Virginia, US

May 09 2019

Minimum Salary Level Increased

Latvia

At a Glance

  • The minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in Latvia has increased to EUR 1,004 for Residence Permit with Work Authorization and EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit applicants; EUR 1,506 for standard EU Blue Card applicants; or EUR 1,205 for EU Blue Card applicants in shortage occupations, up 8.4 percent from last year. Note that EU Blue Card applicants in shortage occupations were not previously subject to a special salary threshold.
  • Employers must adjust the salaries of current foreign workers and those with pending or new applications, if required.

The situation

Effective April 1, 2019, the minimum monthly salary for foreign workers in Latvia has increased as follows, up 8.4 percent from last year:

At the time of publication of this alert, 1 EUR = 1.12 USD.

A closer look

  • Existing employees. Employers of foreign nationals must increase the foreign national’s salary to comply with the new rule.
  • Initial and renewal applications. Employers of foreign nationals seeking to obtain or renew work authorization on or after April 1, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s 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 work authorization applications as of April 1, 2019 must increase the foreign national’s 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 only be included in the minimum salary calculation if they are specified in the employment contract, guaranteed and fixed, and are not paid in kind. Specifically, discretionary compensation, insurance contributions and non-recurring payments can be included in the salary calculation.
  • Currency. As before, employers are required to guarantee the salary in EUR regardless of payroll location and/or exchange rate fluctuations.
  • Additional funds for dependents. As before, foreign nationals must have access to an additional EUR 430 gross per month for accompanying spouses, and EUR 129 gross per month per child for accompanying children, if these dependents do not have their own financial means.
  • Market salary rate. As before, Residence Permit with Work Authorization applicants must also meet the average gross salary rate for the previous year. EU ICT Permit applicants must also meet the market salary rate for the proposed position.

 

Background

Lithuania changed its salary threshold by five percent for 2017 and 7.8 percent for 2018.

Looking ahead

Over the last five years, the majority of foreign employees in Latvia have been from the European Union and the European Economic Area, however there has been a significant increase in the number of third-country national employees. As a result, the government has been focusing on protecting local workers, though companies from various industries are still experiencing a workforce shortage. It is likely this pattern of protectionism will continue. Fragomen will report on relevant changes in Latvia.

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.