Career advice

Moving to Luxembourg to Research

5 min read · By Academic Positions

Luxembourg has long been known as a leading European financial centre, but it’s also becoming a major source of research and innovation. The government is actively investing in research to diversify the country’s economy. This makes Luxembourg an ideal destination for international researchers. Here is an overview of the relocation process to help you quickly settle into life in Luxembourg.

Permits and Visas

If you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will not need a visa or residence permit to work or study in Luxembourg. Make sure your travel documents and health insurance will be valid for the length of your stay.

Researchers who are third country nationals will need to apply for an “authorization to stay in view of carrying out a research project” from the Minister of Immigration at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Having this authorization means that the researcher is not required to also obtain a work permit. It can take up to 60 days to receive a temporary authorization to stay document in the mail. The temporary document is valid for 90 days so you must enter Luxembourg within three months of the documents being issued. Students and researchers from certain countries might also require a long-term visa (Type D visa) to carry out research in Luxembourg. You apply for this visa at a Luxembourg consulate or embassy in your home country.

Bringing Your Family

Each family members of a researcher with an “authorization to stay in view of carrying out a research project” can also apply for a long-term visa to accompany or join a family member in Luxembourg. Family members include a spouse, registered partner, and children under 18. Their application will have to provide proof of appropriate housing and health insurance in Luxembourg, and the researcher’s employment contract. The will then have to register their place of residence and apply for a residence permit following the procedure in the next section.

If your spouse or partner would like to work in Luxembourg, they must first apply for a work permit from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Immigration. The application materials include a certified copy of their entire passport, their CV, certified copies of their degrees or professional qualifications, a signed employment contract, explanatory letter, and a certificate from the National Employment Agency (Adem) if they are a family member of an EU researcher. It takes three months to receive a decision on a work permit application.

If your family members (spouse, registered partner, children under 21, and dependent parents) are EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens, they do not need to apply for a visa or temporary authorization to accompany you to Luxembourg. They will also have to register at their local commune following the procedure below. They are able to work in Luxembourg without first applying for a work permit.

Declaration of Arrival

Once you arrive in Luxembourg, you must register your place of residence at your local commune. EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals must register within eight days, while third country nationals have three days to register. To register with the commune you must bring your valid ID or passport, marriage certificate or family record book, and children’s birth certificates or family record book. You will receive a copy of the declaration. EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals must also apply for an attestation d’enregistrement d’un citoyen de l’Union (registration attestation) within three months of their arrival. You must submit a valid ID card or passport and an employment contract or confirmation or hosting agreement.

Third country nationals will need to bring a valid passport, marriage certificate or family record book, and children’s birth certificates or family record book. If you are staying for more than three months, you will also need the original authorization to stay (your residence permit). You will receive a copy of the declaration.

After receiving their declaration, third country nationals must apply for a biometric residence permit from the Immigration Office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Bring a copy of your temporary authorization to stay and a copy of the declaration of arrival. You will have to be examined by a doctor in Luxembourg and take a Tuberculosis test at the Lingue médical-sociale. Once the results have been received, you will be contacted by the Immigration Directorate to provide your biometric information. Your biometric residence permit will be ready a few days later. After you have your biometric permit, you must then confirm your declaration of arrival at your local commune to receive a residence certificate.

Health Insurance

Students and researchers who are nationals of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland should get a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before coming to Luxembourg. The EHIC card will cover any medical care you require while in Luxembourg. Third country nationals must take out private health insurance from a Luxembourgish provider to cover the duration of their stay.


To open a bank account in Luxembourg you will need to bring your identity documents and proof of address to the bank of your choice. It is a good idea to have a few weeks worth of living expenses available in your home bank account as it may take some time to get your Luxembourgish bank account and salary deposit set up. Check with your home bank before you travel to make sure you will be able to use your bank card abroad.

Learning the Languages

Although many master's and PhD programs at the Université du Luxembourg are taught entirely in English, learning one of Luxembourg’s languages will immensely improve your experience in the country. There are three languages used in Luxembourg: French, German, and Luxembourgish. French is the administrative language of the country. The Université du Luxembourg Language Centre offers French and German language courses for its staff and students.

By Academic Positions  ·  Published 2018-11-06

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