Work in Lithuania

In recent years, more and more job-seekers are coming to Lithuania. For EU citizens, the process of employment in Lithuania is fairly simple. Those arriving from non-EU countries must go through certain procedures, where most important ones are to first find an employer and get a work permit or a decision on compliance with labour market needs (unless a foreigner, according to Lithuanian laws is exempt from the obligation to have a work permit). After that, a foreigner can apply for a work visa or a residence permit.

In short, for a foreign citizen to arrive to Lithuania to work, s/he has to go through the following procedure: 

Find a job vacancy/employer

The general way to do this is by searching in various websites that regularly upload job vacancies (read more about how to find a job in Lithuania). 

Obtain a work permit

Once an employer/job placement has been found, the employer has to go through necessary procedures at a Lithuanian Labour exchange (unless a foreigner is highly qualified or will be taking an occupation that is a scarce in Lithuania). The foreigner will have to submit documents to the employer (ex.: documents proving your qualification, personal information etc.). This procedure usually takes about a month, though there can be exceptions based on the specific requirements for the job or the job itself (ex.: if the position requires a highly qualified worker, one might be excluded from this process entirely). In essence, this step is completed mostly by the employer.

Get a visa/residence permit

Once the foreigner has obtained a work permit or a similar document issued by the Labour exchange, he can apply for a visa or a residence permit. The type of document also depends on his job and qualification, ex.: usually workers that receive a work permit apply for a national visa, which allows a person to stay for a year (and then possibly extend their work permit and get a new visa/residence permit); a residence permit is issued for professions that are scarce in Lithuania or employees who will earn more than 1.5 of the average wage in Lithuania.

A third-country national can come to work in Lithuania with one of these documents*:

  1. work permit;
  2. the decision on compliance with labour market needs;
  3. the decision regarding the compliance of work requiring a high professional qualification with the needs of the labour market of the Republic of Lithuania.

*Unless a foreigner is exempt from obtaining a work permit, for more information see below.

Each document defines both the specific requirements for an employee or an employment contract and the period during which a foreigner can legally reside in Lithuania (since the permits / decisions issued by the labour exchange do not confer the right to reside in Lithuania, foreigners must also have a visa or residence permit).

Who does not need to obtain a work permit (or a decision on compliance with labour market needs)?

  • citizens of the EU and EFTA Member States;
  • Third-country nationals who are members of the family of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and who hold a temporary residence permit issued in the case of family reunification or who have a permanent residence permit or a card for temporary or permanent residence of a family member of a citizen of the EU;
  • A foreigner whose profession is included in the list of shortage occupations by type of economic activity (in the first half of 2019 these occupations included: welder, metal hull assembler, tailor, butcher, international freight vehicle driver, concrete worker, electrician, wide profile constructor, scaffolding builder, building insulation worker, plasterer-finisher);
  • A foreigner who comes to work in a profession that is included in the list of professions requiring a high professional qualification, whose staff is lacking in the Republic of Lithuania list;
  • A foreigner who will be paid a salary of not less than 3 average monthly gross salary (in 2018, 2 783,4 Eur);
  • A foreigner who has already worked in Lithuania for 2 years as a highly qualified worker and wishes to change the temporary residence permit;
  • A foreigner who, having completed studies or vocational training program in Lithuania, intends to work according to the acquired qualification. In this case, a document confirming the foreigner's qualification (diploma) must be submitted.

A foreigner must obtain a work permit before arriving in Lithuania. A work permit for a foreigner may be issued if there is no specialist in Lithuania that meets the qualification requirements of the employer. A highly qualified worker is not required a work permit; he / she is subject to other conditions for issuance of a temporary residence permit prescribed by law.

Employment services are responsible for issuing, cancelling and renewing work permits.

An employer who wishes to recruit a foreigner must apply to the territorial labour exchange in whose territory the registered vacancy is registered. The procedure for submission of documents, the deadlines and the required documents are available on the website of the Lithuanian Labour Exchange.

Below is a summary of the various processes described. To find out more about a specific case, follow the links in the table.

Work permitDecision on the compliance with labour market needsDecision on the compliance of a job requiring a high professional qualification with the needs of the labour market of the Republic of Lithuania
  • Usually issued for one year. A person who receives a work permit can apply for a National D visa. Permits for seasonal work are issued for up to 6 months. A person who receives a seasonal work permit can apply for a Schengen visa.
  • People who receive work permits commonly are not issued residence permits (only visas).
  • One is not required (or rather, cannot) declare a place of residence, there is no need to wait for a residence permit to be issued (the fastest option).
  • A foreigner must receive his work permit before arriving to Lithuania, otherwise the labor exchange refuses to issue the document.
  • The National D visa is issued in 15 days.
  • Usually issued for a period of two years. A person who receives this decision can apply for a temporary residence permit.
  • A residence permit is issued for the length of the employment contract but cannot be longer than two years (with the possibility of extension).
  • There are specific requirements in order to receive a positive decision: the employment contract cannot be shorter that 6 months; documents that prove the employee’s qualification have to be submitted; the employee has to have at least 1 year of work experience in the field of his qualification in the past 2 years.
  • It takes 4 months to receive a residence permit (under urgent procedure – 2 months).
  • Issued if the employee has a high professional qualification and his/her salary is not going to be lower than 1.5 of the Lithuanian average wage. A person who receives this decision can apply for a temporary residence permit. (Under these circumstances, the period for processing the application is 2 months, under urgent procedure – 1 month)
  • If the employer is going to pay a salary that is three times bigger than the average salary in Lithuania and provide employment for more than a year, the employee can skip this decision and directly apply for a residence permit (Blue Card).(Under these circumstances (or when a person’s profession is included in a list of professions that are scarce in Lithuania; see below), a residence permit is issued in a month, under urgent procedure – 15 days).
Procedure
  1. An employer must register a job vacancy in a local labor exchange. The job vacancy must be open for at least 14 calendar days.
  2. Before inspecting the employee, the labor exchange checks whether the employer meets all the necessary requirements (operates according to the law, is not bankrupt etc.)
  3. The work permit is issued by both the local and the national labor exchange in a month.

More information can be found here (in Lithuanian)

Permits for seasonal work (in Lithuanian)

  1. An employer must register a job vacancy in a local labor exchange. The job vacancy must be open for at least 14 calendar days.
  2. Before inspecting the employee, the labor exchange checks whether the employer meets all the necessary requirements (operates according to the law, is not bankrupt etc.).
  3. The decision by both the local and national labor exchange is announced in a month.

More information can be found here (in Lithuanian)

  1. An employer must register a job vacancy in a local labor exchange. The job vacancy must be open for at least 7 calendar days.
  2. Before inspecting the employee, the labor exchange checks whether the employer meets all the necessary requirements (operates according to the law, is not bankrupt etc.)
  3. The decision by both the local and national labor exchange is announced in 10 calendar days.

More information can be found here (in Lithuanian)

More information about documents when coming to work to Lithuania

More information about employment of foreigners

Source: Employment Services and Migration Department

Information updated: 2019-11-26
MENU
  • 8 800 22922

Toll-free numbers:

Calling from outside Lithuania (regular rate):

MENU
  • 8 800 22922

Toll-free numbers:

Calling from outside Lithuania (regular rate):

Need some help?

Ask us now!