At a Glance
Effective immediately, all temporary residence permit applications for Lithuania must be filed online. In the initial phase however, applicants will still be required to visit the migration authorities to submit fingerprints and passport photographs.
Applicants face in-country waiting times and must now submit proof of residence sooner than under the previous process, which may be challenging to arrange from abroad.
As of October 14, 2019, all temporary residence permit applications for Lithuania must be filed online. Through online filing, authorities seek to reduce queueing at the migration authorities and expedite application processing. In the initial phase however, applicants will still be required to visit the migration authorities to submit fingerprints and passport photographs.
A closer look
Process for visa nationals. Under the new system, visa nationals will have to file a preliminary application online and schedule an appointment to submit fingerprints, passport photographs and original supporting documents at the Lithuanian migration authorities. Upon submitting their application, applicants will receive an appointment confirmation and can apply for a Schengen visa at a Lithuanian consular post using that confirmation.
Process for visa-exempt nationals and Schengen visa holders. Visa-exempt nationals and Schengen visa holders will be able to readily travel to Lithuania to submit their fingerprints, passport photographs and original supporting documents and file their online application at the Lithuanian migration authorities.
Residence card issued automatically. Since fingerprints and passport photographs will be submitted early in the application process, migration authorities will be able to create residence cards automatically once the temporary residence permit application is approved, where previously an additional application was required.
In-country waiting time. By requiring applicants to appear at the start of the application process, applicants face lengthy in-country waiting times until their permits are available, since the processing of the application only begins once the foreign national submits their biometrics and documents. Alternatively, applicants must travel to Lithuania to file their application, and again once their permit is approved to start working.
Supporting documents required sooner. Under the new system, all supporting documents must be available when filing the application, where previously some documents could be submitted when applying for a residence card at a later stage of the process. Particularly, applicants must now submit proof of residence (e.g. property ownership, registered lease, guarantee of residence certified by a notary public, landlord consent) sooner, which may be challenging to arrange from abroad.
Lithuania is streamlining its immigration system in an effort to increase its economic competitiveness, for example by removing a burdensome qualifications check in April.
Fragomen expects delays and administrative hurdles for the remainder of the year during a transitional phase as a result of these changes.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.