By Uglobal Staff
Lithuania has changed its employment and residency laws to make the country more appealing to highly educated and talented foreign workers.
The small Baltic state, which has a population of just under 3 million, has over the years been trying to build its reputation as a tech hub, following the success of several of its successful start-up companies. In step with this goal, the republic on March 1 announced amendments “On the Legal Status of Aliens” Law, which relate to the conditions of seeking employment and residing temporarily or permanently as a foreigner in the country.
Easier for skilled talents to get a job or start a company
Foreign graduates on temporary residence permits would now be free to look for jobs as well as start working immediately on the same permit, either with a Lithuanian company or in a self-employed capacity, according to the country’s Migration Department, Previously, the foreign applicant was required to get an approval from the EU member state’s Employment Service body first, which is tasked with assessing whether the job applied for met the demands of the local labor market. Trainees and interns would still need to be approved by the Employment Service though.
Foreigners would now also have more time to submit their temporary residency applications, one year as opposed to the previous three-month limit.
The 20-hour per week work limit that was imposed on foreign master’s and doctoral students has also ended; now those students as well as all foreign graduates with valid temporary residency permits would be able to work as many hours they like. This is expected to help the younger master’s students especially, who would now be able to secure white collar jobs immediately and build their long-term careers in the fields of their interests in the country.
The blue card is no longer needed for skilled talent in Lithuania
Highly qualified candidates applying for jobs that require specialist skills have been granted even further relaxation in residency rules. Such candidates can fill the job immediately without even first getting the blue card, which is the temporary residency permit, in their hands once the Employment Service assesses that the job applied for meets the needs of the local labour market. Their starting date would be recorded from the date they applied for their residency application. This flexibility is expected to especially benefit those foreign workers who would be moving between companies outside Lithuania.
The procedure to obtain residence permits has also been simplified. The previous condition that foreigners must get a commitment from their landlords first that their accommodation meet government-specified conditions as part of their application procedures is also no longer required.
Trend of attracting skilled talent for global RCBI programs
The Baltic state is not the only country that is offering special incentives to talented foreign individuals. Recently, several countries around the world, including the UK, Canada and even the UAE have come up with attractive options to entice people with special skills as a way to add fuel to their pandemic-hit economies. Earlier this month, the UK announced that a new Graduate route would come into effect this coming July, which would allow master’s graduates to seek employment without work sponsorship for a period of two years while PhD graduates would have three years for the same; the U.K. also launched a separate visa stream for highly-skilled migrants late February.
Also in February, Canada’s western Alberta province began accepting applications under its new visa stream that provides a pathway to permanent residency to recent foreign graduates who want to build their own businesses and start-ups. The United Arab Emirates also amended its citizenship law in the same month allowing nominated investors, scientists, doctors, engineers, artists, authors and their families for citizenship.
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