How to employ foreigner in Latvia
If the employer wants to employ a third-country national in his or her company, a vacancy notice should be submitted to the State Employment Agency. Vacancy should be unoccupied for at least a month before the day when the employer submits a request on the confirmation of the residence permit for the foreigner to the State Employment Agency. The employer has to draw up the invitation each year before the foreigner has submitted documents necessary for the registration of a residence permit.
A vacancy notice should not be submitted to the State Employment Agency, if:
- the foreigner will be employed on the basis of the contract for work performance;
- the foreigner carries out the commercial activity (all members of the board, etc.).
A vacancy notice should also not be submitted, if the foreigner:
- will be employed as a composer, musician, singer, choreographer, dancer, a film or theatre director or other type of director, or actor, circus performer or a member of technical staff involved in organising performances, or a head of a cultural institution financed from the state budget and by local government;
- will be employed as a sports trainer;
- will be employed as a professional sportsman or sportswoman on the basis of an invitation from a sports club;
- will be employed as an educator in an accredited educational institution;
- is a highly qualified specialist holding the European Union Blue Card;
- is a student and has entered the Republic of Latvia to complete the field practice or to have in-service training at an accredited educational institution or a company registered in the Commercial Register in the Republic of Latvia;
- is a consultant (expert) providing assistance to a national or municipal institution or a person helping to implement an international agreement or project which Latvia, a direct state administration institution or related official is involved in;
- has invested at least LVL 25,000 in the fixed capital of an enterprise and this enterprise has paid at least LVL 20,000 of taxes annually into the state and municipality budgets;
- is a third-country national whose work invitation has been approved in conformity with the laws and regulations envisaging the operation of the special economic zone.
The employer has the responsibility to pay the salary according to the level of average gross monthly salary of the employees in the Republic of Latvia in the previous year (according to the information provided by the Central Statistical Bureau (CSB)) – if the foreigner has requested a residence permit due to employment. Currently, the monthly salary is LVL 464 (gross salary).
If the EU Blue Card is requested, the salary should be calculated taking into consideration the average gross monthly salary of the employees in the Republic of Latvia and multiplying it with coefficient of 1.5 (according to the information of the Central Statistical Bureau). Currently, the salary is LVL 696 (gross salary). The EU Blue Card – a temporary residence permit, which in the Republic of Latvia is issued to a highly qualified specialist from another country, who is employed and performs his duties for a specific payment under the supervision of the employer in the Republic of Latvia and has a diploma of a higher education program in the speciality or area specified in the employment agreement that lasted at least three years.
Responsibilities of the employer
The employer has the responsibility to pay the employee at least the minimum salary or wage set by the regulations of the Cabinet of Ministers, pay all taxes envisaged in the law and to grant the provided annual vacation.
Taxes have to be paid in the Republic of Latvia and the same taxes are applied to foreigners and residents of the Republic of Latvia, including the mandatory social insurance contributions of the employer, personal income tax and business-risk related state fee (if the employee is employed on the basis of the employment agreement). When the foreigner receives a residence permit on basis of the contract for work performance, it must be established whether a bilateral agreement between Latvia and the home state of the foreigner on the prevention of double taxation and tax exemption has been signed. If there is, taxes in Latvia must be paid only after 183 days, as it is deemed that in this time the employee is employed by the company which sent him or her to Latvia. Therefore until this day taxes are paid in the corresponding country and after 183 days – taxes must be paid in both the foreign country and also in Latvia.
The employer has the responsibility to keep the work permit at the site of work execution until the end of the specified time period. The work permit must be presented upon the request of monitoring and control institutions.
If the work permit has been lost, damaged or is not valid anymore, the foreigner notifies in writing the Central Statistical Bureau about it and requests a copy of the work permit.
Responsibility to submit a notification if changes are made
According to the Paragraph 1 of Section 39 of the Immigration Law, the inviter has a duty to inform the Central Statistical Bureau within three working days that the circumstances on the basis of which a foreigner has received a temporary residence permit do not exist any longer or they have changed. For example, if the salary of the foreigner has changed, the inviter must inform the CSB within three working days. In such cases new work permit is not issued.
The foreigner can be employed only in the job or position which is specified in the work permit. If during the validity term of the work permit conditions, based on which the work permit has been issued, change (for example, change of the employer, position, working hours, site of work execution), the foreigner must obtain new work permit in accordance with the established procedure. In such cases a new work permit is issued within 10 working days after the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs has been informed about it. Upon a justified request the work permit can be issued faster.
If there is a change of employer, a new work permit must be obtained, as according to the Immigration Law the residence permit will be annulled if the circumstances on the basis of which a foreigner has received a temporary residence permit no longer exist or they have changed.
If the OCMA is not timely informed about these changes, it can draw up an administrative violation report regarding the fact that the foreigner did not timely submit notice on such changes.
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