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How to translate documents when moving to Luxembourg

Last time updated
26.02.24

When you move to Luxembourg, you may not have time to deal with documents. However, many urgent tasks – registering in a commune, applying for a residence permit, renting an apartment – require certain papers. Most often, some of them you can prepare in the country of residence, but this does not guarantee that the translations will not have to be recertified or even translated again with the help of a specialist.

Luxembourg has three official languages – French, German, and Luxembourgish – but English is often added to the list.

Business communication with public authorities is most often in French or English. This should be taken into account when translating documents for relocation. In this article, we will look in detail at the entire process of preparing papers for relocation to the Grand Duchy.

What documents do you need to translate when relocating

It will often depend on the status and grounds on which you're moving to Luxembourg. Relocation documents can be divided into necessary and additional. Necessary documents include:

Passports (internal and foreign);

Birth certificate;

Marriage certificate, if you are married;

Criminal record certificate;

Documents for work or study.

Regardless of the situation, all documents in a foreign language into one of the official national languages before being sent to the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At each stage of the move, you will need certain documents. Some of them need to be translated by a sworn translator and sometimes undergo other official procedures.

Request for a temporary residence permit

Copies of all pages of a valid passport. No translation is required.

A notarized copy of a recent criminal record certificate with apostille. The translation is required.

Applicant's curriculum vitae (CV). Must be translated into one of the national languages.

Copies of diplomas or certificates of professional competencies. Must be apostilled and translated.

Copy of the work contract (following Luxembourg law), dated and signed by both the applicant and his future employer in Luxembourg. Must be certified and in one of the national languages.

The official certificate from the National Employment Agency which states that the employer has the right to hire a third-country national. Must be in one of the national languages.

Arrival and registration at the commune

A valid passport with a visa or temporary residence permit. No translation is required.

Certificate of marriage or registered partnership. Must be apostilled and translated.

Children's birth certificates. Must be apostilled and translated.

Obtaining a residence permit

A valid passport with a visa or temporary residence permit. No translation is required.

Declaration of arrival. No need for translation.

Enrolling children in school and daycare

Valid passports. No translation is required.

Marriage certificate. Should be translated. Apostille may be required if requested by the authorities.

Children’s birth certificates. Should be translated. Apostille may be required if requested by the authorities.

Registration certificate and, where applicable, a permanent residence permit or residence permit.

Getting an employment contract

Proof of education such as a diploma. Need to be translated into national languages. Apostille may be required on request.

Renting a house or apartment

Proof of income. Must be translated in one of the national languages.

Proof of employment. Must be translated in one of the national languages.

In addition to the basic steps of the move, you will often be faced with filing various documents during your stay in Luxembourg. This too should be taken care of in advance, especially if you have children or elderly parents.

Read more about documents that should be prepared when you are moving as a highly-qualified worker with Blue Card in our special dedicated article.

Which documents can be translated in the Grand Duchy

To make your move to Luxembourg easier we suggest preparing your documents in advance. You can collect your documents from your place of residence and translate them with the help of an agency or individual translator.

List of documents that can be translated in general in the translator's offices in Luxembourg:

Birth certificates

Marriage certificates

Legal contracts

Death certificates

Insurance certificates

Driving licenses

Court rulings

Divorce decrees

Police criminal records checks

Diplomas

Bank statements.

The specific documents you'll need may vary depending on your individual circumstances, such as your purpose of relocation, visa requirements, and the nature of your stay in Luxembourg. Read our special articles to be ready in terms of paperwork:

What documents to prepare at home country

Grounds for entry into Luxembourg and required documents

Registration in the commune

Which translations do not require certification

Luxembourg generally requires certified translations for official purposes, especially when dealing with legal or administrative matters. However, for certain situations, such as for personal use or informational purposes, you may not necessarily need certified translations.

For example, if you are translating

personal correspondence,

non-official letters, or

general documents and contracts not related to legal or administrative matters,

certification by a notary or sworn translator .

Which documents have to be translated in Luxembourg

Sometimes documents must be translated by a certified or sworn translator in Luxembourg. Otherwise, your documents will not be accepted. For example, you will always need to translate your academic documents such as diplomas or transcripts via a certified notary translator in the country.

However, some documents need to be translated with the help of a different professional, a sworn translator. Here are some of the documents that may require a translation from a sworn translator:

Official documents

These are documents that are issued by a government agency, such as a birth certificate or a passport.

Legal documents

These are documents that are used in court or other legal proceedings, such as a divorce decree or a will.

Medical documents

These are documents that are used to diagnose or treat a medical condition, such as a doctor's report or a prescription.

If you are unsure whether or not you need a translation from a special sworn translator, you should contact the government or the organization that is requesting the translation. They will be able to tell you if a special sworn translator is required and, if so, who you should contact to get a translation.

How to prepare documents for translation and certification by a sworn translator

One of the most important conditions for fast and high-quality translation of documents is the correct and on-time preparation of the sources for translation. You need to consider in what format a professional translator accepts the documents (by regular mail or in an electronic version, and if electronic, what file format), as well as make sure that the text you submit is readable.

Basic requirements for the files for translation:

Clear and legible scans of documents

Complete set of documents: do not forget to scan all pages

PDF or Word file format

After the translator sends you the certified translation, make sure that everything is done correctly. Important indicators of a well-translated document are:

A well-translated document should accurately convey the meaning, context, and intent of the original text.

The translated document should adhere to the grammatical rules and syntactical conventions of the target language. Proper sentence structure, verb agreement, word order, and punctuation.

Consistent use of terminology is crucial in technical, legal, or specialized translations. A well-translated document should demonstrate consistency in terminology and avoid ambiguity or confusion.

The translated document should match the formatting and presentation of the original document as closely as possible. This includes factors such as headings, subheadings, bullet points, tables, and other visual elements.

Example of a document translated into German, with signature and seal. A sworn translator cannot certify the document.
Example of a document translated into German, with signature and seal. A sworn translator cannot certify the document.

Where to find certified interpreters in Luxembourg

Finding the right translator is an important step. When it comes to translating documents, many people immediately turn to large translation agencies, assuming that their reputation guarantees flawless results.

While these agencies certainly deliver high-quality work, it’s not always the right choice. If you have a smaller number of documents requiring translation, opting for a private translator or a smaller agency can be more advantageous.

Why do you need sworn interpreters to translate documents

The Minister of Justice may, in criminal and administrative matters, appoint sworn experts, translators and interpreters, specially entrusted with the execution of missions delegated to them by the judicial and administrative authorities.

You can find a list of certified sworn translators in Luxembourg, filtered by the language on the website of the Ministry.

A sworn translator is not a notary and cannot notarize documents or work with originals. However, if you have a finished translation that needs to be notarized or a notarized document that needs to be translated, they can help you.

In other words, a sworn translation involves the authentication of a translated document by a notary public, who verifies the accuracy of the translation and the identity of the translator.

Association of Translators and Interpreters

The Luxembourg Association of Translators and Interpreters (ALTI) is a non-profit professional body founded in 2011 to defend the interests of professional translators and interpreters in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and raise public awareness of these professions.

Address: 30, rue des Fleurs, Dudelange, Luxembourg

Email: contact@traducteurs-interpretes.lu

Website: https://www.traducteurs-interpretes.lu/en/

Alphatrad Luxembourg

Alphatrad is a translation agency that has been in business for over 40 years. They offer a wide range of translation services, including sworn translations, and a wide range of languages they work with — more than 100.

Address: 5, rue Goethe, Luxembourg

Phone: (+352) 27 177 255

Website: https://www.alphatrad.lu/en

How much does it cost to translate documents in Luxembourg

The cost of document translation services in Luxembourg depends on the tariff and the interpreter you turn to. Here you can find a table with approximate prices.

Document typePrice per document
Birth certificate15 – 30 euros
Marriage certificate15 – 30 euros
Death certificate15 – 30 euros
Diploma50 – 70 euros
CV15 – 30 euros
Legal document20 – 100 euros
Technical document20 – 150 euros

On average, it will cost you around to translate a package of documents for your relocation to Luxembourg.

Please note that these are just average prices and the actual cost of the translation may vary depending on the complexity of the document, the urgency of the translation, and the experience of the translator.

When documents need to be apostilled

An apostille is a specific type of certification attached to a document to verify its authenticity and facilitate its recognition in countries that are part of the Hague Apostille Convention. It confirms the validity of a document's signature, seal, or stamp.

Only the issuing authority can place an apostille, which means that neither a notary nor a sworn translator can apostille a document.

For instance, if you require an apostille for a diploma of education, you must request it directly from the educational institution or the Ministry of Education in your country. They are the only entities authorized to issue an apostille for that particular document.

The following list of documents is most likely to require an apostille:

Birth certificate;

Marriage certificate;

Death certificate;

Diploma;

Transcripts;

Police certificate;

Medical certificate;

Visa application;

Employment contract;

Tax return;

Bank statement.

faq

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is a sworn translation in Luxembourg and when one need it

How much does it cost to translate a document in Luxembourg

Where can I have a document translated professionally in Luxembourg

We took photos from these sources: Example of a document translated into German, with signature and seal. A sworn translator cannot certify the document.

Authors: Asya, Daria
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