EU Resettlement Network

Luxembourg

    Background

    Luxembourg has no official resettlement programme in place; however, it has occasionally carried out ad-hoc resettlement. In June 2009, the decision by the Luxembourg government to resettle 7 Sunni Muslim – 2 families - and 20 Christian Iraqi refugees – 5 families -, made following the November 2008 Council Conclusions, demonstrated the country’s interest in taking part in the EU effort to find a durable solution for Iraqi refugees.  Luxembourg did not specify criteria for those cases but agreed to consider dossiers referred by UNHCR. However, most of the families already had family links in Luxembourg.

    Upon arrival, all refugees had to apply for refugee status through an expedited procedure. Refugee status allows one to receive a permanent residence permit with the possibility of applying for citizenship after 7 years of residency. The Luxembourg’s Red Cross was responsible for the reception and integration for the Sunni Muslim Iraqi refugees while Caritas was responsible for the Christian families.

    Refugees  assisted  by  the  Red  Cross were  immediately  taken  to  independent  housing,  which  was  provided  for  by  the  Luxembourg  Office of Reception and Integration (OLAI - Office Luxembourgeois de l’Accueil et de l’Intégration) until tenants had the means to pay for their housing expenses.  Those whom Caritas assisted stayed initially with a family sponsor for two months, during which time the OLAI administration found appropriate independent housing.  Social workers from both Caritas and the Red Cross assisted refugees in finding schools for their children, in applying for financial assistance and in arranging healthcare coverage.

    OLAI covered 100% of medical expenses upon arrival. Eventually, refugees would  need  to  choose a  health  insurance  provider;  the  government  would however continue  to  reimburse  the  majority  of healthcare costs.  Iraqis were placed in housing generally close to or in the largest cities, Luxembourg City and Esch-sur-Alzette.

    In addition to ad hoc resettlement, Luxembourg has relocated 6 persons under EUREMA I in 2010-2011. Luxembourg does not participate in EUREMA II.

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