Info For Foreigners
Before coming to Latvia to apply for a job there are a number of issues to be considered.
Many foreigners, through citizenship, do not need to apply for a visa. Please check with your national embassy or the Latvian Embassy in your country, what applies to you. However, please understand that to work in Latvia you will need to be an EU citizen. Otherwise, probably the best way to obtain a visa is through showing that you are employed and paying taxes in Latvia, you are married to a Latvian citizen or you have your own company.
These can be obtained if you have the required visa / permanent residence, can show that you are working and paying your taxes here or have or are setting up your own company. However, it is still difficult to obtain one - you must prove to the Latvian authorities why you are more able than a local person and a special coefficient exists (depending on the unemployment rate) - which decides the price from day-to-day. This process is time consuming and needs a lot of patience and various time-consuming visits to Latvian state offices.
The new Immigration Law as of May 1, 2003 pertaining to those who seek entry to Latvia. Read more
Getting the documentation together involves a lot of patience, effort and interviews. It also means that you will be required to prove your physical fitness and that you do not have a criminal record. You will also need to notarise a lot of documentation. You will need a translator (which PRIME Recruitment can provide) and a PRIME person who can arrange the interviews and deal with the bureaucracy. PRIME Recruitment charges around 400 Ls for this service, plus the cost of a translator plus 22 % VAT.
The languages spoken in Latvia are Latvian - the state language - and Russian. It is possible to survive speaking only English in Riga but if you take a job in a company you will need Latvian for everyday work and communication.
Salaries here are in many cases considerably lower than you might be used to. It's not unusual to receive a net salary of 400 Ls per month. Please remember that living expenses can also be quite high - gas, electricity and other utilities are not cheap and costs are increasing. It is unusual for an expat to earn more than a net salary of 1,500 Ls per month, unless you are posted here for an overseas operation, that is.
The currency in Latvia is the lat; 1 LVL = 100 santims. Usually 1 USD = 0.532 LVL (fluctuating) and 1 EUR = 0.7028 LVL (constant).
Setting Up Your Own Company
If you have a good business idea and prepared to work and prosper, then Latvia is the place for you! If you need help in researching the market, finding a suitable location for your office and/or production site, seeking out competent local staff etc then PRIME can help you. We can also help you set competitive salary levels, guide you through the red tape and help you with information on market trends, competitor activity etc. PRIME is well-established in Latvia - use us and our wide range of contacts.
Some Practical Information
To set up a company you will need to deposit 2000 Ls in a bank account while the checking process takes place. You will also need translation and accounting advice until you are officially registered as a company in Latvia. Regiesterring for VAT is often a time consuming and harrowing activity, but PRIME can help you will all of this as well as advising you on the best type of company to create.
Still interested in coming to Latvia?
Then contact us on:
Phone: 371-67 284 743
Mobile: 371-29 499 445
Fax: 371-67 287 518
Henrik Mjoman, Managing Director - in Latvia since 1994.