Moving of goods
When travelling to Lithuania and carrying goods, certain prohibitions and restrictions may apply. For passengers, there are restrictions on entry of the following goods to the Republic of Lithuania: spirits, tobacco, some foodstuffs, jewellery, motor fuel and oil, and so on.
Passengers carrying declarable goods must declare these at customs and pay customs duties in accordance with established rules. There is an approved list of items which can be imported without incurring import duties.
Passengers who have obtained a permit to live in Lithuania permanently may import items belonging to their family, as well as non-commercial and non-industrial objects for personal use, within three months of the permit being granted.
It is always advisable to check the latest restrictions before leaving for the country.
For further information, contact the country’s Customs Service www.cust.lt.
Moving of animals and plants
If you wish to bring animals with you into Lithuania, you must first check whether any restrictions apply. The State Veterinary Service has approved regulations for the transportation of animals. There are general requirements on the carrying of animals. The following veterinary documents are required when moving animals: for dogs and cats, an international vaccination certificate; for all animals, a certificate of animal health. All dogs and other animals that can spread rabies must be vaccinated each year.
On public transport: on suburban and intercity buses, trains, planes and ships, dogs, cats and other non-agricultural animals can be carried according to current passenger and baggage transportation rules. Further information can be found on the website of the State Food and Veterinary Service of the Republic of Lithuania. Similarly, there are restrictions on the importing of plants. Anyone can carry a restricted amount of uninfected cut flowers, vegetable-based foodstuffs and vegetable and flower seeds, which must undergo a phytosanitary check at the border.
When importing plant-protection products from outside the EU, you must be in possession of a one-off permit issued by the State Plant Protection Service.
Moving of financial assets
The rules of banks and other financial institutions vary from country to country. In the Republic of Lithuania, there are no restrictions on credit associated with commercial deals or the provision of services. Similarly, there are no restrictions on financial loans or credit. Residents may open an account with foreign banks, while non-residents may open accounts with the Lithuanian Republic’s commercial banks without restriction. When opening an account with any bank in Lithuania, you must present a document verifying your identity. Citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and foreign states should present their passport or any other document with a personal code, their photograph and signature. Non-citizens should present their permit to live permanently in Lithuania.
When opening a deposit account, the customer and the bank enter into a standard agreement. Another person may also open an account for you, in your name or for your use.
Persons over 18 years of age may obtain a payment card and open a card account. If you wish to acquire a bank payment card, you should contact the bank with your personal document and complete the relevant application form. Once the bank has decided to issue a card, a card account will be opened for the customer. Your payment card account may also be used by other persons authorised by you, whose expenses you agree to cover.
For further information on credit, loans, leasing, securities, and other bank services, you should contact the bank. For more detailed information, see the following banks’ websites.
Bank of Lithuania www.lb.lt;
SEB bank www.seb.lt;
DNB bank www.dnb.lt;
Moving of cars
Once you have arrived in the Republic of Lithuania, you are required to register your vehicle. Owners of foreign vehicles staying in Lithuania for longer than three months must temporarily register their vehicle with the State institution ‘Regitra’ under their temporary place of residence in the Republic of Lithuania.
Vehicles acquired by foreigners living or working temporarily in the Republic of Lithuania are registered according to general rules. Vehicles owned by foreign citizens and non-citizens living permanently in the Republic of Lithuania are also registered according to general rules.
All vehicles must undergo a technical inspection. Private/light-goods vehicles should undergo a technical inspection every 24 months.
In residential areas, the maximum speed limit for all vehicles is 50 km/h. From 1 April until 1 November, the maximum speed limit for light vehicles on highways is 130 km/h. Between 1 November and 1 April, it is 110 km/h. On roads with a central reservation, the maximum speed limit is 100 km/h, while on other roads it is 90 km/h.
For drivers who have had their licence for less than two years, as well as learner drivers, the maximum speed limit is 70 km/h.
From 1 September until 1 April, drivers must drive with dipped headlights during daytime. In addition, all drivers must be insured.
For current registration rates and other taxes, see the websites below.
The driving licence
Anyone in possession of a driving licence issued by an EU Member State and living in Lithuania for more than 185 days a year may apply to have their driving licence exchanged for a corresponding driving licence of the Republic of Lithuania. If it is still valid, the driving licence issued by the Member State can be exchanged by presenting the following documents:
a document verifying the person’s identity;
a document detailing the person’s place of residence, work or study;
a valid driver’s health assessment certificate, showing that the person is fit to drive a vehicle in the relevant category;
a driving licence (if it has been issued);
one 3.5 x 4.5 cm matt photograph.
According to the conditions of the mutual agreement, any driving licence issued by another State can be exchanged without having to sit a test. An international driving licence need not be exchanged.
Driving licences in the Republic of Lithuania are issued for 10 years. Those who wish to obtain a driving licence must pass theoretical and practical tests.
Finding a school
Pre-school education is provided to children between the ages of one and six. This programme is implemented by nurseries, day nurseries, school-nurseries and other schools.
Children begin year one of primary education at the age of seven. The four-year primary education programme is implemented by school nurseries, primary and other schools. Primary education is acquired once the primary education programme has been completed.
Pupils receive their main education once they have gained primary education. Some or all of the main six year education programme is provided by gymnasiums, secondary, main, youth and vocational schools. Main education is gained once the main education programme is completed.
Once they have acquired their main education, pupils receive secondary education. The two-year secondary education programme is implemented by gymnasiums, secondary and vocational schools and other schools. The secondary education programme is made up of various compulsory and non-compulsory modules of general education and vocational training. Pupils acquire secondary education once they have completed the secondary education programme and passed maturity examinations.
The purpose of special needs education is to help those with special needs to develop and learn according to their abilities, to acquire an education and qualifications, and to overcome social isolation. Special education is provided by all schools offering compulsory and public education, and in certain cases by special schools.
Studies at Lithuanian institutes of tertiary education can be pursued under study programmes which award degrees or programmes which do not lead to a degree. There are two types of higher education: non-university studies (which are aimed at training for specific jobs, which are usually provided by colleges) and university studies (provided by universities).
There are three levels of studies: the first leads to a professional bachelor's degree or a bachelor’s degree; the second leads to a master’s degree, and the third leads to a doctorate. Professional bachelor degree programmes are run by colleges, and bachelor degree programmes by universities. Programmes leading to second-level degrees may only be run by universities, while third-level study programmes are run by universities or universities in conjunction with research institutes. In order to study at Lithuanian institutes of tertiary education, students may obtain State-funded scholarships or pay for the studies themselves. Priority for State scholarships for first (degree)-level programmes is given to students according to their performance in final examinations, education, other results and special abilities. Students at all levels of education, i.e. undergraduate, graduate and integrated studies are entitled to state loans to cover the fees for studies, if the latter were not covered by state funds, and loans to cover living expenses. The loans are granted by the State Science and Studies Fund.
In Lithuania, you can stay in a hotel, rent a house, apartment, cottage or room, or buy it. When buying or renting a home, it is important to organise all legal documents properly. You can contact estate agents or the offices of solicitors and notaries for assistance.
Private contacts, and the help of friends, colleagues, acquaintances, relatives or business partners are just some of the ways to find suitable accommodation when looking for a home.
Information on the lease or sale of residential property can be found in specialised advertisements in newspapers, both in the national dailies and the local press. Alternatively, you can place your own personal advert, stating what sort of home you require.
If you wish to rent or buy a home, you can call on the services of an estate agent, who will charge a commission. Information on estate agents can be found in the ‘Geltonieji puslapiai’ (Yellow Pages) and the ads sections of newspapers. Most estate agents have websites with detailed descriptions and photographs of homes for sale.
Rental prices vary, depending on the town, district and area in which the property is located, the state of repair of the building (whether the apartment is in an old, renovated, new or reconditioned building), the state of repair of the apartment (whether the flat is furnished and has domestic appliances), the number of rooms and residents, the availability of parking, etc. Accommodation rental costs in Lithuania's major conurbations are as follows: in Vilnius a one-room flat will cost an average of EUR 300-350 per month to rent, a three-room flat around EUR 500 per month.
Travel agents can usually offer advice and information on finding accommodation.
A permit to live in the Republic of Lithuania entitles a foreigner to choose a place of residence in the country, to change it, to leave the Republic of Lithuania and to return to it while the permit is still valid.
Freedom of movement for a foreigner can only be restricted by law when there is a threat to national security and public order.
By law, foreigners must provide information on, and declare, their place of residence. Foreign citizens in possession of a residence permit for the Republic of Lithuania, and non citizens living in the Republic of Lithuania, must declare their place of residence when changing their place of residence in Lithuania and leaving the Republic of Lithuania for a period of more than six months.
Foreigners should declare their place of residence to the Migration Service no later than seven working days from the commencement of the declaration obligation.
Institutions of the Republic of Lithuania or employers must inform the Migration Service of a foreigner within seven days in the following cases:
employer: of the annulment of an employment contract with a foreigner with a permit to live temporarily in the Republic of Lithuania;
State tax inspectorate: of a foreigner with a permit to live temporarily in the Republic of Lithuania who has ceased industrial, commercial or other work-related activities in the Republic of Lithuania;
educational institution: of a foreigner with a permit to live temporarily in the Republic of Lithuania who has been expelled or who has withdrawn from studies;
institution of law and order: of a foreigner who has committed a crime or any other legal offence;
court: of a foreigner who has been convicted of a crime he committed or fined for an administrative offence;
civil registry office: of changes in a foreigner’s civil status.
Detailed information can be found on the website of Migration Department of the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Lithuania.
The residence permit
According to the established laws of the Republic of Lithuania, foreigners intending to live in the Republic of Lithuania either temporarily or permanently must obtain a permit to live in the Republic of Lithuania.
The following permits are issued to foreigners wishing to live in the Republic of Lithuania: a permit to live temporarily in the Republic of Lithuania and a permit to live permanently in the Republic of Lithuania.
A permit to live in the Republic of Lithuania is issued to foreigners regardless of their age. For foreigners under the age of 18 wishing to live in the Republic of Lithuania, their parents or other legal guardians can apply for them.
Foreigners who are citizens of an EU Member State and who intend to start a job or engage in some other legal activity or live for more than three out of six months in the Republic of Lithuania must acquire a temporary permit.
EU citizens can obtain a temporary permit if they intend to: work in the Republic of Lithuania under an employment contract; engage in industrial or commercial activities in the Republic of Lithuania; provide or obtain services in the Republic of Lithuania; live in the Republic of Lithuania with a legal source of income, or gain an education according to established laws at a registered educational institution in the Republic of Lithuania.
The family of an EU citizen can obtain a temporary permit if they wish to come and live in the Republic of Lithuania at the same time or at a later stage.
To obtain a temporary permit, EU citizens and their family should apply to a diplomatic representative or consulate of the Republic of Lithuania, while foreigners already in the Republic of Lithuania legally should contact the Migration Department.
The Migration Department will examine the application to issue EU citizens and their family with a temporary permit and will decide accordingly within one month. Temporary permits are issued for up to five years, except in the case of students, whose temporary permits are issued for one year of study.
Foreigners who are EU citizens will be issued with a permanent permit if: they have lived in Lithuania legally for the last five years; they have a place of residence in the Republic of Lithuania, or they have a legal source of income in the Republic of Lithuania.
Detailed information can be found on the website of the Migration Department of the Interior Ministry of the Republic of Lithuania www.migracija.lt.