REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

LAW ON CITIZENSHIP

 

2 December 2010   No XI-1196

(As amended on 23 June 2016 No XII-2473)

Vilnius

 

CHAPTER I

GENERAL PROVISIONS

 

Article 1. Purpose of the Law

This Law shall define the principles of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, establish the grounds, conditions and procedure of the acquisition and loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as regulate other relationships of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

Article 2. Definitions

1. “Stateless person” means a person not holding citizenship of any state.

2. Person exiled from the occupied Republic of Lithuania before 11 March 1990 means a person who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before 15 June 1940 or his descendant, who were forcibly expelled from Lithuania by decisions of institutions or courts of occupation regimes in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990 for reasons of resistance to occupation regimes, political or social reasons or reasons of origin.

3. “Person who left Lithuania before 11 March 1990” means a person who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before 15 June 1940 or his descendant, who left the current territory of the Republic of Lithuania before 11 March 1990 to reside permanently in another state, if their permanent residence on 11 March 1990 was outside Lithuania. The said concept shall not include the persons who left the territory of Lithuania after 15 June 1940 for the territory of the former Soviet Union.

4. “Citizen of another state” means a person holding citizenship of a state other than the Republic of Lithuania.

5. “Service of another state” means the service where a position of a state politician or official or any other position related to the implementation of functions of justice or public administration is held in institutions of any other state, when these positions require holding citizenship of that state and/or taking an oath of allegiance to that state. The service of another state shall include the military service and any other statutory service. The service of another state shall not include a position of a politician in local self government bodies to which a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may be elected under European Union law.

6. Person of Lithuanian descent” means a person whose parents or grandparents or one of the parents or grandparents are or were Lithuanians and who considers himself Lithuanian and declares it by written statement.

7. “Descendant of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania” means a child, grandchild or great-grandchild of a person who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before 15 June 1940.

8. “Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” means the permanent legal relationship of a person with the Republic of Lithuania based on mutual rights and responsibilities.

9. “Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania” means a person holding citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

10. “Reinstatement of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” means the exercise of the right to reinstate citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on the grounds and in accordance with the procedure laid down by this Law.

11. “Restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” means the restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to a person who has lost the formerly held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

111. "Retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania" means preservation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania for a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who has acquired citizenship of another state but who has outstanding merits to the State of Lithuania.

12. “Granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” means the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania through naturalisation, under the simplified procedure or by way of exception.

13. “Granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania through naturalisation” means the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to a person who meets the conditions for granting citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania as laid down in this Law.

14. Granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the simplified procedure” means the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania without applying naturalisation conditions to a person of Lithuanian descent who has never been a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

15. “Granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception” means the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to a citizen of another state or a stateless person for outstanding merits to the Republic of Lithuania, who have integrated into the Lithuanian society, without applying naturalisation conditions.

16. “Applications relating to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” means applications for the reinstatement, granting, renunciation, restoration or retention of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

17. Right to reinstate citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania” means the right of a person who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before 15 June 1940 and his descendants to reinstate citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with the procedure laid down by this Law.

18. “Legal permanent residence in the Republic of Lithuania” means the uninterrupted residence of a citizen of another state or a stateless person in the Republic of Lithuania, holding a document entitling or attesting to the right of residence in the Republic of Lithuania, for the period specified in this Law. A person shall be considered to reside in the Republic of Lithuania uninterruptedly during a one-year period, provided he has been resident in the Republic of Lithuania for at least six months during that year.

 

Article 3. Principles of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania

1. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be based on the continuity of the Republic of Lithuania and its citizenship.

2. Every Lithuanian shall have the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, which shall be implemented in accordance with the procedure laid down by this Law.

3. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be equal irrespective of the ground on which it has been acquired.

4. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be a citizen of another state at the same time, except in individual cases provided for in this Law.

5. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania residing in another state shall not lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

6. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who has entered into or dissolved a marriage with a citizen of another state, as well as upon the change of citizenship of his spouse shall not lose citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

7. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right to renounce citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, except in cases provided for in this Law.

8. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be deprived of citizenship. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be lost only on the grounds and in accordance with the procedure laid down by this Law.

9. The citizenship of a child who has acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by birth shall not change upon the change of the citizenship of both or one of his parents.

 

Article 4. Application of International Treaties

Where an effective international treaty ratified by the Republic of Lithuania establishes provisions other than those provided for in this Law, the provisions of the international treaty to which the Republic of Lithuania is a party shall apply.

 

CHAPTER II

CITIZENS OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

 

Article 5. Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania

The following persons shall be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania:

1) persons who are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania on the date of the entry into force of this Law;

2) persons who have reinstated citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law;

3) persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law;

4) persons who have retained citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law.

 

Article 6. Legal Status of Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania

1. Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania shall have all rights, freedoms and responsibilities established by the Constitution, laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as international treaties to which the Republic of Lithuania is a party.

2. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania must observe the Constitution, laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as international treaties to which the Republic of Lithuania is a party, fulfil the responsibilities set forth therein, protect the interests of the Republic of Lithuania, help strengthen its power and authority, and be loyal to it.

3. The State of Lithuania shall defend and protect its citizens outside the territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

4. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be expelled from the territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

5. A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be extradited to another state, except in cases provided for in international treaties to which the Republic of Lithuania is a party.

 

Article 7. Cases when a Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may be a Citizen of Another State at the Same Time

A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may be a citizen of another state at the same time, provided he meets at least one of the following conditions:

1) he has acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and citizenship of another state at birth;

2) he is a person who was exiled from the occupied Republic of Lithuania before 11 March 1990;

3) he is a person who left Lithuania before 11 March 1990;

4) he is a descendant of a person referred to in point 2 or 3 of this Article;

5) by virtue of marriage to a citizen of another state he has ipso facto acquired citizenship of that state;

6) he is a person under 21 years of age, provided he was adopted by citizens (citizen) of the Republic of Lithuania before reaching 18 years of age and, as a result of the adoption, acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania pursuant to Article 17(1) of this Law;

7) he is a person under 21 years of age, provided he, being a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, was adopted by citizens (citizen) of another state before reaching 18 years of age and, as a result of the adoption, acquired citizenship of that state;

8) he has acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of exception while being a citizen of another state;

9) he is a person who has retained citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or who has citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored for his outstanding merits to the State of Lithuania;

10) he has acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania while having refugee status in the Republic of Lithuania.

 

Article 8. Status of a Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania Holding Citizenship of Another State at the Same Time

A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who is a citizen of another state at the same time shall be considered by the State of Lithuania to be only a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania. The possession of citizenship of another state shall not relieve him of the responsibilities as a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania under the Constitution, laws and other legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

Article 9. Reinstatement of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania

1. Persons who held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before 15 June 1940 and their descendants, who have not acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania before the entry into force of this Law, shall have an indefinite right to reinstate citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, irrespective of whether they are permanently resident in the Republic of Lithuania or in any other state.

2. Persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article may reinstate citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, provided they are not citizens of another state. The requirement to renounce citizenship of another state shall not apply to persons who, pursuant to point 2, 3 or 4 of Article 7 of this Law, may be citizens of both the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

3. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be reinstated if there are any circumstances specified in point 1 or 2 of Article 22 of this Law.

4. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may be reinstated only once.

 

Article 91. Retention of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania

1. The President of the Republic may, under this Law, take a decision that a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania who has outstanding merits to the State of Lithuania and who has acquired citizenship of another state retains citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

2. Under this Law, outstanding merits to the Republic of Lithuania shall be any activities of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, which significantly contribute to the consolidation of the statehood of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as to the enhancement of its power and authority in the international community.

3. Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be retained if there are any circumstances specified in points 1, 2 and 3 of Article 22 of this Law.

 

Article 10. Right of Persons of Lithuanian Descent to Acquire Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the Simplified Procedure

1. Persons of Lithuanian descent who have never held citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right to acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the simplified procedure, irrespective of whether they are permanently resident in the Republic of Lithuania or in any other state.

2. Persons referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article may acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under the simplified procedure, provided they are not citizens of another state and there are no circumstances specified in Article 22 of this Law under which citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be granted.

 

Article 11. Documents Certifying Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania

Documents certifying citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be a passport or identity card of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania issued in accordance with the procedure laid down by legal acts of the Republic of Lithuania or any other document proving that a person is a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

 

Article 12. Documents Attesting to the Right to Reinstate Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and Documents Certifying Lithuanian Descent

Persons having the right to reinstate citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall, at their request, in accordance with the procedure established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, be issued documents attesting to that right. Persons of Lithuanian descent shall, at their request, in accordance with the procedure established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania, be issued documents certifying their Lithuanian descent.