Investors’ Forum pushes Seimas to sort out foreign worker visas

Rūta Skyrienė
DELFI / Tomas Vinickas

The Investors’ Forum, which brings together the largest investors in Lithuania, is pushing parliament to adopt a law on the legal status of foreigners and amendments to facilitate attracting professionals from abroad until the end of the current parliamentary session.

“Even in 2010 we pointed out that the country must have a competitive immigration policy that will help attract talent from abroad. This need is expressed by foreign capital company managers as well: our studies show that even 57% of investors face skilled labour shortage and this hinders the development of enterprises,” said Rūta Skyrienė, Investors’ Forum Executive Director.

“For each unemployed specialist the country loses up to €6,000 to €9,000 in tax. Only due to the lack of IT specialists, 500 jobs remain unfilled every year. Therefore, by correcting the law on the legal status of foreigners, the parliament would open a new page in the country’s immigration policies and open up ways to attract value adding specialists,” she said.

The draft reduces the EU Blue Card which sets wages for highly skilled foreign professionals to live and work in the country.

With the adoption of the law, the requirement for two average salaries to be paid any foreign worker in Lithuania (€1470) would be reduced to the EU set minimum of 1.5 average wage (€1100) threshold.

This would create more favourable conditions for foreign capital companies in Lithuania to hire the needed skilled professionals from third countries. At present, Lithuania and Romania are the only EU states that have set a higher setting than the average salary of 1.5 set by the EU directive.

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