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  • Writer's pictureEtude Maître Laurent Ries

Visas vs. Golden visas

Nationals from certain non-EU countries who wish to visit, transit through or work in Luxembourg must, before their departure, have a valid travel document with a visa issued by a consular authority from one of the countries in the Schengen area.

The visa enables free movement in the Schengen area.

The nationality of the non-EU national determines whether or not he is obliged to have a visa.

Different types of visa exist depending on the duration and nature of the visit.

The Schengen visa must be requested at the consulate of the country the applicant intends to visit. If the applicant intends to visit several Schengen states for a stay of equal duration, the visa application must be sent to the consulate of the country whose external borders the applicant will cross first when entering the Schengen area.

As a general rule, the visa application must be submitted in the country in which the applicant legally resides, at a Luxembourg consulate or a diplomatic mission representing Luxembourg.

Depending on the reason for the visit, non-EU nationals will need:

-either an airport transit visa (visa A) to pass through the international zone in airports, but which does not allow travellers to enter Schengen countries;

-or a short stay visa (visa C) to transit through or stay in the Schengen area for a continued or interrupted period of 90 days at the most during each period of 180 days for the purpose of:

Ø tourist or family visits;

Ø business trips (visiting professional partners, negotiating and concluding contracts, etc.);

Ø participating in conferences (conference speakers and university lecturers) exhibitions, fairs or shows;

Ø participating in board of directors' meetings and general meetings;

Ø providing services within the same business group, etc.

Ø or a long stay visa (visa D) for:

Ø the holder of a temporary authorisation to stay;

Ø the holder of a work permit for the purpose of carrying out a salaried activity;

Ø joining a family member who is an EU citizen.

If the non-EU national has a residence permit as a family member of an EU citizen or a valid residence permit issued by another EU Member State, a visa is not required.

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 as amended, nationals of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Republic of North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia (excluding holders of passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate) holding biometric passports are exempt from the visa obligation.


The visa type C allows for stays for a duration not exceeding 90 days over any 180-day period. The visa can be issued for one or several entries, depending on the reasons of stay.

It does not give the holder the right to carry out a paid activity in Luxembourg. In this case, the person must apply for a visa type D.


Staying for more than 3 months

Ø Third country nationals subject to a visa obligation who wish to stay in Luxembourg for more than 3 months must apply for a long stay visa (D).

Ø The application procedure for the authorisation to stay depends on the planned activity:

Ø salaried worker (employee);

Ø self-employed worker (independent);[1]

Ø highly qualified worker;

Ø researcher;

Ø athlete;

Ø student;

Ø pupil;

Ø private reasons[2];

Ø au pair;

Ø salaried worker posted by a company established outside the EU;

Ø trainee.

Within 90 days following receipt of the temporary authorisation to stay, the applicant must submit, in person, a long stay visa application (D).

[1] Including partners of private limited companies and certain categories of public companies [2]

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