Immigration Law News in Lithuania: Overview

Legal alert

Please be informed that on 14 September 2016 the Lithuanian Parliament adopted amendments to the Law on Legal Status of Foreigners (the “Law”). The Law introduces a new procedure for the issue of residence permits for start ups, facilitates employment of highly qualified specialists, etc.

Below you will find a brief overview of immigration legal regulation effective from 1 January 2017. This overview has been prepared for information purposes only and does not contain a binding advice.

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Start-ups dedicated to new technology development

A foreigner arriving and planning to conduct HITEC activities relevant for the economic and social development of Lithuania, may apply for a temporary residence permit provided that an authorized institution confirms all the following facts:

  1. The planned activities contain the element of innovation; 
  2. The applicant possesses all the necessary qualifications, financing and business plan; and 
  3. The applicant’s presence in Lithuania is necessary to conduct the activities of the Lithuanian start-up.

Residence permit shall be issued for 1 year and may be renewed for additional 1 year. Applicant’s family members are eligible for temporary residence permits as well.

Highly qualified specialists
A foreigner arriving to work as a highly qualified specialist in Lithuania may obtain a residence permit (“Blue Card”) if the following requirements are met:

  1. An employer hires a foreigner for at least 1 year period and pays a monthly salary not lower than 1,5 Lithuanian average gross salaries (i.e. not lower than EUR 1,158);
  2. An applicant submits a document certifying his/her higher professional qualification, i.e. diploma in higher education or document on recognition of professional experience of at least 5 years, equivalent to higher qualification (equivalence of foreigner’s experience to higher professional qualification shall be recognized under a separate procedure to be established by the Government of Lithuania. Procedure for experience recognition shall be applicable only to non‑regulated professions);  
  3. Lithuanian Work Exchange Office issues a decision confirming that foreigner’s work meets the requirements of the Lithuanian labour market. Such decision is not required when:

- Foreigner’s profession is included into the list of professions under demand in the Lithuanian labour market; or

- A monthly salary of the employee is not lower than 3 average gross salaries (i.e. not lower than EUR 2,316); or

- Highly skilled employee, who has been employed in Lithuania for 2 years, applies for the renewal of the residence permit.

Residence permit shall be issued for 3 years with the extension possibility. Foreigner’s family members are eligible for temporary residence permits as well.

Other amendments include the adjusted requirements for foreigners acting as CEOs and/or shareholders in Lithuanian companies, employment regulation for studying foreigners, etc.
Amendments to the Law come into effect from 1 January 2017. Applications to issue/renew residence permits submitted before 1 January 2017 will be processed under the procedure set by the current law.

This communication contains general information only, and none of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, its member firms, or their related entities (collectively, the “Deloitte Network”) is, by means of this communication, rendering professional advice or services. No entity in the Deloitte Network shall be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this publication.

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