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No dual citizenship in Lithuania without referendum and constitutional change

By Ramutė Ruškytė, GLOBALCIT Lithuania expert

According to the Law on Citizenship, nobody can be a citizen of Lithuania and another country at the same time, except for individual cases stipulated by law. The same regulation is established in Article 12 of the Constitution. Under the Constitution, Article 12 may be amended only by referendum.

On Friday (20 October), following the petition by the Parliament (Seimas) for clarifying whether dual citizenship is possible by law for Lithuanian citizens who left the country for EU and NATO countries after Lithuania regained independence in 1990, the Constitutional Court interpreted the provisions of its two rulings (30 December 2003 and 13 November 2006) and one decision (13 March 2013) previously adopted on issues of citizenship.

The Constitutional Court held that, according to the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, as long as Paragraph 2 of Article 12 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania is not amended by referendum, the Seimas of the Republic of Lithuania may not establish by means of a law that the citizens of the Republic of Lithuania who left the country after the restoration of the independence of the Republic of Lithuania on 11 March 1990 and acquired citizenship of a member state of the EU and/or NATO may be citizens of the Republic of Lithuania and another state at the same time.

For details of current and past citizenship legislation in Lithuania, check out our country profile pages.