The Process of Getting a Lithuanian Dual Passport by Descent

The Process of Getting a Lithuanian Dual Passport by Descent

If you have Lithuanian ancestry, it might be possible for you to obtain a Lithuanian dual passport by descent. People who get LT citizenship are eligible for a plethora of benefits not only in Lithuania but in most parts of the EU as well.

Why Should I Get a Lithuanian Dual Passport?

For sure, having a Lithuanian passport allows you to live in Lithuania, but most people do not know that apart from this, you also get the following benefits:

  • Eligibility to live, study, and work in Europe,
  • Right to own property anywhere in the EU,
  • Visa-free travel to over 150 countries.

To understand better the process of applying for dual Lithuanian citizenship by descent, we broke it down into separate steps for you:

Determining Your Eligibility

Before you apply for Lithuanian citizenship by descent, you have to satisfy the eligibility criteria set by the Citizenship Law of Lithuania. In simple terms you should meet the following criteria:

  • Your ancestor has to be a citizen of Lithuania between 1918 and 1940 and
  • Your ancestor (or their descendant) should have left Lithuania before 1990.

You can claim Lithuanian citizenship through ancestry three generations back, so if you have at least one Lithuanian great-grandparent, you might be able to restore your Lithuanian citizenship.

If your ancestor still had Lithuanian citizenship during the time of Lithuania’s occupation in 1940 and they emigrated to the western countries (not the USSR), then you should be eligible for dual Lithuanian citizenship.

However, it is always advisable to check with lawyers working in this field, because there are some nuances which might affect the application. For example, the situation is more complicated for applicants with ancestors from Vilnius region, which was under the control of Poland before WW2. On the other hand, it is sometimes possible to get dual Lithuanian citizenship even if applicants are not certain whether ancestor lost Lithuanian citizenship before 1940, in many cases, it is possible to construct an application for dual citizenship when at first it looks like that those applicants are eligible only for a single Lithuanian citizenship.

The Citizenship Law of Lithuania sounds deceptively simple, but the actual application process is also regulated by rules of the Migration Department, precedent forming decisions of the courts and the Constitutional court. In order to accurately assess chances of getting the citizenship, it is always better to get an opinion of a lawyer specialized in this area of law.

Finding the documents that prove Lithuanian citizenship of your ancestor

The next step is finding documents that prove Lithuanian citizenship of your ancestor. The best document for proof of citizenship is Lithuanian passport, however, there are many other documents that might be used for the purpose, such as land ownership documents, certain documents about studies, military service documents, etc. On the other hand, some documents which might look like proof of citizenship, are not. For example, birth certificates issued before 1918 are not considered to be proof of Lithuanian citizenship, even if they were issued in Lithuanian territory because they were not issued by the Republic of Lithuania (which regained its independence from Russia only in 1918).

Collecting additional documents and preparing the applications

After proof of Lithuanian citizenship of your ancestor is found you can proceed to the next step of the application process; collecting other supporting documents and preparing the application itself.

The following documents are some of the documents that you might need to acquire:

  • Your birth certificate,
  • Your and your parents’ marriage certificate if surnames changed,
  • Immigration and naturalization documents,
  • Copy of your current passport.

You will also have to fill out the application forms and, possibly, additional explanation documents to speed up the application process. You will also need to certify all the documents, by a notary public and/or apostille.

The exact package of documents needed and how they have to be certified differs depending on the specific situation of the applicant, the country, and types of documents. Devil is in the detail and any error will significantly delay the processing time of the application.

Translation and submitting

After all the documents are collected and certified, they have to be translated to Lithuanian and submitted for the application processing to the Migration Department.

Until about a year ago it was still possible to submit the application by post. However, now it is only possible to do it in person by the applicant or their representative.

The application process at the moment takes about 12-18 months. The largest part of it is just waiting for the application to be processed by Lithuanian authorities. After the decision to grant Lithuanian citizenship is published by the Ministry of Interior of Lithuania, the applicant can get Lithuanian passport in the closes Lithuanian embassy or consulate. The day you will get a Lithuanian passport might change your and your children’s life since you will be not only Lithuanian but also a EU citizen, with many more opportunities.

We at De Civitate offer dual citizenship assistance to people with Lithuanian ancestry. Our clients don’t have to be in Lithuania during the whole process. We’ll handle the application process from document acquisition, translation, application submission, and making follow-ups with the Lithuanian authorities until citizenship is granted.

You can contact us at info@lithuaniancitizenship.com for more information.

Are you eligible for a Lithuanian Citizenship by descent?

Are you eligible for a Lithuanian Citizenship by descent?

Due to amendments to citizenship law of Lithuania that came into force on the 1st of July, 2016 – more people can now get a dual Lithuanian Citizenship again.  Until the recent law change, descendants of Lithuanian citizens that left Lithuania prior to 1940 could only get single Lithuanian citizenship and had to renounce their current one.

In general you are now eligible for Lithuanian citizenship and can keep your existing one, if:

  • at least one of your parents, grandparents or great grandparents were citizens of the Republic of Lithuania (which existed from 1918 to 1940);
  • your ancestor left Lithuania some time before Lithuania restored its independence on March 11, 1990;
  • your ancestor left to any country which was not part of the former Soviet Union (In case your ancestor left to any of the Soviet Union countries, you might still be eligible for single or dual Lithuanian citizenship depending on the time and leaving circumstances).

Except the general rules, there are some other nuances which you should know in order to find out whether you are eligible for Lithuanian citizenship.

For example, one of the cases is related to the borders change issue. If a person can prove that they or their ancestors were born in the territory of present day Lithuania after 1918 then they can get Lithuanian citizenship. In case the place where your ancestors were born is not a part of Lithuania today then you should find other proof that your ancestor was a Lithuanian citizen.

If your ancestor left Lithuania before 1918, then, unfortunately you are not eligible for Lithuanian citizenship. Lithuania restored its independence in 1918 and only persons that lived in Lithuania after this date became Lithuanian citizens.

Lithuanian immigration has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people with Lithuanian ancestry living outside Lithuania. Large waves of Lithuanian migration occurred during the 19th and 20th century, a large portion of whom were Jewish. Communities in the United States make up the largest part of this diaspora, where as many as one million Americans can claim Lithuanian descent and with the largest concentrations of Lithuanian Americans making their homes in the Great Lakes area and the Northeast. Lithuanian communities in Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, and Uruguay also grew before and after World War II. Many Lithuanian citizens migrated to Israel, which today has a large Lithuanian/Jewish community.

Because of different time and reasons of immigration, we can say that almost all of Lithuanian Australians can obtain dual citizenship, while we have a mixed picture for Lithuanian Americans, Canadians and Brazilians. Today as many as 70% of South Africa’s Jews trace their descent to Lithuania and most of them can get Lithuanian citizenship.

If you are interested in getting Lithuanian citizenship by descent but still not sure whether you qualify for citizenship, feel free to contact us.

We are ready to guide you through the application process and help you to restore your citizenship rights.

More applicants are eligible for dual Lithuanian citizenship

More applicants are eligible for dual Lithuanian citizenship

Now you are eligible for dual Lithuanian citizenship even if your ancestors were naturalized in other countries before 1940. If one of your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents left Lithuania before 1940 and got citizenship of Brazil, USA, South Africa, or any other country before the start of WW2 in 1940 until recently you were eligible only for single Lithuanian citizenship. Single Lithuanian citizenship meant that when getting Lithuanian citizenship you had to renounce current citizenship that you have.

 

The citizenship law did not change but because of a precedent-setting court ruling, now most of the applicants can get Lithuanian citizenship even if their ancestors got citizenship of another country before 1940. It is not considered anymore that a person who got citizenship of another country lost Lithuanian citizenship automatically unless documents exist that prove the fact of loss of Lithuanian citizenship.

 

Dual Lithuanian citizenship cannot be acquired only when documents stating that the applicant’s ancestor had lost Lithuanian citizenship exist. In the majority of cases, Lithuania did not keep a record of people that left Lithuania, and information gathering about who got citizenship in other countries was sporadic. Therefore documents stating that person lost Lithuanian citizenship before 1940, because they acquired citizenship of another country are very rare. We at De Civitate search for these documents at the start of the application process and will find out whether the applicant’s ancestor lost Lithuanian citizenship before the application is submitted, thus saving the applicant a significant amount of time and money.

 

Lithuanian citizenship law and its interpretation already changed several times, thus changing eligibility criteria for dual and single citizenship. These changes resulted in situations when some members of the same family could get only single citizenship while their siblings or parents had dual, just because they applied at different times.

 

We always advise applying for a Lithuanian dual passport as soon as you can before rules change again. If a person is granted dual Lithuanian citizenship, even if eligibility rules change again they will not affect a holder of dual Lithuanian citizenship.

 

If you have Lithuanian citizenship, your children would get dual Lithuanian citizenship (and get the rights of EU citizens), by birth. By obtaining Lithuanian citizenship, you are getting citizenship not only for yourself but also for your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. This is a great opportunity for your family and future generations. Lithuanian citizenship can be restored only for a descendant of three generations — if your great-grandparents left Lithuania, you are still able to restore Lithuanian citizenship, but your children will not be able to restore it. However, they can get Lithuanian citizenship by birth if they are born after you already restored Lithuanian citizenship and got your Lithuanian passport.

 

If you have Lithuanian ancestors and would like to acquire a Lithuanian dual passport, reach out to us via email at info@lithuaniancitizenship.com. We offer assistance in document acquisition, application preparation, translation services, and guidance throughout the process until citizenship is granted. Apply now, before rules change again! Email us today so we can assess your eligibility for a Lithuanian passport by descent.

More minors might be able to retain dual Lithuanian citizenship

More minors might be able to retain dual Lithuanian citizenship

The parliament of Lithuania will consider amendments initiated by the Ministry of the Interior to expand the cases when minors who have acquired Lithuanian citizenship by birth may also retain citizenship of another country.

Proposed amendments stipulate that a person who acquired Lithuanian citizenship by birth and acquired the citizenship of another state before the age of 18 without being born there, will be able to choose which citizenship to retain until they turn 20 years old.

If a person does not renounce the citizenship of another country until he or she reaches the age of 20, they will lose Lithuanian citizenship.

Amendments to the Law on Citizenship were approved this week after submission and will be further considered by committees of the Lithuanian parliament.

At the moment children lose their Lithuanian citizenship automatically if their parents acquire citizenship of another country for them. If amendments to the citizenship law are accepted children would have two years to decide which citizenship they want to keep after they reach the age of majority.

According to the data of the Ministry of the Interior, every year about 300 persons under the age of 18 who acquire the citizenship of another state lose their Lithuanian citizenship.

The amendment also wants to establish that all procedures related to Lithuanian citizenship should be carried out through one institution – the Migration Department. At the moment the Migration Department and the Ministry of Interior both participate in the Lithuanian citizenship restoration process. This change might speed up the process of restoring Lithuanian citizenship by descent.

We at De Civitate offer dual citizenship assistance to people with Lithuanian ancestry. Our clients do not have to be in Lithuania during the application process. We will handle all the application process from document acquisition, translation, application submission, and making follow-ups with the Lithuanian authorities until citizenship is granted.

Email us at info@lithuaniancitizenship.com for more information.

From Now On It Will Be Possible To Receive Lithuanian Passport The Same Day

From Now On It Will Be Possible To Receive Lithuanian Passport The Same Day

From Monday (May 4th, 2020) the Migration Department of Lithuania started offering a new service – issuing Lithuanian passport on the same day. The new service is offered only at a branch of the Migration Department in Naugardukas st. in Vilnius. This service, probably, will not be offered in branches of the Migration Department in other towns of Lithuania or at Lithuanian embassies abroad since Lithuanian passports are being printed only in Vilnius.

To receive the passport on the same day, the applicant has to apply for it before noon. The extra fast service costs 190 euro, however it is possible to get the passport cheaper, if the applicant can wait longer. Regular cost for a passport is 43 euro, however it is issued in one month.

Until this week it was possible to receive a passport in one work day, i.e. a person could receive the passport the next day after applying for it.

To apply for Lithuanian passport in Lithuania you will need the following documents: your current valid passport; document about restoring your Lithuanian citizenship and money for payment (cash or card).

We, at De Civitate, assist people with Lithuanian heritage to obtain citizenship of Lithuania. We help our clients through all the application process: search in the archives, preparing the applications, translating the documents, submitting the application, and following up with relevant authorities until Lithuanian citizenship is granted.

Contact us at info@lithuaniancitizenship.com for more information.

 

From Now On It Will Be Possible To Receive Lithuanian Passport The Same Day

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.

 

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