Registering in Luxembourg

16 Nov
2010

If you’re from a more laisse-faire country (with, dare I say it, a healthier attitude to bureaucracy) you might be surprised to learn that you’re expected to register with your local county council (known as communes) within three days of moving to Luxembourg. But luckily with a bit of forward planning, registering in Luxembourg, also known as your first major scuffle with the vast, constricting swathes of Luxembourgish red tape, can be a painless experience.

Bureaucracy-ho!

The paperwork required to register varies from commune to commune, but generally the following docs are:

  • Passport
  • Letter confirming the authorisation to stay (if you are non-EU resident)
  • Proof of residence (either a rental contract or a letter from your landlord/friend confirming you are living at xyz address)
  • Work contract
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce certificate
  • Passports and birth certificates of your children

If you’re living in Luxembourg city you can register at the Biergercenter at the Centre Hamilius, also known as the bus terminus. Look out for the tall brown building. If you live elsewhere, go to the local Biergercenter (administration office) or Hotel de Ville (city hall). It is always advisable to contact the commune before you arrive in Luxembourg to double-check the documents required.

Once you register you will receive an Attestation d’Enregistrement, also known as a wallet-sized piece of paper stating your name and address. Congratulations! Now you’re on the Luxembourg residence database. You’ll wonder how the hippie country you moved from possibly functioned without required registration (probably).

While you’re registering, ask for one or more certificates of residence. Each costs a small fee but you will need one to open a bank account, rent an apartment, buy a car and generally every time you sign a contract. Also, ask about your tax card, registering your drivers license, and anything else you think you might need. They will either be able to help you there and then or will provide you with the contact details of the people who can.

Moving within Luxembourg

When the Silver Fox and I first arrived in Lux, we moved to another commune within three weeks. Yep, this meant we had to deregister with our previous commune and then re-register with our new one. Cue deranged looks and nightmares staring murderous bureaucrats.

When you deregister, you’ll receive a deregistration certificate that you should bring with you to the new commune, along with your passport, proof of residence, work contract etc…yes, apparently each commune deeply distrusts the previous’ ability to check your paperwork so you need to bring all the IDs and docs again (le sigh). Once you’ve re-registered your Attestation d’Enregistrement will be updated with your new address.

Tips

If you’re not a resident of the EU you will need to apply for a resident permit (Title de sejour) with the Immigration Department within 90 days of arrival.

Google the area of Luxembourg to which you’re moving for the local commune website. Chances are it will be in French, but if you email them in English someone should be able to advise you of the paperwork you need to bring.

If you are moving within the Luxembourg city limits and own a car, ask for a vignette (sticker). This will allow you to park for free in your area.

After your first taste of Luxembourg bureaucracy make sure to go for a nice meal afterwards, and don’t forget the large wine/beer. Ahh liquid valium…

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