Moacir P. de Sá Pereira on April 14th, 2009
Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago

Consulate General of the Republic of Lithuania in Chicago

The “Guide to a Passport” series is coming to a close, I hope. Despite still not receiving (though they say they mailed it out three weeks ago) my grandfather’s death certificate from the State of Michigan, the upcoming travel season means I need to submit my imperfect application for citizenship in the Republic of Lithuania as soon as possible. So I did that today.

But first, I filled out the two separate .doc forms (išsaugojimas just to guarantee the right to citizenship and įgyvendimas to actually pursue the citizenship without renouncing US citizenship), translated the various certificates and stuff I acquired (with a touch of help from a friend), and put together a pile of pages. I also included three passport photos, since I figured I’d fill out the passport request form while I was at the consulate.

And today I took the whole morning off work, even though I ended up only spending about a half hour in the office. Everything was way more casual than I expected (I even got a little dressed up!). I expected sitting down with a vice-consul or something and discussing all the forms in some opulent office with Adamkus beaming down on me. Instead, I was in a rather perfunctory room with two glassed-off workers and a bunch of tiny cubicles for filling out forms. Entre nous, the Brazilian consulate’s digs are nicer, but whatever.

The byla.

The byla.

The worker, who was also the fellow I corresponded with over email a few months ago, repeatedly said how “šaunu” my application was, which I took immense pride in. He also pronounced my name completely correctly, save considering the “c” in my first name to be an affricate consonant, not a fricative. In so doing, of course, he simply followed Lithuanian rules of orthography, which generally do a decent job with my name, which only adds to my confusion over how many Lithuanians I know completely foul the name up.

My mother’s Canadian birth certificate, which I had sent off to Ottawa for legalization, will have to be relegalized by the Lithuanians for $14. It’s good that I did send it out, actually, since the notarized copy I had made would have gotten me nowhere. The fact that all of the birth certificates I provided give maiden names was also intensely useful; I got to avoid having to provide marriage certificates (which I do not have). They kept everything I gave them except for my passport and driver’s license, which they photocopied.

Importantly, the office was wholy uninterested in my proving flight from Lithuania after 1940. They were far more interested in proof that flight had happened before 1990. I hope that my mom’s birth certificate and the copies of files I got from the International Tracing Service will sufficiently demonstrate that. This lack of interest in post-1940 flight is crucially valuable information for people pursuing dual citizenship in the future!

Finally, I was charged $28 for the passport application also. The friendly Third Secretary, Vytautas, then told me the documents would all be shipped to Lithuania on Monday, where the Migracijos departamentas will take up to a year to decide my case. Vytautas suspected that I should know in about six months. Considering I’ll have to apply for a student visa for France in June, I would like to know before even then, but whatever.

As a postscript, I left the field for “tautybė” blank. I asked Vytautas if this would be a problem. Since I was making my petition based on familial descent, not ethnic ties, he explained, it was ok for me to leave it unanswered. I did a little dance and thanked him.

I worry that the request may be denied for insufficient information, but then that’ll give me more to write about. Now to the numbers:

Costs this post:

  • $14 (legalization of Canadian birth certificate)
  • $28 (passport fee)
  • $20 (approximate lost wages in going downtown to consulate)

Cost to-date of dual citizenship:$166.26

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