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Living and working conditions

Luxembourg

GENERAL INFORMATION

Area - 2,586.4 km2

Population – 613,894

Official Language – Luxembourgish, French, German

REGISTRATION AND RESIDENCE PERMITS

The formalities which need to be completed in order to move to Luxembourg differ depending on whether the person wishing to move is a national of an EU Member State or of an assimilated country, or of a non-EU country.

Nationals of EU Member States or of assimilated countries and their family members

European Union nationals and their family members who are also EU nationals or nationals of an assimilated country wishing to come to Luxembourg for less than 3 months (holiday, family visit, business trip, professional activity, etc.) are not required to complete any administrative formalities.

They need only hold a valid national identity card or passport.

EU nationals have the right to stay in Luxembourg for more than 3 months provided they meet one of the following conditions:

  • they work in an employed or self-employed capacity;
  • they have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members so as not to become a burden on the social security system, as well as health insurance;
  • they are registered in an approved public or private education establishment in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, for the principal purpose of completing a course of study or, within that context, vocational training. In this case, they must also have sufficient resources for themselves and their family members so as not to become a burden on the social security system, as well as health insurance.

Assimilated countries with respect to the European Union are Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, as States party to the Agreement on the European Economic Area (EEA), and the Swiss Confederation.


Nationals of EU Member States or of assimilated countries and their family members (irrespective of nationality) are required to declare their arrival to the local authority responsible for the locality in which they are staying if they intend to stay in Luxembourg for more than three months.

Declarants must report to the local authority of the place of arrival with the following documentation:

  • a valid identity card or passport (accompanied, where necessary, by a visa or a residence permit issued by another EU Member State);
  • where appropriate, a family record book or, failing that:
    • a marriage or partnership certificate;
    • children’s birth certificates.

The local authority may request further documentation. It is therefore advisable to contact the relevant local authority in advance to make enquiries about this.

If the documents are not written in German, French or English, a translation by a certified translator must be enclosed with them.

After declaring their arrival to the local authority, declarants may request a residence certificate for themselves and their family members. A certificate of this kind justifies the granting of special leave to allow a salaried worker to move house.

Within 90 days of arriving in Luxembourg, declarants must also report to the local authority offices to complete:

Nationals of non-EU countries

Nationals of countries outside the EU who are not family members of a national of an EU Member State (or assimilated country) must declare their arrival to the local authority responsible for the locality in which they are staying within three days of arriving in Luxembourg, irrespective of the planned length of stay.

If the stay is less than three months, they are exempt from making this declaration if they have completed an accommodation sheet [‘fiche d’hébergement’] at an establishment which provides accommodation (e.g. a hotel).

Nationals of non-EU countries who are staying in Luxembourg for less than three months must declare their arrival to the local authority and submit:

  • a valid travel document, where appropriate accompanied by a visa;
  • where appropriate, a family record book or, failing that:
    • a marriage or partnership certificate;
    • children’s birth certificates.

Nationals of non-EU countries who stay in Luxembourg for more than three months must present themselves to the local authority of arrival with the following documentation:

  • an original residence permit obtained before entering the territory of Luxembourg;
  • a valid passport accompanied, where appropriate, by the requisite visa or a valid residence document issued by another Member State within the Schengen Area;
  • where appropriate, a family record book or, failing that:
    • a marriage or partnership certificate;
    • children’s birth certificates.

The local authority may request further documentation. It is therefore advisable to contact the relevant local authority in advance to make enquiries about this.

If the documents are not written in German, French or English, a translation by a certified translator must be enclosed with them.

Within 90 days of arriving, nationals of non-EU countries holding a temporary residence permit who wish to stay in Luxembourg for more than 90 days must request the residence document corresponding to the category of their residence permit (salaried employee, self-employed worker, trainee, etc.) from the Immigration Directorate of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs (www.guichet.public.lu).

LOOKING FOR A JOB

Where to find jobs advertised

  • The Luxembourg public employment service, ADEM (Agence pour le développement de l’emploi), offers an online service, the JobBoard, to registered jobseekers and employers. Jobseekers’ profiles are automatically and anonymously published there and can also be viewed by registered employers. Candidates can also post their CVs online and have access to anonymised job offers submitted to the ADEM by companies.
  • However, the offers are not yet available on the ADEM website.
  • In the national press (Luxemburger Wort, La Voix – Saturday editions);
  • On private websites for performing job searches and posting a CV online (see other addresses under ‘Links’).
  • On the websites of large companies/employment agencies.

Registering with a temporary employment agency

You may register either at the agency itself or by post, and provide a CV, photo and photocopy of your identity card. The addresses of the main Luxembourg temp agencies can be found on the FEDIL Employment Services – Temporary Employment website (FES, see ‘Links’).

Sending a speculative application

Speculative applications are commonly used in Luxembourg to contact large companies, especially by young graduates. Therefore, you should not hesitate to apply in this way, as it gives you an opportunity to be noticed and to be listed in the database of potential candidates, if the company’s HR services have one.

INCOMES AND TAXATION

Thanks to the minimum wage and relatively low taxes, incomes are attractive. Social security contributions are lower than in neighbouring countries. Detailed information can be found on the websites given under ‘Links’.

The different VAT rates are as follows:

Super-reduced rate: 3 % (e.g. foodstuffs, pharmaceuticals, restaurants)

Reduced rate: 8%

Intermediate rate: 14 % (e.g. adult clothing, wine)

Standard rate: 17 % (e.g. alcohol, beer, adult shoes)

The wealth tax on residents and non-residents was abolished on 1 January 2006.

Deductions from salary:

Taxes and social security contributions are deducted from the monthly salary (‘deducted at source’) and paid to the respective bodies by the employer. Employees file a tax return each year to check whether they have paid too much or too little according to the applicable sliding scale. Persons liable to income tax fall into one of three different tax classes, depending on their family situation and the source of their household income (foreign or Luxembourgers). The second household income is taxed in accordance with a supplementary tax card and at a rate ranging from 15 % to 33 %.

  • Income tax: see 3.7
  • Social security contributions to be paid by the employer: at least 11.96% + contributions to the Mutualité des Employeurs (Employers’ Mutual Insurance Company) according to the risk category;
  • Social security contributions to be paid by the employee: 12.45%

Text last edited on: 05/2019

COST OF LIVING

According to data from Eurostat, the prices of consumer goods and services in Luxembourg are relatively high. In 2017, they stood at 127% of the average of the prevailing prices within the 28 Member States of the European Union (100 %).

Here are some examples of prices:

Sandwich: € 4

Newspaper: € 1.70

Cinema ticket: € 9.10

Coca-Cola in a bar: € 2.50

Coffee in a bar: € 3

White bread, sliced (500 g): € 2.60

A meal from the set menu in a local restaurant costs 11 euros. The final bill will depend on the drinks consumed.

Text last edited on: 05/2019

EDUCATION SYSTEM

Early education, which is optional, is for children aged three. It allows foreign children to become familiar with the Luxembourgish language and culture. This contact with the Luxembourgish language is important as it makes it easier for children in Luxembourg to go onto learn to read and write in German. Early education is not a replacement for a crèche or childcare facility and working parents must organise childcare for their children outside school hours. Most municipalities have a ‘maison relais’ (childcare centre) to look after children of school age outside school hours, and prices are reasonable, unlike at crèches, which tend to be very expensive.

Compulsory education in Luxembourg lasts 11 years, and is divided into:

  1. Pre-school education (‘Spillschoul’ or kindergarten) is compulsory for children who are already aged 4 on 1 September and lasts two years.
  2. Primary education (six years) is for children between the ages of six (at the start of term in September) and 12. Children are taught to read and write in German. They begin to learn French in the second year of primary school and then learn Luxembourgish grammar. Children are obliged to attend school for nine consecutive years from primary education onwards.

The laws governing the organisation of basic education, teaching staff in basic education and compulsory school attendance came into force at the start of term in September 2009. All pre-primary and primary schools, known as écoles fondamentales, are organised into four learning cycles. Cycle 1 covers early education (optional) and pre-school. Cycles 2, 3 and 4 correspond to primary schooling and last for two years each.

  1. Post-primary or secondary education (generally lasting 7 years) concerns pupils aged 12 to 17 or 18. The education provided is either general or technical in nature and leads to a secondary school-leaving examination.
  2. Secondary school offers general education which serves as preparation for higher education. It lasts seven years and is subdivided into a lower and an upper level (specialisation cycle).
  3. Technical education is divided into three cycles. Once a child has completed the lower cycle (year 9) he or she has completed obligatory schooling and can learn a trade. The middle cycle leads to a professional aptitude diploma (DAP) in year 12. The upper cycle includes, inter alia, a technical system that prepares students for university courses.

Distinguishing features of the Luxembourg education system: languages are a major benefit of receiving an education in Luxembourg. Classes are taught in German, French and Luxembourgish. Pupils also learn English during secondary education, and may take additional foreign-language classes (Italian, Spanish, Russian, etc.).

There are two European Schools in Luxembourg as well as a French high school (Lycée Vauban) and several international high schools.

The e-Bac offers adults the chance to study for the baccalaureate, completing most of their courses online: www.ebacsite.net/www.ebacsite.net/

The Ecole de la deuxième chance (Second Chance School, or E2C) seeks to address the issue of young people dropping out of school early and to help them obtain a qualification which allows them to reintegrate into society: www.e2c.lu www.e2c.lu

Higher education / university:

The University of Luxembourg was established in 2003 and currently has three faculties: the Faculty of Science, Technology and Communication, the Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance and the Faculty of Language and Literature, Humanities, Arts and Education

There are other options for higher education:

The Institut Universitaire International (International University Institute) (www.iuil.luwww.iuil.lu) is a continuous training institute that develops continuous training courses and studies and tools linked to the development of skills in a broad sense. It does this in cooperation with academic and business partners in Luxembourg and abroad, such as the Sacred Heart University (www.shu.luwww.shu.lu), which offers MBA programmes.

The Lycée Technique des Arts et Métiers (Technical School for Arts and Crafts) (www.ltam.luwww.ltam.lu) offers a BTS (brevet de technicien supérieur – advanced vocational training certificate) in cinema and audiovisual media, animation, automation engineering, technical engineering, information technology and graphic design.

The Ecole de Commerce et de Gestion (School of Commerce and Management) ((http://www.ecg.lu/jma3/http://www.ecg.lu/jma3/) offers a BTS course for executive assistants, commercial and marketing managers, and accounting and tax managers.

RECOGNITION OF DIPLOMAS AND QUALIFICATIONS

The importance of transparency and mutual recognition of diplomas as a crucial complement to the free movement of workers

The possibility of obtaining recognition of one’s qualifications and competences can play a vital role in the decision to take up work in another EU country. It is therefore necessary to develop a European system that will guarantee the mutual acceptance of professional competences in different Member States. Only such a system will ensure that a lack of recognition of professional qualifications will become an obstacle to workers’ mobility within the EU.

Main principles for the recognition of professional qualifications in the EU

As a basic principle, any EU citizen should be able to freely practice their profession in any Member State. Unfortunately the practical implementation of this principle is often hindered by national requirements for access to certain professions in the host country.

For the purpose of overcoming these differences, the EU has set up a system for the recognition of professional qualifications. Within the terms of this system, a distinction is made between regulated professions (professions for which certain qualifications are legally required) and professions that are not legally regulated in the host Member State.

Steps towards a transparency of qualifications in Europe

The European Union has taken important steps towards the objective of achieving transparency of qualifications in Europe:
- An increased co-operation in vocational education and training, with the intention to combine all instruments for transparency of certificates and diplomas, in one single, user-friendly tool. This includes, for example, the European CV or Europass Trainings.
- The development of concrete actions in the field of recognition and quality in vocational education and training.

Going beyond the differences in education and training systems throughout the EU

Education and training systems in the EU Member States still show substantial differences. The last enlargements of the EU, with different educational traditions, have further increased this diversity. This calls for a need to set up common rules to guarantee recognition of competences.

In order to overcome this diversity of national qualification standards, educational methods and training structures, the European Commission has put forward a series of instruments, aimed at ensuring better transparency and recognition of qualifications both for academic and professional purposes.

  1. The European Qualifications Framework

The European Qualifications Framework is a key priority for the European Commission in the process of recognition of professional competences. The main objective of the framework is to create links between the different national qualification systems and guarantee a smooth transfer and recognition of diplomas.

  1. The National Academic Recognition Information Centres (NARICs)

A network of National Academic Recognition Information Centres was established in 1984 at the initiative of the European Commission. The NARICs provide advice on the academic recognition of periods of study abroad. Located in all EU Member States as well as in the countries of the European Economic Area, NARICs play a vital role the process of recognition of qualifications in the EU.

  1. The European Credit Transfer System (ECTS)

The European Credit Transfer System aims at facilitating the recognition of periods of study abroad. Introduced in 1989, it functions by describing an education programme and attaching credits to its components. It is a key complement to the highly acclaimed student mobility programme Erasmus.

  1. Europass

Europass is an instrument for ensuring the transparency of professional skills. It is composed of five standardised documents

  1. a CV (Curriculum Vitae),
  2. a language passport,
  3. certificate supplements,
  4. diploma supplements, and
  5. a Europass-Mobility document.

The Europass system makes skills and qualifications clearly and easily understood in the different parts of Europe. In every country of the European Union and the European Economic Area, national Europass centres have been established as the primary contact points for people seeking for information about the Europass system.

USEFUL LINKS

http://www.adem.public.lu/fr/ - National Employment Service

http://www.ccss.lu/ - Social Security

http://www.adem.public.lu/fr/mobilite-europeenne/Eures - EURES Luxembourg

www.impotsdirects.public.lu - Taxes

www.mae.lu - Ministry of Foreign Affairs

http://www.fes.lu - Union of Luxembourgish Temporary Agencies

 

Embassy of the Republic of Bulgaria in Belgium (Accredited also for Luxembourg)

Address: Avenue Мoscicki 7, 1180 Bruxelles

Royaume de Belgique

Telephone: +32 2 374 47 88; +32 2 374 08 66

Fax: +32 2 375 84 94

Emergency number, after 18:00h: + 32 473 981 042

Officehours: Mon to Fri, 9.00 - 17.30 h
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Consular Service

Address : Rue Copernic 4C, Bruxelles 1180,

Admission hours :  Mon - Fri, 10.00 - 13.00 h (by appointment)

For appointments: +32 2 375 86 50 (14:30 - 17:00 h

Fax: + 32 2 375 53 82

Emergency number, after 18:00 h : +32 473 981 042

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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