ATTENTION: On 31 October 2017 the Supreme Administrative Court of Lithuania ruled in an administrative case (click for full ruling) that the provision of the Law on Citizenship which requires that the applicant for the restoration of Lithuanian citizenship (parent, grandparent or great grandparent of the applicant) held Lithuanian citizenship before Soviet occupation of 15 June 1940 means that that person also had to be Lithuanian citizen on the 15th of June 1940. The Migration Department started requiring to prove of the aforementioned fact referring to the Court ruling.
There are several ways to acquire Lithuanian citizenship. We provide information only about citizenship of children and the application for the reinstatement of citizenship. Full information about Lithuanian citizenship can be found at the website of the Migration Department which processes citizenship applications. Lithuanian embassies and consulates act as intermediaries between the applicants abroad and the Migration Department.
A child, born to a Lithuanian citizen, acquires Lithuanian citizenship at birth. If a child acquired citizenship of Lithuania and citizenship of another state at birth, he/she may keep Lithuanian citizenship indefinitely. At least one of the parents of the child has to be Lithuanian citizen at the moment of birth. To obtain Lithuanian passport/ID card for the child, born to a Lithuanian citizen, the birth of the child has to be registered in Lithuania.
If the child was born before the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship for the parent, in order for the child to become Lithuanian citizen, the application for the reinstatement of citizenship has to be lodged.
The application for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship is not the application for Lithuanian passport/ID card. Only after the citizenship is reinstated by the order of the Minister of the Interior of Lithuania, the application for Lithuanian passport/ID card may be placed.
The prospective applicants for the reinstatement of Lithuanian citizenship may enquire about Lithuanian documents to support their citizenship applications at Lithuanian Archives.
If a Lithuanian citizen is legally also a citizen of another state, in the eyes of Lithuanian Government that person is only citizen of Lithuania.
Reinstatement of Citizenship
Persons who held citizenship of Lithuania before the Soviet occupation of 15 June 1940 and their children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren, who have not acquired Lithuanian citizenship, shall have an indefinite right to reinstate Lithuanian citizenship.
Note: Lithuania restored independence on 16 February 1918 and the first law on citizenship was subsequently passed on 9 January 1919. Therefore, in vast majority of cases, for a person to be Lithuanian citizen before 15 June 1940, means to reside in Lithuania at least at some point after 1918.
The Migration Department has 6 months to process the documents from the day the application is received at the Migration Department. If the Department decides that additional documents have to be provided to support the initial application, the processing of documents is considered stopped until new documents are provided.
Every document which was not issued in Lithuania, except passport, has to be legalized with Apostille.
Every document, except passport, which was not issued in Lithuanian has to be translated into Lithuanian.
The application can be placed at the Embassy only by appointment.
The applications can also be lodged in Cape Town. The preliminary dates for 2018 are 12-13 February. The dates will be confirmed in January and the online application procedure will be open for public.
List of the required documents:
- Application form, filled in Lithuanian.
- Valid passport (passports if multiple nationalities).
- Document certifying that a person (parent, grandparent or great-grandparent of the applicant) held citizenship of Lithuania before 15 June 1940.*
- Document certifying that previously mentioned person held Lithuanian citizenship on 15 June 1940.***
- Document proving that Lithuanian citizen acquired citizenship of another state.
- Documents proving that you are child, grandchild or great-grandchild of that Lithuanian citizen, documents evidencing the change of name or surname where such personal data have been changed.**
- Consular fee for processing of documents for Lithuanian citizenship.
*The list of acceptable documents:
- Internal or foreign Lithuanian passports, issued before 15 June 1940.
- Foreign passports of Lithuania issued by diplomatic missions and consular posts of Lithuania after 15 June 1940.
- Documents attesting to the person’s service in the Lithuanian armed forces or employment in the civil service.
- Birth certificates or other documents containing direct reference to citizenship of Lithuania.
- Personal certificates issued before 15 June 1940 in Lithuania or personal certificates issued on the basis of documents issued before 15 June 1940.
- If these documents are not available, in order to prove the citizenship of Lithuania held by the person before 15 June 1940, documents on studies, employment, residence in Lithuania before 15 June 1940, also a passport of a foreign state and other documents may be submitted.
**E.g. the maternal granddaughter of Lithuanian citizen would have to present her mother’s birth certificate, her mother’s marriage certificate (if last name was changed), her birth certificate and her marriage certificate (if last name was changed due to marriage).
***In vast majority of cases, Lithuania did not allow dual citizenship before 1940. Therefore, a Lithuanian citizen who acquired citizenship of South Africa before 15 June 1940 would have had lost his/her Lithuanian citizenship.