Hiring foreign workers in Lithuania has become a common practice for many businesses and for good reasons.

Beyond bringing fresh perspectives and new problem-solving approaches, foreign employees serve as an effective solution to address staffing shortages.

As reported by delfi.lt, the lack of qualified workers is pushing Lithuanian businesses to explore opportunities beyond local borders.

Fortunately, new laws have made the process easier.

Yet, the demand for qualified workers remains high, especially in professions like plumbing, welding, truck driving, cooking, butchering, electrical work, and more.

This blog post serves as your indispensable resource for hiring foreign workers in Lithuania, offering insights into the legal landscape.

Read on as we break down the process into simple steps, making your international hiring experience much easier.


Foreign Workers in Lithuania: 6 Steps to Hiring


The procedures for living and working in Lithuania are quite straightforward for EU nationals. But for third-country nationals, the process can be a bit more complicated.

As an employer, there are specific requirements you must fulfill to comply with the country’s immigration and labor laws.

Follow the steps below to successfully hire and onboard foreign workers in Lithuania.


Step 1: Conduct a Labor Market Test


A labor market test serves as proof that no Lithuanian or EU national is available to fill the role before proceeding with international recruitment.

Under the labor market test, you must register the vacancy with the Lithuanian Public Employment Service for 5 days.

If no local candidate comes forward during this 5-day period, you may initiate the procedures for international hiring. However, before you test the market, there are a few considerations to keep in mind.

In 2022, the Lithuanian Parliament approved a set of new laws that changed how migration works in Lithuania.

These changes make it easier for people from countries outside the EU to be hired and reduce the paperwork for employers.

Before the reform, labor market tests were mandatory for all third-country nationals entering Lithuania for work purposes, except for those filling shortage occupations.

Under the new law, labor market tests are no longer necessary for highly qualified professionals. This creates more favorable conditions for hiring highly skilled foreign workers in Lithuania.

So, if you’re looking to hire highly skilled professionals or professionals for occupations included in the government’s lists of shortage occupations, you don’t need to test the market.

This also helps in reducing the administrative workload for the Employment Service and the related expenses.


Step 2: Check if Your Prospective Employee Meets the Requirements


After finding a suitable candidate abroad, you must ensure they meet specific requirements.

These requirements include:

  • The candidate must have qualifications relevant to the position


  • The candidate must have one year of work experience in the last 3 years relevant to the position


Additionally, you must ensure that your future employee will get a monthly salary not less than the average monthly gross salary in Lithuania.


Step 3: Check the Quota for Foreign Employees


Each year, the Lithuanian Government issues a specific quota for foreign employees.

So why is it important to monitor these quotas?

If the foreign employee quota has not been reached yet, you can hire non-EU workers for shortage occupations without the need to apply for a work permit.

If the foreign employee quota has been reached, you can still hire foreign workers in Lithuania. However, this requires you to apply for a work permit.

You can check the foreign employee quotas here.


Step 4: Apply for a Work Permit on Behalf of Your Future Worker


To work in Lithuania, a third-country national must obtain a work permit.

Typically, a work permit is granted for a period of one year.

Until July 2023, a work permit was mandatory in order for a foreigner to apply for a National visa for work purposes. However, starting July 2023, a work permit enables foreign nationals to apply for temporary residence (instead of a National visa).

Applying for a work permit on behalf of your future worker is a straightforward process.

If no suitable candidates for the role are available within the EU, you can submit your application to the Lithuanian Employment Service. In most cases, the required documents include:

  • Copy of candidate’s passport


  • Application form


  • Photograph


  • Copy of the employment contract


  • Relevant company documents


  • Proof of qualifications (if applicable)


  • Proof of fee payment (€ 120)


After examining the application, the Employment Service will make a decision in 7 business days.


Step 5: Fill Out a Mediation Letter


After receiving a positive decision on the work permit application, you must fill out a mediation letter in the MIGRIS system.

This letter will allow your future employee to apply for temporary residence in Lithuania. After completing this step, the employment contract will be officially finalized.


Step 6: Your Employee Applies for Temporary Residence


Next, your employee will need to apply for temporary residence. To do so, they have two options:

  • Apply at the Migration Department upon arrival in Lithuania


  • Apply from abroad at the competent VFS Global center in their home country


Please note that for seasonal employment for up to 90 days, your employee will need to apply for a Schengen visa (instead of temporary residence). More information on the Schengen visa application, including supporting documents and fees, can be found here.

To apply for temporary residence, your employee must fill out an application via the MIGRIS system.

Here are the required documents for temporary residence:

  • Valid passport. The passport must contain at least 2 blank pages and be valid for at least 3 months beyond the visa’s validity.


  • Proof of sufficient means of subsistence (e.g., employment contract, bank statements). The sufficient amount for a month is € 840.


  • The commitment that the foreign worker will officially register their address of residence in Lithuania. They must declare their place of residence in an accommodation with a living area of at least 7 square meters for each person living there.


  • Criminal record not older than 6 months


  • Health insurance with a minimum coverage of € 30,000


  • Copy of the work permit


  • Mediation letter


  • Proof of paid fee (€ 160 standard fee and € 320 for urgent processing)


Do note that the required documents may vary depending on the worker’s background and type of employment. You can find more information about the supporting documents here.

Typically, the application processing time is up to 3 months. However, for urgent cases, the processing time is up to 45 calendar days.


Hiring Foreign Workers in Lithuania: Final Considerations


To sum up, hiring foreign workers in Lithuania can be a strategic choice to broaden your talent pool and bridge skill gaps.

Following the steps outlined in this article while staying within legal bounds allows your company to access a pool of skilled international professionals and boost growth prospects.

This presents an opportunity for your company’s success while also contributing to Lithuania’s thriving business environment.

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