In 2020, Luxembourg received 19 000 new immigrants on a long-term or permanent basis (including changes of status and free mobility), -16.2% compared to 2019. This figure comprises 77.9% immigrants benefitting from free mobility, 8.8% labour migrants, 8.4% family members (including accompanying family) and 4.1% humanitarian migrants. Around 200 permits were issued to tertiary-level international students. In addition, 47 000 intra-EU postings were recorded in 2020, a decrease of -10% compared to 2019. These posted workers are generally on short-term contracts.

France, Portugal and Italy were the top three nationalities of newcomers in 2020. Among the top 15 countries of origin, Syria registered the strongest increase (11) and France the largest decrease (-500) in flows to Luxembourg compared to the previous year.

In 2021, the number of first asylum applicants increased by 5% to reach around 1 400. The majority of applicants came from Syria (400), Eritrea (300) and Afghanistan (100). The largest increase since 2020 concerned nationals of Syria (90) and the largest decrease nationals of Iran (-30). Of the 1 180 decisions taken in 2021, 73% were positive.

In September 2021, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs announced the extension of temporary entry restrictions for third-country nationals in the context of COVID-19 until 31 December 2021. The exception for international students and cross-border workers continued to apply. Tax agreements concluded with Belgium, France and Germany for the telework of this latter category were automatically extended.

On 16 June 2021, the Immigration Law was amended to comply with the requirements arising from Regulation (EU) 2019/1157 on strengthening the security of identity cards of EU citizens and residence documents issued to citizens of the EU and their family members exercising their right to free movement. The amendment also introduces administrative simplification measures and procedural safeguards related to international protection (e.g. an extended deadline from three to six months granted to beneficiaries who wish to apply for family reunification, suspensive appeals against Dublin transfer decisions or status withdrawal etc.). Finally, the amendment also stipulates that only Luxembourgish citizens who do not depend financially on the social assistance system are entitled to sponsor the legal entry and residence of third-country nationals. Residence permits granted to victims of human trafficking are renewable every six months until the end of the investigation.

The Interdisciplinary Commission, in charge of evaluating the best interest of the child for unaccompanied minors in return cases, established by Law of 4 December 2019, entered into force on 1 January 2020 and members were appointed in April 2021. This collegial body assesses whether it is in the best interest of unaccompanied minors to remain in Luxembourg until they reach the age of majority.

In 2021, the Ministry of Family Affairs, Integration and the Greater Region (MIFA) launched the “Pact of living together”. Since then, 28 municipalities have signed the pilot project with the ministry and the SYVICOL, and commit to focus on communication, the access to information and participation at the local level.

The number of Welcome and Integration Contracts (CAI) designed to foster integration and involvement of foreigners in the social, economic and political life of Luxembourg rose significantly in 2021 and 2022 after a decrease due to the health situation in 2020. The MIFA has organised additional online classes on Luxembourg and virtual orientation events to allow signatories to obtain updated information from public authorities and associations. Efforts are made to raise awareness of the benefits of the CAI programme through communication and dissemination strategies, leaflets distributions and an ambassador network.

Following the publication of a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights’ report, a parliamentary debate on racism and discrimination took place in July 2020. It led especially to a commitment from the Chamber of Deputies to increase the resources of the Center for Equal Treatment (CET) and to a motion inviting the government to “commission a study on the phenomenon of racism in Luxembourg in order to develop a coherent strategy to combat it”. Co-ordinated by the MIFA, the study report “Racism and ethno-racial discrimination in Luxembourg” was released in March 2022.

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