The migration processes - migration/emigration is a natural thing. The movement of the residents and the locomotion from one place to the other is a phenomenon of the common global history.

During the last decades the amount of the migrants increased about 10 times. In 1970 there were about 2.5 million refugees, now there are about 22 millions (6 times more than the population of Lithuania). Also the Lithuanians left their country. Over 3 millions of the Lithuanians live now on the land of the parents; the number of the people left the country is about 1 million. Only a small part of them stayed in the neighbor European states, the most of them moved to America.

Lithuania is a transit country for the illegal migrants. It is a mediate link of the flow for the people from the East to the West. Officially the illegal migrants were detained in the middle of 1992; then the operational service of the Department of the Border Police was established. Until 1996 the amount of the detained illegal migrants increased till 1.5 thousand of the people. Such flow of the migrants was for Lithuania unexpected. On July 27, 1997 the law of the Government of the Republic of Lithuania “On The Legal Status of the Refugee in the Republic of Lithuania” came info effect. In January the same year the Seym of the Republic of Lithuania ratified the Geneva Convention of 1951. In 1997 there were over 900 illegal migrants in Lithuania. The detained illegal migrants were brought from the stations of the Border Control of Lithuania to the Foreigners Registration Center, which was established in Pabrade in the former military camp of the Soviet Army.

According to the Convention of 1951 Relating To The Status Of The Refugee the refugee is a person, who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of origin and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country or having a fear to return to it. Each person forced to leave the country of origin due to the government or the events breaking the public peace in the country of origin or in the part of it and is a citizen of this country. People leaving their countries due to the fear for life, safety or liberty because of the different violence, the aggression of the foreign country, the internal conflicts, the massive breaking of the human rights or the other factors breaking the public peace”.

The foreigner applying for the asylum in the Republic of Lithuania is called an asylum seeker. “Asylum seeker” is a common definition, describing a person whose application is in the procedure. This definition can be used for the person who didn’t apply for asylum or waiting for the decision.

The asylum seeker is accommodated in the particular place without the restriction of the liberty of the movement. Then it is investigated, if the asylum seeker has to be granted the refugee status or the subsidiary protection, if there are no reasons not to provide the refugee status or the subsidiary protection.

The forms of the asylum in the Republic of Lithuania:

  • Refugee status
  • Subsidiary protection
  • Temporary protection (was not)

The temporary residence permit is usually issued for the foreigners the first time providing the permit. The foreigners applying the first time for the residence permit, has to apply to the diplomatic mission of the Republic of Lithuania or the consulate in the foreign country. The Minister of the Interior determines the cases when the foreigners can apply for the residence permit being in the Republic of Lithuania.

The residence permit (further – the permit) is issued to the foreigners ensures the right to live in the Republic of Lithuania, to choose the living place in the Republic of Lithuania, to change it, to leave the Republic of Lithuania, to come back during the expiry date of the permit.

The Migration Department decides regarding the accommodation of the asylum seeker, expect the cases, then the asylum seekers is arrested or he (she) was assigned the alternative mean of the detention according to the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania. The asylum seeker, arrived to the Republic of Lithuania legitimately and was granted the temporary territorial asylum, is accommodated in the Foreigners Registration Center according to the decision of the Migration Department. The asylum seeker can be allowed to settle in his (her) chosen living place according to the decision of the Migration Department, if the asylum seeker makes a request.

The Foreigners Registration Center is an institution provided for the detained foreigners and the asylum seekers, to investigate the personal identity of the detained and accommodated foreigners, the circumstances of the arrival to the Republic of Lithuania, to administer their record and implement the deportation of the foreigners from the Republic of Lithuania. The Foreigners Registration Center is established, reorganized and eliminated by the Minister of the Interior.

If the asylum seeker has no income and the living place, he (she) can apply for the accommodation in the Refugees Reception Center.

The Refugees Reception Center (further – the Center) is a budgetary institution providing the social services, accommodating the foreigners, granted the asylum in the Republic of Lithuania, and the unaccompanied minors and implementing the social integration of the foreigners granted asylum. The Refugees Reception Center is established, reorganized and eliminated by the Minister of the Social Security and Labor. The foreigners are accommodated in the Center; they are provided the necessary social, health care and legal services. There are organized the intensive courses of the Lithuanian language, the courses about Lithuania. There are organized the evaluation of the personal skills and the suitable work, the courses of the vocational training, the refreshing, searching for a work place together with the Labor Exchange and the local Labor Market Training and Consulting Authority. The preschool-aged children have possibility to attend the kindergarten; the school-aged children have possibility to attend the comprehensive schools. The employees of the Center help to find a job, to integrate faster into the society of the Republic of Lithuania.

The temporary guardianship (wardship) must be provided for the unaccompanied minors, independent of the legitimacy of the staying in the territory of the Republic of Lithuania, according to the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania. The temporary guardian of the unaccompanied minor represents the interests of the unaccompanied minor – foreigner.

The temporary guardianship is provided for the unaccompanied minor – foreigner applied for the asylum according to the legislation of the Republic of Lithuania.

Unaccompanied minor asylum seeker is accommodated in the Refugees Reception Center according to the order of the Minister of the Interior and the Minister of Social Security and Labor, if his (her) temporary guardian or other legal representative doesn’t contradict.