From the 1st of August, amendments to the Republic of Lithuania Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners entered into force, which are relevant for companies employing foreigners and, of course, for foreigners themselves. The hope is to attract more highly skilled specialists to Lithuania and simplify migration procedures. Labour law experts of ECOVIS ProventusLaw outlines the most important amendments to the law.
High professional qualification
The list of cases in which a foreigner is considered to have a high professional qualification is extended. Previously, an employee has been recognized as having a high professional qualification if:
- he/she has a qualification attested by a higher-education diploma or
- he/she has at least 5 years of professional experience equivalent to a higher education qualification required for the profession or sector specified in the employment contract or in the employer’s obligation to employ the foreigner under an employment contract.
As of 1st of August, a new case has been added where the employee is also considered to have a high professional qualification if:
- he/she has at least 3 years of professional experience in the field of managers in information technology and communication technology services and specialists in information technology and communication technology within the last 7 years.
Decision on the compliance of a foreigner’s work with labour market needs of the Republic of Lithuania
The new amendments abolish the requirement for foreigners applying for a temporary residence permit on the basis of high professional qualifications to obtain a decision of the Employment Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania on the compliance of the foreigner’s work with labour market needs of the Republic of Lithuania.
Also, the list of professions that require high professional qualifications and for which there is a shortage of employees in the Republic of Lithuania has been abolished. However, a new list has been adopted – the list of professions creating high added value and for which there is a shortage of employees in the Republic of Lithuania.
Rate of the salary
The amendments reduce the mandatory salary size for highly qualified employees:
- A foreigner whose profession is included in the list of professions creating high added value and for which there is a shortage of employees in the Republic of Lithuania, will have to be paid a monthly salary of the size not lower than 1,2 times the last published average monthly gross salary in the national economy (including the salaries at private enterprises) (previously it was 1,5 times the average monthly gross salary in the national economy),
- If the foreigner‘s profession is not on the beforementioned list, 1.5 times the last published average monthly gross salary in the national economy.
Temporary residence permit issued by another EU country
From now on, an employer who intends to employ a foreigner with a temporary residence permit issued by another EU country on the basis of a highly professional qualification no longer needs to provide information on the foreigner’s high professional qualification in relation to the intended work.
Shorter employment periods
As of 1st of August, an employer can undertake to employ a foreigner for a minimum period of 6 months (previously 1 year).
Possibility to conclude a multiple-employer employment contract
Another new addition is that multiple-employer employment contracts are now possible to be conducted. The first employer will have to submit a mediation letter, but all employers will have to meet the conditions for obtaining a temporary residence permit.
Changing job function and working for another employer
From now on, a foreigner employed as an employee with high professional qualification can change his/her job function with the same employer without a permit from the Migration Department.
The foreigner may be employed with another employer, provided that he/she will also stay employed by the employer who previously employed the foreigner and who provided the mediation letter for the residence permit for the employee with high professional qualification. The foreigner will have to notify the Migration Department within 7 working days.
The foreigner must obtain the permission of the Migration Department to change the employer only if he/she changes the employer within the first year of legal work in the Republic of Lithuania, and if he/she has lost his/her job – within 6 months after the loss of the job.
If the foreigner intends to work in a highly qualified job with another employer more than 1 year after the start of the employment, it is sufficient to notify the Migration Department within 7 working days.
Family members of employees with a high professional qualification will now be able to obtain a permanent residence permit more quickly if they have lived in an EU country continuously for the past 5 years, including at least 2 years continuously in Lithuania.
If an employee with a high professional qualification or his/her family member who has obtained a permanent residence permit in Lithuania moves to a non-EU country, the permit will only be withdrawn if the foreigner is going to live in the non-EU country for more than 2 years.
ECOVIS ProventusLaw lawyers are ready to promptly assist employers and employees in obtaining temporary/permanent residence permits in the Republic of Lithuania and in recruiting foreign employees with a high professional qualification.
Prepared by ECOVIS ProventusLaw lawyer Lina Bulovienė