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Basic conditions for working in Latvia
For employment of third-country nationals, there are a number of restrictions, because:
- some foreigners need a work permit,
- many professions require knowledge of the Latvian language, a
- limited number of jobs are available only to Latvian citizens.
A work permit is not required if: the
- foreigner is a member of the family of a permanent resident - a spouse of a citizen of Latvia, a non-citizen of Latvia or who has received a permanent residence permit of a foreigner; a child who has received a permanent residence permit of a foreigner; the adult child of a citizen of Latvia or a member of his family; is a guardian or trustee of a Latvian citizen or non-citizen of Latvia.
- a foreigner is assigned a specific residence permit - a permanent residence permit or a residence permit of a permanent resident of the European Community in Latvia; temporary residence permit, as in connection with departure to another country, a person has lost the status of a permanent resident of the European Community in Latvia; A foreigner is granted the status of a permanent resident of the European Union in another member state of the European Union, or a member of his family who has lived in Latvia for 1 year with a temporary residence permit.
- a family member of a foreigner has a special status, for example, a person is the spouse of such a foreigner who has been issued a blue card of the European Union in Latvia; a person is under the guardianship of an employee of a diplomatic or consular mission accredited in Latvia or a representative office of an international organization, a
- foreigner is protected as a special group of people - an alternative status is assigned to a person or his family member, a temporary protection status is assigned to a person, the person is a stateless person, a victim of human trafficking, or an asylum seeker who (through no fault of his own) did not receive the decision of the UDGM on granting refugee status or alternative status or refusal edstavit.
A work permit is not required even if the foreigner is in Latvia:
- until the day the court decision on the dissolution of the marriage and the establishment of the place of residence of the child comes into force (when the spouse requires divorce) or until the day when the sworn notary has prepared the certificate of divorce (when the divorce occurs by mutual agreement);
- due to the fact that the pre-trial investigation institution or the court needs the foreigner to be in Latvia until the completion of the investigation or consideration of the criminal case in court, for example, as a witness, victim or suspect.
The laws of the Republic of Latvia establish positions that can only be held by Latvian citizens:
- a judge,
- a sworn advocate,
- an official in state administration,
- a sworn notary,
- the president of the state,
- a deputy of the Sejm and local governments.
Employment means that:
- a foreigner enters into an employment contract or other similar contract (for example, a work contract) with an employer (company or organization),
- the foreigner can also register as a self-employed person.
Employment at the conclusion of an employment contract is regulated by the Labor Law, which defines the main conditions and conditions of protection for both the employee and the employer. A prerequisite is a written contract of employment, which must be concluded in Latvian and must contain the following information:
- name, surname, personal code of the employee, place of residence, name, surname (name) of the employer, his registration number and address;
- date of commencement of legal labor relations;
- the estimated duration of the legal employment relationship (if the employment contract is concluded for a specified period);
- place of work (if the performance of work duties is not provided for at any particular workplace, an indication that the employee can work in different places);
- the profession, position and specialty of the employee in accordance with the Classification of professions, as well as the general characteristics of the proposed work;
- size and time of payment of wages;
- estimated working hours per day or week;
- duration of annual paid leave;
- term of termination of the employment contract;
- collective labor contract and work schedule rules applicable to legal labor relations.
When preparing an employment contract, the applicant is required to:
present an identity card (passport, ID card);
present a visa or residence permit, as well as a work permit.
The employer may require that the potential employee present other documents and undergo a medical examination, which will make sure that he is suitable for the intended work.
In Latvia it is forbidden:
- to hire children for permanent work (up to 15 years old or continuing to receive primary education until 18 years old),
- to hire teenagers for work in special circumstances, associated with an increased risk to their safety, health, morality and development (from 15 to 18 years old )
In exceptional cases, children from 13 years old can work in their free time, if this does not interfere with the child’s studies, and perform certain work that is not harmful to the safety, health, morality and development of the child, if one of the parents (or guardian) agreed in a written form.
Like locals, third-country nationals can create their own companies in Latvia. To establish a company, you will need to:
- convene a meeting to found a company,
- register it in the Register of Enterprises,
- open a bank account of the company,
- register the company with the State Revenue Service.
The only restriction on the entrepreneurial activity of a foreigner in Latvia is related to the prohibition of acquiring land in the border territories and territories of protective zones, as well as agricultural and forest land.
It must be emphasized that until April 30, 2014, citizens of the EU member states and legal entities registered in the EU member states cannot acquire agricultural and forest land. A company registered in an EU member state cannot acquire land in Latvia if more than half of its shares are owned by a foreigner (and not a resident of Latvia).
If you want to acquire land in a rural area or in a city, you will need the permission of the local government in which the property is located, explaining the purpose of further use of the land.
In Latvia, companies with foreign direct investment are also provided with the opportunity to apply for participation in EU support programs and various tax benefits. Information on support available to entrepreneurs is available on the website of the Latvian Investment and Development Agency.
You can always ask your questions on our forum. To do this, find the necessary category and create a topic for your question. Describe your situation in detail. Our experts will give an answer to the questions posed. Depending on the complexity of the question, you will need to wait for an answer from 1 to 5 working days.