The number of foreigners coming to Lithuania to work has more than doubled in 2018, new figures show, amid the government’s plans to introduce restrictions on work-related immigration.
The majority of those coming to work in Lithuania are Ukrainians, the Migration Department told. Its figures show almost 16,900 foreigners received visas or work-based resident permits in the first quarter, up almost 2.5 times from the same period past year when over 7,000 foreigners came to Lithuania to work in the first four months of the year.
Over 11,300 Ukrainians came to work in Lithuania in the first quarter, compared to 3,600 last year.
In response to rising work-related immigration, the Lithuanian government announced last week plans to introduce quotas for unqualified workers of certain professions, with details expected in the fall.
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis says the quotas will prevent an inflow of cheap labor in Lithuania. The plans are backed by trade unions.
Meanwhile business employing foreigners say there’s a shortage of workforce and quotas might damage their business.