Work in Lithuania

In recent years, more and more foreigners have been coming to Lithuania looking for work. While the process of getting a job and living in Lithuania is relatively simple for EU nationals, third-country nationals must go through several procedures to get a job.

To work in Lithuania, a third-country national must usually obtain one of the following documents:

  1. work permit (for more information, see here);
  2. decision on the compliance of foreign work with labour market needs (see here for more information).

What is the difference between a work permit and a decision on the compliance of foreign work with Lithuanian labour market needs?

Work permits are usually issued for one year. It allows a foreigner to apply for a national work visa. With a work permit, a foreigner can be employed for up to three months with a Schengen visa or under a visa waiver.

A decision on the compliance of foreign work with Lithuanian labour market needs is issued for up to two years. Based on this document, a foreigner can apply for a residence permit in Lithuania. The foreigner can only start working after obtaining a residence permit.

Important! Highly qualified professionals applying for a Blue Card do not have to apply for a decision on the compliance of foreign work with Lithuanian labour market needs.

Qualification requirements for foreigners

Please note that a work permit or a decision on compliance with the needs of the Lithuanian labour market is issued if the foreigner has:

  • qualifications relevant to the work to be done, or
  • one year work experience in the last three years relevant to the work to be done, or
  • the foreigner is expected to be paid a monthly salary not less than the last published average monthly gross salary in the national economy (including wage data for individual enterprises) for the calendar year (hereinafter – “last published gross salary”).

Process for issuing a work permit or a decision on compliance

The employer must apply to the Employment Service for a work permit or a decision on compliance.

  • The employer registers the vacancy at www.uzt.lt;
  • Priority for applying for the vacancy is given to citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, EU citizens, and foreigners with a permanent residence permit in Lithuania. If there are no such candidates, the employer completes an application for a work permit or a decision on compliance with the needs of the Lithuanian labour market for the foreigner;
  • The Employment Service examines the application and makes a decision within seven business days;

The foreigner must obtain a work permit before the date of the planned conclusion of the employment contract or the start of the planned work in the Republic of Lithuania. The employer can submit the recruitment documents to the Employment Service one month after the expiry of the vacancy notice. A foreigner can only hold one work permit at a time.

When are foreigners not required to obtain a work permit or a decision on compliance?

  • Nationals of EU and EFTA countries.
  • Foreigners with a permanent residence permit.
  • Third-country nationals who are family members of citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and have a residence permit issued on the basis of family reunification.
  • Third-country nationals who have obtained residence permits on the basis of studies.
  • A foreigner whose profession is included in the list of professions for which there is a shortage of workers in the Republic of Lithuania, according to the type of economic activity (in this case, quotas are applied. Once the quota is exhausted, foreigners who intend to work in the Republic of Lithuania must obtain a work permit. You can monitor the established quotas here). The list of the 2022 shortage of occupations can be found here.
  • The salary to be paid to the foreigner will be no less than three average monthly gross wages.
  • A foreigner who has already worked in Lithuania for two years as a highly skilled worker and wants to change their temporary residence permit.
  • A foreigner who works remotely in Lithuania under an employment contract with a company operating in Lithuania.
  • A foreigner applying for a Blue Card.

For more information on who is exempted from the obligation to obtain a work permit or a decision on the compliance of foreign work with Lithuanian labour market needs, see here (Section 5, “Foreigners working in the Republic of Lithuania”).

What should I do if I receive a work permit or a decision on the compliance of foreign work with Lithuanian labour market needs from the Employment Service?

After receiving a work permit issued by the Employment Service or a decision on the compliance of foreign work with Lithuanian labour market needs, the employer must fill out a mediation letter in the MIGRIS system, on the basis of which the foreigner can apply for a national visa or a residence permit.

An employment contract with several employers may be concluded. In this case, the first employer submits the mediation letter, but all employers must meet the conditions for obtaining a temporary residence permit.

 

What is the difference between a national work visa and a work-based residence permit?

National visa (D)

  • Issued abroad
  • Issued for a maximum period of one month.
  • Allows entry and stay in Lithuania for the duration of the national visa
  • Allows a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period within the Schengen area
  • The foreigner is not issued a personal identity number
  • The foreigner cannot declare their place of residence in Lithuania
  • The foreigner is not covered by CHI
  • The foreigner can’t be self-employed
  • Cannot change employer

Residence permit in Lithuania

  • Can be issued for 1−3 years on the basis of employment
  • To apply for and withdraw a residence permit, the foreigner must be legally present in Lithuania
  • Gives the foreigner the right to stay in Lithuania for the duration of the permit
  • The foreigner is issued a personal identity number
  • The foreigner can declare their place of residence in Lithuania
  • Allows a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period within the Schengen area
  • To obtain a permit, you need to submit more documents: a clean criminal record, a promise to declare your place of residence
  • The residence permit may be renewed on expiry
  • Employer or job function can be changed with permission from the Migration Department
  • The foreigner is covered by the CHI
  • May be self-employed (but this is not grounds for granting a residence permit)

If the work visa/residence permit was issued on the basis of employment, the employer must inform the Migration Department within seven business days of the end of the employment relationship. The Migration Department cancels the foreigner’s document and they must leave Lithuania.

If a foreigner arrived in Lithuania on a national work visa, can they apply for a residence permit?

If the foreigner was issued a national visa (D) on the basis of employment, to obtain a work-based residence permit, the application must be submitted to the Migration Department 2−4 months before the visa expires.

Please note, that Migration Information Center "I choose Lithuania" is not an employment agency and does not issue work permits or work visas. 

More information about documents when coming to work to Lithuania

More information about employment of foreigners

Source: Employment Services and Migration Department

Information updated: 2022-09-25
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