1.1 Has any guidance already been issued in relation to Brexit, for example on residence or work permits in the event of a no-deal Brexit?
Yes. The Luxembourg Government published a guidance to provide information on the situation of UK nationals in Luxembourg, both in the event of entry into force of the Withdrawal Agreement or of a no-deal Brexit.
In the event of no deal, the Government decided that:
- UK nationals residing in Luxembourg at the moment when Great Britain will withdraw from EU may remain on Luxembourg territory for a year from Brexit date under the residence document, which was delivered to them in accordance with the Citizens’ Rights Directive (2004/38/EC).
- From one year after Brexit date, these residence documents will no longer be valid. UK nationals will need to file for an authorisation to stay for thirdcountry nationals (in accordance with national law). The application should be filed nine months after Brexit date .
- Access to the employment market will be maintained for UK nationals residing in Luxembourg at the moment when Great Britain will withdraw from EU (they should receive a work permit to continue to perform their professional activities).
- These measures will not apply to UK nationals who intend to reside in Luxembourg after Brexit date. These individuals will be subject to the provisions on immigration applicable to third-country nationals.
2.1 When UK employees become third-country nationals will they require a business visa?
No, Regulation (EU) 2019/592 of 10 April 2019 exempts UK citizens from the requirement for a Schengen visa. It will apply from the day the UK is no longer subject to EU law. When it takes effect, UK citizens will be able to enter and stay in the Schengen area for a maximum of 90 days in any rolling 180-day period.
The Schengen exemption will apply:
- from Brexit date in the event of no-deal;
- from 1 January 2021 if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified (under the WA, UK nationals keep their EU free movement rights until 31 December 2020).
However, even if allowed to enter and stay visa free they might nonetheless need a work permit.
Individuals on business trips (such as travel to visit business partners, to explore and develop professional contacts, to negotiate and conclude contracts, to participate in fairs, shows and exhibitions as well as to take part in meetings of the board of directors and general meetings of the company) are exempted from the requirement for a work permit for a stay for a maximum of three months.
2.2 What documentation will be required for business travel on arrival at the border once UK citizens are considered third-country nationals?
Travel documents (passport valid for at least three months after arrival in Luxembourg).
Proof of duration and purpose of stay, as border control may ask additional questions concerning duration and purpose of stay.
Unless they stay in a hotel or guest house, UK business travellers will need to notify the appropriate communal administration of their presence within three working days from arrival.
3.1 When UK citizens become third-country nationals will they need permission to work?
Yes, unless they can rely on an exemption such as:
- business meetings (for stays shorter than three months);
- intragroup provision of services excluding subcontracting (for stays shorter than three months);
- family members of an EU national who works in Luxembourg;
- intra-corporate transfer (subject to the condition that the UK employee holds an ICT residence permit in another member state);
- posting (subject to conditions).
3.2 If permission to work is needed do any quotas apply for employing third-country nationals?
No. However, for specific categories of work permits, Luxembourg applies the labour market test in order to check whether the vacant position (for which the third country national filed a work permit application) can be filled by a person available on the national or European labour market.
3.3 If permission to work is needed, as of when will it be needed?
- from the end of the year following Brexit date in the event of no deal;
- from 1 January 2021 (for new arrivals) if the Withdrawal Agreement is ratified.
3.4 If permission to work is needed, what are the most common categories?
The most common categories are:
- workers who are employees;
- highly qualified workers (annual remuneration of at least EUR 73,998, or EUR 59,198.40 for specific professions; employment contract of at least one year and high-level qualifications);
- workers temporarily assigned to Luxembourg on an intra-corporate transfer (ICT); and
- workers temporarily assigned from abroad to Luxembourg under the terms of a cross-border services agreement (posting of workers).
3.5 If permission to work or stay is needed, how long does the procedure take?
- Depending on the category of work permit requested, the time required for a response from the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs to a work permit application may vary from three to four months maximum.
For ‘employee’ work permits, a certificate from the Employment Administration needs to be submitted at the start of the procedure. Sufficient preparation time should be factored into employment plans.
3.6 If permission to work or stay is needed, what Government fees would be due for this permission?
A residence permit requires that the applicant fulfils two main steps:
- An application for a temporary residence permit to submit from the country of origin. This application is free of charge.
- An application for a definitive residence permit once the employee arrives in Luxembourg. This application is subject to a fee of EUR 80.
4.1 From when can third-country nationals obtain permanent residence?
After a regular and uninterrupted stay of five years in Luxembourg, the third-country national may acquire the status of long-term resident, subject to certain conditions. In this case, the third-country national obtains a ‘long-term residence permit - EU’ valid for a period of five years and renewable automatically on request.
A third-country national who is a family member of a EU citizen has a permanent residence right after a five-year regular and uninterrupted stay on Luxembourg territory under certain conditions and can obtain a permanent residence permit.
5.1 What steps could UK nationals still take to secure their residence status?
In the absence of a Withdrawal Agreement, UK nationals and members of their family currently residing in Luxembourg will be considered as third-country nationals after one year following the Brexit date. If this occurs:
- They must apply for a residence document as an EU citizen (issued on the basis of the Citizens’ Rights Directive). They will be allowed to stay in Luxembourg for a year after Brexit date (as described in the answer to question 1 above).
- They must submit an application for a residence permit three months before the end of the year following the Brexit date,in order to have a residence permit/work permit compliant with Luxembourg legislation.
- UK nationals who have dual nationality (nationality of another Member State of the EU or EEA or Swiss nationality) can claim the rights deriving from their second nationality and are therefore not affected by Brexit.
- UK nationals who fulfil the conditions may apply for Luxembourg nationality.