Business Immigration Options to Lithuania
Situated along the shore of the Baltic Sea and bordered by Belarus, Poland, and Latvia, the country of Lithuania lies in Northern Europe and is the largest of the Baltic States. Lithuania enjoys a mild climate, numerous cultural festivals that are held throughout the year, museums, concert halls, art galleries, fabulous cuisine, and many other unique attractions that make the country a poplar tourist destination for millions of visitors every year.
In addition to tourists, foreign businesspersons are also flocking to this European nation. Lithuania’s economy is dominated by its biotechnology industry. Since this sector continues to grow, international investors are looking to relocate to and invest in Lithuania as a viable option for increased returns on their portfolios.
Business Visas to Lithuania
Foreign nationals seeking to obtain permanent residence in Lithuania must first receive a temporary residence permit. Businesspersons may qualify for the issuance of a temporary permit in the immigration category of “Aliens Who Intend to Engage in Lawful Activities.” These lawful activities include registering a commercial enterprise in Lithuania as owner or co-owner, working at a registered enterprise in Lithuania (only if the foreign national is the head or authorized representative of the enterprise), or other lawful activities (excluding employment and study) for which no specific permit is required.
The application for a temporary residence permit must contain proof that the businessperson possesses health insurance and adequate means of support during the stay in Lithuania, and proof that the businessperson owns or has a contract for rent for the person’s entire projected length of stay. Once approved, the businessperson will receive the temporary residence permit which will be valid for one year and subject to renewal.
After the foreign businessperson has been a temporary Lithuanian resident for five years, the individual is eligible to apply for a permanent resident permit. To qualify, the foreign national must pass an examination that tests the national’s knowledge of the Lithuanian state language and the principles of the Lithuanian Constitution. If approved, the permanent resident permit will be valid for five years and may be extended.
Benefits of Lithuanian Residence
Due to its membership in both the European Union and the association of Schengen Sates, status as a Lithuanian resident offers numerous travel benefits. For example, Lithuanian residents may travel freely through out the Schengen states of Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, and twenty other countries without the need of a visa and without time limitations on the length of stay. Moreover, it is easier for Lithuanian residents to obtain Canadian, Australian, and UK visas.
Lithuania residents also enjoy the unrestricted right to work in the country and are eligible for the same social program benefits as Lithuanian citizens, with the exception that residents are not empowered to vote in national elections.
To become a Lithuanian citizen, the foreign national must complete a legal process called naturalization. During the naturalization process, the Lithuanian immigration agency will examine the foreign national’s past to ensure there is no criminal record, that the national did not violate the country’s immigration laws, and that the national has sufficient knowledge of the written and oral Lithuanian language. Upon approval of the naturalization application, the foreign national becomes a Lithuanian citizen and can apply for the country’s passport.
While Lithuanian nationality law does not bar dual citizenship, it is the exception rather than the rule so foreign national should be aware of the possible consequence of naturalizing in this country.