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Under Lithuanian law, a temporary residence permit may be granted to business people and their family members who start a company with a minimum capital share value of approximately US$19,000.  After five years of temporary residency, an individual may apply for permanent residency, and may seek Lithuanian citizenship after ten years of combined temporary and permanent residency.

Despite the lack of a formal “citizenship-by-investment” program, Lithuanian legislation provides for business immigration of foreigners who are willing to establish a company or be engaged in business activities in the country.

The Legal Status of Aliens Act states that in order to obtain a temporary residence permit in Lithuania through business investments,

  • the share capital in the company, agency, or organization must be at least LTL 50,000 approximately US$19,000);
  • the foreign investor must be personally present in Lithuania; and
  • the company must conduct genuine economic activities and start to pay minimum taxes no later than one year after its registration.[1]

In addition the applicant must meet other immigration requirements established by the European Union, including the entry conditions provided by the Schengen Borders Code, having valid health care insurance, possessing adequate means of subsistence, and owing or renting a place of accommodation in Lithuania.[2]

According to the Legal Status of Aliens Act, foreigners who establish a company in Lithuania may obtain an annually renewable one-year temporary residence permit.[3]  A temporary residence permit allows its bearer to reside in and travel to and from Lithuania, including unrestricted travel within the Schengen Area.[4]

A permanent residence permit may be issued after five years of temporary residency if a foreign investor has been continuously living in Lithuania during this time.  The period of required temporary residency may be reduced if the foreigner passes an examination in the Lithuanian language.[5]

Initial applications must be made to the Lithuanian diplomatic mission or consular office abroad.  Applicants who already reside lawfully in Lithuania may apply to the immigration authority but this does not entitle the applicant to remain in Lithuania while the application is being processed.[6]

After ten years of residency in Lithuania, including periods of temporary residency, an investor may apply for citizenship if he or she meets other requirements defined by the Citizenship Act of Lithuania, such as knowledge of the Lithuanian language and Constitution, having a legal source of financial support, and revocation of his or her original citizenship.[7]

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Prepared by Peter Roudik
Director of Legal Research
August 2013
 


* This report was prepared with the assistance of Law Library intern Svitlana Vodyanyk.

[1] Legal Status of Aliens Act, Law No. IX-2206 of April 29, 2004, art. 45(1), § 1, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/ dokpaieska.showdoc_l?p_id=453586 (in Lithuanian) (official publication), official translation available at http://www.refworld.org/docid/41c01b314.html.

[2] Id. art. 26.

[3] Id. art. 45.

[4] Temporary Residence Permits, Migration Department Under the Ministry of the Republic of Lithuania, http://www.migracija.lt/index.php?1135548530 (text in English; last updated Jan. 10, 2011).

[5] Legal Status of Aliens Act art. 53(5)–(6).

[6] Migration Department, supra note 4.

[7] Citizenship Act of Lithuania, No. 144-7361 of Dec. 2, 2010, art. 18, http://www3.lrs.lt/pls/inter3/dokpaieska.show doc_l?p_id=449329&p_query=&p_tr2=2 (in Lithuanian) (official publication).