In order to prevent abuse of work-related immigration procedures, Lithuania has decided to strengthen the control of labor immigration.
Lithuania’s Minister of the Interior Agnės Bilotaitė recently signed a regulation changing the procedure for issuing temporary residence permits to foreign nationals in the country.
The main changes are aimed at tightening procedures for foreign employment, meaning it will be harder for employers to bring foreign workers into the country.
As the Ministry of Interior of Lithuania explains, by making changes to the current regulations, the country also aims to address challenges posed by increasing labour migration flows, particularly the emergence of numerous companies facilitating the issuance of temporary residence permits without engaging in actual activities.
According to the Ministry, the companies often act as intermediaries, leasing foreign workers to other businesses, and thus, the country wants to put an end to such a practice.
Emphasising the need to prevent the abuse of immigration procedures, Minister Bilotaitė said that increasing labour migration flows are a serious threat to the country.
To combat irregular migration, the amended procedure outlines specific cases under which companies can no longer invite foreigners for employment.
As the Ministry stresses, if a company is found to engage in irregular activities or fails to justify its need for foreign workers, it may be prohibited from inviting foreigners for a period of six months.
Additionally, the order says that if a foreigner is invited by a company unauthorised to employ foreigners, their request for a temporary residence permit will be rejected.
These measures aim to safeguard national security interests and regulate the flow of foreigners entering the country for work purposes.
Another notable change is the transfer of authority to approve the list of external service providers from the Migration Department to the Minister of the Interior.
If it is determined that a foreigner is invited by a company that cannot employ foreigners, the foreigner’s request to issue or change a temporary residence permit will not be accepted. -Lithuanian Ministry of Interior
Previously, the Migration Department handled this responsibility. The new process now required coordination between the Migration Department, the State Security Department, the police, and the State Border Guard Service.
Currently, service providers are operating in a total of 34 countries. The Minister’s order mandates that this list be thoroughly reviewed and approved.
Last year, Lithuania experienced an influx of around 50,000 foreign workers, with a notable increase in arrivals from Belarus, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.