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Employment of foreigners

If an employer can not find a proper employee in Latvia or other European Union (EU) country, he has the rights to employ a foreigner (non-EU citizen). The employer can be

  • an individual,
  • a legal body.

Employment of foreigner can be based on:

  • labour contract
  • other agreement.

If a Latvian employer wants to employ a foreigner:

  • The employer has to register the vacancy in the State Employment Agency (SEA),
  • the employer has to submit his request of invitation (with a contract of employment or other documents),
  • foreigner has to submit a residence permit and a work permit,
  • foreigner has to register in the State Revenue Service as a tax payer.

For the employment of the non-EU country citizens with a labour or company contract, or other civil agreement, the vacancy must be registered. The recruitment procedure can be initiated only if the vacancy has not been filled within a month. The vacancy registration is not compulsory only in the exceptional cases.

The vacancy can be registered in the corresponding SEA office in person, by phone or e-mail; in this case the information in the National CV and vacancy database will be entered by SEA officer. The invitation to work shall be submitted to the SEA branch office relevant to the employer's location or the location of the actual place of work.

Additional information about SEA services can be found on SEA web page.

The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) issues the work permit, short-term visa or temporary residence permit. The work permit can be issued if the employer's invitation to work is attested in the relevant office of the SEA. In cases of exception the work permit can be issued without an attested invitation.

Non-EU country citizens can be employed in Latvia in long-term (more than 90 days within half a year) with a labour contract only if they have received a residence and work permit, together with a personal identification number. The non-residents of Latvia or other EU member states (as well as those not having a visa for entrance) apply for residence permit at the corresponding embassy of Latvia, when the employer has received a labour call confirmation from OCMA.

The work permit is not needed in such cases:

  • if foreigner enters for road shows (concerts) as performer (musician, singer, dancer, actor, dangler etc.), author (compositor, choreograph, film/stage director, stage designer etc.), administrative or technical worker who is responsible for ensuring performances (concerts) and if planned residence time does not exceed 14 days;
  • if foreigner enters in accordance with educational institution's or scientific institute's or independent researcher's invitation in relation with scientific studies or in order to participate in implementing educational programs and if  planned residence time does not exceed 14 days.

Before employing a foreigner please check whether the prospective employee has received the work permit according to the validity of visa or temporary residence permit without attesting the invitation to work!

Additional information about employment of foreigners is available on OCMA web page or or by contacting  the OCMA on their e-mail, or on  the phone +371  67588675.