Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in Lithuania After Your Studies

Post Study Work Options: How to Get a Work Visa in Lithuania After Your Studies

Lithuania is in northeastern Europe, the southernmost, largest and oldest of the three Baltic states. Lithuania is bounded by Latvia to the north, Belarus to the east and south.

The capital city of Vilnius, offers breath-taking gothic architecture, and you can see how Lithuania has changed over the centuries.

For centuries Lithuania was known as a land of endless lush forests, interrupted only by rivers. The traditional architecture in Lithuania is wooden. In smaller towns you can see buildings that were constructed before the 20th century made of wood. Wooden churches are common in villages, and even wooden mosques and synagogues.

Since declaring itself an independent state in 1990, Lithuania has been making the transition from an industrial to a knowledge-based economy, focused on high-value products and services. It’s now one of the leading European nations for biotechnology, communications and information technology.

The number of international students in Lithuania is constantly increasing. The Lithuanian government also noticed this trend and has passed provisions, which took effect in 2018, for international students who want to remain in the country after completing their studies, especially students from outside the EU. Provisions such as prolonged period in order to seek employment after completion of the studies from 6 to 12 months and the entire period of studies in Lithuania will be included when applying for permanent residence.

Lithuania is a member of the European Union so your permit to stay in the country is largely dependent on your nationality. Students of other EU member states do not need a work permit or visa to stay in the country after their studies. This is not the same for third-country students as non-EU/EEA or Swiss nationals need a residence permit to work in Lithuania.

It is not easy to decide to stay and work in a foreign country after your studies and we hope the options we have laid down below will help you with your decision. You can also check out other post-study options.

Lithuania has two types of residence permit.

  • Temporary residence permit – grants third-country nationals the right to live in Lithuania for a certain time. 
  • Permanent residence permit – granted to individuals intending to live permanently in Lithuania and who have confirmed their foreigner–permanent resident status valid for five years.

Temporary Residence Permit to Seek Employment

After completion of studies, third-country students may apply for a residence permit up to 12 months to seek employment. This permit allows you to only look for employment or process the start of your business therefore during this period you cannot be gainfully employed. 

After you have found employment, you must apply for a residence permit on the ground of employment. If you have completed studies in Lithuania and intend to take employment in a qualification-related occupation, you are not subject to the general requirement to possess a one-year work experience and no market test is implemented.

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Temporary Residence Permit for Employment

After landing a job contract, you can apply for a residence permit for employment. you must submit an application for the issuance or change of a temporary residence permit electronically via the Lithuanian Migration Information System (MIGRIS).

After submitting the application and reserving the visit time through MIGRIS, within 4 months from the date of submitting the application through MIGRIS, you must personally apply for the issuance of a temporary residence permit and provide biometric data and supporting documents.

You will only be able to work legally once you have obtained a temporary residence permit.

You need to prepare the following required documents.

  • application number
  • a valid travel document
  • a document certifying legal presence (a visa or residence permit)
  • the number of the employer’s mediation letter (invitation)
  • a document of sufficient means of subsistence
  • a document of the place of residence
  • certificate of (non) conviction

*Additional documents may be requested

During the temporary residence permit, you can only work for the employer who has undertaken to employ you. To change employer or job function with the same employer, you must apply to the territorial division of the Migration Department for permission from the central office of the Migration Department to change employer or job function.

The permit is for the period of employment but not longer than 2 years. With this permit, you will not be able to bring your family with you.

EU Blue Card

This is a temporary residence permit for highly skilled workers whose profession is included in the list of professions requiring high professional qualification and has more than above average monthly gross earnings of the national economy published by Statistics Lithuania.

To be qualified for this permit you need to meet the following conditions:

  • a qualification attested by a higher education diploma 
  • at least five years’ professional experience equivalent to a higher education qualification required for the profession 

You need to prepare the following documents:

  • a valid travel document
  • the number of the employer’s mediation letter (Invitation)
  • if your professional activity is regulated, a document confirming that you meet the conditions established in Lithuania for carrying out regulated professional activity
  • when you intend to work in a highly professional job as a company manager, a document issued by Invest in Lithuania confirming that the employer who intends to employ you in a highly qualified job as a company manager is a company established in the Republic of Lithuania

* Additional documents may be required

With this permit, you can bring your family members. This permit will be issued for 3 years, and if the employment contract is concluded for a period shorter than 3 years, for the period of validity of the employment contract and for another 3 months.

Family members includes:

  • Spouse or registered partner or unmarried 
  • Dependent minors, 
  • Dependent parents if you have been supporting them for at least 1 year and cannot benefit from the support of other family members living abroad)

Temporary Residence Permit for Self-Employment or Starting a Business

A permit whether it is for self-employment or opening a business is fundamentally the same only the type of company you have established differs. The process will take four to six months.

Having established a company, a temporary residence permit for one year will be granted and can be renewed annually. 

In the first year, the residence permit is granted almost automatically to every business owner but in the second and subsequent years the renewal may be rejected if the company is found to be dormant.

After successfully working as self-employed or running your business for five years, you will be eligible for a permanent residency permit.

Permanent Residence

To qualify for a permanent residence permit, you must live in Lithuania without interruption for 5 years with a temporary residence permit. This permit is valid for five years and can be renewed as long as you still meet the qualifications.

You need to prepare the following documents:

  • application
  • a valid travel document
  • documents confirming that you have passed the examinations in the Lithuanian language and the basics of the Constitution
  • documents confirming that you have been legally resident in the Republic of Lithuania for the last 5 years
  • a document on sufficient means of subsistence;
  • document on health insurance

* Additional documents may be required

With this permit, You can leave and return to Lithuania during the permit period. However, you will lose the right of permanent residence in Lithuania and your permanent residence permit may be revoked if you reside in a non-European Union country for more than 12 consecutive months or you leave Lithuania to live in another European Union member state for more than 6 years or you will acquire the status of a long-term resident in another European Union member state.

Naturalised Citizenship

If you have legally lived in the country for 10 years then you will be able to apply for Lithuanian citizenship. Once granted, you can freely move within the EU Member States, reside and work under the same conditions as nationals of those Member States.

You need to prepare the following documents

  • identity document 
  • a document confirming that at the time of submitting this application you have the right of permanent residence in the Republic of Lithuania
  • documents confirming that you have been legally resident in the Republic of Lithuania for the last 10 years
  • documents confirming that you have a legal source of livelihood in Lithuania
  • documents confirming that you have passed the examinations in the Lithuanian language and the basics of the Constitution
  • certificate of (un) conviction

*Additional documents may be required.

So, are you ready to make the move to Lithuania? Comment below.

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