Lithuanian immigration law changes bring more flexibility

The 1st of November 2014 was an important date for foreign investors in Lithuania. Immigration laws have been modified to impose new, more strict application requirements to existing investors and newcomers. However, it brought more flexibility as well; to start from the beginning, let us discuss what these new requirements are about.

Until the recent changes, the most attractive residency for investment program was based on an investment and ownership of a local company without the evidence on the ongoing business. This meant that registering a new legal entity allowed fully qualify for the residence program. The business plans were not considered as part of application process, and were only requested occasionally. Such simplistic immigration procedure had stimulated rapid increase of foreign investors in Lithuania.

Current change of the residence program qualification requirements will claim more preparation time, and effort. The law requires new applicants to not only register the company, but also prove at least 6 months of business operations prior to applying for the residence permit. There is no strict standard for business operations; thus preparation activities, such as provision of contract or business research, which does not impose financial obligations, are allowed. Another important requirement is hiring local personnel of at least 3 employees full-time. The number of employees in the company is not connected to the number of partners, which means that irrespective of how many partners there are, the requirement to hire 3 employees stays the same. The investor is not obliged to work in the company, but may hold an advisory role, which is an important position in terms of business costs and tax optimization. Furthermore, the nominal value of company’s shares, which belong to the investor, must make up no less than 1/3 of company’s share capital.

The investors and whole program can be divided into 2 main segments

First segment involves investors, whose companies’ own funds (including share capital and earned profits) reach nearly 28 000 EUR. The sum can be used for the company’s purposes, such as buying property, investing, traveling and hotel booking, and other expenses worldwide. New requirement of the foreigners’ living space was established as well.  The applicant for the residence permit must use accommodation suitable for living, which he (she) declares his residential address and where the living space for each adult person is no less than 7 square meters. After proving the 6 months of business operations, hiring 3 local employees, and meeting other previously mentioned requirements, the applicants will be granted a 1-year temporary residence permit within 2 months; the residence permit can be extended to 2 years later. Spouses must qualify separately and meet all the same requirements, while minors are accepted automatically.

Second segment involves larger scale investors. Individuals, who invest 260 000 EUR, and create 5 work places will be granted a temporary residence permit of 3 years immediately. Spouses and minors will be granted permits together with investor.

Investors of both categories, who have lived in Lithuania for 5 years with a temporary residence permit, will be granted a lifelong permanent residence permit without requirement to keep any investments in the country.

Fastmigration support

Fastmigration team has established means to smoothly adopt the new application requirements at the lowest cost possible. Our company has a long-term business experience in developing and managing companies. Therefore, we always have great investment offers, which not only allow our clients to invest small sums, but also to do so with low risks and immediately qualify (within 2-3 week) for migration requirements. Moreover, our offers provide existing as well as the new applicants a longer residency duration, while keeping the required residence maintaining expenses at minimum level. We have already assisted more than 12  families in the 1stquarter of 2015 to apply under the new law and receive Lithuanian residence permits within 2 months.

For more details and information please contact us for a dedicated consultation.

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