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Employment of foreigners in Lithuania - guidance for employers 

European Union citizens 

Matters regarding citizens of the European Union living and working in Lithuania are regulated by the European Union Citizen Act. A foreign national, who is a citizen of one of the Member States of the European Union, European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation (hereafter referred to as citizens of the European Union) may arrive and stay in the Republic of Lithuania for up to 3 months within a 6 month period starting from the day of his arrival in the Republic of Lithuania. Citizens of the European Union who wish to stay longer than three months or have already been in Lithuania for longer than three months have to register with the Migration Department. Temporary residence permits are issued for periods of up to five years. Information on the residence of EU Member State Nationals in the Republic of Lithuania is available at the website of the Department of Migration under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.

Non-European Union citizens 

Matters regarding foreigners living and working in Lithuania are regulated by the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens and other legal documents issued by the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania.

A foreigner who intends to work in the Republic of Lithuania must obtain a work permit before entering the Republic of Lithuania. A work permit may be issued to a foreigner if there is no specialist in Lithuania meeting the employer’s qualification requirements.  

The conditions and order of issue a work permit in Lithuania

To employ a foreigner, an employer must apply to the local labour exchange (by the registered office or by the place of residence) and to register a vacancy.

An application to issue a work permit is not considered if an employer has not registered a vacancy one month before submitting an application to the local labour exchange, as specified in legislation.

Formalities to be completed

I. To employ a foreigner under a contract of employment, the following documents are needed*:

  1. Application of the set form;
  2. Copy of the passport of a foreign citizen or an equivalent document intended for travelling to a foreign country and recognised in the Republic of Lithuania;
  3. Copy of a diploma or an equivalent document confirming person’s qualification;
  4. Copy of a resolution of a competent institution in proof of recognition of professional qualifications if the profession is regulated in the Republic of Lithuania. More detailed information on the recognition of professional qualifications is available at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour;
  5. Qualification assessment certificate issued by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education, as set down in  the Resolution No 60 of 21 January, 2005 ,,On Approval of Regulations of Assessment and Academic Recognition of Foreign Qualifications Giving Access to Higher Education and Higher Education Qualifications” (Official Gazette, No 12-369, 2005), if a profession is not regulated in the Republic of Lithuania, but higher education is required;
  6. Copy of a document proving a foreigner’s two years professional work experience during the last three years. This requirement does not apply for:
    • the case specified in Article 2.3 of the Order No A1-223/1V-310 of 28 September, 2004 of the Ministers of Social Security and Labour and Interior “On Approval of Rules and Provisions for the Issue of a Work Permit to an Alien Situated in the Republic of Lithuania”;
    • the postgraduate (residency) students who study in the Republic of Lithuania;
  7. Copies of documents proving a foreigner’s improvement of a possessed qualification (if any);
  8. Certificate of studies issued by a Lithuanian higher education institution confirming second and a subsequent year of study in the Republic of Lithuania;
  9. Certificate signed by the employer informing about:
    • need to employ a foreigner;
    • dismissals during 6 months before applying for the issue of a work permit (specifying the reasons for dismissal, the qualifications of dismissed employees and their functions);
    • employer does not have a valid administrative penalty according to Article 2063 of the Code of Administrative Violations of the Republic of Lithuania;
    • copy of an issued work permit and an employer’s certificate on a foreigner’s work in an enterprise indicating his/her functions, salary, the amount of assessed and paid taxes and state social insurance payments for all work period in the case of application specified in Article 2.4 of the Order No A1-223/1V-310 of 28 September, 2004 of the Ministers of Social Security and Labour and Interior “On Approval of Rules and Provisions for the Issue of a Work Permit to an Alien Situated in the Republic of Lithuania”.                   

II. To issue a work permit for an employee of a foreign company who was sent for temporary employment, the following documents are needed*:

  1. Application of the set form;
  2. Contract on providing services or performing jobs concluded between a local company and a foreign enterprise sending an employee for temporary employment;
  3. Copy of a foreign country’s Certificate of Registration of Legal Entity or copy of Abstract of Title;
  4. Detailed description of the project specifying the reasons why a foreign company’s services have been chosen to implement this project and what is the purpose of receiving a foreign employee;
  5. Copy of the passport of a foreign citizen or an equivalent document intended for travelling to a foreign country and recognised in the Republic of Lithuania;
  6. Copy of the employment contract between a foreigner and the company sending him for temporary employment;
  7. Certificate of a competent foreign institution or enterprise proving that a foreigner is covered by social insurance in the sending enterprise;
  8. Copy of a diploma or an equivalent document confirming person’s qualification.

 

III. To issue a work permit for an intern or trainee, the following documents are needed*:

  1. Application of the set form;
  2. Copy of the passport of a foreign citizen or an equivalent document intended for travelling to a foreign country and recognised in the Republic of Lithuania;
  3. Copy of a diploma or an equivalent document confirming person’s qualification;
  4. Copy of a resolution of a competent institution on the recognition of professional qualifications if the profession is regulated in the Republic of Lithuania. More detailed information on the recognition of professional qualifications is available at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour;
  5. Certificate of qualification assessment issued by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education, as set down in  the Resolution No 60 of 21 January, 2005 ,,On Approval of Regulations of Assessment and Academic Recognition of Foreign Qualifications Giving Access to Higher Education and Higher Education Qualifications”, if a profession is not regulated in the Republic of Lithuania, but higher education is required;
  6. Certificate issued by a higher educational institution abroad confirming a foreigner‘s study (if he/she is still studying);
  7. Certificate issued by an employer assessing a foreigner’s basic the Lithuanian language knowledge necessary for working in Lithuania;
  8. Certificate of mediation signed by the President of Student Association AISEC Lietuva or by the President of Lithuanian Medical Students’ Association (LiMSA) proving the validity of employment.
  9. Copy of cooperation agreement concluded between an employer and the Student Association AISEC Lietuva or LiMSA (the Lithuanian Medical Students' Association).

To be employed as an intern or trainee, a foreigner should satisfy the following conditions:

  • be not younger than 18 and not older than 30;
  • have higher education or study in a higher school;
  • seek to improve the Lithuanian language skills or his/her professional competence, or to acquire additional qualification.

*Note: Foreign states’ documents shall be legalised or certified by Apostille if not otherwise stated in other legal acts. The authenticity of translation of foreign documents in the Lithuanian language shall be confirmed by the signature of a translator.

The procedure and time limits for the examination of applications to issue a work permit  

A foreigner’s application to issue a work permit in the Republic of Lithuania must be examined within two months from the date of receipt of the application at the Lithuanian Labour Exchange.

 

Issue of work permits

The Lithuanian Labour Exchange notifies the employer on the decision of issue/renewal or rejection of a work permit by e-mail. Notification is also available by phone 8 (5) 2 36 07 75 at the Department of Labour Market Services and Monitoring.

Charges for a work permit

After taking the decision on issue of a work permit, the State fee shall be paid:

For the issue of a work permit for 1 year – 121,64 EUR,
For the extension of a work permit – 52,13 EUR,
For the issue of a work permit up to 2 years – 150,60 EUR,
For the issue of a work permit for seasonal jobs – 34,75 EUR,
For the issue of a work permit duplicate – 8,69 EUR.

Bank details:

RECEIVER: Valstybinė mokesčių inspekcija prie Lietuvos Respublikos finansų ministerijos

ACCOUNT NUMBER: LT 24 7300 0101 1239 4300

BANK: AB "Swedbank"

RECEIVER’S CODE: 188659752

REFERENCE NO: 5801

PAYMENT DETAILS: a work permit fee (a foreigner’s first name and family name).

A copy of the bank transfer should be sent to the Lithuanian Labour Exchange by fax: 8 (5) 2 36 07 75


WORK PERMITS ARE ISSUED AT THE LOCAL LABOUR EXCHANGE OFFICES:

Addresses and contact information of the local labour exchanges

Validity of a work permit

  • A work permit shall be issued to an alien for a period of up to two years, specifying the job (position) and the enterprise, agency or organisation at which the alien will be employed. 
  • An alien who enters the Republic of Lithuania to take up seasonal employment shall be issued a work permit for a period of up to six months in a year starting from the first day of entry into the Republic of Lithuania.
  • An alien who enters the Republic of Lithuania for employment as an intern or trainee shall be issued a work permit for a period of one year and its period of validity may be extended on an exceptional basis, when the period of internship or traineeship is longer than one year and the extension is necessary for acquiring qualification in an appropriate area.

Approval of employment contracts

An employer, no later than within 2 months from the day of issue a work permit for a foreigner, must submit the employment contract to the local labour exchange office for approval (in 2 copies in the Lithuanian language and a language which a foreigner understands). The local labour exchange enters it in the set form register and approves the receipt by the ,,Received” stamp.

If an employer fails to submit the employment contract within the specified time period, the Lithuanian Labour Exchange withdraws the issued work permit.  

Requirements for the employment contract:

  • The employment contract with a foreigner shall be drawn up in written in the manner established by laws of the Republic of Lithuania, using the form approved by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania;  
  • The contract shall be concluded in two languages: the Lithuanian language and a language which a foreigner  understands;
  • The employment contract shall be drawn up in two copies. A copy in the Lithuanian language and a copy in a foreign language shall be kept at the local labour exchange;
  • The employment contract shall be concluded for a fixed period of time: the period of employment shall not exceed the validity of the issued work permit;
  • „Enactment of the employment contract“ refers to the date not earlier than the day of issue of a work permit;
  • „An employee starts working“  refers to the date not earlier than the day of issue a residence permit;
  • A foreigner’s pay may not be less than that paid to a resident of the Republic of Lithuania for performing the same work. By applying this provision, the local labour exchange officers take into account the Statistics Department to the Government of the Republic of Lithuania quarterly data on average monthly gross earnings by economic sector and kind of activity.

Termination of an employment contract

If the employment contract is terminated prior to the end of the term of the contract, an employer is obliged to officially notify the Lithuanian Labour Exchange at the Ministry of Social Security and Labour in written within 3 days. The issued work permit shall be enclosed. In the note on termination of the employment contract the person’s birth date shall be specified.

Renewal of a work permit

The conditions for renewal of a work permit:

  • foreigner’s recruitment is necessary for production;
  • work permit has been issued for a shorter than 2 years period;
  • in all cases of renewal a work permit, its validity shall not exceed 2 years;
  • to renew a work permit, an employer no later than 2 months prior to the expire of a work permit shall submit a request of the set form together with the necessary documents to the local labour exchange.

Documents needed to renew a work permit:

  1. Application of the set form;
  2. Issued work permit;
  3. Copy of the passport of a foreign citizen or an equivalent document intended for travelling to a foreign country and recognised in the Republic of Lithuania;
  4. Certificate signed by the employer (if a foreigner has been working under an employment contract) specifying:
    • need  to renew a foreigner’s work permit that is necessary for production;
    • foreign employer’s functions, time worked, salary, the amount of assessed and paid taxes and state social insurance payments;
    • dismissals in 6 months before applying for the renewal of a work permit;
    • certificate of a competent foreign institution or enterprise proving that a foreigner is covered by social insurance in the sending enterprise (for an employee of a foreign company who was sent for temporary employment);
    • contract on providing services or performing jobs concluded between a local company and a foreign enterprise sending an employee for temporary employment.

 

No later than within 7 calendar days, the local labour exchange informs the Lithuanian Labour Exchange on the decision of the renewal of a work permit. The submitted request for renewal has to be examined no later than within 10 calendar days from receipt of the request.

Exempting an alien from the obligation to obtain a work permit

An alien shall be exempt from the obligation to obtain a work permit if:

  • the alien has retained the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with the procedure laid down by the Law on Citizenship;
  • the alien is a person of Lithuanian descent;
  • it is a case of family reunification;
  • the alien has been put under guardianship/custody or has been appointed guardian/custodian;
  • the alien has been granted subsidiary protection in the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens
  • the alien has been granted temporary protection in the Republic of Lithuania in  accordance with the procedure prescribed by the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens
  • the alien holds a permanent residence permit.

According to the Order of the Minister of Social Security and Labour No A1 - 118 of 24 April 2006, an alien is exempted from obligation to obtain a work permit when:

  • The alien as owner or joint owner establishes a company, institution or organization in the Republic of Lithuania and posses 10 or more percent of the authorized capital of the company or a part of the voting rights , and his residence in the Republic of Lithuania is necessary to pursue the goals and carry out the activities of the company, institution or organization;
  • The alien is an executive or an authorized representative of a company, institution or organization established in the Republic of Lithuania and the main goal of his residence is work in that company, institution or organization;
  • The alien comes to the Republic of Lithuania to arrange negotiations regarding the conclusion of a contract or its’ implementation, personnel training, commercial setting – up, installation of the equipment or similar activities for a period not exceeding three months per year;
  • The alien is a legal resident of one of the European Union countries legally working there and sent for temporary work to the Republic of Lithuania with an official certificate of competent institution of European Union confirming his social insurance;
  • The alien working in the company of third country has concluded an agreement to provide services in the Republic of Lithuania when the country there the company is established within the framework of World Trade Organization concluded bilateral or multilateral international agreement with the European Union on the conditions for natural persons to provide services and following agreement is in force for the Republic of Lithuania. Aliens are exempted from obligation to obtain work permits due to Lithuania’s responsibilities in the above – mentioned international agreement to exempt aliens from obligations to obtain work permits (according to the spheres of services provision or quota);
  • The alien is providing services in the third country has concluded an agreement to provide services in the Republic of Lithuania when the country there the services are provided within the framework of World Trade Organization concluded bilateral or multilateral international agreement with the European Union on the conditions for natural persons to provide services and following agreement is in force for the Republic of Lithuania. Aliens are exempted from obligation to obtain work permits due to Lithuania’s responsibilities in the above – mentioned international agreement to exempt aliens from obligations to obtain work permits (according to the spheres of services provision or quota);
  • The alien is willing to work in the Republic of Lithuania in order to implement joint programs of the Lithuanian Government with foreign countries;
  • The alien is a professional sportsman or coach who has concluded a contract for the activities of sports (Article 30 of Republic of Lithuania Law on Physical Culture and Sport (“Official Gazette”, 1996, No 9-215);
  • The alien comes to Lithuania to carry out scientific research or take up a teaching position at the institutions of higher education;
  • The alien comes as a probationer or trainee for a period not exceeding three months per year;
  • The alien is a member of the traditional Lithuanian religious association (community) or religious association acknowledged by the state, who has a certificate of mediation issued by the authority of that religious association (community), is a priest of other religious association (community) with the status of a legal person in the Republic of Lithuania, who has a certificate of mediation issued by the authority of that religious association (community) and supported from the funds of the religious community during his stay and religious activities in the Republic of Lithuania (Article 17 of Republic of Lithuania Law on Religious Communities and Associations (“Official Gazette”, 1995, No 89-1985);
  • The alien is a long term resident of the European Union living and working in the Republic of Lithuania for a period of one year on the basis of a work permit and temporary residence permit and willing to conclude individual employment contract;
  • The alien is a representative of a foreign charity organization whose propose of residence is to provide charity;
  • The alien is a member of volunteer programs sponsored or encouraged by the European Union or its’ member states.

Grounds for withdrawal of a work permit in the Republic of Lithuania

An alien’s work permit shall be withdrawn:

  • if the permit has been obtained by fraud;
  • upon termination of the alien’s contract of employment;
  • in case of termination of employment relations with the foreign employer who had sent the alien for temporary employment in the Republic of Lithuania;
  • the alien’s temporary residence permit is withdrawn;
  • the alien’s contract of employment has not been registered within two months from the day of issue of the work permit;
  • where it has been established that the alien does not meet the necessary conditions for the issue of work permits.

For further information please contact Honorata Masalskienė, Chief Officer, Labour Market Services and Monitoring Division, tel.  (8 5) 2360 775 or e.mail Honorata.Masalskiene@ldb.lt