The shortage of skilled labour in Luxembourg poses a significant challenge for the country’s economy and risks undermining Luxembourg`s firm goal to remain internationally competitive.

This is particularly prevalent in the IT sector but also in other sectors such as healthcare, engineering, finance and business support, as well as certain areas of the building trade.

As a result, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry of Labour and Employment have put in place a new law which came into force on September 1, 2023.

In order to support employers in their search for skilled workers, the new law includes major changes designed to simplify the hiring of third-country nationals.

Details outlined below appeared in a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs, the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the ADEM, Luxembourg`s Employment Development Agency.

Easier access to the labour market for third-country nationals

Family members of third-country nationals holding a Luxembourg residence permit on the basis of family reunification will be authorised to work in Luxembourg as soon as they arrive, giving them direct access to the labour market. This amendment applies to holders of a “family member” residence permit.

As a result, they will no longer need to apply for a work permit or a self-employed permit before starting a salaried or self-employed activity. Free access to the labour market will be explicitly mentioned on residence permits issued from 1 September 2023, which will now bear the words “authorised to work in Luxembourg”.

Temporary residence permits for family members and “family member” residence permits issued before 1 September 2023 will remain valid until their expiry date. There are no plans to replace them. Third-country family members holding a valid temporary residence permit or residence permit issued for family reunification purposes before 1 September 2023 will be authorised to work in Luxembourg from 1 September 2023, for any salaried or self-employed activity, no matter what mention appears as an observation on their residence permit.

Access to the job market is facilitated for international protection seekers, in the process for 6 months, and beneficiaries of a deferral or suspension of deportation who request temporary work authorisation, with the labour market test conducted by the Employment Development Agency (ADEM) being abolished from this date for these individuals.

The validity period of residence permits issued from this date for the purpose of job seeking or business creation is extended from 9 to 12 months.

More detailed information on the application and issuance procedures for third-country nationals’ residence permits is available on the website

For more specific questions about residence permits and temporary work authorisations, please contact the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs at the email address

Simplification of procedures for hiring third-country nationals not yet present in Luxembourg

The process for obtaining a certificate allowing the hiring of third-country nationals is being simplified as outlined below:

Occupations on the list of highly in-demand professions

ADEM (Employment Development Agency) publishes annually a list of professions in high demand, based on objective data (number of job vacancies reported to ADEM, number of registered job seekers for the same profession, number of declared positions for which no suitable candidate could be found).

For professions on the list, ADEM is exempted from its obligation to conduct a labour market test and check for available job seekers matching the employer’s requirements. The certificate will be issued within five working days.

The list, applicable from 1 September 2023, until the publication of the next list in the first quarter of 2024, is published in the Mémorial B of the Official Journal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and on the ADEM website.

Other professions

For jobs not listed as highly in demand, the labour market test will still be conducted, but with shorter timeframes. ADEM will have seven working days to verify if job seekers meeting the required qualifications for the declared position are available.

In this case:

  • If no candidate can be proposed, the certificate will be issued, after the seven-day period, within the following five working days.
  • If ADEM can propose candidates matching the desired profile, it will have an additional 15 working days to make assignments to the employer.

For more information, please visit the ADEM website.

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