The procedure for issuing national visas is being changed – this will be taken care of by the Migration Department
null The procedure for issuing national visas is being changed – this will be taken care of by the Migration Department
After the changes in the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners come into effect on 1 July, foreigners who are not in Lithuania will apply for national visas only through the external service provider chosen by the Migration Department. Until now, such applications were accepted by Lithuanian diplomatic missions, consular offices or visa centers abroad selected by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Migration Department, in preparation for the practical implementation of the innovation, will cancel the possibility of filling in applications for the issuance of a national visa through the Electronic Application Module (EPM) from 19 June. Those foreigners who have managed to submit such applications before the mentioned date, but have not yet booked a visit, will be accepted in live queue at the customer service departments of the Migration Department.
If there is an urgent need for a foreigner to apply for a national visa during the transitional period, i.e. from 19 June to 1 July, when the amendments to the law come into force, such cases will be assessed individually by specialists of the Migration Department.
From 1 July, all applications for issuing national visas will have to be submitted through MIGRIS – on the website migracija.lt.
According to the Visa Description, effective from 1 July, a national visa can be issued to:
- Students coming to Lithuania under the study exchange program;
- Foreigners who come to Lithuania to work as teachers or to carry out scientific research and/or experimental (social, cultural) development work as researchers, having an authorship agreement with the Lithuanian science and studies institution. In such cases, the national visa will also be issued to the family members of such foreigners;
- Foreigners arriving in Lithuania who teach in joint governmental programs with foreign countries or conduct scientific research as researchers, as well as their family members;
- Athletes participating in high-level sports competitions or coaches, as defined in the Sports Law of the Republic of Lithuania, coming to Lithuania to engage in sports activities. In these cases, national visas may also be issued to family members of such foreigners;
- Seafarers arriving on a ship flying the flag of the state of Lithuania, or if the ship they are crew members of is being repaired in Lithuania;
- Journalists accredited by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania;
- Foreigners who cannot leave Lithuania due to any of the following reasons: illness, other acute health disorder or body condition, personal reasons that the foreigners could not foresee or force majeure;
- Foreign businessmen, if they come to Lithuania to engage in legal activities and are participants in companies registered in the Register of Legal Entities, established within the last one year before the date of submission of the application for issuing a national visa, if the value of the company’s equity capital (property in the case of a non-joint stock company and non-closed joint stock company) is at least 28 thousand euros, of which at least 14 thousand Euros are the funds or other assets invested by such foreigners.
- Foreigners coming to Lithuania for seasonal work, who have a permit issued by the Employment Service to work seasonally for more than 90 days;
- Foreigners who are employees of companies established in countries that do not belong to the European Union or the European Free Trade Association, and who are temporarily posted to Lithuania for work by such companies;
- Foreigners arriving in Lithuania in accordance with the provisions of international treaties or other agreements of the Republic of Lithuania, as well as in other cases when the purpose of their arrival is a long-term stay in the Republic of Lithuania. It can be long-term treatment or rehabilitation, upgrading of high professional qualifications, volunteering, etc.
It is important to remember that from 1 July, national visas will not be issued to:
- Full-time students coming to study at higher education institutions registered and operating in the Republic of Lithuania;
- Teachers and researchers coming to work in higher education institutions under employment contracts;
- Foreigners coming to work when their profession is entered in the list of missing professions;
- Foreign employees who have a work permit issued by the Employment Service;
- Citizens of Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, New Zealand, South Korea, Canada and Belarus, who until now received national visas in a simplified manner;
- Foreigners who have submitted an application to issue or change a residence permit or a family member card of an EU citizen;
- Foreigners for whom the Migration Department has made a decision to issue a residence permit or a family member card of an EU citizen.
Foreigners of all these categories, in order to legally enter and stay in Lithuania, will have to apply not for a national visa, but for obtaining a temporary residence permit in Lithuania.
It can be obtained not only in Lithuania, upon arrival at the Migration Department, but also in 34 centers of the company “VFS Global” operating in foreign countries, where the aforementioned services have been provided since the beginning of this year.
The procedure for submitting applications for Schengen visas will not change from July 1.