Recently, significant amendments to the Lithuanian Labour Code and the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners were approved by the Parliament. These amendments will come into force once they are approved by the Lithuanian President. In this newsletter we offer an overview of the most important changes and take a look at what these changes will mean for businesses and employees.
Job advertisements will have to include salary
After the Lithuanian President signs the new amendments to the Labour Code, employers will have to indicate the salary or salary range in job advertisements. Depending on the remuneration system applied in the company, the proposed base monthly or hourly wage rate or range (ie, excluding supplements and bonuses) will have to be indicated. This requirement should apply to all positions and all types of job postings – job posting portals, company intranet, websites, LinkedIn and others.
Citizens of economically strong countries will have easy access to temporary residence permits in Lithuania
As of 1 September 2019, citizens of Australia, Japan, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and South Korea who intend to work or engage in other legitimate activities in Lithuania will be subject to exceptionally easy conditions to obtain temporary residence permits in Lithuania. After Brexit the same terms will apply to the citizens of the United Kingdom.
Citizens of these countries will not have to meet additional conditions of education, salary, or work experience. Those intending to start business will not have to meet additional conditions for the amount of equity, duration of business activity and employee salary that normally apply to citizens of non-EU member states.
A temporary residence permit for these persons will be issued for three years. Citizens of these countries will also be able to apply for temporary residence permits for their family members immediately.
Quotas for employment of specific professions
Until now, employing third-country nationals for professions listed on the occupational shortage list (for example, construction workers, freight drivers, electricians) benefited companies through a simplified recruitment procedure. These employees did not have to acquire a work permit or a decision by the Lithuanian Labour Exchange about compliance with labour market needs. However, as of 1 July 2020, quotas for the employment of such foreigners come into force.
Once the quota is reached, foreigners can still be recruited, but the simplified recruitment procedure will no longer apply. This means that employers will have to announce a vacancy and get a work permit or a decision from the Lithuanian Labour Exchange. This change will in particular affect the construction and transport sectors.
Note: quotas will not apply to highly qualified professionals, such as programmers or other IT professionals.
Including a company on the list of approved companies will bring more benefits
Until now, the inclusion of a company on the list of approved companies was only helpful in applying for the issuance of national visas on a work basis. Other than that, it did not grant many practical benefits. But from 1 September 2019 certain advantages will be conferred when obtaining temporary residence permits in Lithuania. For example, in order to obtain a temporary residence permit in Lithuania on the basis of work, it will suffice to meet either the requirement of qualifications or work experience, but not both. As a result, many more companies recruiting foreign employees will benefit from being included on the list of approved “trusted” companies.
Easier to recruit foreigners who completed their studies in Lithuania
When employing a foreigner who has completed studies in Lithuania, irrespective of the qualification obtained, there will be no need to obtain an additional work permit in Lithuania or a Lithuanian Labour Exchange decision. This applies to foreigners who apply for a temporary residence permit in Lithuania no later than within 2 years after graduation. Previously, this exception only applied if a student planned to work in the field in which he or she obtained a qualification.
New possibility to get e-resident status
As of 1 January 2021 foreigners will be able to obtain Lithuanian e-resident status and an electronic signature. This will allow foreigners to remotely access administrative, public and commercial services in Lithuania, such as setting up companies, declaring taxes or opening bank accounts. This possibility will not only solve many problems arising for foreigners but will also increase Lithuania’s competitiveness and attractiveness.
Applications for e-residency should be submitted to the Migration Department either directly or through external service providers. Specific procedures will be developed before the new regulation enters into force.