Hiring foreign workers in Latvia has become a common practice for many businesses over the past few years.

As reported by Eurotopics, lots of Latvian companies are seeking to hire foreigners to address workforce shortages.

These staffing gaps result from both a growing economy and the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Latvian nationals.

For this reason, the Latvian Government has simplified the regulations for hiring foreigners, making it easier for local companies to tap into international talent.

Keep reading below as we break down the legal requirements you must fulfill to employ foreign workers in Latvia.


5 Steps to Hiring Foreign Workers in Latvia


The employment of foreigners in Latvia is regulated by various legal frameworks, including, the Labor Code, the Labor Protection Law, the Law on the State Labor Inspection, and others.

As an employer, you must strictly comply with Latvian labor codes in every aspect of international employment.

For instance, a foreigner’s salary should meet or exceed the average gross monthly wage for the previous year in Latvia. Seasonal farm workers in specific sectors must earn at least the average monthly salary for employees in their industry.

However, one advantage of hiring foreign workers in Latvia is that, for jobs involving manual, repetitive tasks, there’s no longer a requirement to provide educational or experience documents. These roles include cleaning, gardening, seasonal agriculture work, or various roles in construction, catering, and hospitality.

Follow the steps below for a successful international hiring process.


Step 1: Conduct a Labor Market Test


Before hiring foreign workers in Latvia from outside the EU, you must prove to the competent authorities the unavailability of local workers to fill the role.

To do so, you must advertise the vacancy with the State Employment Agency (SEA).

As of 2019, the period of publication of the job ad is 10 days instead of the 30 days required previously.

Under certain circumstances, you may be able to hire foreign nationals without the need to test the market first.

The exemption from the labor market test applies in the case of professionals such as artists, composers, athletes/coaches, teachers, prospective EU Blue Card holders, and similar cases.


Step 2: Find the Right Candidate and Sign a Work Contract


If you find that there are no suitable candidates from Latvia or the EU for the position, you can start exploring the international talent pool. To make the process as simple as possible, make sure to promote your job opening on VideoWorkers.

VideoWorkers is a cutting-edge recruitment platform that allows international job seekers to showcase their skills through engaging video presentations.

For employers, the platform offers a more efficient means of finding the perfect match, eliminating the need to sift through extensive resumes. Not to mention that traditional resumes often do not fully convey a candidate’s true abilities.

Once you’ve identified the ideal candidate, you can proceed to sign a work contract.


Step 3: Apply for a Residence Permit


Next, you must request a residence permit from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA). Their website offers comprehensive information to guide you through the online application process.

The supporting documents you will need to submit include:

  • Questionnaire for requesting a residence permit for third-country nationals


  • Additional questionnaire for citizens of the Russian Federation and Belarus (if applicable)


  • Copy of worker’s passport


  • Photograph of the worker (3 X 4 cm)


  • Proof of clean criminal record


  • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence (minimum salary € 1373)


  • Proof of paid application fee (€ 100 for applications processed in 30 days, € 200 for applications processed in 10 days, and € 400 for applications processed in 5 days)


Please note that before submitting the supporting documents, you must create a request via the e-service “Approval of the invitation or call for a visa or residence permit application in the Republic of Latvia.”


Do You Need to Apply for a Residence Permit When Hiring Foreign Workers in Latvia Short-Term?


The short answer is no.

When hiring foreign workers in Latvia for up to 90 days, all you need to do is submit an invitation letter for a visa. Your prospective employee will use the letter to apply for a visa at the relevant Diplomatic Mission of Latvia.

More information about the application process for a Schengen visa for short-term employment can be found here.


Step 4: Your Future Employee Submits the Supporting Documents to the Embassy


After you apply online at OCMA, your future employee must submit the supporting documents to the competent Diplomatic Mission of Latvia in their country of residence.

Subsequently, the Diplomatic Mission will provide them with authorization to enter Latvia.


Step 5: Your Employee Applies for an ID Card


Upon entering the country, your employee must book an appointment at the territorial unit of the OCMA. This appointment is necessary for them to secure an ID card.

The decision letter, received upon approval by the Diplomatic Mission, contains all the information about the supporting documents they must submit to the local OCMA branch.

The fee for an ID card is € 15 for applications processed within 10 days. For applications processed within 2 days, the fee is € 30.

Your employee will also need to register with the State Revenue Service as a taxpayer.


The Bottom Line


For local companies, employing foreign workers in Latvia may seem time-consuming. This is due to the need to comply with the country’s immigration and labor laws.

However, the hiring process for non-EU workers is notably more streamlined and straightforward compared to the often complicated procedures found in other EU countries.

This makes it easier for local businesses to gain a competitive advantage by employing foreign talent to fill their staffing gaps.

Ready to simplify your global hiring process? Sign up for a free company account with VideoWorkers and find the perfect candidates your business needs to thrive. 

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