COVID-19: Latest Travel and Immigration rules in Lithuania
Lithuania together with the world attempting to slow the spread of COVID-19 and its decisions may have an impact on business due to changes on travel, assignment or employment plans of a foreigner.
ReloKon received many questions about processes to obtain visa and residence permit during the quarantine period. Also about the status of foreigners in the country.
Please note, government responses, entry regulations, and quarantine rules may change at any time according to dynamics of virus spread.
QUESTION: Is it legal for foreigners to enter Lithuania at the quarantine time?
Since 16 March 2020, 12 PM by 13 April 2020 12 PM it is prohibited for foreigners to enter the Republic of Lithuania. Exceptions addressed for drivers and crews, in the course of commercial and international carriage of goods, persons entitled to reside in the Republic of Lithuania, persons enjoying immunities and privileges under the 1961 Act The Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations; The Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and NATO, NATO military personnel and service personnel and their families.
QUESTION: If a foreigner who holds a temporary residence permit and his work location changes from an office setting/client site to a home office is there any obligation to notify any Lithuanian authorities?
No, there is no need to inform.
QUESTION: Will these days outside the country be a limit to the number of days that the employee can remain outside of Lithuania before the authorities may cancel their work permit?
SITUATION: If a foreign national holds a work permit of Lithuania, however, he is outside the territory of Lithuania and unable to return due to travel restrictions.
Foreigners holding a residence permit can stay no more than 90 days in the period of 180 days. To avoid losing residence permit and happens that foreigner stays outside the border of Lithuania without a possibility to return, please inform the Migration Department on your situation by e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Consultation on the phone with Migration Department's specialist revealed that probably they would consider excluding these days which the foreigner will spend outside the country during the quarantine period (however the dates have to match quarantine period which begins from 16 March 2020).
QUESTION: Is it possible to issue a residence permit/visa and work permit of Lithuania remotely while being abroad?
SITUATION: Company had a plan to employ a foreigner from NON-EU country from 10 April. The foreigner is highly-skilled professional, and he needs a decision form Employment Services of Lithuania (work permit) since his profession is not in the list of required occupations. The foreigner is outside the country and can not arrive due to quarantine.
There are several limitations to why it is not possible to get a residence permit not being present.
First, due to quarantine, it is not possible to enter the country. So it is not possible to submit the documents in the Migration Department since for submission they need to take a photo and fingerprint from the foreigner.
Second, if the foreigner is not in the country, Employment Services of Lithuania do not issue a work permit to the foreigner who was not in Lithuania before the date of quarantine.
TEMPORARY SOLUTION: Employing a foreigner to work under a distance contract. For that, you will have to submit documents to Employment Services of Lithuania for a Work permit for the distanced employee. It may last up to 2 years. NOTE: All services conducted electronically and for that, you will need an e-signature.
QUESTION: Will the Migration Department of Lithuania accepts the clients during the period of quarantine?
Yes. But only for foreigners who came to the country before the date of quarantine and there are new rules.
CLIENT RULES TEMPORARILY AMENDED
As of 16 March 2020, client services are provided:
Ony upon prior appointment booking via www.migracija.lt;
produced documents are collected only upon appointment booking by internet or having received a call from an employee of the Migration Department;
clients who arrive without any appointment booking will not be served;
mobile home service is temporarily not provided;
lodging of the applications related to the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania is suspended;
consultations are provided only by phone No. 870767000, e-mail: email@example.com and through Facebook Messinger;
IMPORTANT COMMUNICATION FROM MIGRATION DEPARTMENT:
Legal Status of Foreigners in the Republic of Lithuania during the Quarantine
The Migration Department informs that foreigners, whose period of legal residence in Lithuania expired during the declared quarantine and who were unable to depart from the Republic of Lithuania in due time through no fault of their own, will not be subject to the return decisions, as well as administrative liability for illegal stay. The abovementioned foreigners, as well as those with respect to whom the decision regarding the return has been adopted, but the period for the voluntary departure expired during the quarantine, may stay in Lithuania during the quarantine in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. However, they will be required to depart after the end of the quarantine in the Republic of Lithuania within the established period of toleration (we will provide additional information on this in due course).
In order to ensure the smooth departure of foreigners after the quarantine, the Migration Department requests the persons, whose period of legal residence in Lithuania expired (will expire) during the declared quarantine and who were unable (are not able) to depart from Lithuania in due time through no fault of their own, to inform the Migration Department about this by E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Please attach a completed table "Information to be submitted together with the notification that the foreigner was unable (is unable) to depart in due time due to the quarantine" to the e-mail. In the comments section of the table, please indicate what actions the foreigner has taken to return to his/her country of residence.
Please note that foreigners staying in Lithuania and wishing to return to their country of residence may do so by means coordinated with the competent authorities of their country. They should contact the competent authorities of their country regarding that (first of all – embassies or consular posts of those countries in the Republic of Lithuania). Also, we strongly advise you to obtain health insurance, covering the whole period of stay in Lithuania.
MIGRATION DEPARTMENT TEMPORARILY ESTABLISHES NEW CUSTOMER SERVICE RULES
Considering the decision of the Government of Lithuania to declare a national emergency due to the threat of coronavirus (COVID-19) and with the view to protect our clients and employees from any possible risks, we are temporarily changing our customer service rules. The new rules will be valid from 16 to 30 March.
We will keep providing services to our clients, except for accepting requests related to the citizenship of the Republic of Lithuania and live consultations at premises of the Migration Department. However, only clients who have booked visits via www.migracija.lt will be served. Clients who will arrive without prior bookings will not be served. If it is not possible to schedule an appointment at some migration unit, clients should book visits at other closest migration units. Clients will be able to retrieve already produced documents only by prior visit bookings or if the latter is not possible – only after receiving a call from representatives of the Migration Department and having agreed on the time of collecting the document.
We pay your attention to the fact that the mobile home service is temporarily not provided either.
We are asking clients who have already booked visits to reconsider whether the appointment is necessary and to consider postponing the visit to a later time when the coronavirus threat will diminish.
We are also strongly asking clients who feel any symptoms of a disease, such as heat, cough, heavy breathing, etc., not to come to the Migration Department. We kindly note that, for the sake of all of us, the employees of the Migration Department, having noticed such symptoms, may refuse to serve the client and offer them to postpone the visit to a later date.
Employees of the Migration Department will continuously take care to maintain hygiene and proper ventilation of our premises, and disinfection of surfaces. Both clients and employees will have access to means of disinfection.
Here are several institutions to follow the information on foreigners status during the quarantine:
STATE BORDER GUARD SERVICE: (responsible for controlling borders, not all information available in English)
STATE EMPLOYMENT SERVICES: (accountable for work permits, not all information available in English)
MIGRATION DEPARTMENT (liable for a visa, residence permits) not all information available in English)
STATE LABOUR INSPECTORATE (responsible for conducting the Labour Code in Lithuania and relating questions, not all information available in English)