Blue Card (hereinafter BC) – a temporary residence permit issued to highly skilled employees with a higher education degree or 5 years of work experience in the field, issued for a period of up to 3 years.
Family members – the spouse or the person with whom a registered partnership has been contracted, minor children/adopted children, including the minor children of the spouse or the person with whom a marriage or registered partnership has been contracted, on condition that they are not married and are dependent, as well as direct relatives in the ascending line who have been dependent for at least one year and are unable to use the support of other family members residing in a foreign state.
Temporary Residence Permit (hereinafter TRP) – a residence permit issued on the basis of employment (or business, family), issued for a period of up to 2-3 years.
2. OUTLINE OF PROCESSES
Receiving a visa
The procedure of getting a visa differs according to the nationality of the applicant. The table below details the different visa issuance pathways.
|Mediation by Invest Lithuania||Obligatory||Not necessary||Obligatory|
|Type of visa issued||6-month humanitarian national visas are issued in the employee’s country of residence on the basis of Belarusian citizenship. The employees can get one additional 6-month visa when already in Lithuania.||
Visa-free entry and stay in Lithuania for up to 3 months; 1-year national visa can be issued on humanitarian grounds when already in Lithuania.
Please note: Individuals whose visas or 90-day visa-free periods expire are not deported and can apply for visas, BCs or TRPs in Lithuania.
1-year national visas are issued on the basis of work in the employee’s country of residence. The employer needs to obtain a work permit and send the original of the document to the employee in his or her country of residence. The work permit is then presented at the Lithuanian consular post together with visa application.
|Starting work||If the employee wants to work with a visa, the employer must obtain a work permit for that employee.||The employee can start working immediately after arriving; no work permits are necessary.||The employee can start working immediately after arriving to Lithuania since work permits are received before the employee comes to Lithuania.|
If a non-Ukrainian employee already has a valid national or Schengen visa of any of the European Union countries, he or she can come to Lithuania without obtaining an additional visa. However, they cannot start working until they either get a visa and work permit or a BC or TRP.
When in Lithuania, all employees can apply for the BC or TRP.
Receiving a TRP
Depending on the planned salary and the employee’s qualification one of the following options should be applied:
- Blue Card.
The BC is issued on the basis of employment as a highly skilled employee in Lithuania.
The employee must provide a higher education diploma for his profession or proof of not less than 5 years of work experience in relevant position (in this case the Ministry of Economics and Innovation of Republic of Lithuania has to perform an evaluation of the employee’s work experience and qualifications before applying for the BC). The employee’s salary should be 1,5x the average monthly gross salary in Lithuania (as of June 27, 2022 this amount constitutes EUR 2.577,45).
If the profession is not included in the list of occupations in short supply (available here in Lithuanian; the list includes most IT-related professions), a work permit should be obtained. However, if the salary is greater than 3 average monthly gross salaries in Lithuania (as of June 27, 2022 this amount constitutes EUR 5.154,90), no work permit is necessary. Ukrainian employees do not need work permits independent of their profession or salary.
The BC is valid for a period of 3 years.
The employee can start working immediately after submitting their application or after receiving their work permit if it is needed.
A TRP is issued to family members of the BC holders as well; the family members can then work in Lithuania without changing their TRP or obtaining work permits.
Online application may be filled out while still abroad (‘virtual visit’) or while legally residing in Lithuania.
- Migration of employees that do not qualify for Blue Card
Employees who do not match the criteria for the issuance of a BC must obtain a work permit. The employee can either provide proof of education (not necessarily higher education) and not less than 12 months of work experience in relevant position over the last 5 years or, if either one of these criteria is not fulfilled and the employee is a Belarusian citizen, the employer can provide a narrative confirmation of the employee’s suitability for the designated position.
The employee’s salary should either be equal to the salary of Lithuanian employees or permanent residents of Lithuania working in the same position in the company or be equal to the national average in the company’s sector (as of June 27, 2022 this amount constitutes EUR 3.191,50 in the information technology and communications’ sector).
The TRP is valid for a period of up to 2 years.
The employee can start working only after being issued the TRP.
A TRP is issued to family members of the TRP holders only after the TRP holders have lived in Lithuania for a period of 2 years (including not less than 1 year with a TRP); the family members can then work in Lithuania without changing their TRP or obtaining work permits.
- Obtaining a visa:
- Obtaining a visa in Belarus or Russia:
- waiting time at the embassy – lately it has been around 3 days, however, this may change;
- issuance of visa – 2-15 work days.
In total: 5-24 calendar days.
- Obtaining a visa in Lithuania:
- waiting time for the registration at the migration office – around 20 calendar days;
- issuance of visa – around 35 calendar days.
In total: around 55 calendar days (the situation is fluid due to a large number of refugees).
- issuance of work permit (if necessary) – 14 – 17 calendar days.
- Obtaining a residence permit:
- Obtaining a Blue Card: 30 days.
- Obtaining a TRP for employees that do not qualify for Blue Card: 60 days.
4. Questions and answers
Can a director or shareholder of the new company in Lithuania company get a residence permit?
Yes, however, the requirements apply to the directors (CEOs) and shareholders are different from those that are applied to the employees. In order for a director and/or shareholder of a Lithuanian company to get a temporary residence permit, the company has to operate in Lithuania for at least 6 months before the director and/or shareholders apply for their TRPs (proof of such activity, such as received and issued invoices, office rent agreements, service agreements and other documents are submitted to the Migration department). The share capital of the company should constitute at least EUR 28.000,00, of which not less than EUR 14.000,00 (not less than 1/3 of the total shares’ capital) should be invested by the shareholder themself (proof of the transaction from the personal shareholder’s account to the account of the company is required). Please note that while directors who are not shareholders of the Lithuanian company are permitted to get residence permits, the process is much more difficult for them than that of directors who are also shareholders.
What documents do the relocated employees need to prepare in advance?
The table below details the necessary documents and additional applicable requirements:
|Document||Translation into EN or LT, confirmed by translator‘s signature and stamp||Apostille||Comment|
|Passport||No||No||Valid not less than 3 years and 3 months (if the employee qualifies for a BC) or 2 years and 3 months (if the employee does not qualify for a BC).|
|If employee does not qualify for a Blue Card||Certificate of non-conviction||Yes||Yes||Valid for 6 months after issuing.|
|Family members||Passport||No||No||Term of validity should match that of the employee they are relocating with.|
|Children under 18||Birth certificate||Yes||Yes|
Please bear in mid that currently the issuance of apostilles can take months both in Belarus and in Belarusian embassy in Lithuania, thus getting apostilles on the necessary documents should be every employee’s first preparatory step.
How long can the employees stay within the EU after the termination of their employment contract with the Lithuanian company?
Holders of BCs can stay in Lithuania for 3 months after the termination of their employment agreement; during that time they have a right to find a new employment, but only as highly skilled employees (on the same grounds as when the BC was originally issued). If they find suitable employment within 3 months, they need to submit a request to the Migration Department to allow them to change their employer. The Migration department then grants them permission to work for the new employer, their BC remains valid (new BC is not issued).
The temporary residence permits of non-BC holders are terminated in 14 days after their employment is terminated and the Migration department is informed about the termination of their employment (Migration department does not receive this information automatically, the employer has a duty to report termination of foreigners‘ employment). Once their employment is terminated, they can no longer request the Migration Department to allow them to change their employer – they either need to submit an application for the issuance of a new temporary residence permit on the basis of new employment or leave Lithuania.
Citizens of Ukraine can stay in Lithuania even after the termination of their BC or TRP on the basis of 90-day visa-free regime and apply for new visas, TRPs or BCs.
Is it mandatory for BC or TRP holders to be in Lithuania the entire time or is it possible to spend time in other EU countries without the BC or TRP being terminated?
Holders of BC can stay in other EU countries for unlimited periods of time as long as their place of residence is registered in Lithuania. Please bear in mind that they are not prohibited from registering their places of residence (or getting residence permits) in other countries as well, as long as the local legislation allows it.
What is the mandatory period of stay in Lithuania to maintain the validity of BC?
The BC remains valid regardless of the time spent abroad. However, there are two factors to consider:
(i) The foreigner has to have his or her place of residence registered in Lithuania for the entirety of validity of their BC;
(ii) If the person wishes to obtain a permanent residence permit after living in Lithuania with a BC for 5 consecutive years, they cannot spend more than 6 consecutive months and 10 months in total abroad. However, since travelling within the Schengen zone is unrestricted and no stamps are put into the travellers‘ passports when travelling by car, time spent abroad when travelling by car cannot be calculated when evaluating the time spent abroad.
If a foreigner who holds temporary residence permit leaves Lithuania/EU for more than 6 months, will it be a problem? Is there a risk that permit will be cancelled? (let’s assume that the foreigner doesn’t intend to apply for a permanent permit later)?
If a foreigner leaves the country for the stated period but remains a salaried employee, his residence permit will remain valid. However, this would limit the foreigner‘s ability to receive a permanent residence permit after 5 years of continuous residence in Lithuania.
What documents prove the 12-month work experience of employees who do not qualify for a BC and need a work permit?
Either entries in their workbook (трудовая книжка) or a free-form statement from their previous employer are accepted. These documents are rarely required at the time of submission of documents, however, they should be kept in the workplace in Lithuania and presented if an inspection from the State Labour Inspectorate asks for them.
How can we proceed with documents for employees who have unofficial spouses (not officially married)?
Unfortunately, partners who are not married and don’t have a registered partnership agreement can not be relocated under this procedure.
Partners in this case could only be relocated if they were employees of the company as well, and their employment lasted for a significant period of time (best case scenario – at least 6 months, although individual decisions may be made by Invest Lithuania).
How do medical services work in Lithuania? Should we provide employees with additional medical insurance?
Employees and their underage children will automatically be covered by mandatory state health insurance, meaning they will be able to use the services of all public clinics and hospitals free of charge and get fixed-size compensations when using the services of private clinics that have agreements with the State health insurance settlements office.
The employees and their children will be able to register at a public clinic and choose a GP who will be the first point of contact in case of any illness and will issue recommendations to visit other specialists after identifying the need (the services of some specialists, such as odontologist, psychologist and gynaecologist can be accessed free of charge without the GP‘s recommendation, while the services of other specialists can be either accessed by free with the GP‘s recommendation or for a fee without the recommendation).
The emergency services are free, both when calling an ambulance and when coming to the emergency department on your own.
The spouses, who will be covered by basic private health insurance will only have free access to a limited array of free services, such as services provided in cases of accidents, sudden severe illness or aggravation of a chronic illness. They can access other services of both private and private clinics by paying the service price (example of public clinics‘ prices and private clinics‘ prices).
You can also purchase additional medical insurance for employees (and their family members, if you so choose). This type of insurance grants access to a wide array of services of private clinics and hospitals that often have better infrastructure and shorter waiting times and. This type of insurance is typically used as a means of additional motivation for employees (sometimes it is used instead of an increase in salary) and the insurance price can be used as a tax deduction for the employer. The employer can choose the percentage of compensation up to 100% and individualize the insurance plan.
How can the employees bring their cars with foreign plates to Lithuania?
Car plates can be changed to Lithuanian car plates after 6 month pass from the day the person becomes a resident of the Republic of Lithuania (once the residence permit/Blue Card is issued and the person declares their place of residence in the Republic of Lithuania). Please bear in mind that the vehicle must be cleared at the customs before taking any further steps.
The following actions need to be taken:
- A SDK code (Ownership declaration code) must be obtained here: https://www.eregitra.lt/eketris-web/faces/pages/common/Login.xhtml. In order to do this the owner of the vehicle must use a mobile electronic signature;
- A compulsory roadworthiness test must be performed on the vehicle at one of the licensed service providers, for example, https://www.tuvlita.lt/paslauga/privalomoji-technine-apziura/ (site available in Lithuanian only);
- A compulsory insurance against civil liability must be obtained. This can be done at any insurance company or insurance broker;
- A technical conformity assessment must be performed by a licenced service provider. A list of the service providers can be found here: https://ltsa.lrv.lt/lt/kitos-paslaugos/technine-prieziura/eksploatavimo-prieziura/technines-ekspertizes#TESar
- After the above actions are performed, the vehicle can be presented at the State Enterprise Regitra for registration. The following documents need to be presented by the owner together with the vehicle:
- Residence permit and passport;
- A document certifying the previous registration of the vehicle in Belarus;
iii. A conformity assessment document.
Please bear in mind that the drivers of the vehicles must also obtain Lithuanian driver‘s licences.
How do the employees open bank accounts in Lithuania?
The process can be started immediately after coming to Lithuania with a visa. The banks require the employees to submit documents that detail the grounds for opening the bank account – in this instance, a signed employment contract. The procedure is different for Paysera which has less requirements.
Please bear in mind that all of the banks (except for electronic payment systems, such as Paysera or Revolut) perform a personal data verification, which can take up to a few weeks or, in some cases, months and costs from 200 to 500 EUR. For example, the verification performed by Swedbank takes 10 work days and costs 200 EUR.
Can the children of employees to attend a school or kindergarten?
The children who intend to attend a school in Lithuania are eligible to attend the school even if they and their parents are not yet residents of the Republic of Lithuania. The students can get a temporary residence permit on the basis of education, which is issued with the school‘s participation in the migration process (the school issues a mediation letter confirming that the student has been accepted into that school).
This process has to be coordinated with the chosen school first, since some schools might not have available spots for the particular year.
Kindergartens can either be private or municipality-funded.
The prices of private kindergartens on average range from around 120 to 500 EUR per month, the children can be accepted into them by signing an agreement with those institutions without fulfilling any additional requirements.
Belarusian citizens can also use the services of municipality-funded kindergartens even if they do not have a residence permit. In this case the parents should check the available spots at the kindergartens at https://vilnius.lt/lt/savivaldybe/svietimas-kultura-ir-sportas/svietimas/registracija-i-vilniaus-miesto-savivaldybes-darzelius-ir-priesmokyklinio-ugdymo-grupes/laisvos-vietos-darzeliuose/ (information available in Lithuanian, however, the site also details available spots non-Lithuanian kindergarten groups), then submit copies of their and their child‘s passports, visas and an application form to the Vinius city municipality and indicate the names of the preferred kindergartens.
Are the requirements and the process the same for the employee with Ukrainian passports?
Holders of Ukrainian passports can come to Lithuania without a visa (for a period of up to 3 months), they can submit their documents for the issuance of a Blue Card or a temporary residence permit either as employees (in which case all of the requirements provided herein apply to them as well, except documents issued in Ukraine do not need to be apostillized) or as refugees. Ukrainian employees do not need work permits.