Job opportunities for international students

Can I work if I have a study visa or a residence permit in Latvia?

Yes, you can work for any employer in Latvia during your studies, but there are conditions for students at different levels of study:

  • Study and work permits are only granted to students who are enrolled full-time in programmes of at least 40 academic hours per week and have obtained at least 40 credits per year.
  • A full-time undergraduate student is entitled to work up to 20 hours per week, and during study holidays may work up to 40 hours per week.
  • A full-time master’s or PhD student has the right to work without restrictions.
It's important to remember

that if you work more hours than you study, your main activity while in Latvia is no longer studying, but working. In this case, you would need a residence permit for employment, and you could study in your free time. Your employer would then be responsible for your stay in Latvia, not the education establishment.

Is it compulsory to have a contract with your employer?

Students can look for a job with any employer. In Latvia, a third-country national can only be employed if he or she has a contract with the employer.

The employment contract guarantees the rights of the employee. If an employer employs someone without a contract, this is unregistered employment, and the state cannot protect the worker. The salary is stipulated in the employment contract. The salary shall be paid at least once a month into the bank account specified by the employee. A full working week is 40 hours. Employees are usually placed on probation for a period of three months. Each worker is entitled to an annual leave of four calendar weeks. Employers must pay the statutory taxes on their employees: the compulsory social security contributions (employer’s and employee’s share) and personal income tax. The compulsory contribution rate is 34.09%, of which 23.59% is paid by the employer and 10.50% by the employee.

Platform work is common among international students. It is an additional work on top of your main job or studies. The employee must be at least 18 years old. If you want to work as a courier partner, you will have to choose between paying tax as self-employed, opening a limited liability company or registering as a sole trader. Find out more about starting a business here

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