Expats cross borders twice daily to work in Luxembourg

Expats cross borders twice daily to work in Luxembourg

Expats cross borders twice daily to work in Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a favourite with expat professionals, but it’s too small and too expensive to hold all of them!

One of the world’s tiniest countries, Luxembourg is a major EU player, with its World Heritage Site capital city one of the bloc’s three capitals as well as the home of the European Court of Justice. As such, it’s an expat magnet for jobs in finance and with major EU-based corporations, but Luxembourg City and even the 998 mostly rural square mile Duchy are a little small to comfortably house the large number of expat workers.

The little country is also a world-renowned tax haven, renowned for its ultra-secret private banking facilities, and it’s now becoming yet another hub for tech innovation. Every working day, more than 192,000 people including a good proportion of expats commute to Luxembourg for work as it’s now far too expensive to live in the country itself, even if it could provide enough accommodation.

Some cross the border from France on a daily basis, others arrive from Germany and others live in the Belgian border towns, using the frequent rail services to get to work in Luxembourg City. Given the relatively short distances covered, the daily commute could be compared with living in London ‘s suburban districts and commuting to work in the City.

For example, the small city of Arlon is how home to just under 5,000 expats, half of whom have arrived during the past five years. Rentals there are far cheaper, as are groceries, with the only drawback the rather less than perfect rail network. Expat professionals working in Luxembourg city also commute from German border towns or even villages such as Perl-Besch on the River Moselle. One female expat who briefly lived in the pretty hamlet not only worked in Luxembourg but needed to get her daughter to school in the big city and back each day, a tiring schedule which resulted in a move back to Luxembourg.

The German border town of Trier is another hotbed for expats working in Luxembourg, as housing costs are far cheaper and commuting by car is possible. Some 14 per cent of the town’s population are foreigners, with up-and-running German language courses and a council dedicated to lobbying on behalf of expat residents. As things are at present, living as well as working in Luxembourg itself is likely to continue being too expensive for all but high-salaried expats in banking and IT. The expat trend of crossing borders twice daily looks set to continue, at least for the foreseeable future.

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