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The war in Ukraine is raising questions about how to relocate workers from Ukraine to Lithuania. Unfortunately, there are no simple ways of doing so. There are two alternatives: either postings or employment in Lithuania. Those intending to work in Lithuania must obtain a work permit or a decision on their compliance with the needs of the labour market. A work permit or decision for a Ukrainian who intends to come to Lithuania for work in a profession that is included in the list of worker shortages according to the type of economic activity, or who comes to work in a profession that is included in the list of work requiring a high level of professional qualifications that are lacking in Lithuania, does not need to have a work permit or a decision on their compliance with the Lithuanian labour market needs.
Meanwhile, an employer wishing to employ a Ukrainian and obtain a permit or decision in relation to the needs of the labour market, must first apply to the Employment Service and register a vacancy. After obtaining a permit from the Employment Service, a foreigner may apply for a national (D) visa or temporary residence permit. In order to enter Lithuania, a national D visa must first be obtained. To be issued with a national D visa, the individual must apply to the Lithuanian embassy or consulate, or apply through an external service provider’s visa application centre.
In order to post workers from Ukraine to Lithuania, it is necessary for them to obtain permits to work in the Republic of Lithuania. Work permits are the responsibility of the Lithuanian host company. In the case of obtaining a work permit, foreigners may apply for a national D visa and, if the posting is shorter than 90 calendar days, enter the country with a biometric passport.
It should also be noted that from 15 February this year, Ukrainian citizens holding a biometric passport will be able to enter Lithuania freely after the performance of PCR testing. The arrival of such people in Lithuania will be considered legal, regardless of the validity of the emergency situation in Lithuania. Lithuanian employers will then be able to employ foreigners after the receipt of a decision on the needs of the labour market and/or temporary residence permits in Lithuania. Temporary residence permits in Lithuania are issued as a matter of urgency within 2 months. As the presence of a Ukrainian citizen is considered legal for only 90 calendar days, the Lithuanian employer is advised to act quickly in the submission of documents to the authorities.
Tomas Bagdanskis, ILAW LEXTAL Managing Partner
Svetlana Naumčik, ILAW LEXTAL Associate Partner