Skvernelis proposes immigration fast lane for skilled foreign workers

DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

Minister of the Interior Saulius Skvernelis said that the facilitation of immigration procedures should not encourage employers to bring in cheaper labor and worsen local workers’ conditions and wages. Therefore, the ministry proposes to make it a requirement that a foreigner’s wage should not be lower than the average gross wage in the respective area of economic activity.

Among other things, the ministry has moved to allow temporary residence for foreigners who are introducing new technologies or other significant innovations as well as startup founders and their families.

Their applications would be dealt with more quickly and their permits would be issued for a longer period of time – two years. Persons who receive such permits would have to establish companies and launch operations or their permits would be revoked.

If the proposed legal amendments are passed, the government would approve a list of occupations for which there are not enough local workers. They would be issued temporary residence permits, or so-called blue cards, within a month or 15 days, compared to the current wait of one to four months.

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