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Citizenship applications will have to be submitted in person

Citizenship applications will have to be submitted in person

Citizenship applications will have to be submitted in person

From the 1st day of July 2019, citizenship applicants are no longer allowed to submit Lithuanian citizenship applications by simply sending them through post. 

 

The applications will have to be submitted in person or by a representative of an applicant, at the Migration Department or at the Lithuanian embassies and consulates abroad.

Interestingly, this change was published by the Migration Department only on the 19th of July; and is not clear whether the applications that were sent after the 1st of July will be processed.

All the applications for Lithuanian citizenship are being processed by the Migration Department in Vilnius, and the process might be slightly faster if they are submitted directly. 

The applications that are submitted at the Lithuanian consulates and embassies abroad are being forwarded to Migration Department. 

This change does not affect De Civitate’s work since they will still be able to submit the applications directly at the Migration Department as before.

 

Lithuanian Referendum on Dual Citizenship Failed

Lithuanian Referendum on Dual Citizenship Failed

On Sunday, May 12th, Lithuanians voted in a referendum on dual citizenship. 52.63% of all registered voters participated in the referendum. 73.45% of the voters were in favor of changing the
Constitution and allowing dual citizenship while 26.55% voted against. Even though the majority of voters voted in favor of allowing dual citizenship for more people, the number of votes was not sufficient to change the constitution. The Constitution could be changed by a referendum only if more than half of all registered voters voted in favor of the change.

There were even three elections in Lithuania on May 12th commenced at the same time – the first round of the presidential election and two referendums. On Sunday, with nine candidates running
for the nation’s top government position, polling stations were open from 7 a.m. (0400 GMT) to 8 p.m. (1700 GMT), with about 2.47 million voters registered.

Two constitutional referendums were held together with the first round of the presidential races in order to boost their chances of success. However, both referendums did not get a sufficient number
of votes needed in order to change the constitution. The proposed revisions would have diminished the number of MPs in the Seimas from 141 to 121 and enable Lithuanians to hold dual citizenship
with a number of countries meeting “European or Transatlantic integration criteria” which would be further specified by law.

Currently, the Constitution states that Lithuanian citizenship is acquired by birth except in certain
cases established by law and that no person may be a citizen of Lithuania and another country or
state at the same time, except in special cases. This provision of the Constitution can only be changed by a referendum.

A number of people were able to successfully get dual Lithuanian citizenship by descent, which is considered to be an exception and allowed by the Constitution.

Many Lithuanians who live abroad anticipate this change of the Constitution. Emigration was one of the main reasons why the population in Lithuania decreased from 3.7 million people in 1990 to 2.8 million in 2017.

Many Lithuanians living abroad want to keep their Lithuanian citizenship even if they
acquire citizenship of another country. However, currently, it is not allowed by the Constitution.

Even though the referendum failed to change the constitution and allow dual citizenship for more people, politicians do not agree on whether the question is finally answered. Ingrida Simonyte, the leading presidential candidate after the first round of elections, during her press conference on Monday, said that she interprets the results of the referendum as a sign that the majority of Lithuanians clearly want the stance on dual citizenship changed. However, Saulius Skvernelis, current Prime Minister and another presidential candidate, told that the question of whether dual citizenship should be allowed to more people was finally answered.

Unlikely that referendum on dual citizenship in Lithuania will be successful

Unlikely that referendum on dual citizenship in Lithuania will be successful

Latest poll indicate that, most likely, number of voters voting in favor of changing the Constitution of Lithuania to allow dual and multiple citizenships will not be sufficient.

Currently, there are about 2.5 million Lithuanian citizens that have a right to vote. In order to change the Constitution of Lithuania, more than half of them (i.e. about 1.25 million) have to vote in favor of a new proposal.

Results of a poll ordered by Vilnius Institute for Policy show that even 74% of respondents plan to vote in an upcoming referendum. This turnover would be very high for Lithuania and can be explained that the first round of presidential elections and two referendums are held on the same day.

62.6% of those who plan to vote in an upcoming referendum said that they will vote in favor of dual citizenship, while 37.4% plan to vote against the change of the Constitution.

However, in spite of the majority of voters planning to vote in favor, their number, most likely, will not be sufficient to change the Constitution. Results of the poll indicate that about 1.15 million of the voters will vote in favor of changing the Constitution, however 1.25 million or more votes are needed in order to change it.

The referendum to change the Constitution in order to allow Lithuanian citizens also to be citizens of other countries will be held on May 12th, 2019.

Currently, the Constitution states that Lithuanian citizenship is acquired by birth except in certain cases established by law and that no person may be a citizen of Lithuania and another country or state at the same time, except in special cases. This provision of the Constitution can only be changed by a referendum.

A number of people were able to successfully get dual Lithuanian citizenship by descent, which is considered to be an exception and allowed by the Constitution.

Many Lithuanians who live abroad anticipate this change of the Constitution. Emigration was one of the main reasons why the population in Lithuania decreased from 3.7 million people in 1990 to 2.8 million in 2017. Many Lithuanians living abroad want to keep their Lithuanian citizenship even if they acquire citizenship of another country. However, currently, it is not allowed by the Constitution.

The Constitutional amendment by referendum also would allow finalizing the Law on Citizenship of Lithuania so that it would allow more people of Lithuanian descent restore their dual Lithuanian citizenship by descent.

For legal advice on acquiring Lithuanian citizenship by descent, please visit our Contacts page or send an email to [email protected]

Is it possible to get Lithuanian citizenship as your third or fourth citizenship?

Is it possible to get Lithuanian citizenship as your third or fourth citizenship?

Lithuania accepts multiple citizenship and there is no problem with having simultaneously three or four citizenships and passports.

Back in June, the Lithuanian Parliament amended the Citizenship law allowing descendants of Lithuanian citizens that left before 1940 to get Dual Lithuanian citizenship. The law change increased the number of applicants and people get interested in obtaining dual Lithuanian citizenship. At the same time our team at LithuanianCitizenship.com sometimes gets inquiries from people who want to find out whether they can obtain Lithuanian citizenship if they are already citizens of another two or three countries.

A question from one of our recent clients:

“You mention we are allowed dual citizenship. Since we currently have two citizenships (Colombia – birthplace, and USA – naturalized), would we need to renounce one of them? Does it have to be a specific one?”

Answer: It is not a problem if you already have two citizenships. You can get Lithuanian Citizenship as well without renouncing any of the citizenships that you have.

Lithuanian law views dual and multiple nationals in the same way as those who have only Lithuanian citizenship. If a Lithuanian citizen also has the citizenship of another state, the Lithuanian authorities will consider that person to be a Lithuanian citizen both in Lithuania and abroad. The authorities of other states, however, do not necessarily consider that person to be a Lithuanian citizen, because not all states accept multiple nationality in the same manner as Lithuanian law does.

Some European countries, for example, prohibit their citizens to have two and more citizenships. Among them are Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Monaco, and some others that do not acknowledge dual citizenship. For example, when acquiring German citizenship, the applicants are required not only to provide an application for renouncing their previous citizenship but to provide a document proving that renunciation has already taken place. When obtaining Danish citizenship, it is also necessary to renounce your native citizenship.

Many other countries (e.g., Canada, The USA, The UK, Brazil, South Africa, Israel, Ireland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Switzerland, and some others) allow their citizens or nationals to have two or more citizenships. Multiple citizenship is a direct and natural consequence of globalization. Relocation of people lead to mixed marriages and one individual can hold two, three, and sometimes even more citizenships and passports.

Having Lithuanian citizenship will provide you with numbers of benefits.  If you have Lithuanian ancestors you might be eligible for dual Lithuanian citizenship. Contact us today to find out more.[:]

Constitutional Court of Lithuania: Reduced chances of successful dual citizenship referendum

Constitutional Court of Lithuania: Reduced chances of successful dual citizenship referendum

The Constitutional Court’s ruling reduced chances of successful dual citizenship referendum in Lithuania

VILNIUS, LITHUANIA – February 15, 2019

The Lithuanian Constitutional Court ruled on Friday that a referendum to change an article of Lithuania’s constitution cannot be held on two separate days. This decision reduced the chances of adopting the necessary constitutional amendment to allow Lithuanian dual citizenship for more people.

For the dual citizenship referendum to happen, the greater part of qualified voters, or around 1.3 million individuals, need to cast a vote in support for it.

Most analysts agree that the majority of the voters would vote in favour of allowing dual Lithuanian citizenship for more people. However, the main concern of the proponents of the referendum is that it might be considered invalid, because of an insufficient number of votes. The Seimas tried to increase the chances of a successful referendum by allowing voters to vote on two separate days together with presidential elections in May.

Viktoras Pranckietis, the Lithuanian Seimas Speaker says to BNS Lithuania that: “I believe it reduces the chances of that referendum taking place as the requirements are very high”

In his own words, it is essential to encourage voters to come, cast a vote, and to explain why it is important.

“We are now in a situation where we no longer can do anything as we have used our all resources,” said the parliamentary speaker.

Pranckietis trusts that the dual citizenship referendum should happen on May 12, side by side with the first round of casting a ballot in the presidential election.

The Seimas of Lithuania will have to adopt a new resolution regarding the referendum.

Dual citizenship referendum to be held during presidential election in 2019

Dual citizenship referendum to be held during presidential election in 2019

On October 18, the parliament of Lithuania decided to hold a referendum to change the constitution in order to allow more Lithuanians to have dual citizenship. The referendum will be administered on May 12 and 26, simultaneous with the presidential and European Parliament elections. Legislators were hopeful that holding the referendum during the elections would ensure a high participation rate needed to make the constitutional amendment.

According to the decree on the mandatory referendum, Lithuanian citizens will be voting on the adoption of the following text for article 12 of the Constitution:

“Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is acquired by birth or on other grounds specified by constitutional law. Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania by birth, who has acquired the nationality of a state that meets the criteria selected by Lithuania’s European and transatlantic integration, does not lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania. In other cases, the citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be simultaneously a citizen of another state, except as provided by constitutional law. The procedure for the acquisition and deprivation of citizenship establishes a constitutional law.”

Currently, the Constitution states that Lithuanian citizenship is acquired by birth except in certain cases established by law and that no person may be a citizen of Lithuania and another country or state at the same time, except in special cases. This provision of the Constitution can only be changed by a referendum.

A number of people were able to successfully get dual Lithuanian citizenship by descent, which was considered to be an exception and allowed by the constitution. However, interpretation of the constitution has changed a number of times during the last decade and as a result, the eligibility criteria for single and dual citizenship are shifting as well. In some cases, applicants for dual citizenship could not obtain it anymore due to sudden changes in the interpretation of the constitution and citizenship laws.

This change in the constitution is necessitated by a large number of Lithuanians living abroad. Emigration was one of the main reasons why the population in Lithuania decreased from 3.7 million people in 1990 to 2.8 million in 2017. Many Lithuanians living abroad want to keep their Lithuanian citizenship even if they acquire citizenship of another country because of the benefits they can get from being a citizen of an EU member state. But this is currently not allowed by the constitution.

Amending the constitution would allow finalizing the Law on Citizenship of Lithuania so that it would not contradict the constitution anymore as more people restore their dual Lithuanian citizenship by descent.

For legal advice on acquiring Lithuanian citizenship by descent, please visit our Contacts page or send an email to [email protected].