Let's face it, taking up citizenship is an important decision. And that is why Mano Pasas is here to help answer your questions. We have identified the two most common themes and summarized our advice below. If this does not cover what you would like to know, by all means, feel free to ask us!
Dual/multiple citizenship - Am I allowed to keep my current passport(s)?
This depends on two sets of rules - those of Lithuania and those of your country of current citizenship. Availability of Lithuanian dual citizenship has been limited to certain qualifying groups only. However, if you are an ancestry applicant, it is quite possible that you ARE in one of the groups which qualify for dual Lithuanian citizenship (for example, in most cases if your ancestors left between 1919-1990). Please fill out an assessment request, and we will investigate your situation at no charge and with no obligations attached.
If you do qualify for dual Lithuanian citizenship, that's excellent. If not, then from the point of view of Lithuanian laws, you would, unfortunately, need to renounce your current nationality at the time of becoming a Lithuanian citizen. We only advise this in cases of urgent necessity, such as family reunification or end of studies in the EU. Otherwise, we would suggest hanging on for the time being. It is possible that a referendum could be held in the near future, which, if it passes, would allow much wider use of dual citizenship for Lithuanian nationals. However, in this case, you might choose to have us prepare the paperwork now so that if the referendum takes place and gets passed, you are ready to lodge your application right away, in advance of the imminent rush and slowdown in processing.
As far as the country of your current citizenship is concerned, it of course depends on which one it is. Our clients hail from all four corners of the world, so if you are unsure about what the regulations are in your case, please let us know and we will help you find out if we do not already know.
Taxation - What taxes will I have to pay to Lithuania?
The simple answer is: Nothing more and nothing less than right now!
The detailed answer - Lithuanian taxation is based on tax residence, and citizenship in itself does not impact Lithuanian tax liabilities. If you are a foreign citizen, but live and/or work in Lithuania, you would pay the same taxes as anyone else residing here. If you are or become a Lithuanian citizen, but live abroad and did not have to pay Lithuanian taxes before, citizenship in itself will not change this. This policy is quite different from, e.g. the United States, where American citizenship means that you have income reporting and tax liabilities to the US no matter where you live.
However, a hypothetical situation where Lithuanian nationality could matter is if you are a tax resident in more than one country (including Lithuania) at the same time. In that case the countries in question might apply a set of criteria to see to which one of them you are the most closely connected in order to determine primary tax residence, and sometimes citizenship is one of the factors. This most probably does not affect you, but if you think it might, please let us know so we can advise.
Roaming the world is engrained in the history of the people of Lithuania of all backgrounds, and it continues to be a prominent reality of Lithuanian life. Therefore, citizenship laws are very important both for us and for the futures of our children. As a result, there has been a history of constantly evolving and changing policies between 1918-1940 as well as in the decades that followed the independence of 1990. Often, changes to the Citizenship Act have sparked controversy, and although the amendments are not valid retroactively, in the past they have shuffled up the cards for some aspiring applicants.
It remains a possibility that in the foreseeable future there will be a constitutional referendum on citizenship. If it passes, on the one hand, it could make dual citizenship more widely available, which will be great news for those who do not currently qualify for this arrangement. On the other hand, the ensuing legislation could conceivably also scale back the currently generous extent of access to citizenship by ancestry. Because of the uncertainty of these prospects, when dealing with clients who are eligible for dual citizenship or with those who are only eligible for exchanging passports but wish to apply anyway, we always encourage you to apply now if you qualify now (whether you do so through us or independently!), just in case of unexpected and unfavorable legislative changes, as was the case e.g. in 2006.
Did you know?
The Lithuanian word for a citizen, pilietis, derives from the word for a castle, pilis, and means, roughly, "one who lives in the castle".
We invite you to join the castle!
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