Long-standing complaints of Latvian employers on deficit of employees are heard at last. The Saeima Commission supported alterations in the Immigration Law. The amendments anticipate easing of entry conditions for people with professions, in which personnel deficit is forecasted.
If Saeima supports the Commission’s proposals, then for foreign top managers and foreign tractor drivers it would be easier to find a job in Latvia. The important thing is that they fall into the list of professions, in which significant labour shortage is forecasted.
Upon establishment of such deficit a guest worker within 10 working days would be granted an EU Blue Card, which allows to work. But thereafter a long-term visa for up to six months. With provision for extension.
By playing a blue card it is possible, at least in part, to win back the loss entailed by massive outflow of fellow citizens to the West. This is not just about seasonal workers from the former soviet republics, who for average Latvian wage of 600-700 euro would gladly spring into spades and rakes. This is also about business, to which the green card was promised provided there are at least 50 employees at the company and at annual turnover exceeding 10 M euro.
Yes, from the point of view the economic advantages of a blue card looses to the scaled down programme Residence permit instead of investments. Earlier to the moving to Latvia investor tens of thousands euro one way or another invested into the economy of the country were automatically enclosed. Anyhow, the brains matter, the rest is not far behind.
Moreover, the issue of a blue card would be affected by the desire of a foreign undertaker to invest into Latvian economy. But it would be better if such investments were already made.
A blue card would be very useful for the development of priority sectors as well. Specifically: the sphere of information technologies which has already come into TOP – 3 of the most profitable export industries of Latvia. And which has already encountered personnel deficit. In the struggle for precious heads of programmers for Latvian companies an additional bonus in the form of a document certifying the right to live, work and move within the EU member states would turn up just at the right moment.
However, right now it’s just a theory, which can hit a severe populist practice. In September the level of registered unemployment countrywide made up 7.9% or 75 664 thousand. There are no reasons to doubt that some politicians would turn up, who would go through fire and ice to defend ‘home’ unemployed and would hang a barn lock on the gates for foreign labour. And no matter that the overwhelming number of long-term unemployed in Latvia refers to senior citizens, who by any stretch of the imagination would hardly enter the IT sphere. It does not really matter how much they earn, the key point is how they vote.