The Grand Duchy is currently open for entry. It is possible to enter the country if the entry requirements are met. There are many grounds for entry to Luxembourg: residence permit, study, work, business and investment, as well as fleeing war and seeking political asylum. In this article, we will explore the grounds on which you can enter the country in 2023 in detail.
Since October 2022, third-country nationals may travel to the Grand Duchy of the COVID-19 vaccination status for all types of travel, including non-essential.
The reasons for entry, and therefore the documents you will need to obtain, will depend on the length of stay planned, as well as the other relevant conditions accompanying the process.
Regardless of the grounds, for a third-country national to enter Luxembourg, a Schengen visa will be required. For any visa in Luxembourg, you may need to provide documents to prove the purpose of your trip and other factors such as financial solvency.
Read about specifics of obtaining a visa for legal stay in Luxembourg in our special article of the Knowledge Library — With or without visa: grounds for legal stay in Luxembourg.
Who can enter Luxembourg without grounds
There are few categories of people, who do not need special documents or grounds when entering the Grand Duchy. You may cross the border of Luxembourg without restrictions if you are a citizen of European Union countries and the Schengen Zone.
People from these countries can enter freely when presenting official travel documents, proving their EU-residency:
Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Liechtenstein, Norway, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland.
The list also includes San Marino, Andorra, Monaco, and the Vatican.
All non-EU countries, except for Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Norway, and Iceland are considered third countries and people who come from there must have some reasons to enter the country and will have to obtain special documents.
Entry from third countries
Entry requirements for third-country nationals may vary. Different types of visas are available, depending on the purpose and duration of the intended stay, as well as depending on the country you are coming from.
However, if a non-EU national holds a residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen or a valid residence permit from another EU country, they to enter Luxembourg.
There are two main types of visa, that allow entering and staying in the country for a different amount of time:
Visa C for short-stay with an interrupted period of 90 days,
Visa D for long-stay for the period issued depending on the situation.
Keep in mind, that the A visa (for transit) is not suitable for entry into the country. An airport transit visa (A visa) is valid for travel through the international zone at airports, but it does not allow to enter the Schengen area.
Grounds for entry into Luxembourg for short stays
The C visa is designed for people visiting the country for short periods of up to 3 months once every six months. The grounds for obtaining the visa and entering could be a tourist trip, attending conferences and business meetings, providing services or visiting family. With this type of visa, you can stay in the Schengen area for 90 days and travel freely between member states.
You will need certain grounds to obtain a visa to enter Luxembourg as a third-country national even for a short-stay.
Tourist trip as an entry ground
Visiting Luxembourg for the purpose of traveling, sightseeing and exploring beautiful places is the most common ground for entry into the country. Schengen visa allows you to visit different countries in the European Union as well.
If you plan to visit several countries in EU, you have to request a visa either in the country where you will or in the country of into the Schengen area.
Regarding the documents, typically you will need to provide the following: valid passport with Schengen visa, issued by Luxembourg or any other EU country, medical insurance and proof of accomodation and travel plans, such as hotel booking and flight tickets to your home country.
Family visit grounds for entry into Luxembourg
If you have family members who live in Luxembourg, you can apply for a C visa to visit them for a short period of time in order to enter the country. It can be a close relative, like sibling, parent or spouse, or not – grandparents, uncles and others. Keep in mind, that sometimes you will have to proove the connection with documents.
Besides the usual package of passport, visa, medical insurance and proof of accomodation, you will need a letter of invitation and evidence of the relationship with the person, such as a birth certificate, marriage certificate, or proof of kinship.
Business entry grounds in Luxembourg
This type of visa allows entering the Schengen area for business-related purposes, such as attending conferences, meetings, or conducting negotiations with European companies or partners. You can even come for a business trip as a specialist that provides services on a contract base.
Applicants typically need to provide evidence of their purpose of visit, such as an invitation letter from a company or client, conference invitations, contracts for services and other docuemnts, that will indicate your business goals. Of course, besides the standart package we mentioned before.
Grounds for entry into Luxembourg for a long-term stay
A long stay in this case is defined as a stay of more than 90 days. If you are planning to move to Luxembourg, you have to request temporary authorization to stay at the Immigration Directorate of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Before applying for a D visa, you have to obtain granted from the Ministry for all family members, including children.
The application procedure for the authorization to stay depends on the planned activity and your status: whether you plan to carry out any activity or have other reasons to request a long stay in the country.
Those reasons can be different. The most common grounds can be divided into several main categories.
Work grounds for entering Luxembourg
Non-EU nationals who are offered employment in Luxembourg may apply for a work visa or work permit, which allows them to work and reside here for an extended period. This applies to such categories, as salaried workers, self-employed independent workers, highly qualified workers, salaried posted workers, and even researchers, professional athletes, au pairs.
To prove the ground, you might need to provide documents, that are associated with your employment: work contracts, ADEM certificate, company registration papers and other related to your specific case papers.
Studies as a ground for entry
To study and so stay in Luxembourg, non-EU nationals usually need a student residence permit, this includes students, pupils, trainees. To obtain it you will need to show proof of enrollment in a recognized educational institution, financial sufficiency, health insurance, and a valid passport.
Once students obtain the visa or permit, they can live in Europe for the duration of their program and also may be able to work part-time, subject to certain rules. After finishing their studies, they may be eligible for a work permit to gain work experience and become a permanent resident in Luxembourg afterward.
Family reunification as entry ground
The purpose of this type is to allow family members to join their loved ones and reside together in Luxembourg. Family reunification is a possible ground for entry in Luxembourg for non-EU nationals who have a family member who is:
a Luxembourgish citizen,
an EU citizen living in Luxembourg,
holder of a long-term residence permit in Luxembourg.
Legally speaking, a family member is someone who is related to another person by blood, marriage, or adoption.
To apply for family reunification in Luxembourg, the non-EU national family member needs to provide proof of their family relationships with the Luxembourgish or EU citizen family member, such as a marriage certificate or a birth certificate. The "inviting" family member must also provide evidence of sufficient financial means to support the non-EU family member, as well as adequate accommodation.
Private reasons ground for entry
These grounds for entry are created for special cases, to supplement the ones we mentioned before. Most of the time, there are two main cases in which a non-EU national can use private reasons to enter Luxembourg:
when they can support themselves financially,
when they do not meet the conditions for family reunification but have stable personal or family ties in Luxembourg.
You will need to provide proof of sufficient resources, evaluated by their source, regularity, and comparison to social minimum wage or conditions of accommodation. It is also necessary to hold a valid passport and visa. For more information on specific cases, it is recommended to contact the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.
Address: 26, route d'Arlon, Luxembourg
Phone : (+352) 247 840 40 from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m.
International protection in Luxembourg
Refugee and subsidiary protection statuses in the European Union are granted to those who have left their home country because of the risk of serious harm, such as
military conflict on the territory of a country,
persecution on racial, national or religious grounds,
prosecution on political grounds,
threats to the safety of lives of the person and their family,
low social status.
If you fall into one of these categories, you can come to Luxembourg and apply for refugee or subsidiary protection status immediately.
Apart from the two categories mentioned earlier, there is a third category known as temporary protection status, which is granted only in the case of a sudden surge of individuals who have been forced to leave their home country due to an emergency and cannot return for the moment. This status offers a temporary solution and is subject to revocation once the emergency situation resolves.
Like in other EU countries, it takes a long time – – to process your application. You will have to stay in the Grand Duchy during the procedure, as well as hand over your passport to the authorities. It will not be returned if you are granted asylum.
When you apply for any type of international protection, in 3 days you will receive «papier rose» – a special document, that allows you to stay move freely inside the country. You will need to renew the document each month in the Refugee Office.
Once you are granted an international protection residence permit in Luxembourg, you will have a residence permit for up to 5 years, employment and education rights, social security and health services as well as a document allowing you to move around the EU.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the most common grounds for entering Luxembourg
What documents do I need to enter Luxembourg
- Valid international passport,
- Visa, according to the type of your reason for entry,
- Documents prooving the grounds for entry (like hotel and flight booking, letter of granted authorization to stay, work contract)
How can I get a refugee status and international protection in Luxembourg
- the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (Refugee Office –Service des réfugiés),
- the control service at the airport;
- the Grand-Ducal Police;
- the detention centre authority if you were placed there.