Today, the Government has approved a proposal of the Ministry of the Interior to provide for additional conditions for smoother entry of highly-qualified staff, lecturers, and researchers. Their applications for temporary residence permits in Lithuania will be processed online. Where entry is granted, the original biometric data of the documents will need to be submitted only upon arrival.
‘There is a lack of certain highly-qualified specialists in Lithuania, there are requests from entrepreneurs; therefore, we have decided to apply exceptions and will allow highly-qualified specialists to arrive,’ says Minister of the Interior Rita Tamašunienė.
The Cabinet meeting has also made a decision to waive the requirement for foreign nationals to present a negative test result for COVID-19 done 72 hours prior to arrival.
It has been observed in practice that reliability of tests is questionable, as there is no uniform format, which entails a risk of counterfeiting. In addition, with the change in isolation rules, the testing requirement has become linked to the application of exemptions from isolation or shortening of isolation, hence it no longer makes sense to require a test on arrival.
The requirement has also hampered the use of visa facilitation for foreign nationals fleeing persecution or wishing to relocate their business, as not all countries provide a possibility to carry out paid pre-travel tests, and it is difficult to ensure the reliability of test results presented in a variety of languages.
To ensure flexibility and to facilitate entry of foreigners arriving for special humanitarian reasons (such as political circumstances or other threats), not only the Minister for Foreign Affairs but also a person authorized by him will henceforth be able to submit a reasoned entry permit to the Ministry of the Interior.
Permits to enter the Republic of Lithuania for special humanitarian purposes shall be issued by order of the Minister of the Interior.