Lithuanian citizenship through the ethnic descent

Lithuanian citizenship may be acquired on certain bases provided in the Law of Republic of Lithuania on citizenship. Lithuanian descent is one of the bases for acquisition of Lithuanian citizenship.
Lithuanian origin should not be equalized to Lithuanian citizenship. Lithuanian origin is related to the ethnicity, the national affiliation of a person, his (her) belonging to a certain nation, ethnos or another historically developed group of people with common characteristics, such as language, culture, religion and so on, attributed to them. A person of Lithuanian origin can be not a citizen of Lithuania and a person of another origin (such as Jewish, Russian, Ukrainian etc.) can be a citizen of Lithuania. Following the relevant provisions of the Law of Republic of Lithuania on citizenship, a person of Lithuanian origin is a person whose parents or grandparents or at least one of the parents or the grandparents are or were of Lithuanian origin and who self-identifies as a Lithuanian and declares this by a declaration in writing.

A person of Lithuanian origin may be endued with Lithuanian citizenship according to the simplified procedure. In such a case, the person should renounce the previous citizenship of the other state. In addition, a document certifying a Lithuanian descent of the person and a permit for residence in Lithuania may be issued to such a person.

Another way for acquisition of Lithuanian citizenship is a restoration of Lithuanian citizenship. Lithuanian citizenship may be restored for a person, if he (she) was a citizen of Lithuania before 15 June 1940 or his (her) ancestors (parents, grandparents or great-grandfathers) were citizens of Lithuania before 15 June 1940. In such a case, the citizenship of the person or his (her) ancestors, not their origin, is taken into consideration. For a restoration of Lithuanian citizenship upon retention of the previous citizenship, the following supplemental conditions shall be satisfied:
1. The person was deported from occupied Lithuania before 11 March 1990;
and (or)
2. The person had left Lithuania before 11 March 1990;
3. The person is a descendant (a child, a grandchild or a great-grandchild) of the above-specified persons.

A person deported from occupied Lithuania before 11 March 1990 is a person who was a citizen of Lithuania before 15 June 1940 or a descendant of such a person who were deported from Lithuania under compulsion in the period between 15 June 1940 and 11 March 1990 according to a decision of authorities or a court of the occupation regime for a resistance to the regime or political, social or origin-related reasons.
A person having left Lithuania before 11 March 1990 is a person who was a citizen of Lithuania before 15 June 1940 or a descendant of such a person having left the territory of today Lithuania for permanent residence in another state before 11 March 1990, if their place of permanent residence was out of Lithuania on 11 March 1990. This conception is not applicable to persons having left the territory of Lithuania after 15 June 1940 for any other location of the former Soviet Union.

Before June 2016, the Migration Department under the Ministry of Interior assessed the reasons of leaving Lithuania. For restoration of Lithuanian citizenship upon retaining the previous citizenship, such reasons could be historical and political (not social). After the adoption of amendments to the Law of Republic of Lithuania on 23 June 2016 by Seimas, the reasons of leaving Lithuania before 11 March 1990 ceased to be an important criterion in the process of restoration of Lithuanian citizenship. If a person applies for restoration of Lithuanian citizenship upon retaining the previous citizenship (granting a dual citizenship), he (she) shall prove an existence of the following crucial circumstances:
1. Lithuanian citizenship before 15 June 1940;
2. The fact of leaving Lithuania before 11 March 1990 and permanent residence out of Lithuania on 11 March 1990 or the fact of deportation;
3. The kinship;
4. The change of the personal data (the first name or the surname).

The documents certifying Lithuanian citizenship before 15 June 1940 include:
1. Lithuanian passports (government-issued passports or passports for travelling abroad) issued before 15 June 1940;
2. Lithuanian passports for travelling abroad issued by diplomatic missions or consular institutions of Lithuania after 15 June 1940;
3. Documents attesting military service of the person in Lithuanian Army or his (her) involvement in civil service;
4. Certificates of birth or other documents where Lithuanian citizenship of the person is specified;
5. Identification documents issued in Lithuania before 15 June 1940 or identification documents issued on the base of the documents issued in Lithuania before 15 June 1940.
If the above-listed documents are absent, documents on learning, working or residing in Lithuania documents issued in Lithuania before 15 June 1940 as well as a passport of a foreign state and other documents may be submitted.

An Application for a restoration a Lithuanian citizenship shall be written in Lithuanian. The documents enclosed to the Application shall be translated into Lithuanian and certified according to the procedure provided in legal norms (by Apostile or according to the legalization procedure).

The documents shall be submitted to the Migration Department in Lithuania or a consular institution in a foreign state.

 

MIGRATION LAW CENTER 

 

If you have any questions regarding Lithuanian citizenship or should you require more information or  help, please contact us by e-mail info@migration.lt or tel. + 370 6 1861886. We will gladly help you.