US

Dec 21 2018

Minimum Salary Level to Increase

Lithuania

The situation

Effective January 1, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers seeking a Labor Exchange Decision – the main work authorization type in Lithuania – will increase to EUR 430, up 7.5 percent from last year.

Foreign workers seeking an EU Blue Card must earn 1.5 times the average monthly gross salary, which currently amounts to EUR 1,403.55 (based on an average monthly salary of EUR 935.70) and steadily increases every quarter. This is an up approximately 40% percent from the last available update reported in the third quarter of 2018.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals currently under a Labor Exchange Decision are not required to increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew a Labor Exchange Decision on or after January 1, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.
  • Pending applications. Employers of foreign nationals with pending Labor Exchange Decision applications as of January 1, 2019 are not required to increase the foreign national’s minimum salary to comply with the new rule. Immigration applications that do not meet the minimum salary will be refused.



Reminders on other requirements

  • Benefits and allowances. As before, benefits and allowances may not be included in the minimum salary calculation.
  • Salary payment twice per month. As before, the salary must be paid at least twice a month, or may be paid monthly at the foreign worker’s written request.
  • Payment details in writing. As before, the timing, place and procedure of salary payment must be specified in collective agreements or in the employment contract. 
  • Payment from first day of work. As before, the foreign worker must receive a salary in line with the minimum salary requirements as of the first day of work in Lithuania.



Background

Lithuania increased the salary threshold by 8.6 percent for 2017 and 5.3 percent for 2018.

Eastern European countries, such as Lithuania, historically had lower minimum salary requirements for foreign workers but have recently increased these levels more aggressively than in Western Europe.

Looking ahead

The minimum salary level for EU Blue Card holders in Lithuania will likely continue to rise since it is based on the national average wage, which has also been rising due to labor shortages in Lithuania.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.