Govern­ment wants to re­duce ad­min­is­tra­tive bur­den for for­eign stu­dents

Baltic News Network - - News -

Ad­min­is­tra­tive bur­den for for­eign stu­dents and re­searchers, as well as ed­u­ca­tion and re­search in­sti­tu­tions that host them is planned to be re­duced in Latvia. This is pro­vided by amend­ments to the Im­mi­gra­tion Law con­cep­tu­ally ap­proved by Saeima’s De­fence, In­ter­nal Af­fairs and Cor­rup­tion Preven­tion Com­mit­tee on Wed­nes­day, 18 April.

The leg­isla­tive draft pro­vides for clarifying the rights of re­searchers and stu­dents for em­ploy­ment. «For re­searchers it is planned to pro­vide un­lim­ited ac­cess to the labour mar­ket. This will help cre­ate more ben­e­fi­cial con­di­tions for attraction of highly-skilled for­eign re­searchers. As for stu­dents – it is planned to es­tab­lish a limit of 20 hours a week. This re­stric­tion will not ap­ply to hol­i­days: stu­dents will be al­lowed to work 40 hours a week in sum­mer,» as noted in the leg­isla­tive draft.

Cur­rently stu­dents and re­searchers who ar­rive in Latvia as part of mo­bil­ity pro­grammes are pro­vided with ac­cess to the labour mar­ket 20 hours a week for work and re­search, as well as work as part of aca­demic per­son­nel in ac­cor­dance with their EU mem­ber states’ is­sued res­i­dence per­mit or visa.

«The leg­isla­tive draft pro­vides for expanding the range of for­eign­ers who do not re­quire per­mis­sion to work in Latvia by in­clud­ing stu­dents and trainees who un­dergo work train­ing as part of their study pro­grammes no later than two years af­ter grad­u­at­ing. This con­di­tion will be in­tro­duced be­cause for­eign­ers of this cat­e­gory do not take jobs lo­cal res­i­dents could take and con­tinue study­ing,» as men­tioned in the an­no­ta­tion of the draft.

Continuing: «Amend­ments to the law also pro­vide for vol­un­tary work and par­tic­i­pa­tion in ex­change pro­grammes as one of the rea­sons for is­sue of a long-term visa. It is planned to ex­tend the amount of time a stu­dent or re­searches is al­lowed to re­ceive a res­i­dence per­mit to stay in the coun­try af­ter com­plet­ing stud­ies or re­search in or­der to find a job or start a busi­ness. The leg­isla­tive draft pro­vides for ex­tend­ing this pe­riod of time to nine months in­stead of the cur­rent six months.»

An­other im­por­tant change pro­posed by the leg­isla­tive draft is the op­tion to nul­lify a res­i­dence per­mit if com­pli­ance with em­ploy­ment con­di­tions was not met.

Saeima’s press-ser­vice re­ports that amend­ments to the law pro­vide for ex­emp­tion from the visa re­quire­ment for peo­ple who travel to Latvia with a travel doc­u­ment is­sued in their home coun­try and lais­sez-passer is­sued by the Eu­ro­pean Coun­cil to rep­re­sen­ta­tives of 47 mem­ber states of the Eu­ro­pean Coun­cil: rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Eu­ro­pean Coun­cil Par­lia­men­tary As­sem­bly, judges of the Eu­ro­pean Court of Hu­man Rights, rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Congress of Lo­cal and Re­gional Au­thor­i­ties of the Coun­cil of Eu­rope and come mem­bers of or­ga­ni­za­tions un­der the Eu­ro­pean Coun­cil.

For amend­ments to come into force, it is nec­es­sary for them to be sup­ported by the Saeima in three read­ings.

Pan­therMe­dia/SCANPIX

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