Temporary residence permit in Latvia for highly-qualified employees
Similar to the Green Card in the USA, the EU blue card offers highly educated employees from third countries the opportunity and the right to work and stay in the Republic of Latvia.
If the third countries employee is highly qualified, has a higher education in study program, the length of which is in the relevant profession or industry referred to in the employment contract, is not less than three years and in the Republic of Latvia will do certain work under the direction of the employer it is possible to receive the temporary residence permit - EU Blue card in the Republic of Latvia.
The foreigner has the rights to require the EU Blue card for a period of employment, but not longer than for five years. The EU Blue Card must be registered annually. The minimum monthly salary for the EU Blue card holder must be not less than – 1'148 EUR.
To obtain the EU Blue card the foreigner needs to provide a document proving the planned residential address. Note of a criminal record also is required. In connection with the EU Blue card, the employer is not obliged to declare a free vacancy in Agency of employment.
With the EU Blue card third countries employees and their families can:
- enter, re-enter and stay in Latvia and pass through other Member States;
- work in the sector concerned;
- enjoy equal treatment with nationals as regards, for example, working conditions, social security, pensions, recognition of diplomas, education and vocational training.
After two years of legal employment, the employee may receive equal treatment with nationals as regards access to any highly qualified employment. After 18 months of legal residence, they may move to another Member State to take up highly qualified employment. The holder of the EU Blue card has rights to work only for employer who invited him/her, but his/her spouse has rights to work for any Latvian employer.
If the EU Blue card holder is planning to receive a the long-term resident status of the European Community in Latvia that can be granted provided the person has, for the last five years, continuously and lawfully resided in the territory thereof, the absence is deemed justified for a holder of the EU Blue Card provided the reasons thereof are performance of business activities in the status of an employee or as a self-employed, voluntary service or studies in the person’s country of origin and the absence from the European Union has not exceeded 12 successive months or 18 months altogether. The time spent by the person in another European Union Member State, provided it does not exceed a period of five years is included in the continuous residence term.
Gunda Leite, lawyer of the Gencs Valters Law Firm in Riga.
Practising in fields of Immigration Law in Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania.
T: +371 67 24 00 90
F: +371 67 24 00 91