• Government Implements EU Single Permit Directive
  • July 22, 2013
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • Luxembourg has enacted a law that mandates a four-month processing time for residence permits, expands work rights for foreign nationals who have worked in the country for more than one year and their family members, and standardizes job classifications for all residence permit applications. The law took effect June 28.

    The new law implements an EU directive that requires member states to introduce a single, combined work and residence permit with a single application procedure by December 2013. Luxembourg, unlike many EU states, already issues a single, combined permit in most circumstances.

    Standardized Process Times

    Resident permit applications must now be adjudicated within four months of a complete submission. If no decision has been made within four months, the application should be considered denied.

    Work Rights for Long-Term Residence and Family Members

    Residence permits authorizing work are now valid initially for one year, during which time the foreign national must remain in the same profession in the same industry sector, though he or she may change employers. After the initial year, the permit can be renewed for up to three years, and the holder is free to change employers, professions or industry sectors.

    Previously, residence permits authorizing work could be renewed for only two years after the first year in Luxembourg, and permit holders remained subject to work restrictions until they had worked in Luxembourg for three years.

    Dependent family members accompanying foreign workers and persons relocating for private reasons (typically used by de facto partners not recognized as spouses) are now able to apply for a single residence and work permit if they would like to take up employment. Previously, they had to obtain a residence permit and a separate work permit.

    Standardized Job Classifications for All Residence Permit Applications

    All applications for residence permits authorizing work must now include a job code from the International Standard Classification of Occupations (ISCO). The ISCO is an ILO classification system, under which jobs are grouped into predefined categories, depending on the tasks and responsibilities associated with the position. ISCO codes were already required for applications under Luxembourg’s Blue Card program.

    Impact on Current Permit Holders

    Current residence permits remain valid until their stated expiration date, but current permit holders are now free to change employers, professions or industry sectors, despite any annotation on their permits.

    Existing permit holders are free to apply to renew their permits under the new rules, regardless of how much longer their current permits remain valid. Doing so will allow them to obtain a permit with a longer validity.