NB! This study documents the situation concerning labour market access of applicants for international protection in Luxembourg between 2017 to 2022.
On 1 September 2023 the law of 7 August 2023 modifying 1° the Labor Code; 2° the Immigration Law; 3° the amended law of December 18, 2015 relating to the reception of applicants for international protection and temporary protection entered into force. In accordance with the new law applicants for international protection in Luxembourg are exempt from the labour market test.
Please be aware of these changes if you are looking for information concerning the situation in Luxembourg.
The overall trend, based on the information provided by the Directorate of Immigration for the period from 2018 to 2021, is that the number of temporary work permits (AOT) issued for the first time in Luxembourg is very low, from 9 to 11 AOTs per year. The changes in the overall numbers of applicants for international protection do not seem to have a link to the number of issued AOTs. Significant decrease (51.7%) of applications was observed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but this did not bring down the number of issued AOTs.
The reasons why the number of issued AOTs has been staying very low in Luxembourg could be that the existing procedure for acquisition of AOT is not only complicated for the applicant for international protection, but also unattractive for the potential employer of the applicant.
This is also supported by the points raised in the public debate by civil society. Some of the points of concern raised by members of civil society have been:
• simplification of the procedure for the AOT,
• long waiting period (6 months) before the person is allowed to apply for AOT,
• existence of the period of validity of the AOT,
• abolition of the labour market test,
• screening of the skills of the applicant, both professional and linguistic.
During two years of Covid-19 pandemic, there was no big public debate on this topic. The debate restarted following the war of Russia on Ukraine and the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive by the Council of the EU. Beneficiaries of temporary protection in Luxembourg are able to access labour market directly, without applying for AOT. This is perceived positively, however, positive developments with regard to applicants for international protection would also be appreciated.
Do not hesitate to consult the full study for all the details (attached below).