Frequently Asked Questions
What are the first steps of returning to Lithuania?
- One must declare departure from the foreign country and then declare a place of residence upon returning to Lithuania (if you declared departure at the time when you left). This can be done via the “E-Government Gateway” website epaslaugos.lt/portal/en (although, it needs to be noted that one needs an electronic Lithuanian bank account or a mobile/electronic signature), or in your local eldership.
- Ensure that you have taken care of the compulsory health insurance (CHI), because as soon as one declares a place of residence in Lithuania, there is an obligation to pay the CHI payment to “Sodra”. If a person is working, there is no need for these payments, as they are automatically charged along with paychecks. If a person who has returned from abroad does not work for a period of time, he has to pay the required contributions on his own (or one can be insured by the state, if he is a retired person, unemployed and registered at the Lithuanian Labor Exchange, student, one of the parents that is raising a child under 8 years old, etc.).
- Choose and register to a health institution. Before registering, make sure that your chosen health institution has entered an agreement with the territorial patient fund regarding the compensation of healthcare services. Then you will not have to pay for the services that are covered by the budget of the compulsory health insurance fund (CHIF).
More information: First steps in Lithuania
What are the necessary documents to have when coming back from abroad?
- Documents that certify a job placement and periods of work (ex.: contract of employment, forms P45 or P60 from the employer);
- Documents certifying the payment of social security benefits (form E104 or its equivalent);
- Documents certifying that one had health insurance during the period of living abroad. If your health insurance and social contributions were paid by the employer, an employment contract is sufficient;
- Documents of any education that your children completed/partly completed whilst living abroad.
More information: First steps in Lithuania
When and how to declare a place of residence in Lithuania?
One can do it in person by arriving to the local eldership or via the e-government website (www.epaslaugos.lt/portal/en) using electronic banking, mobile or electronic signature to sign in. It is worth noting that declaring the place of residence at the premises, which are the property or the right of use belongs to another person, a permission of said person is necessary.
More information: Declaring a place of residence
How can foreign citizens declare a place of residence in Lithuania?
Foreigners who must declare a place of residence:
- EU citizens, that have arrived to reside in Lithuania for longer than three months;
- Citizens of third countries who have permits for temporary or permanent residence in Lithuania or an EU citizen’s family member card.
Foreigners who have a long-term visa cannot declare a place of residence.
From March 22nd 2016 foreigners that have never declared a place of residence in Lithuania can do so in the Department of Migration when receiving documents for permanent or temporary residence. The Department of Migration sends this data to the Centre of Registers.
How can a child sign up for school after returning from abroad?
Children that have been born and raised abroad can face difficulties in school after returning to Lithuania due to their Lithuanian language skills. According to Lithuanian law, every public school should provide additional Lithuanian language classes, create extra classes or formulate and individual educational program for children of returning Lithuanian migrants. In reality though, this should be discussed with the school (its administration) individually.
Documents necessary for admission:
- Application form;
- Document certifying learning achievements (a document attesting completion of educational curriculum or part of it abroad), which needs to be translated into Lithuanian. (The requirement to have the translation approved by the notary depends on each school’s internal procedures);
- Other documents as indicated in the school admission procedure (each school establishes its own individual requirements for the submitted documents). Schools (primary, secondary and pro-gymnasiums) give priority to the children whose place of residence is registered within the area serviced by schools; therefore, you may be required to submit a document of a declared place of residence.
For a child under 14, a request for school admission has to be submitted by one of the parents (guardians), and from 14 years of age, the child is required to write an application himself (in some cases, different procedures may be adopted by schools).
Can a pupil study in a language other than Lithuanian?
Yes, that is a possibility.
Ethnic minority schools in Lithuania provide education in languages such as Russian, Polish, Belarusian.
Some schools in Lithuania (both private and public) emphasize learning of a foreign language (i.e. implementation of bilingual studies). In these schools, children of various age groups have part of their classes in English, French, or German.
For those who want to continue their studies in English in 11-12th grades, they have the opportunity to receive an international baccalaureate (IB) diploma in five schools: Vilnius international school (the only school in Lithuania that has primary and secondary IB education programs), Vilnius lyceum, Kaunas Jesuit High School, Siauliai “Didzvaris” gymnasium and Taurage “Versmes” gymnasium. All disciplines in the IB program are taught in English (except from Lithuanian language and literature). The IB is a two-year program for students in the 11-12th grade (apart from the primary and secondary IB education programs that are being organized by the Vilnius international school).
The American international school in Vilnius, Klaipeda lyceum, Klaipeda “Universa Via” international school all provide the possibility to complete secondary education in English. “VIMS – International Meridian School” also provides a secondary education program in English and primary education in English can be completed in Queen Morta school.
Vilnius French school provides education in French.
More information: Education in other languages
Vilnius Lithuanians’ House
Vilnius Lithuanians’ House aims to provide education for children of returning migrants. Along with a regular school curriculum, the school provides extra Lithuanian language lessons, as well as education about Lithuanian culture and history. Pupils can live in a dormitory with all the necessary facilities for free (the education is also free); they can apply from ages 7 to 17.
More information: Vilnius Lithuanians’ House
Can my offspring have a dual citizenship?
Even though a citizen of the Republic of Lithuania cannot simultaneously have a citizenship of another country, there are certain exceptions. For example, a child can be granted both a Lithuanian citizenship and a citizenship of another country if he attained them during birth. These persons do not have to choose between passports after they turn 21, because the law allows them to keep both citizenships.
More information: Citizenship issues
What are the possibilities of distance learning in Lithuania?
Distance learning is organized in two ways:
- According to the general Ministry of Education curriculum, when a person learns all subjects and after completion receives a corresponding document: primary or secondary education completion certificate or the Award of Brandos Atestatas (Maturity Certificate) (if a person has completed only a part of the program, he is issued a certificate of completion of the relevant part of the program).
- One can choose to study the “Lithuanian package”: choosing to enroll only in Lithuanian language, literature, history and geography classes (and receiving a certificate after completing this course).
Distance learning is carried out via Skype, using e-lessons, videos etc. One has to arrive to the educational institution only to take the final exams in the 12th grade, in some cases – to assess one’s knowledge after the 10th grade.
Distance learning is free and currently is being provided in these institutions:
- Vilnius Ozo gymnasium (1-8 grades and I-IV gymnasium school grades)
- Šiauliai Simonas Daukantas gymnasium ( persons up to 20 years of age, 9-12 grades)
- Šiauliai Sandoros progymnasium (1-8 grades)
- Akmenė Adult Education center (persons from 16 years of age, 5-12 grades)
- Kretinga Adult and Youth Training center (9-12 grades)
Where can one learn Lithuanian?
The basics can be learned via the internet, for example in a new website called Let’s be Friends (https://friends.ugdome.lt/), pages like www.loescen.com or www.surfacelanguages.com as well as language schools, which can be found in all major Lithuanian cities.
Lithuanian can also be studied with the help of private teachers. Most universities which have foreign students offer Lithuanian language courses.
More information: Lithuanian language courses
Upon my return to Lithuania, do I have the right to any social benefits while searching for a job?
A person who has lost or is looking for a job has the right to an unemployment social security benefit. These benefits can also be provided to a person who is returning to Lithuania from abroad. Nevertheless, it is important to note that in Lithuania, this benefit can only be administered if after returning the person was employed in Lithuania (the last workplace before losing the job was in Lithuania).
A person, who wants to claim the unemployment social security benefit, has to:
- Register at the local labor exchange subdivision;
- Over the past 3 years must have been employed for at least 12 months;
- If over the past 3 years a person has not been employed for 12 months in Lithuania, but has been employed for the same period in another EU member state, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Ukraine or Belarus, these work periods can be counted. If that is the case, documents on unemployment insurance and employment periods from the previous State of employment competent authorities would have to be presented (in EU, EFTA and Switzerland, this document is a U1 form). Then the unemployment insurance period will be credited to Lithuania. If one cannot obtain the U1 form, the person has to provide “Sodra” with documents, related to work in another Member State, and the institutions responsible for social benefits in Lithuania and the foreign country, will contact each other for data retrieval.
The insurance periods are not counted when coming back from countries that are not mentioned above.
More information: Lithuanian Labor exchange
Can one receive unemployment benefits abroad, but search for a job in Lithuania?
Yes. If you are a recipient of the unemployment benefit in one of the EU, EFTA member states or Switzerland, you have the right to go search for a job in Lithuania and during this period receive unemployment benefits from, for example: United Kingdom (i.e. the unemployment benefit can be exported to Lithuania).
You can continue to receive the unemployment benefits for at least three months from the EU country where you have registered at the labor exchange, but come to Lithuania to look for a job, if:
- In the country, where you became unemployed, you are entitled to unemployment benefits;
- At least 4 weeks prior, you have registered as a job seeker at the employment services of the country where you became unemployed;
- You asked your national employment services for a permit to export your unemployment benefits (the relevant document is the U2 form);
- You registered at the labor exchange within 7 days and will be visiting it on a regular basis.
More information: Lithuanian Labor exchange
What happens to my old-age pension when I come back to Lithuania?
A person obtains the right to receive a state social insurance pension, when he/she meets these requirements:
- Reaches the statutory retirement age (in 2017: 63 and 6 months for men and 61 and 8 months for women);
- Has acquired the minimum state social pension insurance period, set forth in order to receive old-age pensions (15 years).
If a person has not worked for 15 years in Lithuania, the right to a pension can be summed up from his insurance periods completed in other countries (EU and EFTA member states, Switzerland, as well as countries that signed international agreements with Lithuania, apart from Russia).
Whether a person is entitled to a pension is decided according to the general record acquired, but every country will pay pensions only based on the record in that specific state. When a person has worked in several countries, the general rule is that two countries cannot pay a pension for the same period.
Example: If a person has worked in Lithuania for 8 years, and 12 years in France, Lithuania accounts for both social insurance periods and sums them up to 20 years. But when calculating a concrete sum of the pension, Lithuania only accounts for the revenue and periods of work that were attained in the 8 years spent in Lithuania. France will pay the pension for the other 12 years.
When the countries in which the person has worked have a different retirement age (ex.: Ireland – 67, Lithuania – 63), a person must apply to the foreign payment service when he reaches the age of retirement in the country from which he must receive the pension.
It is worth noting that when receiving a pension from a foreign country, one cannot be granted an early retirement in Lithuania.
More information: “Sodra” website
I am returning to Lithuania to give birth. Will my insurance still be valid throughout my pregnancy period?
If you are insured in a EU member state, where you had been living before your return, your insurance will be intact in Lithuania. If you wish to receive scheduled medical assistance in Lithuania, you should secure documents S2 or E 112 from the workplace in the EU country you have been working in up to this point. These documents guarantee that all the medical fees will be covered by the country that issued the forms. If you arrive to Lithuania without possessing these documents, the medical bill would have to be covered by the institution that is providing the medical assistance. If you have insurance in a country, that is not part of the EU, you have to find out if and under what circumstances any medical procedures (related to child birth) can be provided in Lithuania.
If you declare your place of residence in Lithuania, from the 28th week of pregnancy until child birth and 56 days after, you have insurance in Lithuania.
If before returning you had sickness and maternity insurance in a EU, EEA state or Switzerland, you have to provide “Sodra” with a E 104 form certificate or a replacing structured electronic document (SED) S041 (that would confirm the acquired insurance period in an EU, EEA member state or Switzerland). There is also an option to apply to “Sodra” territorial division for mediation in acquiring these documents. The form E 104 discloses what payments were made in a foreign country where you resided and provides the opportunity to accelerate the process of summing up the insurance periods.
More information: Maternity leave
Do I have the right to receive maternity benefits?
Only in the case if you have a 12 month (in the past 24 months) maternity and sickness insurance record and your last place of employment before going on maternity leave was in Lithuania. If your last place of employment was not in Lithuania, you cannot receive a maternity benefit. According to the law, if a pregnant woman cannot receive maternity benefits, 70 days before the expected date of child birth, one is given a single payment – the sum of 2 basic social benefit payments (76 Eur). Every newborn (or an adopted child) receives the sum of 11 basic social benefit payments (418 Eur). The single payment is granted by the municipality to one of the parents (or a single parent) or a guardian.
More info: Maternity benefits
Can I live abroad, but have doctor appointments in Lithuania?
The common EU health care system only applies for immediate medical assistance (when in possession of the European health insurance card (EHIC). People who have EHIC are admitted to health care institutions, but depending on the institution and services received, one might still be required to pay for provided assistance. Afterwards, a person is given the opportunity to appeal to the national insurance fund in the country that issued the EHIC to cover the expenses according to the bills provided.
Before deciding to undergo various medical procedures in another EU country, it is recommended to visit the nearest territorial health insurance fund and find out, for what procedures and sums compensations will be provided and what documents will need to be submitted to receive the compensation after returning. It should be noted that documents should be submitted as soon as possible after returning, in order to avoid any disruptions.
More information: Healthcare abroad
How to get married with a foreigner in Lithuania?
When getting married with a foreigner in Lithuania it is important that when presenting the applications in the registry office, both spouses have to be present.
The documents that have to be presented to the registry office:
- Identity documents;
- Birth certificates;
- If the person who intends to marry is a foreign national, he has to provide an additional document confirming that the marriage does not face any obstacles (which is issued by competent home country institutions). If the foreigner is divorced or a widower, he has to present relevant documents, issued by competent home country institutions.
All of the documents of a foreign national (except a passport) have to be legalized and receive an approval certificate (Apostille), and if Lithuania’s international agreements and European Union legislation do not say otherwise, the documents also have to be translated to Lithuanian.
The request to get married is accepted immediately and the marriage is registered in accordance with the law of one of the spouses or their parents’ declared place of residence registration office. The marriage is registered after at least one month after the date of filling the application.
More information: Marriage in Lithuania
What steps should be taken to register a marriage abroad in Lithuania?
The laws of the Republic of Lithuania require citizens of our country to inform about marriages abroad. To do this, one needs to apply to the civil registry office according to the declared place of residence, and if the person does not have a place of residence in Lithuania – the civil registry office of last place of residence or the civil registry office in Vilnius. Foreign government-issued marriage documents and spouses’ identity documents have to be presented. Foreign country issued documents must be translated to Lithuanian and approved with a certificate (Apostille). Marriage entry to the database can be made through the Lithuanian embassy or a diplomatic mission. Foreign marriages are included into the database by adding the marriage record and issuing a marriage certificate.
More information: Registering a marriage in Lithuania
EU citizen arrival to Lithuania
EU citizens can come to Lithuania and stay up to three months. If they decide to stay longer, they will need to apply for a certificate of an EU national. It is issued on the basis of legal work, family relations, studies etc. Then, after declaring a place of residence the EU citizen is granted all of the rights in Lithuania, except for those which are strictly limited to citizens (ex.: voting). This certificate is valid for 5 years or for the period that the foreigner intends to stay in the country.
Arrival of third country citizens
Every citizen from a third country, that does not have a visa-free regime with Lithuania, must have a valid travel document. For a short-term visit, a Schengen visa is sufficient, which is valid for 90 days in a 180 day period. Visas for foreigners can be issued on the grounds of an invitation. Lithuanian citizens, wishing to invite foreigners to the country have to submit the invitation to a migration office that is in the territory where they have declared a place of residency or via the internet (www.epis.vrm.lt).
For people who want to arrive to Lithuania for a longer period, (study, work, join their family members) have to acquire one of these two documents: a National visa or a residence permit.
A National visa can be issued for a maximum length of one year. The most common ground for issuing this document is getting a work permit, studies or people who are waiting for a residence permit to be issued. A National visa is issued in 15 days.
A residence permit is usually issued for a period of two years, but can be extended. The most common groups of people, who apply for the residence permits are foreigners who intend to arrive to Lithuania to work as highly qualified professionals, people who arrive along with their significant others or persons, who intend to live in Lithuania for a longer period and have a valid basis for their stay. A residence permit is issued in 4 months (with several exceptions).
One can apply for either of the documents while in Lithuania and in Lithuanian Embassies abroad. Although, it must be noted that an application does not give the right to legally stay in Lithuania, thus if one is applying whilst in Lithuania, he/she must have a valid travel document, that allows legal stay in the country.