Guide to reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship
According to the Law on Citizenship, persons whose ancestors were citizens of Lithuania have a right to reinstate their citizenship. But what seems as a simple administrative procedure, can turn into a lengthy process full of bureaucratic twists and turns. So how can one exercise his or her right to reinstatement of citizenship? In this article you will find out the requirements to follow, the list of documents to provide as well as other useful information to guide you through reinstatement of citizenship.
Who can reinstate Lithuanian citizenship?
According to the provisions of the Law on Citizenship (hereinafter – the Law) persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before June 15, 1940 and their descendants, who have not acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before the entry into force of the Law, shall have an indefinite right to reinstate citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, regardless of whether they are permanent residents in Lithuania or any other country.
It is important to stress that Lithuanian citizenship shall not be reinstated to persons who:
- Prepared, attempted to commit or committed international crimes such as aggression, genocide, crimes against humanity and war crime;
- Prepared, attempted to commit or committed criminal acts against the Republic of Lithuania.
Lithuanian citizenship may be reinstated only once.
According to the Law, persons who held Lithuanian citizenship before June 15, 1940 and their descendants may reinstate Lithuanian citizenship, provided they are not citizens of another state. The requirement to renounce citizenship of another state shall not apply to a person who, pursuant to the Article 7 of the Law, may be citizen of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time:
- A person who was exiled from the occupied Republic of Lithuania before March 11, 1990 and acquired citizenship of another state;
- A person who fled the Republic of Lithuania before March 11, 1990 and acquired citizenship of another state;
- A descendant of a person who was exiled from the occupied Republic of Lithuania before March 11, 1990 or who fled Lithuania before March 11, 1990.
While the concept of exile is quite self-explanatory, the notion of “fleeing” Lithuania is less clear. The Constitutional Court as well as the Administrative Court of the Republic of Lithuania have established in their jurisprudence that “to flee” shall mean to leave Lithuania permanently because of political reasons, resistance to the occupation regime, persecution related to religion, origin, political views or belonging to a certain social group. It is considered that a person fled Lithuania if he/she left the country for one or multiple reasons mentioned above, had fear to return and lived abroad until March 11, 1990.
A person who seeks double citizenship shall provide documents justifying exile or flee along with his/hers application. It shall be noted that double citizenship is considered an exception rather than a rule, meaning that double citizenship is granted only in cases when there is no doubt that the above mentioned circumstances existed.
The following documents are requested in order to reinstate a person’s citizenship:
- Application form;
- Document(s) certifying the person’s identity;
- Documents evidencing the change of name or surname where such personal data have been changed;
- Documents certifying that a person held citizenship of Lithuania before June 15, 1940 or he/she is a descendant of the person who held citizenship of Lithuania before June 15, 1940, such as: internal or foreign passports; documents attesting to the person’s service in the Lithuanian armed forces or employment in the civil service; birth certificates or other documents containing direct reference to citizenship; personal certificates;
- Documents certifying that he/she was exiled from Lithuania or fled Lithuania or that he/she is a descendant of such person;
- Documents certifying that a person is not a citizen of another state, except the cases of double citizenship;
- Document evidencing that the state fee has been paid.
The application on the reinstatement of citizenship and all the other accompanying documents shall be translated into Lithuanian language. All copies shall be validated by public notary and have an Apostille (or shall be legalized).
Where to submit the documents?
Persons who reside in Lithuania, shall submit their applications to the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania through territorial police agencies according to their place of residence. Persons who reside abroad can submit their applications through the diplomatic or consular posts of the Republic of Lithuania or the Migration Department under the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.
State fee for examination of the application is 41 EUR.
For further information regarding reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship please send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jovita Valatkaite, attorney at law of the Gencs Valters Law Firm in Vilnius
Practising in fields of Citizenship Law in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
T: +370 52 68 52 50
F: +370 52 61 11 00