Working in Lithuania
The job market
What are your chances of getting a job?
Language may be the biggest barrier for many foreign workers. Although use of the English language is on the increase in business and academia, knowledge of Lithuanian is a distinct advantage (the majority of job adverts are in Lithuanian). Russian and Polish are also spoken in Lithuania. Consider taking a Lithuanian language course either before you leave or once you arrive in Lithuania. A good network of contacts in the country will also improve your chances.
Where can you work?
- Major industries: machine tools, electric motors, household electrical goods, oil processing, furniture making, textiles, food processing, fertilisers, industrial and agricultural machinery, electronic components.
- Recent growth areas: tourism.
- Major companies: Barclays, Coca Cola, HP, IKEA, Mars, Microsoft, Omnitel, Philip Morris, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Saab, Western Union.
What’s it like working in Lithuania?
- Average working hours: working hours must not exceed 40 hours a week (eight hours a day), comparable with the UK.
- Holidays: the minimum annual leave entitlement is 28 days. In addition, there are 14 public holidays, including 16 February for the anniversary of the re-establishment of the state of Lithuania and 11 March for the anniversary of the re-establishment of Lithuania's independence.
- Tax rates: an income tax rate of 15% is generally applied to all income, although there are some exceptions, for example income from dividends and other profit distributions, for which a rate of 20% is applied. Don't forget to check your UK tax and National Insurance position with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) to ensure that you are not losing any UK pension rights.
Applying for jobs
Lithuanians often find work through networking, using friends and personal contacts. Approaching any contacts you already have in the country could help you in your job hunt.
The application and interview processes in Lithuania are similar to those used in the UK. A CV and covering letter is the norm, although some large multinational companies with a presence in Lithuania use application forms. This is often followed by selection tests and an interview (unless applying for an unskilled job, when a CV and interview or just interview may be used). Your CV and all letters of application should be in Lithuanian unless otherwise stated.
Lithuanian employers value academic qualifications and language skills, so highlight your fluency in English. They also look for IT competency and business knowledge.
Sending a speculative application consisting of a CV and targeted covering letter is a reasonably successful strategy. This is often done after an initial approach by telephone.
Get more applications and CV advice.
Will your UK qualifications be recognised?
Following the Bologna Process and the creation of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA), UK qualifications are usually recognised by an employer.
- CV Bankas – site in Lithuanian.
- CV Market – English-language version available. Most vacancies in Lithuanian, although jobs with multinational companies often in English.
- CV-Online LT – English-language version available. Most vacancies in Lithuanian, although some in English.
- EURES European Job Mobility Portal – includes job vacancies, living and working conditions and labour markets in Lithuania. Also includes a CV-posting service for jobseekers.
- Lithuanian Labour Exchange – provides a database of job vacancies in Lithuanian. Useful labour market information in English.
- The Lithuanian Association of Employment has a list of its member agencies.
- Search the Visa Lietuva and Info.lt directories for contact details of recruitment agencies operating in Lithuania. The services of private employment agencies in Lithuania are free of charge for jobseekers.
- Some UK-based employment agencies deal with international vacancies or have branches abroad, including in Lithuania. Check World Employment Confederation and Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) consultancy finder for lists of approved UK agencies and then contact the agency to see if they have jobs abroad.
- Baltic Times – weekly English-language newspaper
- Kauno Diena – Kaunas-based daily, no English content
- Lrytas – daily, no English content
- Lzinios – daily, no English content
- Respublika – daily, no English content
- Verslo Zinios – business daily, no English content
- Online newspapers – provides a list of online newspapers in Lithuania.
- Employers attend jobs fairs organised by universities and other educational institutions.
- The Lithuanian Labour Exchange provides advice to those wanting to set up their own business.
- Networking is very important in Lithuania, and speculative applications are an important part of the application process. Many jobseekers find employment through personal contacts and friends.
Getting work experience
Erasmus+ is the EU programme for education, training, youth and sport for 2014-2020 and covers student exchange, work experience and volunteering opportunities. Both undergraduate and postgraduate students can study abroad for 3 to 12 months. Erasmus+ also provides opportunities for work experience for students to learn new skills or languages, as well as volunteering in different countries for between 2 weeks and 12 months.
Work placements and internships
Work experience and internships may be advertised on general job search websites, usually in Lithuanian. It may be possible to negotiate your own form of work placement or internship through a speculative approach or through personal contacts.
IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) provides summer placements for science and engineering students in a range of countries, including Lithuania.
AIESEC (Association Internationale des Etudiants en Sciences Economiques et Commerciales) provides an international exchange programme for students and recent graduates. They offer voluntary and paid work placements in professional organisations, schools and charities in a range of countries, including Lithuania.
Opportunities to teach English at language centres and at international schools and universities are most likely to be found in the capital, Vilnius. You will usually need a degree and qualification such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). Interviews are usually carried out locally and offers made once you are in Lithuania. Make sure you only sign a contract that includes state social insurance ('SODRA') or you will have to pay your own taxes.
Casual and short-term opportunities are usually sourced through contacts or sometimes via job adverts. Search for jobs in local newspapers. You are unlikely to find information about them whilst outside the country.
Do you need a visa?
Most EU nationals do not need a visa or work permit but citizens of non-EU countries may be required to have these documents.
EU citizens may travel to Lithuania for up to three months within a six-month period starting from the day of their arrival in Lithuania. Those who wish to stay longer than three months, or who have already been in Lithuania for longer than three months, have to submit an application for a residence certificate to the Lithuanian Migration Department. The certificate is valid for up to five years.
If you are not a UK national, contact the Lithuanian embassy in the country where you are currently resident about how to obtain visas and work permits. If you are living in the UK, go to the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in London.
How do you become a permanent resident?
EU nationals can obtain the right to reside permanently in Lithuania if they have legally resided there for a period of five years. You must get a certificate confirming your permission to reside in Lithuania from the Migration Department.
If you are not an EU citizen, check with the Lithuanian Migration Department for deatils of how to become a permanent resident.
Living in Lithuania
- Cost of living: the cost of living is cheaper in Lithuania than in the UK. However, salaries may also be lower.
- Internet domain: .lt
- Currency: euro.
- Health: EU citizens should obtain a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before travelling, which gives access to healthcare under the same conditions as nationals. Also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance. Seek medical advice before leaving the UK about tick-related diseases, including tick-borne encephalitis, especially if you intend to visit areas that are forested.
- Type of government: parliamentary democracy (presidential term lasts five years)
- Laws and customs: possession of even very small quantities of drugs can lead to imprisonment and/or heavy fines.
- Emergency numbers: 112 (single European emergency telephone number, available everywhere in the EU free of charge); 02 (police); 01 (fire brigade); and 03 (medical emergencies). British citizens can get help in an emergency from the British Embassy in Lithuania.
- People: majority Lithuanian, but also Polish, Russian and Belarusian minorities
- Major religion: Christianity