Migration trends (1/)
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Emigration

Emigrants by age

In 2019, more than 72,7 percent of emigrants were aged between 15 – 44. This age group only makes up about 36 percent of the entire Lithuanian population.

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In the long run, as the number of young people is decreasing due to emigration, this causes serious demographic problems – diminishing number of marriages, decreasing birth rate, lack of workforce. A shrinking proportion of working people must support a growing number of the unemployed.
A reverse trend is being observed when comparing the number of older emigrants and the number of Lithuania’s residents. People that are 65 or older only comprise about 1 percent of the total emigration flow, despite making up about 20 percent of the entire population.

Source: Statistics Lithuania. Updated: 2020-07-22

Where do Lithuanians emigrate?

For several years the main destination for Lithuanian migrants has been the United Kingdom. In 2019, 35 percent of all emigrants chose UK.

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Compared to 2018 and 2017, when 38 percent  and  47 percent chose UK, its popularity is decreasing. Other emigration destinations include Germany, Norway, Ukraine, Ireland, etc.

Source: Statistics Lithuania. Updated: 2020-07-20

Which countries have the biggest number of Lithuanians?

According to the data of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Migration Department, approximately 463 thousand Lithuanians are living abroad.

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The majority reside in the United Kingdom (44 percent), Norway (10 percent), Germany (12 percent) and Ireland (8 percent.)

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-20

Migration and children

This graphic portrays the number of children who have been assigned temporary guardianship under the request of parents when one or both left the country.

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According to the law, one of the parents usually remains a legal representative. But in a situation when both or a single parent leaves the country, before leaving they have to submit a request for temporary guardianship for their child to the Municipal Services of Children’s Rights Protection.

Source: State Child Rights Protection and Adoption Service. Updated: 2020-07-22

How much money emigrants send home?

In 2019 financial transfers to Lithuania from private persons living abroad amounted to 1164,85 million Euros and equaled to 2,4 percent of GDP.

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In comparison, 1031 million Euros from the country’s budget were designated for defense and 799 million Euros for health care in 2019.
Note: It is impossible to single out the remittances sent exclusively by emigrants. Therefore, the number given reflects remittances in general.

Source: Central bank of the Republic of Lithuania. Updated: 2020-07-22

Immigration

Who is immigrating to Lithuania?

For many years, most immigrants were returning Lithuanian citizens (about 82 percent on average). The rest was EU citizens (3 percent) and non-EU citizens (15 percent).

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From 2017 this trend changed. In 2019 the proportion of returning Lithuanians was 51 percent, while the share of EU citizens decreased to 2 percent, but the share of non-EU citizens increased to 47 percent. Most foreign immigrants were citizens from Ukraine and Belarus (about 38 percent of all immigrants).
In the second graph, 5 EU and non-EU counties are shown from which majority of immigrants arrived to Lithuania in 2019.

Source: Statistics Lithuania. Update: 2020-07-22

Which countries are Lithuanians returning from?

Return migration is defined as return of Lithuanian citizens who have been living abroad. In 2019, almost a half (47 percent) of the returning migrants came back from the United Kingdom. Considerable amount (about 25 percent) of people also returned from Norway, Ireland and Germany.

Source: Statistics Lithuania. Updated: 2020-07-22

Foreigners

How many foreigners live in Lithuania?

A foreigner is a person who does not possess Lithuanian citizenship. This group of people is comprised of EU citizens, non-EU citizens and stateless persons.

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More than 73 thousand foreigners lived in Lithuania in 2019. The vast majority are third country nationals: 12 percent are people who have obtained a permanent residence permits (PRPs), which are issued for five years. 64 percent are people who have obtained a temporary residence permits (TRPs), which are usually issued for 1-2 years. Citizens of the EU and their families amount to 24 percent.

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

What are the grounds for issuing a temporary residence permit?

Non-EU citizens can enter and stay in Lithuania only for purposes established by the law.

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The graphic shows all temporary residence permits (TRPs) issued/replaced to non-EU citizens based on admission grounds. In 2019 most of the permits were issued on the ground of employment (76 percent), family reunification (12 percent) and to study (8 percent). Compared to 2017 and 2018, the number of temporary residence permits issued on the ground of employment increased: in 2017, 55 percent of all immigrants arrived on the ground of employment while in 2018 this number reached 70 percent.

Source: Migration Department. Update: 2020-07-22

What are nationalities of foreigners in Lithuania?

In 2019, the largest share of foreigners that lived in Lithuania were Ukrainian (29 percent), Russian Federation (22 percent) and Belarusian (21 percent) citizens.

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The number of citizens of India is also increasing. Lithuania also hosts citizens of very distant countries like Saudi Arabia, Cameroon, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe but the numbers are very small.

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

How many foreigners work in Lithuania?

Foreigners (apart from EU nationals) who wish to work in Lithuania must meet certain conditions.

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Until 2016 foreign workers had to obtain a work permit. Legal changes were implemented in 2017 which facilitated admission conditions for workers who have a profession in demand in Lithuania. These workers do not need to obtain a work permit. Therefore from 2017 information regarding foreign workers is based on decisions to issue a temporary residence permit or national D visa on the ground of employment.
In 2019, the number of migrant workers in Lithuania had increased significantly: during the year more than 29 thousand temporary residence permits and 36,9 thousand national D visas on the ground of employment were issued.

Source: Lithuanian Labour Exchange. Updated: 2020-07-22

What are the top 5 foreigner‘s professions?

Until 2016 information about professions of foreign workers was based on work permits.

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Legal changes were implemented in 2017 which facilitated admission conditions for workers who have a profession in demand in Lithuania. These workers do not need to obtain a work permit. Therefore, information regarding professions of foreign workers is based on decisions to issue a temporary residence permit and/or national D visa on the ground of employment for foreigners who have a profession in demand in Lithuania.
In 2019 majority of foreigners who arrived on the ground of employment had a profession in demand in Lithuania. The highest number of foreign workers were drivers of international freight transport vehicles, welders, assemblers of metal constructions, etc.
Lithuania has two lists of professions in demand:
• The List of professions in demand is approved biannually by the Employment Service. In 2019, 72 professions were included into the list (for example, drivers of international freight transport vehicles, welders, assemblers of metal constructions, etc.).
• The List of professions in demand requiring high professional qualifications approved by the Lithuanian Government. In 2019, 55 professions were included into the list (for example, IT workers, engineers, aviation specialists).

Source: Lithuanian Labour Exchange. Updated: 2020-07-22

Where do labour migrants come from?

Information on citizenship of foreign workers is only partial. This data is based on decisions to issue a temporary residence permit and national D visas on the ground of employment.

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According to this information, in 2019 majority of foreign workers came from Ukraine (51 percent) and Belarus (20 percent).

Source: Lithuanian Labour Exchange. Updated: 2020-07-22

Where do labour migrants come from2?

Source: Lithuanian Labour Exchange. Updated: 2019-11-20

Asylum

Asylum in Lithuania: 15 years overview

Lithuania has three forms of asylum: refugee status (permanent), subsidiary protection (granted for two years with the possibility to be prolonged) and temporary protection (can be granted by the government if there is an increased number of people asking for asylum).

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In 2019 Lithuania received 646 asylum applications. This is almost an increase of one third if compared to 2018.

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

Who applies for asylum?

In 2019 there were 646 applications for asylum. 

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Most applications were received from citizens of Russian Federation (43 percent), Tajikistan (34 percent), Belarus (3 percent), Syrian Arab Republic (3 percent), Turkey (2 percent), Ukraine (2 percent) and Iraq (2 percent).

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

Who is granted asylum?

In 2019 asylum has been granted to 92 persons: 79 were granted the status of refugee and 13 were granted subsidiary protection.

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The majority people that were granted asylum were citizens of Tajikistan (22 percent), Syrian Arab Republic (20 percent), Turkey (18 percent) and Afghanistan (15 percent). It is important to emphasize that a decision of granting an asylum can be made in the next year after the application of asylum has been lodged. Therefore, in particular cases, the number of lodged applications can be less than the number of asylum granted in the same year. For example, in 2019 an asylum has been granted for 14 citizens of Afghanistan even though only 8 asylum applications were lodged by Afghanistan citizens in the same year.

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

How many asylum applicants are resettled and relocated to Lithuania?

In 2015, Lithuania committed to accept 1077 migrants from European Union countries as well as third countries. In 2019, 7 persons from Malta and Italy were relocated to Lithuania. In general, 493 migrants have been resettled in Lithuania during five years when the agreement was in force.

Source: International Organization for Migration. Updated: 2020-07-22

Irregular Migration

Refusal of entry by grounds

Irregular migration is the migration of people to a new place of residence or transit that is not in accordance with the legal norms that have been established by the sending, transit or receiving states.

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For the vast majority of irregular migrants Lithuania is a transit state whilst trying to reach West Europe or Scandinavian countries. 6087 foreigners were denied entry to Lithuania in 2019, mainly due to threat to security and public order (42 percent) or because they did not have a valid travel document (26 percent). 

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

Foreigners found to be illegaly present in Lithuania

The presence of a foreigner is considered to be illegal if the period of his presence in Lithuania does not fulfill, or no longer fulfills, the conditions of entry, stay or residence in Lithuania.

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For example, the period of presence established for foreign citizens is being exceeded, the foreign does not have a valid visa (in case, it is necessary), valid travel document or have entered Lithuania illegally. Also, the presence of a foreigner is considered to be illegal if the foreigner resides in Lithuania without a valid residence permit. 2442 foreigners were found to be illegally present within the territory of Lithuania in 2019, most of the them were the citizens of Belarus, Ukraine, Russia and Kyrgyzstan.

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

Return decisions and expulsion

Return means the process of a foreign who does not fulfil or no longer fulfils the conditions of legal stay in Lithuania going back to his/her country of origin.

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These people can leave voluntarily given a certain period of time for voluntary departure. If they do not leave Lithuania within this time period or the period for voluntary departure cannot be given, then they are expelled from Lithuania.
The graphic portrays the number of aliens subject to a return decision and the number of people expelled from Lithuania. It is worth noting that return decisions also include obligations to leave (when foreigners are returned to other EU Member states where they can stay legally).

Source: Migration Department. Updated: 2020-07-22

How many migrants return home with IOM assistance?

For more than eighteen years the International Organization for Migration (IOM) Vilnius office provides assisted voluntary return to non-EU citizens who have found themselves in an irregular situation in Lithuania.

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Assisted voluntary return aims to help migrants who are in Lithuania illegally to return to their country of origin safely and with dignity. The assistance is given to non-EU citizens, who decide to leave voluntarily but do not have financial means to leave on their own.

Source: International Organization for Migration. Updated: 2020-07-22