Lithuania to Reimburse the Costs of Attracting Highly Qualified Professionals from 1 July


2022 05 30


The Seimas has approved amendments to the Law on Employment drafted by the Ministry of Economy and Innovation. In accordance with the new provisions, highly skilled biotechnology, engineering, IT and physical sciences’ specialists attracted from abroad, as well as companies employing them, will be allocated lump-sum payments.

This measure will help attract talent to Lithuania in priority economic sectors, increase our country's competitiveness and attract more investors. Financial incentives will be available to citizens of Lithuania who have left the country but are now returning and who have professions that are particularly in short supply, as well as to other niche professionals from abroad. In the wake of Russia’s attack on Ukraine, the measure is also aimed at professionals fleeing the war from Ukraine.

The one-off compensation to cover part of the relocation costs for a newcomer to Lithuania will amount to around €3,000 (4.1 monthly minimum wages, Lith. MMA). For companies, the cost of recruiting highly qualified workers abroad will be covered up to €5,200 (7.1 MMA).

“As many as 8 out of 10 foreign investors who have chosen Lithuania say that the supply of talent is an essential prerequisite for coming to the country. Unfortunately, in the period from 2016 to 2020, 5,810 high-paying jobs were not created by investors who did not choose Lithuania because of a lack of talent. The country’s economic growth and attraction of new investors is especially hampered by the lack of niche professionals, so we need to introduce unconventional support measures that have already proven successful in other countries,” said Aušrinė Armonaitė, Minister of Economy and Innovation.

According to the Minister, the amendments to the Law on Employment are aimed at attracting not only highly qualified foreigners, but also highly qualified Lithuanian citizens who have left the country, i.e., all talents from abroad who have not been residents and taxpayers in Lithuania for more than five years. Only those workers who are currently in short supply in Lithuania and whose job function is included in the list of missing high value-added occupations, e.g., life sciences, IT, engineering, physical sciences, will be compensated for relocation.

“The more people earn high salaries in Lithuania, the more opportunities for the rise of the general level of well-being are provided, including the minimum wage. That is why we need to strengthen the sectors that create the most added value and efficiency. This financial incentive has been offered only to the highly skilled workers who are in particularly short supply, because of which businesses in Lithuania are unable to develop innovative projects, expand their businesses, create well-paid jobs and pay more taxes, which are so necessary for our health and social system,” the Minister emphasised.

A professional of Lithuanian or any other origin recruited from abroad will have to be employed for an indefinite period of time and will have to be paid an average monthly salary of at least 4.1 MMA for six months from the start of employment. The allocated payments will be paid to the specialists only after they have worked for six months. A financial incentive will be paid to the company to compensate for the costs of finding such a professional 12 months after the start of the contract.

To help highly skilled refugees from Ukraine, facilitated procedures are proposed.  For instance, to exempt Ukrainians from the requirement to have a profession included in the list of missing professions, from the requirement to having been resident in Lithuania for at least the last five years, and to allow for a lower gross salary threshold of 2.4 MMA (around €1,750).

It is estimated that revenue generated by the newly attracted and recovered tax residents would exceed the costs of attracting or getting them back to the country. It has been calculated that a professional earning at least 4.1 MMA pays around €10,500 a year in taxes.

This proposal is one of the ways to change the status quo and to attract professionals to the advanced sectors of the economy. For several years now, EU funds have been allocated to staff training courses, funds have been earmarked for retraining or upskilling workers in smart specialisation sectors, targeted scholarships have been provided for students in engineering, ICT, mathematics in the regions, etc.