The article reflects the most significant steps
to be taken, as well as explains the process of obtaining a temporary residence
permit for foreigners in the Republic of Latvia for employment.
Who is a foreigner?
According to the definition provided in the
Immigration Law, a foreigner is a person who is not a Latvian
national or non-citizen of Latvia. The Immigration Law distinguishes between
two categories of foreigners:
from a Member State of the European Union (hereinafter the EU), a state of the
European Economic Area (hereinafter the EEA), and a state of the Swiss
foreigner - a national of any country outside the Member States of the EU, states
of the EEA, and Swiss Confederation.
Employing EU, EEA and Swiss Confederation
A national of the EU Member States, EEA or
Swiss Confederation enjoys the freedom of movement and residence. Thus, these
foreigners do not need to obtain right to employment, and they can start
employment relations in Latvia by entering into an employment contract.
Please note, if the said persons want to reside
in Latvia longer than three months, they must obtain an EU citizen’s
registration certificate at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
(hereinafter the OCMA).
Employing third-country nationals
To employ third-country nationals in the
Republic of Latvia, the persons need to obtain a temporary residence permit
with right to employment in the Republic of Latvia, by following the procedure
determined in regulatory enactments. The scope of right to employment depends
on the grounds of requesting the temporary residence permit. A foreigner may
obtain rights to employment:
restrictions, by entering into an employment contract with a particular
employer, in a particular speciality (profession) or for part time, or by
entering into another civil law contract (for example - service contract);
carry out business, if the person is a sole trader, board or council member
recorded in the commercial register, procura holder, administrator, liquidator
or member of a partnership with rights to represent the partnership, or a
person who is authorised to represent the company (foreign company) in
operations that are related to the branch, or a self-employed person;
An employer can employ highly qualified
employees on the basis of the European Union Blue Card. The European Union Blue
Card is a temporary residence permit issued in the Republic of Latvia for a
foreigner who is being employed and carries out work for the agreed payment
under the employer’s management in the Republic of Latvia, as well as who has
acquired higher education in a study programme that lasts at least three years,
in the respective speciality or industry indicated in the employment contract
or who has professional experience of at least five years in the speciality or
industry indicated in the employment contract.
What is the minimum monthly salary for a
foreigner – third-country national?
Taking into account that income from the paid
employment is the sole source of subsistence for the foreigner, then the set
amount of minimum salary is significantly different from the amount of monthly
salary determined in the country. The minimum monthly salary for the
third-country national is as follows, depending on the grounds of the temporary
o EUR 1,004 before taxes for an employed person;
o EUR 1,506 before taxes for a person who intends
to obtain the European Union Blue Card;
o EUR 2,008 before taxes for an official
registered in the commercial register, sole trader and self-employed person.
Procedure of employing a third-country national
in the Republic of Latvia
1. Gathering information about the required
An employer should define the number of
employees required from a third country, employee’s position, place of work
performance and salary. The employee should determine requirements for
qualification of the potential employee candidate for each position – education
or job experience in the particular position.
2. Registration of a vacancy at the State
Employment Agency of the Republic of Latvia (if applicable)
According to the defined criteria, the employer
drafts a vacancy application to the State Employment Agency (hereinafter the
SEA). A vacancy can be registered free of charge, remotely, by filling an
application form addressed to the SEA in the portal http://www.latvija.lv/
The vacancy application is not required where
the employer intends to hire an employee on the grounds of the European Union
3. The employer submits an invitation request to
If after registration at the SEA the vacancy
remains unoccupied for 10 business days at least and the employer is sure about
compliance of the candidate – third-country national with the vacant position
and the imposed requirements, or if the vacancy registration at the SEA is not
needed, then the employer submits an invitation request to the OCMA whereunder
a particular third-country national is invited to employment in the Republic of
Latvia at the particular employer.
Together with submitting the invitation
request, the employer submits an employment contract or its draft to the OCMA
and if the foreigner’s profession is not regulated, submits the foreigner’s
education documents, or experience confirmation for the particular position. If
the foreigner’s profession is regulated, the employer has to submit a
recognition certification for the qualification document or a similar document
that confirms compliance of the professional qualification with the
requirements determined in the Republic of Latvia.
The employer is entitled to include the
foreigner’s family members in the invitation request – spouse and under-age
children if they plan to enter and reside in the Republic of Latvia together
with the foreigner.
Please note that during the entire validity
term of the employee’s temporary residence permit the employer undertakes
liability for the foreigner’s departure from the country at the specific time,
as well as, where needed, covers costs related to health care to the
foreigners, residence in the Republic of Latvia and return to the home country.
The employer pays a state duty for the
4. The foreigner submits the required documents
approval of the invitation by the OCMA, the foreigner is entitled to submit the
required documents to obtain the temporary residence permit. The OCMA approves
the invitation request within 5 to 10 business days.
foreigner who applies for the EU Blue Card is entitled to submit the required
documents at any regional department of the OCMA in the territory of the
Republic of Latvia.
the other hand, a foreigner, who applies for a temporary residence permit on
the grounds of employment, submits the documents to obtain the residence permit
upon a prior appointment at one of the diplomatic missions or consular posts of
the Republic of Latvia abroad.
foreigner produces passport original (the passport validity term must exceed 6
months) to the official of the diplomatic mission or consular post and submits:
o copies of all passport pages,
o completed special-form questionnaire of the
o full-colour passport-size photography,
o statement about absence of criminal record,
o original employment contract,
o written permit to declare a place of residence
at the particular address in the Republic of Latvia.
the foreigner’s family members apply for the temporary residence permit, the
foreigner submits additionally:
o copies of all passport pages of each family
o documents that confirm kinship (for spouses –
marriage certificate, for descendants – birth certificate),
o documents that confirm the required subsistence
for each member of the foreigner’s family for one year.
o completed special-form questionnaire of the
OCMA for each family member,
o full-colour passport-size photography for each
o statement about absence of criminal record for
each family member above the age of 14.
foreigner pays state duties for each application for the temporary residence
diplomatic missions or consular posts of the Republic of Latvia and the OCMA accept
documents in the Latvian, English, French, German or Russian languages.
Document originals that have been prepared in other foreign languages need to
have attached respectively notarised translations in the Latvian language.
Public documents need to be legalised in compliance with international norms of
The document revision term (30 days, 10
business days or 5 business days) depends on the paid amount of the state duty.
5. At the OCMA, the foreigner arranges an identity
card after receiving a positive decision from the OCMA
the OCMA issues a positive decision to grant the residence rights with rights
to employment to the foreigner, the foreigner needs to arrive in person at the
OCMA with a valid travel document and visa and has to arrange an identity card
(also the family members who received a positive decision on granting the
addition, the foreigner (and each family member) has to produce a statement
from doctor-radiologist about absence of tuberculosis, as well as a health
insurance policy. Moreover, the foreigners who have received the temporary
residence permits have to declare their place of residence at the same time.
Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs issues the temporary residence
permit for 5 years that requires annual registration. Upon annual registration
of the temporary residence permit, the OCMA verifies payment of the personal
income tax and mandatory state social insurance contributions and the paid
amount from the sums that were specified in the documents upon application for
the temporary residence permit.
Please note that each case of application for
the temporary residence permit is reviewed separately depending on the
inviter’s and foreigner’s subjective criteria. Thus, this article cannot serve
as an exhaustive instruction how to act when applying for the temporary
residence permit; it rather provides a practical insight in the process of
applying for the temporary residence permit. To receive advice that corresponds
to your particular situation, contact us.
 Immigration Law: Law of the Republic of Latvia. Published: Official gazette
“Latvijas Vēstnesis”, 169, 20.11.2002; Latvijas Republikas Saeimas un Ministru
Kabineta Ziņotājs (Reporter of the Parliament and the Cabinet of Ministers
of the Republic of Latvia)
, 24, 27.12.2002.