Lithuania: Changes to EU Blue Card Application Process and Employment Conditions
January 17, 2023
At a Glance
Lithuanian authorities have amended employment conditions and procedural steps for EU Blue Card holders, including (but not limited to):
- Flexibility in qualification requirements;
- Shorter employment contract durations; and,
- Simplified processes for job or employer changes.
The Lithuanian Migration Department has amended and simplified certain elements of the EU Blue Card process, aiming to make the permit more accessible and attractive to highly skilled local hires.
A closer look
Key changes include the following:
|Flexible qualification requirements. There are now more flexible qualification requirements for information technology (IT) or communication technology services managers and IT and communication technology professionals||Affected managers and professionals will have more options as to which types of documents they can present to prove their education and qualifications for an EU Blue Card application.|
Expanded eligibility for EU Blue Card. Employees with employment contracts or job offers covering a duration of at least six months (down from one year) are eligible for an EU Blue Card.
If an application has a multi-employer contract that is negotiated by the primary employer, all employers have to meet the EU Blue Card conditions.
|The pool of foreign nationals eligible for an EU Blue Card in Lithuania will expand.|
Easier process to changes jobs or employers. Employees seeking to change their position within the same company can now do so without government approval or starting a separate application process, as was previously required.
Those who change employers after one year from their start date no longer require government approval but must notify the Migration Department after they do so.
|EU Blue Card holders in Lithuania will face fewer administrative hurdles when changing positions or jobs.|
|Work for more than one employer now allowed. Foreign nationals can work for another employer while working for the sponsoring employer for the EU Blue Card, where this was previously not possible.||EU Blue Card holders in Lithuania have more flexibility in their work options.|
|Labour market testing eliminated for some. Labor market tests have been eliminated and employers no longer require approval from the Employment Service for the EU Blue Card applications for employees whose professions are not on the list of shortage professions.||Foreign nationals with professions not on a shortage list will see a faster EU Blue Card process.|
|EU intra-mobility flexibility. Employers of foreign nationals who hold a valid Blue Card issued by another EU Member State no longer need to provide information on the individual’s qualifications when applying for a temporary residence permit in Lithuania.||Foreign nationals with EU Blue Cards in other EU Member States will see an easier temporary residence permit process in Lithuania.|
|More options for document submission. EU Blue Card applicants can now submit their application documents and biometric data through VFS Global or in person (online application remains the first mandatory step), whereas previously, applicants had to submit their biometric data in person to the Migration Department.
||EU Blue Card applicants now have more document submission options (though a personal appearance is still required).|
Minimum salary requirements have also been revised for EU Blue Card holders – more details in our consolidated alert.
- More attractive permit. These amendments intend to simplify procedural requirements and facilitate flexibility, which aims to make the EU Blue Card more attractive to highly-skilled foreign talent. This is key at a time when Lithuania, like other countries worldwide, is suffering from a lack of a skilled workforce.
- Less stringency. In an effort to reduce processing delays, the relaxation of notification requirements may subsequently decrease the existing application backlog.
These changes are in tandem with the EU Council and European Parliament’s larger efforts to improve the EU Blue Card process in order to increase retention and mobility among the Schengen area amid ongoing labor shortages.
During the initial implementation of the changes, foreign nationals and employers may expect decreased scrutiny of applications and shorter lead times for the EU Blue Card. We are unsure if this would be expanded to other categories in the future. Fragomen will report on relevant developments.
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 [email protected].
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