Welcome to our practical guide to living in Lithuania.
Here you can find information about a wide range of
issues concerning daily life, accommodation, daycare
and schooling for your children, financial matters,
language courses, healthcare and social security, and
how to get around Lithuania and enjoy your free time.
If you are a visiting scientist or researcher, the university, scientific research institute or private employer inviting you may offer you accommodation in guest houses or apartments owned by them.
A scientist or researcher may also rent an apartment through real estate agencies. August through October are the months when finding a suitable apartment for rent may be somewhat more difficult, as this is the time when students go looking for a place to live, therefore it is advisable to start looking for accommodation in advance. The rent for 1 – 2 room apartments in the major
More information on rented housing is available at:
Inventions in the
Applications for a national patent are accepted by the State Patent Bureau.
In order to protect an invention under the PCT, applications meeting the PCT requirements are accepted by the State Patent Bureau or by the International Bureau of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO). The rules of the PCT, information on fees and application forms are available at the WIPO website: http://www.wipo.int/pct/en/index.html.
In order to obtain a European patent, applications can be filed with the European Patent Office (EPO) or with the national office of the country that is a member of the EPC.
Joint brochure of the European Commission and the European Patent Office (in English) is available at:
Why researchers should care about patents?
The Ministry of Economy of the Republic of Lithuania gives support to persons of the Republic of Lithuania that seek to obtain a European patent or a patent under the Patent Cooperation Treaty, making it possible to recover up to 100 percent of expenses incurred in obtaining the patent.
If one wishes to study, academic recognition of one’s education must be performed.
If one wishes to work, professional recognition of one’s education will be performed.
Documents for education assessment and academic recognition are to be submitted to the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (CQAHE). Information about necessary documents is available at:
Where to go for professional recognition?
If you want to engage in regulated professional activities:
Select the profession you want to pursue in the list of regulated professions (http://www.profesijos.lt/?pid=12 (lithuanian)) and address the competent authority indicated in relation to such a profession.
If you want to engage in non-regulated professional activities:
In this case, address your potential employer, who will decide whether your education is suitable for the job. The employer may need information about the academic level of your education. In that event, the employer may request you to undergo the procedure of your education assessment and/or its academic recognition.
Lithuanian language, in the context of all Indo-European languages, has best upheld the ancient sound system and plenty of its singularities. In this respect, it is very similar to Sanskrit, Ancient Greek and Latin.
How to learn Lithuanian?
Some universities have departments of the Lithuanian language, which run all kinds of Lithuanian language and culture courses for foreigners. The most important of these are the whole year (two semesters) and several week (two, four) courses. Courses are offered at three levels: beginner, intermediate and advanced. If required, individual instruction is available.
The aim of courses for beginners is to provide the learner with the knowledge of the grammatical structure of the Lithuanian language, basic vocabulary, and to develop reading, writing and communication skills. Intermediate and advanced level groups are offered classes in Baltic and Lithuanian philology, Lithuanian literature, ethno culture, history and other Lithuanian studies subjects. Lectures on political and economic situation of the country are on offer as well.
Foreign nationals are charged fees for Lithuanian language courses. The price depends on the chosen university and the type of a course: a two-week-study and cultural programme will cost LTL 1,000-1,300, approximately LTL 2,000 will be charged for a four-week course. For those coming for one semester Lithuanian studies will be charged about LTL 3,000-4,000.
The ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania may pay tuition fees for Lithuanian studies or a Lithuanian language course and award scholarships to those researchers, foreign students and teachers who come to Lithuania according to international agreements. Free movers – researchers, foreign students and teachers – coming to
For more information: www.smpf.lt (lithuanian).
Social insurance accounts for the major part of the social security system. The main aim of the social insurance system is to guarantee income for the insured in case of losing ability to work due to sickness, maternity, old age, disability (lost ability to work) or in other cases provided for in the Law on State Social Insurance.
Contributions payable by the employer
23.3% for pension social insurance
3.4% for sickness and maternity social insurance
1% for unemployment social insurance
3% for compulsory health insurance
0.3% for general social insurance against accidents at work and occupational diseases
Contributions payable by the insured
3% for pension social insurance
6% for compulsory health insurance
The 34% social insurance contribution is payable on the salary of every person each month: 3% is to be paid by the employee and 31% is to be paid by the employer. Through payment of contributions the employee is covered for old age, sickness, maternity, unemployment or accidents at work and with compulsory health insurance: when a person gets old or disabled, he/she will get a pension, in case a person gets unemployed, has to look after a baby, gets sick or injured at work, he/she will get a relevant benefit, as well as health services or assistance in search for a job.
For more information please visit: http://www.socmin.lt/index.php?1009885970.
For people visiting the European Union member states, the European Economic Area member states and the Swiss Confederation.
According to the EU legal acts, persons covered with state health insurance in one of the EU or EEA member states, when visiting any other EU or EEA member state, have the right to be provided with necessary medical aid services, and the expenses of such services are compensated for by the state health insurance. This also applies in Switzerland.
In order that you could exercise such a right when visiting the EU or EEA member states or Switzerland as a tourist or for any other purposes, you should have a document proving that you are covered with compulsory health insurance – the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or the Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC) substituting for the European Health Insurance Card. When addressing a medical institution for necessary medical aid, at the reception office of such an institution or hospital one has to provide a personal identity document and the EHIC or the PRC.
The health care services, compensated for with the state (compulsory) health insurance funds in the EU, EEA member states and in Switzerland, are provided under the procedure applicable in the state health care systems in those countries.
For more information please visit: http://www.vlk.lt/vlk/en/.
For insured persons who come to Lithuania from European Union and Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Switzerland
The State Patient Fund under the Ministry of Health of Lithuania (SPF) is competent institution responsible for benefits in kind of sickness and maternity. Compulsory health insurance in Lithuania is implemented by State Patient Fund and 5 local Territorial Patient Funds (TPF).
When you visit Lithuania, please hold with you one of these documents confirming your entitlement to reimbursement of health care services:
European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
Provisional Replacement Certificate (PRC)
Certificate E 106
Certificate E 109
Your family members who are visiting
If you (or your family members) have EHIC, you are entitled to necessary medical care services which are free of charge in the health care institutions belonging to the Lithuanian National Health System. The list of the health care providers which belong to the Lithuanian National Health System (that means - have signed a contract with the TPF) you could find on the website http://www.vlk.lt/vlk/en/?l=cont_int . Each doctor consulting you as a patient has to take into account the planned length of your stay in
You don't need to register at TPF if you (or your family members) have EHIC. If you don't have any document confirming your entitlement to reimbursement of health care services or it was lost/stolen, please, contact the closest TPF. TPF will refer to your competent institution with request to send you a provisional replacement certificate.
In the case if you own E106 (or your family members have certificate E 106 or E 109) you must register at TPF as soon as possible after arrival to Lithuania. Then, TPF will issue the Lithuanian health insurance certificate for you (or for your family members). The holders of the Lithuanian health insurance certificate can get free of charge all kind of medical care (not only the necessary medical care) at health care institutions belonging to Lithuanian National Health System.
If you will seek medical care at the institutions that do not belong to the Lithuanian National Health System, you will have to cover all the expenses of medical services by yourself and these expenses will be not reimbursed. More information can be found at website of The State Patients’ Fund at the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Lithuania: http://www.vlk.lt/vlk/en/?l=welcome
Researcher from an EU and EEA member state, as well as from Switzerland, Belarus, the Ukraine, Russia, Canada, and the USA, having labour contract valid his/her home country, is not subject to paying social security tax or healthcare tax in Lithuania; these taxes must be paid in his/her home country. With a Lithuanian labour contract, payments include both a three-per cent social security fee and a six-per cent healthcare fee of the salary defined in a contract. Visitors from other countries than listed above pay in 3 per cent of the gross salary for social security and a share of 6 per cent for healthcare.
Foreign researchers employed in national enterprises, political parties, labour unions, religious communities, or national branch offices of EU or EEA member states, are exempted from paying the cover tax. Researchers employed by other legal entities (privately owned companies, banks, credit unions, etc.) pay a 0.1 per cent cover tax fee of the salary.For more information please visit http://www.vmi.lt/en/?itemId=100456152
The state ensures that each child in
Pre-school education is available for children from 1 to 6. This program is offered by nursery schools, pre-kindergartens, kindergartens, school- kindergartens and other schools. Education of a child according to the elementary education program starts when he or she turns 7 in the respective calendar year. The four-year program of elementary education is offered by school-kindergartens, elementary and other schools. The lower secondary education program or its part (part I takes 4 years, part II – 2 years) is offered by gymnasiums, secondary, middle, youth, vocational and other schools to pupils who have already completed the program of elementary education. The two-year program of secondary education, which consists of mandatory and elective general education modules and possibly vocational training modules, is offered by gymnasiums, secondary, vocational and other schools.
The list of schools offering pre-school, elementary, lower secondary and secondary education, is available here:
The list of institutions preparing pupils according to international baccalaureate programs is available here:
A foreigner, coming to the Republic of Lithuania to work as a teacher in higher education institutions or conduct scientific research in higher education institutions or scientific research institutions, may be issued a national visa (D) for a term no longer than one year. Foreigners who have a valid national visa (D) can go to the territories of other Schengen states for no longer than three months in any period of six months.
The list of countries citizens of which do not require visas for travel to the Republic of Lithuania is available here: http://www.migracija.lt/index.php?-484440258.
In order to get a visa, a foreign citizen (alien) should apply to diplomatic missions or consular offices of the Republic of Lithuania abroad.
In order to get a visa, an alien must:
- pay EUR 60 consular fee for acceptance and examination of documents for a visa (charged in diplomatic missions and consular offices of the Republic of Lithuania abroad). If a visa is issued in the
- a valid travel document, the expiry date of which must be at least 3 months beyond the expiry date of the requested visa;
- a filled-in visa application of established form;
- one colour photo of 35x45 mm;
- valid document certifying that an alien has health insurance. In order to obtain a national visa (D), the health insurance sum must be LTL 20,000;
- documents confirming the right to go back to the state from which the alien arrives or the state a citizen or resident of which the alien is, or confirming the right to go to a third country;
- if documents for a visa are submitted on behalf of the alien by an authorised representative of a natural person or an authorised representative of a legal person, a notarised or equally certified power of attorney must be submitted;
- submit a request of the inviting Lithuanian institution, company or organisation for issue of a national visa (D) for multiple entries to him or her. This request must be addressed to the visa office that the alien is going to apply for issuance of a visa.
- submit documents confirming the conduction of scientific research or documents on the basis of which one comes to teach.
A permit for temporary residence in the
A foreigner’s application for a first-time residence permit must be examined no later than within 6 months as of the submission of the application to a relevant institution, and in case of a foreigner holding a long-term residence permit issued by a European Union member state – within 4 months as of the submission of the application to a relevant institution.
For more information please visit: www.migracija.lt.
A foreigner who wants to work in the Republic of Lithuania must obtain a work permit. A work permit must be obtained before arrival to the Republic of Lithuania. Work permits are issued by the Lithuanian Labour Exchange, referring to an opinion of a territorial labour exchange and taking into account the international obligations of the Republic of Lithuania and demand in the labour exchange. A work permit is to be collected by the employer (company) at the relevant territorial labour exchange; issuance and renewal of a work permit is subject to a state levy of an established amount which is payable to the State Tax Inspectorate of the Republic of Lithuania.
A work permit for a foreign citizen who is recruited in the Republic of Lithuania under an employment contract can be issued for a term up to 2 years, indicating the job title and the specific company (organisation) for which the foreign citizen is going to work.
Citizens of the European Union member states and their family members who intend to work in the Republic of Lithuania under an employment contract need not to obtain a work permit.
For more information please visit the website http://www.ldb.lt/en/Information/Pages/default.aspx.
The reestablishment of democracy has brought about positive transformations in the society, enforced the desire to work, create and contribute to the prosperity and new opportunities in
Along with abundant research resources,
Persons working under employment contracts, also in other cases, as well as their employers must pay social insurance contributions (more information on taxes and contributions is given in the section “Taxes”). In this case, workers are entitled to social guarantees and benefits.
Maternity, paternity and maternity (paternity) allowances are given to the insured entitled to them in the following cases:
- maternity allowance – for women for the period of the maternity leave;
- paternity allowance – for the insured for the period of the paternity leave, until a child turns a month old;
- maternity (paternity) allowance – for the insured for the period of child care leave, until a child turns two years old.
A pregnant woman, who is not entitled to the maternity allowance under the Law on Sickness and Maternity Social Insurance, is given a one-time benefit in the amount of 2 basic social benefits (LTL 260) 70 calendar days remaining until the expected date of childbirth.
Each newborn is given a one-time benefit in the amount of 11 basic social benefits (LTL 1,430).
For more information please visit: http://www.socmin.lt/index.php?1009885970.