On January 28, 2022, a new amendment of the Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania came into force. It clarifies eligibility for Lithuanian citizenship, allowing applicants with ancestors naturalized in another country before 1940 to get dual Lithuanian citizenship. Until recently, the Migration Department was often blocking Lithuanian citizenship restoration claiming that naturalization in another country before 1940 meant an automatic loss of Lithuanian citizenship. After the new amendment came into force, applicants with ancestors naturalized before 1940, will be able to apply for dual Lithuanian citizenship.
The previous interpretation of the citizenship law requires applicants to provide evidence that their Lithuanian ancestors pursued to maintain Lithuanian citizenship in their new country of residence until 15 June 1940. Lithuanian citizenship was denied if their Lithuanian ancestors were naturalized before 15 June 1940.
According to the new regulation, an individual who was a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania at any time before 15 June 1940 (or their descendants) will be eligible for reinstatement of their citizenship. Earlier formulation stated that a person can restore Lithuanian citizenship only if they (or their ancestor) had Lithuanian citizenship on 15 June 1940. The Migration Department’s view is that anyone that acquired citizenship of another country before 1940, automatically lost their Lithuanian citizenship.
Those persons, whose ancestors had their citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania revoked by a decision of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Lithuania, were and are unable to apply for the reinstitution of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania. However, such cases are extremely rare and, in our experience, they affect less than one percent of potential applicants.
There is a possibility that this new amendment will be challenged at the Constitutional court. However, the process might take at least 1-2 years and this time usually is sufficient to prepare the application and get Lithuanian citizenship. Since the amendment already came into power, it opens an opportunity to get Lithuanian citizenship for more descendants of Lithuanian citizens. Even if the amendment were reversed, citizenship that was already granted would not be affected.
If you have Lithuanian ancestors and would like to acquire a Lithuanian dual passport, reach out to us via email at [email protected]. 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.