Moacir P. de Sá Pereira on February 10th, 2009

Yesterday, the workgroup on changing the citizenship law made their proposals to Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus. They argue that dual citizenship should be granted to anyone who fled or was exiled up to 11 March 1990, as the current version of the law holds.

The 15 June 1940 date holds, too. So any citizens who left of their own free will before then (and their descendants) forfeit the right to dual citizenship. They can get their Lithuanian citizenship, but not without handing over their current passports.

My opinion about the 15 June 1940 date is not public, but the short version is: I don’t like it. If there should be a t0 after which fleeing Lithuania should be considered a political act that secures a future right to dual citizenship, that date should probably be 17 December 1926. There were a lot of very good reasons to leave Lithuania between 1927 and 1940–reasons that don’t usually get discussed in public. The choice of 15 June 1940 is a very archly politically motivated one, and one that makes me rather uncomfortable.

The workgroup also found that all children born after 11 March 1990 of Lithuanian parents who by jus soli earn another nation’s citizenship keep the right to dual citizenship.

Because the workgroup has only made a set of proposals, none of this has any legal force yet, from my understanding. As a result, the “Guide to a Passport” project can continue.

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