- +For employees
There exist a number of limitations for employment of third-country nationals, because:
· some foreigners need a work permit,
· many professions require Latvian proficiency,
· a limited number of jobs is available only to citizens of Latvia.
The work permit is not required, if:
· the foreigner is a family member of permanent resident – the spouse of citizen of Latvia, non-citizen of Latvia or a foreigner who has obtained a permanent residence permit; a child of foreigner who has obtained a permanent residence permit; an adult child or family member of citizen of Latvia; is a guardian or trustee of citizen of Latvia or non-citizen of Latvia.
· the foreigner is granted specific residence permits – permanent residence permit or the European Community permanent resident residence permit in Latvia; temporary residence permit, because when travelling to another country the person has lost the status of European Community permanent resident in Latvia; the foreigner is granted the status of permanent resident of the European Union in any other member state of the European Union, or his or her family member has resided in Latvia for 1 year with a temporary residence permit.
· the foreigners family member has a special status, for example, the person is the spouse of such a foreigner who is granted the blue card of the European Union in Latvia; the person is a dependent of an employee of diplomatic and consular representation or representation of international organization, accredited in Latvia,
· the foreigner is protected as a representative of special group of people – the person or his or her family member is granted the alternative status, the person is granted the temporary protection status, he or she is stateless, victim of human trafficking, or asylum seeker who (not as a result of own fault) has not received the decision of OCMA on the granting or rejection of the refugee or alternative status.
The work permit is also not required, if the foreigner resides in Latvia:
· until the date of coming into effect of the court judgement on dissolution of marriage and determination of childs place of residence (when dissolution of marriage is requested by one of spouses), or until the day, when a sworn notary has prepared a divorce certificate (when marriage is dissolved upon mutual agreement);
· due to the fact, that pre-trial investigation institutions or the court require, that the foreigner resides in Latvia until closing of criminal case investigation or adjudication of criminal case in the court, for example, as a witness, victim or suspect.
The laws of the Republic of Latvia stipulate specific positions that can be occupied only by citizens of Latvia:
· Sworn lawyer,
· State administration official,
· Sworn notary,
· State President,
· Member of the Saeima and local government council.
- +For employers
Employment means, that:
· a foreigner concludes an employment agreement or any similar agreement (for example, enterprise agreement) with an employer (company or organization),
· a foreigner may register also as a self-employed person.
Employment by signing an employment agreement is regulated by Labour Law, which stipulates the main conditions and protection provisions both for the employee and the employer. A mandatory precondition is a written employment agreement, which shall be concluded in Latvian and shall include the following information:
· employees name, surname, personal identity number, place of residence, employers name, surname (company name), registration number and address;
· date of commencement of legal employment relations;
· expected duration of legal employment relations (if the employment agreement is concluded for an indefinite period);
· place of employment (if performance of job duties is not planned in a definite workplace, it shall be indicated, that the employee may be employed in various places);
· employees profession, position and speciality according to the Classifier of Professions, and general description of agreed work;
· amount of remuneration and time of disbursement;
· agreed daily or weekly working hours;
· duration of annual paid leave;
· notice period of employment agreement;
· collective agreement and working regulations applicable to the legal employment relations.
When drawing up an employment agreement, the applicant shall be obliged to:
· present an identity document (passport, ID card);
· present a visa or residence permit, as well as work permit.
· The employer may request the potential employee to submit additional documents and perform health examination, which would allow to ascertain the employees suitability for performance of planned job duties.
In Latvia it is forbidden to:
· employ children (younger than 15 years of age or who continue acquisition of primary education until 18 years of age) in a permanent job,
· employ teenagers in works exposed to special conditions, related to increased risk for their safety, health, morality and development (aged from 15 to 18).
In exceptional cases children from 13 years of age are allowed to be employed during the time free from school, without hindering the childs education, and in works that are not harmful for childs safety, health, morality and development, if one of parents (or guardian) has given written consent.
Similar as local residents, also third-country nationals may establish their own companies in Latvia. In order to establish a company, you will need to:
- Convoke the foundation meeting,
- Register in the Register of Enterprises,
- Open a bank account for the company,
- Register the company in the State Revenue Service.
Detailed information about registration of company is available on the homepage of the Register of Enterprises.
The only limitation for opportunities of foreigners to develop their entrepreneurship in Latvia is related to the restriction to acquire land in borderland and protection zone territories, as well as agricultural and forest land. It shall be emphasized, that until 30 April, 2014 agricultural and forest land cannot be acquired also by citizens of the European Union member states and legal persons registered in EU member states. A company registered in any EU member state cannot acquire land in Latvia, if more than half of shares of the company is owned by a foreigner (not a citizen of Latvia).
If you want to acquire land in rural or urban territory, you will have to obtain a permit of the respective local government, where the property is located, explaining the purpose for further use of the land.
In Latvia, companies with foreign direct investment are provided with an opportunity to apply for EU support programmes and various tax discounts. Information about support available for entrepreneurs is available on the homepage of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.