Changes to the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens of the Republic of Lithuania
On July 11, 2014 the President of Lithuania signed the changes on the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens. The afore mentioned law regulates issuance of temporary and permanent residence permits for foreigners as well as other issues regarding stay of foreign citizens in Lithuania. The amendments will enter into force on November 1, 2014.
According to the changes adopted for the Art. 45, a temporary residence permit will be issued to an alien, if the alien is engaged in one of the following lawful activities:
1) Is a sharer in the company, which carried out the activities referred to in it’s Articles of incorporation for at least the last 6 months prior to the alien's application for the issuance of a temporary residence permit, which has registered at least three full-time workplaces and which has the authorized capital (assets) of at least 100,000 LTL (29,000 EUR), of which not less than 50,000 LTL (15,000 EUR) is alien’s investments in the company. The alien shall hold the position of head of collegial or supervisory body, a sharer who has the right to enter into transactions on behalf of the company, or a shareholder, who owns a part of company's shares which is equal to nominal value of 1/3 of the share capital of the company;
2) Is a CEO or a member of collegial or supervisory body of the above mentioned company and the main purpose of coming to Lithuania is to work in this company;
3) Is exempt from the requirement to obtain a work permit according to the Art. 58 (2) of the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens.
A temporary residence permit for an alien who is engaged in lawful activities in Lithuania will be issued for the period of one year. A repeated residence permit will be issued for the period of two years. If an alien has invested at least 900,000 LTL (261,000 EUR) in the company and the company has at least five full-time workplaces, a temporary residence permit shall be issued for the period of three years.
Prior to the issuance of the temporary residence permit, the activity of the company will be evaluated in order to decide if the company is not fictitious.
Requirements for accommodation
With the amendments of the Art. 26, requirements for accommodation were established. According to the new wording of the Art. 26, a temporary residence permit will only be issued in case when an alien has an accommodation where he (she) intends to declare his (hers) place of residence and when the accommodation meets hygiene requirements, construction and fire safety regulations. The living space in such accommodation shall be not less than 7 square meters per person. It shall be noted that the living space will be calculated by dividing the total area from the number of adult inhabitants which have declared their place of residence under that address.
If a temporary residence permit is issued to an alien who is going to study, minimum living space requirement per person shall be at least 4 square meters.
Minimum living space requirement will not be applicable to a foreigner if his (hers) job involves constant commuting on international routes or if the employer will send the foreigner to work under a service contract to another EU or European Free Trade Association member state.
Obligation to inform
According to the amendments of the Art. 36, an alien who has a residence permit, shall notify a respective institution within 7 days, if one of the following circumstances arise:
1) The alien changes the documents confirming the person's identity or nationality;
2) The alien changes his (hers) marital status;
3) The alien changes his (hers) place of residence;
4) The legal address of the company changes and a temporary residence permit was issued to the alien according to the provisions of the Art. 45 (engagement in lawful activities).
Prior to the amendments there was no obligation to inform government institutions that the circumstances related to the issuance of temporary residence permit have changed.
In conclusion, the amendments on the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens will pose some restrictions on issuance of temporary residence permits. For instance, the requirement for the size of share capital of a company was increased ten times, which will cause great inconveniences to the owners of small businesses. Prior to these amendments, the requirements for lawful activities were less severe. Also, new requirements regarding accommodation and obligation to inform about changed circumstances will be applicable.
Jovita Valatkaite, lawyer of the Gencs Valters Law Firm in Vilnius
Practising in fields of Immigration Law in Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia
T: +370 52 61 10 00
F: +370 52 61 11 00