Family reunification of third-country nationals in the EU: national practices

The present report summarises the main findings of the LU Study on “Family reunification of third-country nationals in the EU”.

In Luxembourg, family reunification is one of the main reasons for immigration of third-country nationals. In fact, “family member” and “private reasons (family links)” residence permits (first deliveries and renewals) represented more than a third of all residence permits issued during the last three years. While the right to family reunification was solely provided by international law and regulated by administrative practice until 2008, the transposition of Directive 2003/86/EC of 22 September 2003 on the right to family reunification led to a much more precise and detailed legal framework.
A notable change in legislation has been proposed with the introduction of bill n° 6992, namely the harmonisation of the conditions that apply to third-country national employees with those of Blue Card holders and researchers. Thus, family reunification requirements for certain categories of applicants shall be alleviated through the abrogation of the 12-month residence requirement for the sponsor.
In order to apply for family reunification in Luxembourg, sponsors have to meet a number of requirements for exercising the right to family reunification, which include the provision of suitable accommodation for the size of their family; meeting health and safety standards; health insurance; as well as stable and regular resources to provide for themselves and their family members. As recommended by Directive 2003/86/EC, Luxembourg sets out more favourable conditions to beneficiaries of international protection for the exercise of their right to family reunification. Thus, they do not have to comply with the above-mentioned requirements in case they apply for family reunification within 3 months of being granted the status.
Family members who have come to Luxembourg under family reunification have access to education, orientation, vocational training, lifelong learning and professional retraining once their residence permit has been issued. Family members furthermore have access to the labour market. In case the family member has resided in Luxembourg for less than one year when the application is submitted, it will be submitted to the labour market test. Family members can also, under a number of conditions, benefit from guaranteed minimum income, social aid, long-term residence status as well as citizenship.