IMMIGRATION AND RESIDENCY IN LITHUANIA

 

Any European Union citizen is free to stay in the Republic of Lithuania for a period up to 3 months within half a year. If the person wishes to stay in the Republic of Lithuania longer, he or she should declare his place of residence in Lithuania. It should be noted that European Union's citizen has a right to bring their family members to Lithuania who, if coming for more than 3 months in the period of one year, have to receive a residence permit.

 

Residency and Work Permits in Lithuania

 

Non European Union citizens, willing to engage in certain activities in Lithuania like studies or work must apply for and receive a temporary residence permit. If a temporary residence permit on studies is issued, non-European citizen enjoys the right of possible part-time work (which according to the Labor Code is not more than 20 hours per week). Depending on the staying in Lithuania reasons, the temporary residence permit may be issued for a period not longer than 5 years through the local migration office.

 

Regarding the work permit, Lithuanian registered enterprise may employ a foreigner if he has a valid work permit issued by the Lithuanian Labor Exchange. However for citizens of the EU they are not re­quired as well as for foreigners holding a permit for permanent residence, foreigners who retained their right to the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, foreigners of the Lithuanian ori­gin and foreigners who married in Lithua­nia.

 

The issue of having a temporary residence permit may grant a right to have the work permit. The work permit is not required for persons who work as a head of the company reg­istered in Lithuania.

 

Employment of non-Lithuanian Residents

 

There is a certain procedure which shall be applied in the cases of employing a foreigner. One month prior employment a Lithuanian registered enterprise must register free working place at the local labor exchange and apply for the issue of a work permit. In the cases when the established company in the republic of Lithuania is under bankruptcy the right to apply for the work permit is not possible. The procedure goes as follows: labor exchange passes a positive decision and its conclusion is submit­ted to the Lithuanian Labor Exchange, which passes a final decision and issues a work permit to the foreigner. The application, depending on qualification of the future foreign employee may take from one to two months. If the application is approved, work permit for a foreign employee will be valid up to 2 years.

 

Schengen Visas

 

In 2007, the Council of Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs of the European Union (EU) adopted the decision on the accession of nine new states - Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Malta, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia - to the Schengen area. From December 21, 2007 these nine states abolished checks on persons at internal land borders and from March 30, 2008 - checks on persons at air borders within the Schengen area.

 

Visas are issued at diplomatic missions or consular offices of the Republic of Lithuania abroad.

 

In order to get a visa an alien must submit:

  • a valid travel document;
  • an established form of application for Shengen Visa;
  • one photo of 35x45 mm, corresponding to the age of an alien;
  • the receipt of the paid consular fee which is 60 EUR;
  • a valid document certifying his/her health insurance;

 

In order to get a short-stay visa an invitation letter of a natural or legal person of the Republic of Lithuania for temporary arrival to the Republic of Lithuania contrived by a migration office of the police commissariat must be submitted.

 

An alien possessing a short-stay visa may enter and stay within the Schengen area for the time period established in the visa but no longer than three months in any six-month period from the first day of entry.

 

Residence Permits costs and Requirements in Lithuania

 

When issuing an alien a residence permit for the first time, the alien will usually be issued a temporary residence permit.

 

An alien who applies for the first time for the issue of a residence permit shall lodge an application for the issue of a residence permit with the diplomatic mission or consular post of the Republic of Lithuania abroad.

 

A temporary residence permit for one year may be issued to an alien who intends to engage in lawful activities in Lithuania, provided that the alien:

  1. registers an enterprise, agency or organization in Lithuania with 3000 EUR share capital  and is a director of this enterprise;
  2. registers an enterprise, agency or organization in Lithuania as the owner or co-owner who owns at least 15000 EUR of the statutory capital and his stay in Lithuania is necessary seeking to attain the aims of the enterprise, agency, organization and carrying out other activities;
  3. is the head or the authorized representative of the enterprise, agency or organization registered in the Republic of Lithuania, if the principal goal of his entry is work at the enterprise, agency or organization.

 

The person shall have at least 300 EUR per month (3600 EUR per year) of income and a place of residence in Lithuania (registered rent agreement or written consent of the owner is required).

 

State fee for document administration is 300LTL (87EUR), 600 LTL (174 EUR) for accelerated procedure and 100 LTL (30 EUR) for formalizing a temporary residence permit; 60 EUR for the issuance of visa.

 

General Procedure

 

Grounds for temporary residence permit are set;

 

An alien who applies for the first time for the issue of a residence permit shall lodge an application for the issue of a residence permit with the diplomatic mission or consular post of Lithuania abroad. Within not more than 6 months from the day of application, (3 months in case of accelerated prcedure) the decision on temporary residence permit will be issued. The decision to grant the temporary residence permit is terminated if it is not used within the period of 3 months;

 

The following documents have to be submitted in order to apply for the temporary residence permit: (i) Official Application form, which will be provided in the consular post of Lithuania abroad; (ii) valid travel document, which validity shall be not less than 3 months until the validity of the temporary residence permit expires and its copy; (iii) documents, proving the grounds for the temporary residence permits; (iv) document, proving that the alien can sustain himself in Lithuania; (v) document proving that the alien has living premises in Lithuania belonging to him or on the basis of the lease agreement; (vi) health insurance document (shall be presented after the decision is issued on granting the temporary residence permit); (vii) document, proving that the state fee is paid State fee for document administration is 300LTL (87EUR) or 600 LTL (174 EUR) for accelerated procedure and 60 EUR for the issuance of visa.

 

Documents shall be submitted personally to the Lithuanian Embassy in alien’s home country or to the Lithuanian Migration Office directly if alien is legally in the Republic of Lithuania. After residence permit is issued an alien must stay in Lithuania at least 6 months per year, otherwise residence permit may be cancelled or refused to prolong. Residence permit is valid for 1 year and it can be prolonged afterwards. Documents for residence permit prolongation shall be submitted to the Lithuanian Migration Office or its local subdivision according to alien’s declared place of residence in Lithuania.

 

Family members entering into Lithuania to join the alien who has been issued a temporary residence permit on the particular grounds may be issued a temporary residence permit for the same period as the alien. However our current laws set the further requirements for the alien whose family members wish to reside in Lithuania on the grounds of family reunion. The requirements are the following: to live in Lithuania for not less than 2 years, has a valid permit to live in Lithuania for one more year and have grounds for acquiring permanent residence permit. The aforesaid requirements are not applicable for family members of the alien coming to work high professional qualification job or coming to perform scientific research and (or) experimental development works as a researcher according to an employment agreement concluded with a scientific research company registered in Lithuania. If these requirements are met, family members have to present same documents as the alien and additionally submit documents proving their relationship status with an alien (marriage, partnership agreement) or that they are alien's children under 18 years old.

 

Pursuant to official data in 2011 70% of all residence applications were satisfied and 80% of applications from Asia countries were satisfied.

 

The Schengen Area

 

In 2007, the Council of Ministers of Justice and Internal Affairs of the European Union (EU) adopted the decision on the accession of nine new states - Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland, Malta, Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia - to the Schengen area. From December 21, 2007 these nine states abolished checks on persons at internal land borders and from March 30, 2008 - checks on persons at air borders within the Schengen area.

Today the Schengen area is composed of 25 states:

 

- 22 EU member states: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden;

 

- 3 non-EU states: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. From December 12, 2008 Switzerland abolished checks on persons at internal land borders within the Schengen area and from March 29, 2009 will abolish check on persons at air borders within the Schengen area.

 

Citizens of the 25 states that belong to the Schengen area have equal rights to travel without visas and border control.

 

The EU Member States Ireland, Bulgaria, the United Kingdom, Cyprus and Romania do not belong to the Schengen group. The United Kingdom and Ireland still keep control on borders with other EU states (but they are committed to provide police and legal cooperation in criminal cases).

 

The Schengen group requires only one visa. This means that a person wishing to travel anywhere in the Schengen area needs to get only one visa. 

 

Free-Visa Travelling

 

Citizens from the following countries may enter Lithuania without visa:

 

Albania (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Andorra; Argentina; Armenia (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Australia; Austria; Belgium; Brazil; Bosnia and Herzegovina (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Brunei Darussalam; Bulgaria; Canada; Chile; China (for holders of diplomatic and official passport only); Costa Rica; Croatia; Cyprus; Czech Republic; Denmark; Estonia; Finland; France; Germany; Guatemala; Greece; Honduras; Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (for holders of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport only); Hungary; Iceland; Ireland; Israel; Italy; Japan; Korea (South); Latvia; Liechtenstein; Luxembourg; Macau Special Administrative Region (for holders of Macau Special Administrative Region passport only); Macedonia (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Malaysia; Malta; Morocco (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Mexico; Moldova (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Monaco; Montenegro (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Netherlands; New Zealand; Nicaragua; Norway; Panama; Paraguay; Poland; Portugal; Romania; Russia (for holders of diplomatic passport only); San Marino; El Salvador; Serbia (for holders of diplomatic passport only); Singapore; Slovakia; Slovenia; Spain; Sweden; Switzerland; Turkey (for holders of diplomatic, official and special passports only); Ukraine (for holders of diplomatic and official passport only); United Kingdom; United States; Uruguay; Vatican City (Holy See); Venezuela.

 

Under this regime, foreigners from these countries may stay in Lithuania without visa for up to 90 days within six month period, counting from the day of entry.

For questions, please, contact Valters Gencs, attorney at law at info@gencs.eu


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The material contained here is not to be construed as legal advice or opinion.

© Gencs Valters Law Firm, 2014