Working in Latvia as foreigner

Work permit in Latvia

If the employment of a foreigner entails short-term or occasional residence in the Republic of Latvia not exceeding 90 days within a 6-month period, the foreigner must obtain a visa or temporary residence permit and a work permit. This condition applies also to foreigners who do not need a visa to enter the Republic of Latvia.

If the foreigner’s employment requires regular residence in the Republic of Latvia exceeding 90 days within a 6-month period, the foreigner must obtain a temporary residence permit and work permit.

To start a business in Latvia there are three possibilities:

Getting a VISA

Visa with a work permit

The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) issues work permits (without confirmation of the employer’s invitation at the local division of the State Employment Agency) according to the validity term of a visa (when requesting a visa, an invitation approved by the OCMA is necessary) to the following persons:

  1. a foreigner who:
    • is a student of an accredited educational institution 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, if the field practice or in-service training is related to the employment relationship;
    • is a consultant (expert) providing assistance to a national or municipal institution or helping to implement an international agreement or project which Latvia is involved in;
    • is a member of the board or council of a capital company or an official of a corporation and has representative rights registered in the Commercial Register; has invested no less than LVL 600,000 in the equity capital of a company;
    • is the only founder of a company and will fulfil the duties of such official whose signatory powers are registered in the Commercial Register;
  2. a foreigner who is intended to be employed as:
    • a scientist in a national scientific institution;
    • a head of a cultural institution financed from the state budget and by local government, 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;
    • an educator in an accredited educational institution;
    • an assessor who evaluates, accredits and monitors laboratories, certification and inspection institutions;
    • an IT specialist, if he or she has appropriate higher professional or higher academic education in the field of information technologies and experience of working in a leading position in this field (for the last 3 years) and is intended to be employed in the following positions:
      • Project Director (PD);
      • Quality Manager (QM);
      • Lead Project Manager (PM2);
      • Lead System Architect (SAR3);
      • Lead System Analyst (SA3);
      • Lead Software Developer (P3);
      • Lead IT Solutions Consultant (ITC3);
      • Lead Business Consultant (BC3).