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  • Asylum Application and Returning Procedures 5
    • 1.

      How and which migrants will be integrated into the society?

      If a foreigner is granted asylum, he/she is subject to social integration in accordance with the procedure laid down by legislation. An individual integration plan is drawn up, the appropriate assistance is granted, the necessary educational, social, psychological and health care services are provided or the provision of the aforementioned services is ensured.

      During the initial integration period (up to 3 months which can be extended to 6 months for vulnerable groups), the asylum seeker is provided with free accommodation, a job search and the assessment of personal qualities and qualifications is initiated and a monthly allowance for food and petty expenses (EUR 87.5) is granted; an allowance for the purchase of essential school supplies (EUR 58.5) is granted to school-age children, a monthly allowance for the costs of pre-school and/or pre-primary education (EUR 62.4) is paid, free courses of the Lithuanian language and culture are organised, and basic necessities such as clothing, footwear and bedding are provided.

      After the initial integration period, integration support is provided in the municipality where a person chooses to live (for a period of 12 months, which can be extended to 36 months for vulnerable groups).

      Updated: 2021 09 09

    • 2.

      What happens to migrants who have not been granted a refugee status but do not want to leave the country?

      If asylum is not granted in Lithuania, the foreigner is offered to return voluntarily to his/her country of origin taking the advantage of the assistance provided, and if he/she rejects the offer, he/she is removed from Lithuania.

      Updated: 2021 09 09

    • 3.

      How long does it take to process a migrant's asylum application? What procedure is applied?

      If a foreigner is seeking asylum in Lithuania but has entered into the country or stays in it illegally, he/she must apply for asylum in person without delay.

      The asylum application must be motivated, stating all the facts and reasons why he/she needs asylum in Lithuania. Following the receipt of asylum application of a foreigner, an initial interview with the asylum seeker is carried out. During the interview, the asylum seeker is required to present all available documents, the interviewer takes his/her fingerprints and carries out an initial assessment of vulnerability of a person. The initial interview is carried out in the asylum seeker's mother tongue or in the language which the asylum seeker understands best, with the assistance of an interpreter if necessary. The purpose of the initial interview is to gather information about the asylum seeker, clarify the reasons for the application and the situation in the country of origin.

      The Migration Department issues a Foreignerˈs Registration Certificate to an asylum seeker of any age who has the right to remain on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, which confirms that the holder thereof is an asylum seeker who has the right to remain on the territory of the Republic of Lithuania.

      After receiving the asylum application of the foreigner and other documents, the Migration Department may decide:

      • not to examine the asylum application. The decision not to examine an asylum application shall be taken within a period of 48 hours, which may be extended by up to 3 working days;
      • not to examine the asylum application on its merits and transfer the asylum seeker to another European Union (EU) Member State;
      • examine the asylum application on its merits as a matter of urgency if the asylum seeker has come from a safe country of origin, has provided in his/her application only information which is not relevant for the examination of whether he/she is eligible for asylum, has provided misleading information or forged documents, has not provided any information at all, has refused to allow his/her fingerprints to be taken, may be deemed for serious reasons to constitute a threat to the State's security or public order.

      A decision on the asylum application which is examined taking into account its merits as a matter of urgency is taken within a period of 7 working days, which may be extended by no more than 3 working days.

      Updated: 2021 09 09

    • 4.

      How long does it take to return migrants to their countries of origin and why?

      The timing of removal of foreign nationals can vary considerably from one country to another.

      The whole procedure may last from 5 days to several months, depending on whether the foreigners have travel documents or not and the complexity of the transportation route (COVID-19 situation).

      The fact that the foreigner is or is not in possession of a travel document has a significant impact on the implementation of the return/removal procedure. If the foreigner does not have a travel document, a readmission procedure is implemented (in case an agreement with the foreign country is signed) or correspondence with the embassy of the country of origin is carried out in order to obtain a travel document for the foreigner. It can take up to 6 months to obtain a travel document (depending on whether the foreigner has provided correct information about his/her identity and whether the embassy is cooperative). When air services are used for transportation, tickets are purchased with a certain status of DEPU (unaccompanied departure) or DEPA (accompanied departure).

      Updated: 2021 09 09

    • 5.

      Why are migrants returned to their countries of origin? What procedure is applied?

      Decisions on the return (voluntary or forced) of foreigners are taken if their stay in Lithuania is illegal (a foreigner does not have a visa, residence permit, or if his/her asylum procedure is over).

      There are two ways of returning a migrant:

      1. Voluntary return takes place when a foreigner cooperates with the competent authorities and agrees to return voluntarily to the country of origin. Then a decision may be taken to return the foreigner to the country of origin and a period of time may be set within which the foreigner is to comply with the decision and return to the country of origin (the period is set at up to 30 days, which may be extended by another 30 days).

      Currently, Lithuania offers the payment of a cash allowance of EUR 300 to foreigners who agree to return voluntarily to their country of origin and, in cooperation with the European agency FRONTEX, provides them with travel tickets to their country of origin.

      2. Forced return (removal) is carried out when a foreigner stays in Lithuania illegally and refuses to return home voluntarily when offered. A decision on removal may then be taken. The removal procedure consists of a preparation phase (identification of risk factors, selection of the return route, selection of escort officers, booking of tickets, coordination of transits) and an implementation phase (briefing of the escort officer, transfer of a foreigner to the airport, boarding, flight, handing over of a foreigner to the competent authorities of the country of origin).

      The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) also assists in returning the migrants who have not obtained a refugee status. It organises voluntary return and reintegration programme for migrants who voluntarily decide to return home but do not have the means (financial) or need assistance to leave.

      Updated: 2021 09 09