IMMIGRATION LAW : WHAT ABOUT COVID-19 ?
The Government of Luxembourg has taken numerous measures in view of containing the spread of COVID-19 and declared the state of emergency. What does this mean for you?
26th March 2020
Freedom of movement is a cornerstone of the European Union and an integral part of our way of life. However, the current situation imposes great restrictions and has a harsh impact on not only travelling for tourists but also on those who wish to seek a more permanent type of residence permit in Luxembourg at the current time.
How is immigration law in the Grand-Duchy affected by the new rules and regulations?
On March 18th, 2020 the state of emergency was declared in Luxembourg. The intention to declare the state of emergency had been announced by the Prime Minister Xavier Bettel in his address to Parliament held one day earlier.
Indeed, in the event of an international crisis, the Grand Duke may, if there is an emergency, make regulations on any matter, even derogations from existing legal provisions. The period of validity of these regulations is limited to three months. This is codified in Article 32-4 of the Luxembourg Constitution. The scope of action covered by this article is limited to measures which cannot be taken in good time via the normal legislative procedure. The Chamber can at any time suspend or revoke the state of crisis: parliamentary control is thus fully guaranteed.
At the time of writing, this regulation is thus valid until June 18th, 2020 and has been modified by a Grand-Ducal regulation issued on March 20th, 2020. However these modifications do not affect immigration law.
The Regulation issued on March 18th, 2020 deals with the delivery of new authorizations of stay, the validity of existing visa and permits, as well as the freedom of movement within and through Luxembourg.
For those who hold a visa or a residence permit and are currently in Luxembourg :
By way of derogation from the amended law of 29 August 2008 on the free movement of persons and immigration, the period of validity for visas, temporary residence permits, residence permits and residence permits, which expire after March 1, 2020, is extended for the duration of the state of crisis.
For third-country nationals who do not hold a visa and are currently in Luxembourg :
The stay of third-country nationals who are not subject to the visa requirement and whose stay has just exceeded 90 days is regular for the duration of the state of crisis.
For those who seek international protection and are currently in Luxembourg :
By way of derogation from the law of 18 December 2015 on international protection and temporary protection, the certificate received upon filing a request for international protection also called an asylum request that has or will expire is extended for the duration of the state of crisis.
It should be emphasized that the aforementioned measures are automatic and that the persons concerned must not take any steps or make any specific requests.
The Immigration Directorate does not issue a document certifying this temporary extension.
Finally, the Directorate of Immigration informed citizens that it is currently not possible to deposit files and documents by hand. It is requested to send any part by mail. In addition, all ticket offices will remain closed until further notice.
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It is important to note that all third-country nationals may no longer enter the territory of the Grand Duchy from March 18th, 2020 at 6 p.m. for a period of one month renewable, that is to say until April 18th, 2020 at the time of writing.
As such, citizens of the European Union, the United Kingdom, countries associated with the Schengen area, and members of their families, for the purpose of returning to their homes, are exempt from temporary travel restrictions.
In addition, the following categories of third-country nationals may derogate from the temporary travel restrictions : (1) third-country nationals who hold long-term resident status in accordance with European Directive 2003/109 / EC on long-term residents, as well as any other person with a right of residence in accordance with European directives as well as under national law in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or one of the neighboring countries ; (2) health professionals, health researchers and care professionals for the elderly ; (3) cross-border workers and employees ; (4) persons employed in the goods transport sector and other persons employed in the transport of goods and persons sector, including airline personnel ; (5) members of the diplomatic corps, personnel of international organizations, the military, personnel in the field of development cooperation and humanitarian aid, during the exercise of their respective functions ; (6) passengers in transit ; (7) passengers traveling for urgent and duly justified family reasons; (8) persons wishing to apply for international protection or subsidiary protection in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or for other humanitarian reasons.
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