Riga at a Glance
Working in Riga
The city of Riga contributes over half of Latvia’s GDP and is also a significant economic hub for all of the Baltic States. Along with Riga’s cultural accolades, the city also was also declared “Smart City” by the New Economy Magazine in 2014, thanks to its economic growth.
One of Riga’s smaller but still remarkable accomplishments is offering free WIFI throughout the city. Tourism is a growing industry in Riga, with trade accounting for about a fifth of their economy, followed by transport, and manufacturing. The large port and its location on the Daugava River makes it an ideal location for imports and exports. While employment rates are high, salaries are still relatively low, so if you are interested in working in Riga, don't expect to earn more than you currently do at home.
Job Hunting in Riga
For young people looking for employment in Riga, there are plenty of opportunities to work as English-speaking Au Pairs in the city. However, looking for professional work in Riga is not easy because of the language barrier in the country. Though the number of international businesses throughout the city is growing, there are still relatively few opportunities for English-speaking professionals. As always, teaching English is an option. If you can secure an English teaching position with a Latvian employer, it is standard for them to include accommodation in the terms of the contract, which makes moving to the country easier. Some good websites for finding English teaching jobs are ESL Employment and ESL Café .
Volunteering in Riga is another option, and you can find opportunities through the European Voluntary Service. Some of these volunteering positions will require you to pay for the experience, which will usually cover your board and at least one or two meals a day.
Visa and Residence Permits for Latvia
In order to stay in Riga for more than 90 days, people who are not in the European Union require a residence permit. The residence permit is not specific to working in Riga, but also covers students and volunteers in the country.
In order to apply for a residence permit, you need to provide proof of valid health insurance and a health certificate issued by a healthcare institution in Riga, stating that you do not suffer from tuberculosis. Other requirements for the visa application vary depending on your country of origin. These may include proof of an address in Riga and a letter of invitation from your employer, or the institute where you will be studying. You can apply for a residence permit once you are living in Riga, but should do so before your 90-day visa expires.