for a residence permit within a maximum of three months of the date of entry.

Permanent residence

Can long-term visa holders apply for permanent residence? If so, what conditions and procedures apply?

Visas must be converted to local residence permits.

Third-country nationals are eligible for long-term resident status after five years of lawful and uninterrupted stay if the other eligibility criteria are met.

Posted workers, seasonal workers and workers transferred to Luxembourg are not eligible for permanent residency.

Citizenship

Can long-term visa holders or permanent residents apply for citizenship? If so, what conditions and procedures apply?

Visas do not confer citizenship-related rights.

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