IMPACT – MEDIUM
What is the change? Luxembourg has adopted a wide-ranging immigration law that affects intracompany transferees, investors, EU Blue Card holders, students, seasonal workers and family members of residence permit holders, among others.
What does the change mean? New residence permit categories have been created for intracompany transferees, investors, and seasonal workers. Modifications have been made for students and EU Blue Card holders. Family members of residence permit holders are now allowed to join the principal permit holder in Luxembourg immediately, provided the principal’s permit is valid for at least one year with the possibility of renewal.
- Implementation time frame: Ongoing. The changes took effect Mach 24.
- Visas/permits affected: Residence permits for intracompany transferees, investors, students, seasonal workers and family members, EU Blue Cards.
- Who is affected: Employers and non-EU nationals applying for any of the residence permits listed above.
- Impact on processing times: Processing times will vary depending on which permit the applicant is applying for, though, on the whole, the law is designed to streamline immigration processes.
- Business impact: Officials hope the new permit categories and relaxed length-of-stay provisions will help boost economic activity in Luxembourg.
Background: Luxembourg’s new immigration law was approved earlier this year and took effect March 24. The law affects the following permit holders:
- Intracompany transfers: The legislation transposed the EU directive on intracompany transfers into domestic law. New ICT permits are available to managers and specialists who have at least three to 12 months experience within the corporate group and to trainees who have at least three to six months experience. ICT permits are issued for a validity period of up to three years and provide intra-EU mobility for stays of up to 90 days in a 180-day period in other EU member states. Dependents are allowed to accompany ICT permit holders, but must seek work authorization on their own if they intend to work in Luxembourg. The law sets out a processing time of up to three months for ICT permits, but in practice processing is expected to take somewhere in the range of four to six weeks.
- Investors: The legislation created residence permits for non-EU nationals who invest (1) at least €500,000 in an existing Luxembourgian company; (2) at least €500,000 in a Luxembourgian start-up that will create at least five jobs within the company’s first three years; (3) at least €3 million in a Luxembourgian management structure, i.e., a company involved in the management of other companies; or (4) at least €20 million in the form of a deposit in a Luxembourgian financial institution.
- EU Blue Card holders: The legislation calls for providing EU Blue Cards that will be valid for up to four years, rather than two, or for the duration of the employee’s contract plus an additional three months, whichever is longer.
- Students: Students who have completed a university program of five years or longer will not have to return to their home countries before extending their work authorization beyond the standard two-year post-graduation period.
- Dependents: Family members of third-country nationals who hold residence permits will be allowed to accompany the principal residence permit holder to Luxembourg immediately, provided the principal holds a permit valid for at least one year with the possibility of renewal. Previously, dependent family members had to wait one year before they could qualify for residence permits as dependents.
The law transposed the EU season worker directive 2014/36 into domestic law and will provide residence permits to seasonal workers who meet the relevant criteria for the work they are seeking.
BAL Analysis: The law is designed to make immigration processes easier for intracompany transferees, investors, EU Blue Card holders, students, seasonal workers and family members of residence permit holders. Especially because new permit categories and new length of stay provisions are now available, employers should work with their BAL professional to strategize the best way to move people into and out of Luxembourg in order to meet business needs.
This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Luxembourg. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.