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
towns of such cities, it may start at 200 Euro upwards.
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/go.php/lit/IMG) 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
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.
Employers must pay to the State Social Security Fund a mandatory social security contribution for every employee.
Be aware to contact responsible institutions because information may be specific for each case due to residence permit and agreement between countries.
1. Health coverage – Yes, if social insurance contributions are paid.
2. Sickness leaves benefit –
Yes, if person have been insured under the sickness and maternity social insurance scheme.
3. Unemployment benefit - the unemployment insurance benefit is granted to persons if unemployment insurance record is not shorter than 18 months during the last 36 months.
The unemployment insurance benefit depends on the salary amount. Also the possibility to get unemployment benefit depends on residence permit.
4. Parental benefit – Yes, if they have been insured under the state social sickness and maternity insurance scheme for required period (for at least 12 months in the last 24 month period). Also it depends on residence permit.
5. Disability pension – Yes, but only with acknowledgement of disability. Disability and Capacity for Work Service under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour is responsible for it.
6. Old-age pension – Only for persons from the countries Lithuania has an Agreement on Social Security (USA, Canada, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus).
7. Supplementary pension rights – Only for persons from the countries Lithuania has an Agreement on Social Security (USA, Canada, Russia, Ukraine and Belarus).
For more information please visit: http://www.socmin.lt/index.php?2109467513
http://www.sodra.lt/index.php?cid=1778 (social insurance)
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 programme is offered by nursery schools, pre-kindergartens, kindergartens, school- kindergartens and other schools. Education of a child according to the elementary education programme starts when he or she turns 7 in the respective calendar year. The four-year programme of elementary education is offered by school-kindergartens, elementary and other schools. The lower secondary education programme 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 programme of elementary education. The two-year programme 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 programmes is available here:
The list of kindergartens:
The list of internation schools:
Vilnius International School is accredited by the International Baccalaureate (IB) Organization and is the only institution in Lithuania offering IB Primary Years Programme and Middle Years Programme. The Lithuanian Ministry of Education and Science recognizes the curriculum as in accordance with the country's educational strategy and standards.
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 (76 Euro) 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 (418 Euro).
For more information please visit: http://www.socmin.lt/index.php?1009885970.
Aliens and citizens of the Republic of Lithuania must have relevant documents for the entry of pets into the Republic of Lithuania. Pet owners arriving from EU Member States must carry the passport of their pet which must be of the EU approved unified form certifying anti-rabies vaccination or revaccination. Passports are issued by veterinarians only to some animals such as dogs, cats, polecats and ferrets. Dogs, cats and ferrets must be identified and bear a clearly readable tattoo or a transponder (after 3 July 2011 only transponders will be recognised as identification).
Individuals with pets entering the Republic of Lithuania from third countries must have a veterinary certificate issued by a state licensed veterinarian from the alien’s country of origin or residence and results of the pet’s antibody tests carried out by a state approved laboratory. Antibody tests have to be performed after the anti-rabies vaccination had been administered. Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets under three months of age shall be brought in from third countries only if the epizootic rabies situation in these countries is favourable.
For additional and more detailed information about the admission of pets into the Republic of Lithuania please contact the State Food and Veterinary Service of the Republic of Lithuania.
If you are a national from a country in the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland you do not need a visa to come to Lithuania If you are from outside the EEA you may need a visa, depending on where you come from and what you intend to do while you are in Lithuania.
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?-2109494005.
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.
In order to get a visa, a foreign citizen (alien) should apply to diplomatic missions or consular offices of the Republic of Lithuania abroad. Where visas are issued?
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 Republic of Lithuania, then the state fee charged for consideration of a visa application, taking of a decision on visa issuance or refusal is LTL 207;
- 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 (LT);
- 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.
For more information please visit: http://www.migracija.lt/index.php?1015128441
Matters regarding citizens of the European Union living and working in Lithuania are regulated by the European Union Citizen Act. A foreign national, who is a citizen of one of the Member States of the European Union, European Economic Area and the Swiss Confederation (hereafter referred to as citizens of the European Union) may arrive and stay in the Republic of Lithuania for up to 3 months within a 6 month period starting from the day of his arrival in the Republic of Lithuania. Citizens of the European Union who wish to stay longer than three months or have already been in Lithuania for longer than three months have to register with the Migration Department. Temporary residence permits are issued for periods of up to five years. Information on the residence of EU Member State Nationals in the Republic of Lithuania is available at the website of the Department of Migration under the Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Lithuania.
If a EU citizen comes to live permanently in Lithuania, together with a citizen of our country as a member of his family, he must get a certificate confirming the permission to reside in Lithuania. Validity of such a document, which is issued by the Migration Service, is open-ended.
An application requesting for the above certificate is issued within one month from the date of the application. A foreigner concerned is notified about the decision in writing, the certificate being enclosed.
Non -EU Citizens
A permit for temporary residence in the Republic of Lithuania can be issued to a foreigner who is not a citizen of a European Union member state. It is usually issued for one year, but also can be issued for a shorter term. An application for a first-time residence permit and other documents are to be submitted to a diplomatic mission or consular office of the Republic of Lithuania abroad, and in case a foreigner is in the Republic of Lithuania legally – to the migration office of a territorial police unit, in the territory covered by which the foreigner has an intention to reside.
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.
Citizens of the European Union, the European Economic Area or Switzerland willing to work in Lithuania, are not required to have any work permit.
Citizens of the European Union Member States and their family members, who come to Lithuania for more than three months over a period of half a year, and who are in compliance with at least one of the requirements specified in Article 101(1) of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners, are issued a certificate confirming their legitimate residence, as approved by the Minister of Interior.
Citizens of the member states of the European Free Trade Association are subject to the same provisions as in case of the European Union Member States. Family members of the European Union citizens, who do not hold EU citizenship, are issued European Union residence permits.
Non-EU citizens who intends to work in Lithuania must obtain a work permit. This should be done before coming to Lithuania, unless a foreigner is relieved from this obligation ( the Law on the Legal Status of Aliens, LT).
A work permit is issued to foreigners for a period of up to two years. The permit specifies a company, institution or organization employing the individual as well as the position taken. Other terms and conditions apply in case of seasonal work or internship.
Conditions and procedure for issuing a work permit to an alien have been set forth by the Minister of Social Security and Labour in consultation with the Minister of the Interior (a work permit shall be issued to an alien and withdrawn by the Labour Exchange of Lithuania under the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania; the application shall be processed within two months from the date of receipt of the application).
A work permit may be issued to a foreign national, if Lithuania has no professional that would meet employer's requirements.
An alien who applies for a high-skilled qualification job, shall be issued a decision by the Lithuanian Labour Exchange confirming its compliance with the needs of the Lithuanian labour market. A temporary residence permit to an alien who intends to work in high-skilled job (EU Blue Card) shall be issued by the Migration Department under the Ministry of Interior.
For more information http://www.ldb.lt/EN/INFORMATION/SERVICES/Pages/Placementofforeigners.aspx
Find a Job
If you are not a researcher and you want to find a job in Lithuania, you can visit the website of the Labour Exchange, or come to any of its structural units, where you'll receive free information and answers to your questions. You may also check the website of the EURES, European Employment Service or contact recruitment agencies (CVonline, cvmarket .
As of 2010, European recruitment agencies may not charge home or abroad recruitment services directly or indirectly, which creates equal conditions for all and makes easier access to labour market.