Immigration: changes relating to students, interns, researchers and au pairs

11 Oct 2018


Dorothée David

The law of 1 August 2018 modifying 1. the modified law of 29 August 2008 on the free movement of people and immigration, 2. The law of 18 February 2013 on hosting au pairs (hereinafter referred to as “the Law”), was published in Mémorial A no. 827 on 17 September 2018. The Law came into effect on 21 September 2018.

The main purpose of the Law is to transpose Directive 2016/801/EU on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of research, studies, training voluntary service, pupil exchange schemes or educational projects and au pairing. The main changes are:

  • Students or researchers covered by a European Union programme or a multilateral programme including mobility measures: students or researchers taking part in such a programme (defined by the Law) benefit from a residence permit valid for at least 2 years (compared with 1 year without the programme), or for a period equivalent to the student’s course, or to that of the researcher’s hosting agreement or employment contract, if this period is shorter.

Furthermore, such a student or researcher can now benefit from easier mobility between member states without the need to ask for a new residence permit, as long as the first member state (i.e. the state first issuing the residence permit to a third-country national in their capacity as a student or researcher), as well as Luxembourg’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, who can always object to this movement, are simply notified. This means that, in accordance with the conditions stipulated by the Law:

  • the holder of a valid “student” residence permit issued by the first member state can stay in Luxembourg and complete part of their studies in a higher educational institution for a maximum of 360 days.
  • the holder of a valid “researcher” residence permit issued by the first member state can stay in Luxembourg and complete part of their research in any research organisation for a maximum of 180 days in any 360-day period (short-term mobility). They may also benefit from a mobility period of between 180 and 360 days (long-term mobility), but in this case, an application for a residence permit for long-term mobility is required.

Lastly, the student or researcher involved can now benefit from a residence permit for the purposes of “finding work or setting up a business” under the conditions stipulated by the Law. This permit allows them to stay in Luxembourg once they have successfully completed their higher education or research activities for a period of 9 months, which cannot be renewed.

  • Intern: the residence permit for an internship is now valid for a maximum of 6 months (compared with 1 year before the Law), unless the study programme stipulates a longer internship, in which case the permit is issued for this period. The residence permit can be issued for a paid or unpaid internship, on the condition, in particular, that an internship agreement is entered into with the host organisation or company in Luxembourg, providing theoretical and practical training, as well as a description of the internship programme, the duration and hours of the internship, and the conditions for the intern’s placement and supervision. 
  • Au pair: from now on the time spent by the au pair on basic family tasks cannot exceed an average of 25 hours per week (compared with 30 before the Law), over a period of one month or four weeks. The total amount to be paid monthly to the au pair is set at 1/5th (compared with ¼ before the Law) of the minimum social wage as pocket money, where this amount is not subject to general tax and social security contributions payable for salaries. Lastly, the Law stipulates that an au pair must not have anything less than or equal to a 4th degree relationship with the host family.

Law of 1 August 2018