LITHUANIA: Work Permit Exemptions and New Residence Permit Categories

The Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners has been modified by a new Act of Parliament in Lithuania, improving the immigration possibilities for companies and foreign nationals operating in the country.

The main changes are:

  • Quota: Sponsorship for temporary resident permits for foreign nationals now require two local full-time employees instead of three which was previously required. They need to earn salaries at least twice the minimum wage.
  • Company Shareholders and Directors: If their company meets certain requirements, they will now be eligible for a longer residence permit validity. Directors also do not need to prove that their company has been trading for 6 months if they hold more than one-third of the ownership and meet minimum equity value.
  • EU Blue cards: Criteria has changed for the EU Blue Card, allowing more foreign nationals to qualify for this type of permit. Applicants can now apply if they have at least five years of relevant work experience as opposed to the previous requirement for a University degree. The minimum salary level has also been reduced to 1.5 the local average. If foreign nationals are applying for occupations that are in high demand, no labour market test will be required.
  • New visa for Start-ups: This new one-year visa (renewable for another year) waives the standard capitalization and local employee requirements for start-ups which area of expertise is new technologies or other innovations deemed important for the country.
  • New Labour Exchange Decision Rule: If the Labour Exchange Commission confirms that the worker is essential in the Lithuanian labour market, the application can be submitted in 14 days after the registration of the position, instead of the current one-month waiting period.
  • Work permit exemptions: A list of workers eligible for exemptions has been published, including workers sent on assignment with a seniority of three months in the home country, foreign nationals studying in Lithuania and working part time, amongst others.
  • Dependent Family Members: Foreign national families who hold the following are now eligible for dependent residence permits:
    • Blue card holders
    • Posted executives
    • Start-up founders
    • Posted executives and professionals
    • Directors and shareholders

Our advice

Companies should check if foreign workers and current employees are eligible for the new work permit or the exemptions.

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