How to obtain a visa to Luxembourg for South African nationals

Applying for a visa involves navigating intricate requirements and paperwork with application procedures that can be overwhelming and complicated, especially for first-time applicants. If you're a South African citizen seeking a tourist, study, or work visa for Luxembourg from South Africa, you'll encounter all of this. To guide you through this process, we present a comprehensive article to obtaining a visa for Luxembourg from South Africa.

Last time updated

Despite being the least populous country in the European Union, Luxembourg has become a highly sought-after and multicultural destination, with nearly half of its population consisting of expatriates. However, immigration patterns vary, and South African immigration to Luxembourg is somewhat limited, with only 494 individuals in the country. Nevertheless, it ranks among the top 10 African countries with a presence in Luxembourg, reflecting its growing significance.

How many South Africans live in Luxembourg?

The South African population in Luxembourg is relatively small compared to other nationalities, largely due to the challenges involved in meeting immigration requirements for many South Africans wishing to emigrate. However, there is a notable number of South Africans settled in the country, with a few newcomers arriving each year. Let's delve into the statistics to precisely understand how many South Africans live in Luxembourg, how many arrive each year, and their percentage in relation to the total population and other foreign communities.

Luxembourg visa for South Africans
Source: created with data from
South Africa nationals lived in Luxembourg in 2023
of the population in Luxembourg is from South Africa
of the foreigners in the country is from South Africa
South African population grew in the last 5 years

Currently, there are 494 South African citizens in Luxembourg. Looking at the trend over the last decade, there was initially significant stability from 2013 to 2017, with around 180 individuals. However, from 2018 onwards, the number of South Africans steadily increased, multiplying the population by 2.7 in five years.

Another interesting aspect to analyze alongside the absolute number of South Africans in the country is how many arrive to live each year and their primary motives. From 2013 to 2017, around 25 individuals immigrated annually. However, starting in 2017, the number of immigrants began to rise, reaching 60, 74, and 98 individuals in the following three years. In the last three years, the number has stabilized around 90 individuals.

Source: created with data from
Source: created with data from

South African immigrants come to Luxembourg primarily for family and work reasons, with 46 and 40 individuals in each category, respectively in 2022. Only a small number come to study in the country, with just 7 individuals in 2022. This can be attributed to the high cost of living in Luxembourg. While this may not pose a problem for those working in the country due to the relatively high salaries, it serves as a significant barrier for students who often rely on family support or limited part-time jobs to sustain themselves.

Total population

Regarding the percentage of the South African population, it is very small. South Africans represent only 0.07% of the total population and 0.17% of the foreign population in Luxembourg. In fact, the African population as a whole in Luxembourg is quite low, with the majority of the foreign population originating from the European Union. However, it's worth noting that South African nationality in Luxembourg is among the top 10 African nationalities represented in the country.

Types of Luxembourg visas for South Africans

When obtaining a visa for Luxembourg from South Africa, there are two main options depending on the duration and nature of the stay: short-stay visas and long-stay visas. Additionally, if the intended period of stay in Luxembourg is longer than one year, it will be necessary to apply for a residence permit, so we will also address this point and explore the types of residence permits available.

It's important to note that the types of Luxembourg visas available for Africans, as well as the procedures for obtaining them, are the same as those for any non-European foreigner.

Official government site

You can find more information about short and long-stay visas on the government's dedicated page at

Short-stay visas for Luxembourg

Those intending to enter the country for a brief period should apply for a short-stay visa, also known as a type C visa. This visa allows transit or stays in Luxembourg and the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days within 180 days.

It is intended for purposes such as
Tourist and family visits to the country
Conferences, trade fairs, exhibitions
Business travel, ex. concluding contracts
Provision of services within the companies

Long stay visas for Luxembourg

Individuals planning to stay in Luxembourg for more than three months must apply for a long-stay visa, also known as a type D visa. In many cases, this visa is a necessary preliminary step for those aiming to become residents in Luxembourg. 

Long-stay visa is intended for
  • Holders of a temporary residence permit.
  • Holders of a work permit for paid employment.
  • Those who are going to join a family member who is an EU citizen.
  • Those who want to carry out any other type of activities such as self-employed work, studies, research, or sports activities.
Work permit

Before applying for a D visa, you must request a work permit from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs.

Luxembourg Residence permits for South African nationals

If you plan to live in Luxembourg for more than a year and wonder how to relocate to Luxembourg from South Africa, you must consider that the process goes beyond obtaining a visa. While obtaining a long-stay visa (type D visa) is necessary, it's only the first step; you also need to obtain a residence permit.

There are many types of residence permits based on the intended activities and family relationships of the applicants. Below are the different types of permits classified by categories.

What is a titre de sejour?

Unlike a visa, a residence permit grants individuals the right to reside and engage in specific activities in Luxembourg for a more extended period. There are various types of residence permits based on the activities individuals plan to undertake in Luxembourg and their family relationships.

Some of the situations that have attached a specific resident permit or have a specific procedure include:

Each residence permit has its own set of requirements and procedures for application. These may include demonstrating specific qualifications, providing proof of employment or sponsorship, showing sufficient financial means, and adhering to the necessary documentation and administrative procedures.


Check our relocation guide for salaried workers

Application process for Luxembourg visa step-by-step

If you are wondering, how can I apply for a Luxembourg visa in South Africa, this section will answer your questions. The process involves crucial considerations such as deciding on the purpose of entry, gathering necessary documents, and finally submitting your visa application, so let's look at each step in more detail.

Decide on the grounds for entry

Clarifying the purpose of your entry into Luxembourg is the first step in the visa application process. There are different reasons for visiting Luxembourg, each requiring a specific type of visa and corresponding application procedures.

Tourist or family visits

Visiting Luxembourg for travel, tourism, and exploring its beautiful locales is the most common reason for entry. For short-term visits, under 3 months, typically required for tourism, a C visa is needed. However, if the planned stay exceeds 3 months, such as visiting family for an extended period, a D visa is required.

Business entry to Luxembourg

If your visit to Luxembourg is for business purposes, such as visiting business partners, negotiating and concluding contracts, or participating in boards of directors and general meetings, a C visa is typically sufficient.

Employment in Luxembourg as ground

If you are interested in obtaining a Luxembourg work visa from South Africa, whether for a short period of less than 90 days or a longer period, applying for a type D visa is necessary to work legally in Luxembourg. This visa applies to various types of workers, including employees, self-employed individuals, highly qualified workers, posted employees, researchers, professional athletes, and au pairs. If you intend to settle in Luxembourg and work for more than a year, you will also need to apply for a residence permit. We recommend you take a look at our articles on employment in Luxembourg.

Study related entry

If you plan to pursue studies in Luxembourg, you will need to apply for a type D visa, demonstrating enrollment in a recognized educational institution and sufficient financial means. This entails having resources to cover housing, transportation, food, entertainment, and miscellaneous expenses. Specifically, the state requires having at least 80% of the current social integration income, currently set at 1,201 euros per month. It's also important to note that there are special procedures for students between 14 and 21 years old who wish to participate in an exchange program of more than three months, as well as for students wishing to enter Luxembourg for internships.

Family reunification as entry ground

Family reunification refers to the right of individuals to family life, which is found in Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Like many other European countries, Luxembourg applies European policy. This means that Luxembourg residents have the right to apply for visas for their close family members, such as spouses, minor children, or parents, for family reunification. It's also important to consider that family reunification has different conditions depending on the status of the "main migrant" to whom the various family members seeking reunification will be linked.

Private reasons as ground for entry

Private reasons serve as grounds for entry in special cases, complementing the aforementioned categories. As a South African citizen, you can enter Luxembourg for private reasons when financially self-sufficient or when having stable personal or family ties in Luxembourg but not meeting the conditions for family reunification. In this case, a D visa must be applied for, along with a residence permit if intending to stay for more than a year.

Collect the documents

Before proceeding with the visa application process, it's essential to ensure you have all the necessary documents in order. While the specific documents may vary depending on the type of visa and individual circumstances, there are general documents that are commonly required for most visa applications.

Below is a comprehensive list of the Luxembourg visa requirements for South African citizens; however, it's important to note that additional documents may be necessary depending on the specific nature of your case. Ensure thoroughness in assembling the following documents to strengthen your application and facilitate a smooth processing experience.

Documents for visa application for South African nationals to Luxembourg
Documents required
Collect the necessary documents and check them out.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.
2 application forms
Fully completed copies of the Schengen visa application form
2 photos
Recent and identical passport photos
International passport
Must be valid for at least three months beyond your planned stay
Proof of accommodation
Either at a friend's or relative's home, rent or at a hotel
Proof of sufficient financial means
To cover your stay in Luxembourg or a financial statement of support from a reference person in Luxembourg.
Proof of legal residence
Proof of legal residence in South Africa or, if you are a citizen living in another country, proof of legal residence in the country where you reside
Health insurance
Covering the travel period
Other supporting documents associated with the purpose of the journey
Proof of enrollment in a recognized educational institution, an official letter of invitation for a business visit, an employment contract, a round-trip air ticket, or a flight itinerary reservation.
Documents required
Collect the necessary documents and check them out.
*The mandatory items are marked with red asterisks.
Piece of advice

Depending on the type of visa, especially for short-term tourist visas, you may need to show a travel itinerary. Although there is the option of getting the airline ticket, this option is certainly a risky bet, as you are not sure of many things, including whether you will get visa approval. So, instead of emptying your pocket on buying an actual ticket, a generally accepted option is to submit a flight itinerary reservation.

Apply for necessary papers to stay in Luxembourg

The application process differs depending on whether you're applying for a C visa or a D visa. In both cases, you'll need to visit the Luxembourg Embassy.

There isn't a Luxembourg embassy in South Africa. You'll need to contact the Embassy of Belgium in Pretoria or the Consulate General of Belgium in Cape Town, which serves as diplomatic representations of Luxembourg.

Pretoria Embassy
625 Leyds St, Muckleneuk, Pretoria, South Africa
Free of charge
Consulate General in Cape Town
1 Thibault Square, 19th Floor, Corner Long Street and Hans Strijdom Ave, Long St, Cape Town City Centre, Cape Town, South Africa
Free of charge
For other countries residents from South Africa

If you reside in another country, you should approach the Luxembourg embassy in your country of residence. The website of the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs provides a list of all Luxembourg embassies worldwide.

Applicaiton for a C visa

You must request an appointment at the Embassy of Belgium in Pretoria or the Consulate General of Belgium in Cape Town, ensuring that the appointment day falls at least 15 days before the planned visit and no more than 6 months before it begins. On the day of the appointment, you'll need to personally bring all the required documents and submit your application.

Read our step-by-step instruction on visa application
Visa to Luxembourg

Application for a D visa

The process consists of two steps. First, you will need to apply for a temporary authorisation to stay, then submit a long-stay D visa application, when you are granted the approval of your stay from the Ministry.

Apply for temporary authorization to stay
Submit a long-stay D visa application

How long does it take to get a Luxembourg visa from South Africa?

Question of time

Applications for a Short-stay C visa are typically resolved within 15 days from the date of filing.

In Luxembourg, the processing time for short-stay C visas is normally completed within 15 days from the date of application. However, in certain circumstances, the process can take up to 30 or even 45 days.

The processing time for a long-stay D visa varies based on the activities you intend to undertake in Luxembourg. The most influential aspect on the processing duration is obtaining temporary stay authorization. The Immigration Directorate has different response times depending on the type of visa requested.

Processing time deadlines for authorisation to stay
Visa typeDeadline (months)
Highly qualified workers4
Employed workers3
Seasonal workers4
Athletes or coaches3
Au pair workers2
Self-employed workers3
Volunteer workers2
Students in an exchange program3
Internship for students2
Family members of third-country nationals9
Private reasons3

Common reasons for visa rejection

Here are some key reasons why a visa application might be rejected. Take a careful look at these points to ensure the smooth processing of your application.

Unclear purpose of visit
Clearly detail the purpose of your trip to Luxembourg by adding a letter to your documents explaining the reason for your visit.
Insufficient financial evidence
Make sure to meet the financial requirements specified for your visa type and provide ample proof of funds.
Unreliable or fake travel documents
Always submit genuine documents from reputable sources to avoid any doubts about the reliability of your travel papers.
Inadequate travel insurance coverage
Ensure your travel insurance covers a minimum of 30,000 euros, including medical repatriation, urgent medical care, and emergency hospital treatment, and is valid for the Schengen Area.
Lack of sufficient evidence of intent to return
Depending on the visa type, demonstrate your plans to return to South Africa. This may not be necessary for long-stay visas, especially if you have an indefinite job offer in Luxembourg. Showcase ties to your country, such as family relationships or employment connections, to evidence your intent to return.
Human errors
Mistakes can occur. If you believe there has been an error in the decision, consider appealing the decision.
Show all
What to do if your visa got rejected unlawfully?

If your visa application is rejected, you can appeal the decision to the Administrative Tribunal. The appeal must be filed by a lawyer within 3 months from the notification of the resolution. You can find more information on how to proceed with this process on the government's dedicated page at

How much it costs to get a visa to Luxembourg?

Finally, let's address a crucial detail: the Luxembourg visa price for South Africans. The following table outlines the costs according to the type of visa. The cost of the visa will be determined based on the fees you need to pay in order to get it. A standard consular fee varies depending on the personal situation and status.

Besides, you will need to translate necessary documents, pay for the photos, and other visa-related expenses, but these costs are usually depending on your personal situation.

Visa fees to Luxembourg for South African nationals
Type of visaFee in EURFee in ZAR
Short-stay visa (C)90~ 1,737
Long-stay visa (D)50~ 965
Visa for children between the age of 6 and 1245~ 869
Visa for children under 6 years of age and visas for pupils, students, and teachers accompanying them on school trips or educational study trips.FreeFree
Visa for researchers going abroad to carry out scientific research.FreeFree
Visa for representatives of non-profit making organizations aged 25 years at most who participate in seminars, conferences, or sports, cultural or educational events.FreeFree
Visa for family members of an EU/EEA nationalFreeFree
Prices have changed

In June 2024, the fee for a Schengen visa increased. The revenue generated from visa applications will be reinvested to provide more resources, including staff, to process visa applications. This should reduce the waiting time for a Schengen visa appointment.

Application for a residence permit in Luxembourg for South Africa 

If you plan to stay in Luxembourg for an extended period, you'll likely need to apply for a residence permit in addition to the long-stay D visa. This process involves three additional steps.

Arrival declaration
Medical examination
Residence Permit application

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How long does it typically take to get a Luxembourg visa from South Africa?

How much does it cost to obtain a Luxembourg visa for South African nationals?

Is travel health insurance mandatory for a Luxembourg visa application from South Africa?

Can I travel to other Schengen countries with a Luxembourg visa?

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We took photos from these sources: Jacques Nel on Unsplash, self-made graphs with information from and Eurostat

Authors: Luz
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