Luxembourg’s Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs and the Ministry of Labour, Employment and the Social and Solidarity Economy, together with ADEM, have announced that a new law to address the shortage of skilled labour came into force on Friday 1 September 2023.

Luxembourg MPs passed this new law back in July 2023; the law facilitates both the recruitment of third-country nationals and access to the labour market for third-country family members (i.e. accompanying spouses) in the Grand Duchy.

According to the ministries, the shortage of skilled labour in Luxembourg has become a serious issue impacting the country's economy. The IT sector is particularly affected, but other sectors such as health, engineering, finance and business support professions as well as certain construction professions are also suffering from a labour shortage and thereby risk losing competitiveness.

In order to remedy this situation and to support employers looking for qualified labour, the new law aims to provide changes that will simplify the hiring of third-country nationals. This law authorises family members of third-country nationals (holding a Luxembourg residence permit on the basis of family reunification) to work in Luxembourg upon their arrival, allowing them to have free access to the job market. This modification applies to individuals holding a “family member” residence permit. They will, therefore, no longer have to take additional steps to obtain a work permit or an authorisation to exercise a self-employed activity before starting a salaried or self-employed activity.

Free access to the labour market will be mentioned explicitly on the residence permits produced from 1 September 2023, these documents henceforth mentioning that the holder is “authorised to work in Luxembourg”.

Temporary residence permits for family members and "family member" residence permits produced before 1 September 2023 remain valid until their expiry date. Their replacement is not planned.

Third-country national family members holding a temporary residence permit or a valid residence permit issued for family reunification before 1 September 2023 will be authorised to work in Luxembourg from this date, and this applies to any salaried or self-employed activity.

Access to the job market is facilitated for applicants for international protection, who have been in the process for six months, and beneficiaries of a postponement or suspension of expulsion who request a temporary occupation permit. The labour market test carried out by the ADEM employment agency will be abolished from this date onwards for these individuals.

The period of validity of residence permits issued from this date for the purposes of job search or business creation has been extended from nine to twelve months.

More detailed information on the procedures for applying for and issuing residence permits for third-country nationals is available on the website

For more specific questions on residence permits and temporary occupation permits, those concerned can contact the Directorate of Immigration of the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs via email: immigration.public@mae.etat.

Two scenarios are foreseen for simplifying the obtention of a certificate allowing the employment of third-country nationals:

- professions on the list of professions with severe shortages (based on an annual list published by ADEM) - for these professions, ADEM is exempt from having to carry out a market test and checking whether jobseekers corresponding to the profile sought by the employer are available. The certificate will thus be issued within five working days. This list is published in the Mémorial B of the Official Journal of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg as well as on the ADEM website;

- other trades: the market test will continue to be carried out but with shortened deadlines, i.e. ADEM will have seven working days to check whether jobseekers fulfilling the profile required for the declared position are available. If no candidate can be proposed, the certificate will be issued, after the seven-day deadline, within the next five working days. However, if ADEM can propose candidates corresponding to the profile sought, it will then have fifteen additional working days to contact the employer.