Last Updated: Friday, 05 March 2021, 16:17 GMT

Law on Citizenship

Publisher National Legislative Bodies / National Authorities
Author Republic of Lithuania
Publication Date 11 December 1991
Reference LTU-110
Cite as Law on Citizenship [],  11 December 1991, available at: https://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b4f110.html [accessed 6 March 2021]
Comments This is an unofficial translation received from Professor Gintautas Bartkus, Law Faculty, Vilnius University. It includes an amendment made by the Law Validity of Citizenship Documents of the Republic of Lithuania and Supplement to Citizenship Law which entered into force on 11 December 1991. This law has been repealed.
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Chapter 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS

Article 1 Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

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

(1)  persons who were citizens of the Republic of Lithuania prior to 15 June 1940, and their children and grandchildren provided they have not acquired citizenship of another state;

(2)  persons who were permanent residents on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania in the period from 9 January 1919 to 15 June 1940, as well as their children and grandchildren, provided on the day of entry into force of this Law they have been permanent residents in Lithuania, and are not citizens of another state;

(3)  persons who acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or had it restored to them prior to 4 November 1991 under the Law on Citizenship which had been in force before the enactment of this Law;

(4)  persons who have implemented the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, or had citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored to them under this Law; and

(5)  other persons who have acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law.

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

Article 2 Document Confirming Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

The passport of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania shall be the document confirming citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

The procedure for issuing the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania shall be established by the Republic of Lithuania Citizen's Passport Regulations.

Article 3 Legal Status of Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania shall have all socio-economic, political and individual rights and freedoms that are provided and guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, and international agreements binding to the Republic of Lithuania.

Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, permanently residing in Lithuania, shall have the right to be elected to representative bodies of state power and other elective state bodies of the Republic of Lithuania according to the procedure established by law, to be appointed to various offices in the bodies of state power and government, or to be elected judges of law courts of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as to take part in referenda.

A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania must observe the Constitution and laws of the Republic of Lithuania, perform the duties prescribed thereby, protect the interests of the Republic of Lithuania, contribute to the strengthening of its power and prestige, and be loyal to the Republic.

Article 4 Retaining Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania upon Marriage and Divorce.

Marriage to a foreign national or to a person without citizenship, contracted by a man or woman is a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as dissolution of such marriage shall not by itself change the citizenship of either spouse.

Article 5 Retaining Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Residence by a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania in a foreign state shall not by itself result in the loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Beyond the borders of the Republic of Lithuania its citizens shall be protected and taken care of by the State of Lithuania.

Article 6 Extradition of Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania is not Permitted.

A citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be extradited to another state.

Chapter 2 - ACQUIRING CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

Article 7 Ways of Acquiring Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be acquired:

(1)  by birth;

(2)  by implementing the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or by having citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored;

(3)  by being granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania (by naturalisation);

(4)  by voicing one's option or on other grounds, as provided by international treaties with the Republic of Lithuania; and

(5)  on other grounds provided by this Law.

Article 8 Citizenship of Children whose Parents are Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania.

A child, both of whose parents at the moment of his or her birth were citizens of the Republic of Lithuania, shall be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania regardless of whether he or she was born on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, or beyond its borders.

Article 9 Citizenship of Children one of whose Parents is a Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

A child, one of whose parents at the moment of his or her birth was a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, shall be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, if

(1)  he or she was born on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, or

(2)  he or she was born beyond the borders of the Republic of Lithuania but at the moment of his or her birth both or one parent had a permanent place of residence on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

If at the moment of the child's birth one parent was a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, and both parents had a permanent place of residence beyond the borders of the Republic of Lithuania, the citizenship of the child, until he or she is 18 years of age, shall be established by the parents' agreement.

A child, one of whose parents at the moment of his or her birth was a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, and the other parent was either a person without citizenship or unknown, shall be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania regardless of his or her place of birth.

Article 10 Acquiring Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by Children whose Parents are Persons without Citizenship.

A child, whose parents are persons without citizenship and permanent residents in Lithuania, shall acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 11 Citizenship of Children whose Parents are Unknown.

A child found on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, both of whose parents are unknown, shall be considered born in Lithuania and shall be a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania, unless there are grounds for him or her to acquire a different status.

Article 12 Conditions for Granting Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

A person, upon his or her request, may be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, provided he or she agrees to take the oath to the Republic and meets the following conditions of citizenship:

(1)  has passed the examination in the Lithuanian language (can speak and read Lithuanian);

(2)  for the last ten years has had a permanent place of residence on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania;

(3)  has a permanent place of employment or a constant legal source of support on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania;

(4)  has passed the examination in the basic provisions of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania; and

(5)  is a person without citizenship, or is a citizen of a state under the laws of which he or she loses citizenship of said state upon acquiring citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, or if the person notifies in writing of his or her decision to refuse citizenship of another state upon being granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Persons meeting the conditions specified in this Article shall be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania taking into consideration the interests of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 13 Reasons Precluding the Granting of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall not be granted (including the voicing of one's option) to:

(1)  persons who have committed crimes against humanity or acts of genocide;

(2)  persons who took part in criminal activities against the Republic of Lithuania;

(3)  persons who, before coming to Lithuania, have been sentenced in another state to imprisonment for a deliberate crime for which criminal liability is imposed by the laws of the Republic of Lithuania, or have been sentenced in Lithuania for a deliberate crime punishable by imprisonment;

(4)  persons who are chronic alcoholics or drug addicts; and

(5)  persons who are ill with especially dangerous infectious diseases.

Article 14 Granting Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to a Person who has Contracted Marriage with a Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

A person, who has contracted marriage with a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania and has maintained one's marital status during the last 3 years while residing in Lithuania, shall be granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, provided he or she meets the conditions specified by paragraphs 1, 4 and 5 of Part 1 of Article 12 of this Law.

Article 15 Oath of the Republic.

Persons who are granted citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by way of naturalisation or by voicing their option, as well as under Article 16 of this Law, shall take the following oath:

"I (full name), accepting citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, pledge to be loyal to the Republic of Lithuania, to observe the Constitution and laws of the Republic, to defend the independence of Lithuania, to protect the territorial integrity of the state. I pledge to respect the state language of Lithuania, its culture and customs, and to strengthen the democratic Lithuanian state".

The oath of the Republic shall be administered in public, in a solemn atmosphere. A person accepting citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall read aloud the text of the oath in the Lithuanian language and sign it.

Article 16 Granting Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to Persons who have been of Merit to the State of Lithuania.

Citizenship of the Republic of Litnuania may be granted to foreign nationals who have been of merit to the Republic of Lithuania without applying to them conditions of granting citizenship specified in Article 12 of this Law.

Chapter 3 - RETENTION OF THE RIGHT TO CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA. RESTORATION OF CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA.LOSS OF CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA AND RETURNING CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

Article 17 Retention of the Right to Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

The right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be retained for an indefinite period for:

(1)  persons who had citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until 15 June 1940 and are at the present time residing in other states, provided they have not repatriated from Lithuania;

(2)  children of persons who had citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until 15 June 1940, who were born in Lithuania or in refugee camps but are at the present time residing in other states; and

(3)  other persons of Lithuanian origin who are residing in foreign states or on the territories governed by said states.

Persons for whom the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is retained shall, at their request, be issued documents confirming the right.

Said persons, together with members of their families, may enter the Republic of Lithuania without visas and reside in Lithuania without having the requirements of the Law on Immigration applied to them, as well as depart from Lithuania. Laws may also provide for other rights of said persons.

Persons specified in this Law shall implement the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania in accordance with this Law.

Article 18 Conditions of Implementing the Right to Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or Restoring Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Persons specified in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Article 17 of this Law shall implement their right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania upon refusing citizenship of another state.

Persons specified in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Article 17 of this Law shall implement their right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania upon refusing citizenship of another state, and moving to Lithuania for permanent residence as well as taking the oath to the Republic of Lithuania.

Persons of Lithuanian origin who had citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and who departed from Lithuania in the period from 15 June 1940 to 11 March 1990, and are at the present time residing in other states, as well as their children who have not acquired citizenship of another state by birth, shall have their citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored upon presenting a written notice to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania or to diplomatic missions of the Republic of Lithuania abroad stating that they are citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and supplemented with evidence confirming same.

Restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under this Law shall not by itself bring about legal consequences with regard to the members of family of the person who has had his citizenship restored.

A person shall be considered to have had his citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored upon being issued the passport of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 19 Loss of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be lost if:

(1)  a person renounces citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania;

(2)  a person acquires citizenship of another state;

(3)  a person severs the actual links with the State of Lithuania; and

(4)  there are other reasons therefor, as provided by international agreements with the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 20 The Right of a Citizen of the Republic of Lithuania to Renounce Citizenship.

The right of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania may not be abridged, except in cases specified in this Law.

A person's application concerning renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be refused if a criminal action has been brought against him or if there is executive judgment of the court concerning the person.

Article 21 Loss of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania upon Severing the Actual Links with the State of Lithuania.

A person may be recognised as having lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania if he or she severs the actual links with the State of Lithuania by:

(1)  having lived abroad for an uninterrupted period exceeding 3 years with an invalid passport of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania or without said passport; and

(2)  joining the military service of another state or taking employment as a state official in another state without the permission of the competent bodies of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 22 Returning of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

A person deprived of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under paragraphs 1, 3, and 4 of Article 19 of this Law may be returned citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on his or her application, provided at the moment of filing the application the person is a permanent resident on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, and meets the conditions specified in paragraphs 2, 3 and 5 of Part 1 of Article 12 of this Law.

Article 23 Declaring the Act on the Granting of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania Invalid.

The Act on the Granting of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be declared invalid if a naturalised person or a person who has voiced his or her option (of nationality), has acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by presenting forged documents or by any other fraud, or has not renounced citizenship of another state, or if the court determines that the person, before or after the granting of citizenship, committed crimes against humanity under international law, or acts of genocide and committed crimes against the Republic of Lithuania.

The Act on the Granting of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania may also be declared invalid if the period after 15 June 1940 the person organised or carried out deportation or extermination of the residents (of Lithuania), suppressed the resistance movement in Lithuania or, after 11 March 1990, took part in the activities directed against the independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Lithuania.

Chapter 4 - CITIZENSHIP OF CHILDREN UPON THE CHANGE OF PARENTS' CITIZENSHIP

Article 24 Change of Children's Citizenship when both Parents change their Citizenship.

If both parents acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, or if both parents lose it, citizenship of children under 14 years of age shall change accordingly.

Article 25 Acquisition of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by Children in the Event of Acquisition of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by one of the Parents.

If one of the parents acquires citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania whereas the other parent retains citizenship of another state, the child of such parents may acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on the application of both parents.

If one of the parents acquires citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, whereas the other parent remains a person without citizenship, the child of such parents residing beyond the borders of the Republic of Lithuania may acquire citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania on the application of the parent who has acquired citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 26 Retention of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania by Children if one of the Parents loses Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

If one of the parents loses citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, the child of such parents shall retain citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania until he or she is 14 years of age.

Article 27 Consent of Children is Necessary for Changing their Nationality.

If the parents change their citizenship, citizenship of their children who are 14 to 18 years of age may be changed only upon the children's written comment.

Chapter 5 - PROCEDURE FOR RESOLVING ISSUES CONCERNING CITIZENSHIP OF THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA

Article 28 Filing Applications and Motions on Issues Concerning Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Issues concerning the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and returning of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be considered upon a written application filed by the person concerned.

The following documents must be appended to the application for the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania: a document confirming the person's identity, the person's birth certificate, and certifications regarding that person's permanent place of residence and employment (occupation) or any other legal source of support, and documents confirming the absence of reasons specified in paragraphs 4 and 5 of Article 13 of this Law.

The following documents must be appended to the application concerning the implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania: a document confirming the person's identity, the person's birth certificate, a document confirming the person's nationality, documents confirming citizenship of another state or renunciation of that citizenship, and documents regarding the person's permanent place of residence.

The following documents must be appended to the application concerning renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania: a document confirming the person's identity, the person's birth certificate, and documents regarding the person's permanent place of residence and employment (occupation). Applications concerning renunciation of citizenship shall be accepted upon the payment of state duty in the amount fixed by the Government.

The following documents shall be appended to the application concerning the returning of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania: a document confirming the person's identity, the person's birth certificate, a document regarding the grounds for the loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, documents regarding the person's permanent place of residence and employment (occupation) or any other legal source of support.

Applications of persons who are under 18 years of age concerning the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, renunciation or returning of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be filed by such persons' legal representatives.

The Ministries of Internal Affairs and Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania shall have the right to submit motions to recognize a person as having lost citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under Article 21 of this Law.

Applications concerning the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, or returning of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be addressed to the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania and filed with the appropriate regional (rural district) or city Board.

Persons specified in paragraph 1 of Part 1 of Article 17 of this Law shall file applications concerning the implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania with agencies of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania or with diplomatic (consular) agencies of the Republic of Lithuania abroad.

Persons specified in paragraphs 2 and 3 of Part 1 of Article 17 of this Law shall address applications concerning the implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania and file said applications with the appropriate regional (rural district) or city Board.

Applications concerning restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be filed directly with the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania or addressed to the Ministry and filed with diplomatic agencies of the Republic of Lithuania abroad.

Upon meeting the requirements set forth in Part 1 on Part 2 of Article 18 of this Law, persons implementing the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be issued passports of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania by the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Upon meeting the requirements set forth in part 3 of Article 18 of this Law, persons having citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania restored to them shall be issued passports of a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania either directly by the Ministry of Internal Affairs or by diplomatic agencies of the Republic of Lithuania abroad.

Applications concerning the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under Article 16 of this Law shall be filed directly with the Presidium of the Supreme Council. Documents confirming the person's identity, and other (required) documents shall be appended to the application. The application shall be submitted to the committee of deputies of the Supreme Council for consideration.

Article 29 Citizenship Committee.

The Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania shall form the Citizenship Committee for the consideration of issues of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Citizenship Committee shall have the right to invite to its meetings the person whose citizenship is being considered, as well as to instruct state agencies to express, within the time period prescribed by the Committee, their opinion and present all necessary documents on the application or motion that is being considered by the Committee.

A meeting of the Committee shall be operative if not less than two thirds of the members take part therein. Decisions of the Committee shall be adopted by majority vote and registered in a protocol which shall be signed by all the members participating in the meeting.

The Citizenship Committee shall submit to the Presidium of the Supreme Council specific recommendations to comply with the applicants' requests concerning citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania; in cases where the Committee refuses to recommend the granting of citizenship, it shall notify the applicant thereof in writing, setting forth the reasons for refusal.

Article 30 Committee of Deputies of the Supreme Council.

Applications concerning the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under Article 16 of this Law shall be considered by the committee of deputies which shall be formed by the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania.

Decisions of the committee shall be adopted by majority vote of all its members and registered in a protocol which shall be signed by all the members of the committee participating in the meeting.

The Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania shall consider applications concerning the granting of citizenship under Article 16 of this Law upon receiving an appropriate recommendation of the committee of deputies.

Article 31 Adopting Decisions on Applications and Motions Concerning Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

The Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania shall resolve issues concerning the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, returning of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as recognising the Act on the Granting of Citizenship invalid.

The Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania shall issue directives on granting citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, renunciation, returning, or loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as on recognising the Act on the Granting of Citizenship invalid. In cases where the application or motion is rejected, the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania shall adopt an appropriate resolution.

The Minister of Internal Affairs shall adopt decisions on the restoration of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania or on the implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Directives on the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and decisions of the Minister of Internal Affairs on the implementation of the right to citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania under Part 2 of Article 18 of this Law shall enter into force only after the person has taken the oath to the Republic of Lithuania at the regional (rural district) or city local governments of the Republic of Lithuania or at diplomatic agencies of the Republic of Lithuania abroad.

Persons who, upon acquiring citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, lose citizenship of another state, shall take the oath of the Republic of Lithuania only after they have presented documents proving the loss of citizenship of another state.

Within 7 days from administering the oath to the Republic of Lithuania, regional (rural district) and city local governments, and diplomatic agencies of the Republic of Lithuania abroad shall notify thereof the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania.

Article 32 Adoption of Decisions on the Change of Citizenship of Children.

In cases specified in Articles 25-27 of this Law, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania shall consider issues concerning the change of children's citizenship and prepare the necessary documents.

Article 33 Publication of Legal Acts on Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Upon entering into force, directives of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Lithuania on the granting, returning, and loss of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as directives declaring the Act on the Granting of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania invalid shall be published in the "Official Reports of the Supreme Council and Government of the Republic of Lithuania".

Article 34 Renewed Consideration of Applications and Motions Concerning Issues of Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Renewed application concerning the granting of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, renunciation of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania, and returning of citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania shall be considered no sooner than one year after the addition of the previous decision.

Article 35 Preparation of Documents Concerning Citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania.

Documents concerning citizenship of persons who are permanent residents in Lithuania shall be prepared by the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania; documents of persons permanently residing in other states shall be prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania in conjunction with the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Chapter 6 - INTERNATIONAL AGREEMENTS

Article 36 Application of International Agreements on Questions of Citizenship.

If an international agreement to which the Republic of Lithuania is party prescribes rules other than those established by this Law, the provisions of the international agreement shall prevail.

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