The amendments aim at facilitating relocation of employees of foreign companies to Lithuania.
The Ministry of Economy and Innovation has registered with the Lithuanian parliament draft amendments to the laws on (a) Investment, (b) Employment and (c) Legal Status of Aliens. The amendments would create special business and investment conditions for foreign investors relocating their business and employees to Lithuania. Under the proposed amendments, foreign investors will be able to benefit from a simplified procedure for obtaining a temporary residence permit in Lithuania after concluding an investment agreement with the government for:
- employees of the investor or the investor's group of companies;
- the investor or a participant of the investor who owns at least 1/10 of the authorized capital of an enterprise established in Lithuania and the funds invested in this enterprise amount to at least EUR 14,000;
- family members of these persons.
These conditions will apply to investors if the annual turnover of the group of companies and/or the investor in at least one financial year of the last three years amounts to at least EUR 2,500,000 and the investor undertakes in Lithuania to:
- invest at least EUR 1.45 million;
- to create at least 20 jobs;
- to pay employees at least 1.5 times the average wage in the municipality where the investment is made (currently the average wage in Lithuania is about EUR 1 514).
The investor's employees transferred under the investment agreement will have a right to work in Lithuania from the date of applying for a temporary residence permit. The Lithuanian Employment Service will not assess the foreigner's compliance with the needs of the Lithuanian labour market and the foreigner will be exempted from the obligation to obtain a work permit.
A temporary residence permit will be issued for three years.
These benefits will apply not only to new investors, but also to companies that have already moved their business to Lithuania. These companies will have a right to apply to the government for amendments to their existing investment contracts within 6 months of these amendments coming into force.
The amendments are expected to come into force in the third quarter of this year and will encourage the business development of Belarusian companies already operating in Lithuania, as well as companies still assessing the investment environment in Lithuania.