New immigration law to diversify Luxembourg’s economy

Luxembourg’s Parliament voted a new immigration law on Wednesday. The law is transposing two European directives into national law and concerns seasonal workers, intracompany transfers and investors among others. The law was backed by all parties except Déi Lénk, passing it with 58 against two votes through Parliament.

Bill 6992 introduces five new residence permits for investors, temporary intra-company transfers (ICT), business continuity plans for non EU-companies based in Luxembourg, seasonal workers and students from non-EU countries. Furthermore, the law introduces a validity extension for EU blue cards, a relief of admission conditions for family re-groupings and the possibility of an increased period in detention centres for families with under-aged children asking for asylum.

Especially the new residence permit for investors has to be seen in the context of Luxembourg’s quest for economic diversification. It is meant to encourage entrepreneurial activities in Luxembourg, giving investors a renewable residence permit for three years. Certain conditions have to be met however, among which are a minimum investment of 500,000 euros in an existing company in Luxembourg or the creation of a company with the goal of hiring at least five people within three years.

Another possibility for investors would be the investment of 3,000,000 euros in an investment or management structure with the prerequisite of an appropriate substance when it comes to economic activity. Investors can also invest and maintain a deposit of 20,000,000 euros in a Luxembourg financial institution for a minimum of five years.

Workers, students and asylum seekers

The law also facilitates intra-EU mobility for third-country nationals as intra-company transfers (ICT), giving them a residence permit of up to three years. Specific permits can also be given to seasonal workers, however without being able to exceed five months over a period of one year.

Non-EU students will also be able to take advantage of the new law, as it allows them to receive a residence permit as employed or independent workers, provided they completed a university degree of minimum five years in Luxembourg and are planning on working in a field related to their studies.

The validity of the EU blue card has been extended from two to four years and family re-groupings will become easier as the condition of one year of residence in Luxembourg prior to the re-grouping has been dropped. Certain exception however continue to apply.

Finally, the law will allow for families with children asking for asylum to be held in detention centres for a longer time. The current 72 hours have been raised to seven days, giving administrations more time to treat their files.