Virginia, US

Apr 25 2019

Removal of Qualifications Check Streamlines Immigration Processing

Lithuania

At a Glance

  • In a change of policy, foreign workers seeking work authorization in Lithuania are no longer required to complete diploma certification and an assessment of high qualification. The change removes a cumbersome administrative step from the application process and should expedite processing by approximately 30 days.
  • Separately, Lithuanian authorities plan to launch online filing of residence permit applications on July 1, 2019, which would streamline application processing for eligible applicants.

The situation

Lithuanian authorities have removed the following administrative steps from the application process, among other changes:

  • Diploma certification no longer required. Foreign nationals are no longer required to certify their diploma at the Lithuanian Centre for Qualifcation Assessment in Higher Education before filing an immigration application, which was previously required under all work authorization categories.
    • Impact. The change removes a cumbersome administrative step from the work authorization application process and should expedite processing by approximately 30 days.
  • Assessment of high qualification no longer required. Foreign nationals employed in a non-shortage occupation and receiving a salary less than 1.5 times the national monthly average salary are no longer required to verify their high qualifications via an assessment at the Lithuanian Centre for Qualification Assessment in Higher Education, which was previously required. This is still required for those pursuing professional activities regulated by the Lithuanian government.
    • Impact. Although the change removes a cumbersome administrative step from the work authorization application process, this step was typically completed simultaneously with diploma certification, so this will not directly affect application processing times.
  • Employment contract registration no longer required. Employers are no longer required to register local employment contracts for foreign workers with the Employment Agency to finalize the work authorization process.
    • Impact. Employers should benefit from the removal of an administrative step in the immigration process.
  • Online filing at the Migration Department forthcoming. The Lithuanian Migration Department, responsible for accepting and processing residence permit applications, plans to launch online filing of initial and renewal residence permit applications and EU citizen registrations on July 1, 2019 via the Migris platform.
    • Impact. The change is expected to streamline application processing for eligible applicants.

 

Background

The changes reflect ongoing efforts by Lithuanian authorities to streamline labor and immigration policies, for instance by changing the D visa application process and introducing online visa support letters; consolidating and modernizing the Employment Agency (formerly called Labor Exchange) – the government department charged with labor market testing and issuing work authorization – to reflect current needs of the labor market; and a major tax overhaul which seeks to consolidate employer wage-related taxes. Overall, the government implemented these changes in an effort make Lithuania a more attractive location for foreign investment and boost local employment.

The online residence permit filing system is on track with the online filing trend occuring worldwide.

Looking ahead

Fragomen expects Lithuanian authorities to continue reviewing and streamlining labor and immigration policies. Fragomen will monitor the launch of the online filing system and will report on relevant developments when available. 

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.