Quotas set for the third-country workers who meet the needs of the labor market

Ministry of Social Security and Labor announced about its decision to introduce quotas for workers who meet the needs of the labor market and arrive from the third (non European Union) countries.

Currently, foreigners who represent highly-demanded professions, do not need to acquire work permissions – such workers can be issued with national visas solely on the basis of invitation from a company.

Egle Radisauskiene, acting Vice-minister of Social Security and Labor, claims that quotes will be useful in evaluating the actual need of such workers. Some of the foreigners who were issued national visas on the basis of invitation from a company do not eventually join them as their employees.

It is noteworthy that even if the quotas were reached, foreigners who meet the needs of the labor market would still be able to be employed, however in this case they will have to follow common procedures previewed by the law – namely, after the labor market test is completed and concludes that there is no Lithuanian or European Union national who is a suitable candidate to take upon a particular position, such foreigners will need to acquire the work permission or wait until decision on their correspondence to the labor market needs is reached. During the course of the year, the figures set in the quotas might also be revisited.

Quotas set for the 2021 will allow to employ up to 32,200 foreigners whose profession is included into the list of highly-demanded professional workers in Lithuania: 11,600 workers in the department of services; 9,500 industry workers, and 2,000 agriculture workers.

Currently, an absolute majority of foreigners who arrived from the third countries are employed in the service (long-distance drivers), industry (ship construction), or building construction sectors. This year (up until the end of October) 5523 third-country nationals have been employed in service, 1712 – construction, and 489 – industry sectors.  

Work permissions are issued by the Employment Services that also adopts decisions on workers’ correspondence to the Lithuanian labor market needs. Currently, the registered unemployment in the country accounts to 15,6 percent of the population.