Defence Lithuania

Lithuania mulls tighter laws for foreign workers

| 2023-12-18 < 1 min read

Lithuania mulls tighter laws for foreign workers

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Lithuania MPs are considering new legislative amendments that would impose a language requirement on foreign nationals seeking to extend their temporary residence permits after living in Lithuania for five years, potentially causing problems for businesses.

The proposed changes would also prevent foreigners from changing their jobs within six months of receiving a temporary residence permit. Additionally, the bill proposes more stringent rules for migrant workers looking to switch employers.

Right-wing fear ‘foreign diasporas’

The bill, crafted by Conservative MPs Laurynas Kasciunas, Paulius Saudargas, and Audronius Azubalis, amends the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens. These amendments are set for further discussion in the Seimas during next year’s spring session.

The bill’s proponents contend that while permanent residence permit applicants are required to prove their understanding of the Lithuanian language and constitution, those who repeatedly renew temporary permits are not, leading to concerns about the creation of foreign diasporas.

Defence also an issue after Belarus influx

The head of the Lithuania’s State Security Department has raised concerns about immigration, suggesting that the country should either restrict it or enhance its intelligence capabilities.

This comes in light of difficulties in vetting all incoming foreigners, particularly those from Belarus. Around 17,000 Belarusians have moved to Lithuania in the last year and some 2,000 of them have not had having their temporary residence permits renewed. On the other hand, Lithuanian business analysts warn that these amendments, if enacted, may deter vital foreign workers.