Lithuanian govt to set quotas for unskilled labor amid rising immigration from Ukraine
Amid a rapid increase in immigration from Ukraine, the Lithuanian government decided on Wednesday to introduce quotas on foreign workers in certain professions.
"The process of forcing our citizens from the labor market may begin, because this is cheaper labor," Government Vice-Chancellor Deividas Matulionis told BNS on the Cabinet's meeting.
This issue is now particularly relevant because of the growing number of Ukrainian drivers and builders.
Around 34,500 foreigners, including some 20,000 Ukrainian citizens, were last year issued with working visas or work-based residence permits, the Migration Department told BNS.
The quotas will not apply to highly qualified professionals.
Quotas will be set by the Social Security and Labor Minister with the help of experts from the Research and Higher Education Monitoring and Analysis Centre (MOSTA)
Specific proposals are to be put forward by October.
The government also decided to tighten up the procedure for posting third-country nationals to Lithuania, with plans to return to the work permit system.
On the other hand, the Cabinet decided to facilitate entry for US, Japanese, South Korean, Canadian, Australian and New Zealand citizens: they will be subject to similar requirements as EU citizens.
According to Matulionis, the government also intends to compile a list of approved "white companies" for the issuance of both national multi-entry visas and temporary residence permits.
Just over 12,000 immigrants arrived in Lithuania between January and April this year. The figure has doubled compared with the last few years.