Although the labour market situation in Latvia has been greatly affected by the global financial crisis leading to a sharp decrease of number of vacancies and even though Latvian and/or Russian language skills are almost always compulsory if you want to get a job in Riga, there are nonetheless possibilities to find jobs for people speaking other languages than the abovementioned ones.

Latvia Work Permits

  • The permit is required for a foreign resident who wishes to work in Latvia.
  • An employment contract with a business registered in Latvia must be presented.
  • A work permit must be presented before starting an employment contract.
  • A "residential permit" or special visa must be attached to the employment contract.
  • In the following case, a work permit is unnecessary:

- Managers, who are not authorized signatories, of a company that represents a foreign firm.
- Shareholders, who are not authorized signatories, of companies registered in Latvia.
- Owners of permanent residential permits.

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.

Residence and Work Permits for Researchers and Students

The Latvian migration legislation predicts simplified procedures regarding researchers, lecturers and students. A third-country national has the right to request a temporary residence permit in accordance with the procedures prescribed normative acts, if he/she,

  • Is involved in scientific co-operation with Latvian host institution included in Register of Scientific Institutions, for a period of time provided for by the contract of scientific co-operation, but not longer than five years. A work permit is not necessary for third-country national in this case;
  • Is a full-time student (including doctoral students) in educational establishments accredited in the Republic of Latvia, for the time period of studies, but not longer than for one year. A work permit shall be issued to a full-time student, if work time specified in work contract does not exceed 20 hours per week;

In both cases, the spouse of third-country national, minor children (also those under guardianship) and persons under trusteeship also have the right to request a temporary residence permit for the duration of the temporary residence permit issued to the third-country national.

Also after the expiration of the time period referred, a third-country national may again request a residence permit if the basis for requesting a residence permit is still valid.

A work permit is not necessary also if a third-country national on the basis of an invitation from an educational institution or scientific institution, or individual scientist in relation to scientific research or participation in the implementation of an educational programme and the intended length of stay in the Republic of Latvia does not exceed 14 days.

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