The process for Reinstatement of Lithuanian Citizenship
In order to begin the official process for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship, which will eventually will enable to also issue a Lithuanian-European passport, an appropriate application should be submitted to the Lithuanian Embassy of Lithuania or the relevant authorities in Lithuania.
As an essential and inseparable part of the application for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship, various official documents and certificates, both from Lithuania and the State of Israel, must be presented to the Lithuanian authorities, together with appropriate notarial authorizations and translations. Among other things, this is required for proof of family affiliation between any applicant and anyone who can prove as required by Lithuanian law that he was a citizen of Lithuania, during which Lithuania was an independent state, before joining the Soviet Union.
Often these are various formal documents such as: birth certificates, studies, immigration, identity, marriage, passport, etc. Difficulties and problems often arise in adapting these documents to the strict criteria of the Lithuanian authorities and therefore in some cases, legal proceedings are required to change or update the documents (such as change of name, date of birth) and / or obtaining additional documents from the authorities in Israel, actions that require counseling and legal counseling also in accordance with Israeli or other applicable law.
The law in Lithuania, which stipulates the scope and legal criteria for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship, as well as the policy of the Lithuanian Migration Department regarding the handling and decision making of such applications, has changed from time to time, as has been the case in recent years, both in light of legislative changes and due to various court judgments passed in the judicial cases.
Therefore, the process of reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship is not merely “technical” but first and foremost requires preliminary factual and legal examinations – thoroughly, professionally and certified – aimed to ascertain, as far as possible in the individual circumstances of each case, whether the specific applicant for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship allegedly meets the general eligibility conditions applicable at the time, according to Lithuanian law. Therefore, this step without a shadow of a doubt requires the exercise of professional judgment which is legal advice for all intents and purposes.
Only afterwards and only if it is found that there is, in fact, a real potential to meet the conditions of eligibility, it is equally important to prepare and submit the application for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship, as legally required, as well as to accompany the process itself at the Migration Department, closely and professionally. This stage is also not purely procedural, but often requires additional legal advice and handling of various legal documents
How long does the process take?
As of the submission date of the application at the Migration Department for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship, the process may take, on average, a period of about one year. In some cases the process will be shorter but sometimes it may be even longer, especially if the application has been submitted even though there is no eligibility in the first place or in cases where the application has not been prepared, submitted or handled properly and professionally.
In addition, experience shows that the period of time the process may take is subject to various components and variables, some depend on the client himself and the degree of cooperation on his part (before and during the process), some depend on the professionalism and experience of the party who handles the client’s application and on his behalf and some also depend on the complexity of each application as well as the Migration Department’s work pace and overload, that is also effected due to the relevant Lithuanian law and court rullings, which may change from time to time.
Given the complexity of the process, it is important to consider in advance that even after submitting an application to the Migration Department in Lithuania, it is not a “submit and forget” process, as there is a high likelihood that the Migration Department will delay the processing of the application until further clarifications, data and documents are required and submitted, which will require additional legal counseling and handling.
The foregoing is provided as general information only and does not constitute advice, recommendation, legal advice or substitute for an individual legal advice.
It is emphasized that the exclusive discretion to grant Lithuanian citizenship and European passport is dedicated only to the Lithuanian authorities.