Our Lithuanian office

Inter Relocation Group Ltd.
1068 Budapest,
Felsőerdősor u.
12-14. I. em. 4.
Hungary (Group Partner)

Contact
Stuart McAlister – Managing Director
Tel.: +36 1 278-5680
Fax: +36 1 278-5688
Email: info@interrelo.com
Responsible for: Operations in Lithuania

Lithuania Relocation Guide

Key Facts

Government type: Parliamentary democracy
Capital: Vilnius
Total Area: 65,300 km²
Population: 2.9 million

GDP Per Capita (PPP) 11,073 Eur
Official languages: Lithuanian
Religions: Roman Catholic (about 80% of population), Russian Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, Evangelical Reformist, Jews, Sunni Islam, Muslim and Karaite
Country code: +370
Currency: Litas (LTL)
Voltage: 220 V

Brief Overview

Lithuania is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and borders Latvia on the north, Belarus on the east and south, and Poland and the Kaliningrad region of Russia on the southwest. It is a country of gently rolling hills, many forests, rivers and streams, and lakes. Its principal natural resource is agricultural land.

During the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighbouring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania’s territory.

In the aftermath of World War I, Lithuania’s Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence.

Prior to the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, Lithuania had one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Lithuania is a member of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the EU.

Culture

Lithuanian culture has experienced influences by different traditions and factors that can still be felt at present. The country offers an interesting mixture of elements of pagan mythology and Christianity. Starting from the Renaissance and on to the later epochs, Western European cultural tradition has clearly had the greatest influence on professional art in Lithuania. In the 20th century, throughout the period of independent Lithuania, highly productive relations between the country and other European states enriched Lithuanian culture on the whole and encouraged the development of its modern culture. Lithuanian artist and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911), a unique figure in the history of European arts, has left a profound imprint on Lithuanian culture.

The most recent cultural events in Lithuania grow out of the fertile soil of ethnic cultural traditions and the European context. Lithuanian theatre is highly appreciated by Lithuanian as well as foreign audiences and theatre critics. Such directors as Eimuntas Nekrosius, Oskaras Korsunovas, Rimas Tuminas, Jonas Vaitkus and Gintaras Varnas are ranked among international theatre celebrities.

Lithuania also boasts many well-known professional symphonic and chamber orchestras, choirs, opera singers and ballet dancers. Cultural events happening all year round encompass marvellous annual festivals of classical music, theatre, cinema and poetry presenting performances by many eminent Lithuanian and foreign artists. Lithuania is widely known as a jazz country, famous for its several international jazz festivals organized by jazz performers and fans in Kaunas, Birstonas, and Vilnius.

Rental market

The rental market in Lithuania can be quite difficult for the “first arrived” assignee, as there are quite a lot of providers on the market, but the quality of services still varies hugely. Language barrier might also be an obstacle.

In Soviet times, regions of high-rise houses were built around city centres. In that rather desolate environment, however, you can find properly renovated apartments for rent at a decent price. So you can rent a place in Vilnius depending on what you can afford and what you need. In most of the cases the rent prices are also somewhat negotiable.

There are furnished, unfurnished or semi-furnished properties for rent. Furnished housing usually include all furniture and in some cases even dishes and linens. Unfurnished properties most often have lighting and a kitchen with main electric appliances only. Semi-furnished housing usually includes basic furniture such as a bed, chairs and main kitchen appliances.

When renting housing a renter usually pays rent to the owner of the place and, in addition, pays for the utility services according to the bills received and meter readings (water, electricity, gas). In most cases additional costs are involved for building management (elevator, trash pickup, etc.).
Standard Tenancy: Minimum 1 year
Security Deposit: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent
Real Estate Commission: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent for the tenant
Utilities: Added to the monthly rental, tenants responsibility

Healthcare

Lithuania provides state-funded public healthcare to all citizens and registered long-term residents who make compulsory health insurance contributions. Private healthcare facilities as well as private health insurance options are also available in the country. The public healthcare in the country needs investment, but medical professionals are well qualified, with Lithuania’s cardiologists being the most advanced in the former Soviet bloc.

The country has a high number of General Practitioners (also called Family doctors) and the number compares favourably with numbers in other EU countries. Family doctors are the first point of contact with the Lithuanian healthcare system. Citizens can register with the doctor of their choice; however, people seeking state-funded medical care must apply to one of the public medical institutions (Lith. poliklinika).

GPs prescribe drugs, treat acute and chronic illnesses, and provide preventive care and health education. GPs working at the public medical institutions also provide free home visits to those who are too sick to attend the medical facility.

Lithuania provides a competent ambulance and emergency health service. Emergency care is available free of charge for everyone including those without health insurance.  Emergency treatment is provided at the emergency room of all hospitals, which is open 24/7. You may use their services if you need immediate attention (for that call 112), or if the GP refers you to them, or if there is no GP service available.

Schools

Each foreign child with a permanent or temporary resident status in Lithuania has the right to education. Child education in state schools is financed through a state budget.

The school education structure in Lithuania:
Pre-school education (2-5 years old);
Pre-primary education (6 years old);
Primary education (7-10 years old);
Lower Secondary education (11-16 years old);
Upper secondary education (17-19 years old).

Lithuania’s Pre-school education system provides opportunities for families in which both spouses work. It develops the child’s social and elementary skills like drawing and music. Pre-primary education nurtures math, writing, reading, music, drawing skills, etc.

School is obligatory from the age of 7 to the age of 16 or until the acquisition of the Lower Secondary education. Majority of schools belong to the state and a few are privately owned. At the state schools there is no tuition fee, and parents must only buy school supplies and pay for food. Parents may freely choose a state school for a child if there are vacant places in the selected school. A state school is required to ensure educational opportunities for each child who resides in the school’s residential area.

The state school admission process for foreigners is exactly the same as for Lithuanian citizens. A child should be registered at a school by the 1st of June; however, there are many cases when a foreign child starts school only in the middle of the school year (upon his family arrival to Lithuania). If a child does not know the Lithuanian language, he/she is educated in a special class or group until he/she can join a regular class. Parents should submit to the selected school an application for admission together with a copy of the child’s personal identification document or a birth certificate. If your child has already attended school, documents certifying education obtained abroad or in another school in Lithuania must also be presented. The school has also the right to ask for a copy of a residence permit.

The academic year usually starts on the 1st of September and lasts till June of the following year. It mainly consists of a study period and holidays, which include one week in autumn, two weeks at Christmas and one week in spring. The maximum number of lessons per week varies from 20 (grade 1) to 34 (grade 9). At Upper secondary schools the number of lessons may be 35 or greater.

Key Facts

Government type: Parliamentary democracy
Capital: Vilnius
Total Area: 65,300 km²
Population: 2.9 million

GDP Per Capita (PPP) 11,073 Eur
Official languages: Lithuanian
Religions: Roman Catholic (about 80% of population), Russian Orthodox, Evangelical Lutheran, Evangelical Reformist, Jews, Sunni Islam, Muslim and Karaite
Country code: +370
Currency: Litas (LTL)
Voltage: 220 V

Brief Overview

Lithuania is situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea and borders Latvia on the north, Belarus on the east and south, and Poland and the Kaliningrad region of Russia on the southwest. It is a country of gently rolling hills, many forests, rivers and streams, and lakes. Its principal natural resource is agricultural land.

During the 14th century, Lithuania was the largest country in Europe: present-day Belarus, Ukraine, and parts of Poland and Russia were territories of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. With the Lublin Union of 1569, Poland and Lithuania formed a new state, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. The Commonwealth lasted more than two centuries, until neighbouring countries systematically dismantled it from 1772 to 1795, with the Russian Empire annexing most of Lithuania’s territory.

In the aftermath of World War I, Lithuania’s Act of Independence was signed on 16 February 1918, declaring the re-establishment of a sovereign state. Starting in 1940, Lithuania was occupied first by the Soviet Union and then by Germany. As World War II neared its end in 1944 and the Germans retreated, the Soviet Union reoccupied Lithuania. On 11 March 1990, Lithuania became the first Soviet republic to declare independence.

Prior to the global financial crisis of 2007–2010, Lithuania had one of the fastest growing economies in the European Union. Lithuania is a member of NATO, the Council of Europe, and the EU.

Culture

Lithuanian culture has experienced influences by different traditions and factors that can still be felt at present. The country offers an interesting merge of elements of pagan mythology and Christianity. Starting from the Renaissance and on to the later epochs, Western European cultural tradition has clearly had the greatest influence on professional art in Lithuania. In the 20th century, throughout the period of independent Lithuania, highly productive relations between the country and other European states enriched Lithuanian culture on the whole and encouraged the development of its modern culture. Lithuanian artist and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Ciurlionis (1875-1911), a unique figure in the history of European arts, has left a profound imprint on Lithuanian culture.

The most recent cultural events in Lithuania grow out of the fertile soil of ethnic cultural traditions and the European context. Lithuanian theatre is highly appreciated by Lithuanian as well as foreign audiences and theatre critics. Such directors as Eimuntas Nekrosius, Oskaras Korsunovas, Rimas Tuminas, Jonas Vaitkus and Gintaras Varnas are ranked among international theatre celebrities.

Lithuania also boasts many well-known professional symphonic and chamber orchestras, choirs, opera singers and ballet dancers. Cultural events happening all year round encompass marvellous annual festivals of classical music, theatre, cinema and poetry presenting performances by many eminent Lithuanian and foreign artists. Lithuania is widely known as a jazz country, famous for its several international jazz festivals organized by jazz performers and fans in Kaunas, Birstonas, and Vilnius.

Rental Market

The rental market in Lithuania can be quite difficult for the “first arrived” assignee, as there are quite many providers on the market, but the quality of services still varies hugely. Language barrier might also be an obstacle.

In Soviet times, regions of high-rise houses were built around city centres. In that rather desolate environment, however, you can find properly renovated apartments for rent at a decent price. So you can rent a place in Vilnius depending on what you can afford and what you need. In most of the cases the rent prices are also somewhat negotiable.

There are furnished, unfurnished or semi-furnished properties for rent. Furnished housing usually include all furniture and in some cases even dishes and linens. Unfurnished properties most often have lighting and a kitchen with main electric appliances only. Semi-furnished housing usually includes basic furniture such as a bed, chairs and main kitchen appliances.

When renting housing a renter usually pays rent to the owner of the place and, in addition, pays for the utility services according to the bills received and meter readings (water, electricity, gas). In most cases additional costs are involved for hosing exploitation (elevator, trash pickup, etc.).
Standard Tenancy: Minimum 1 year
Security Deposit: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent
Real Estate Commission: Yes, usually equivalent to 1 month rent for the tenant
Utilities: Added to the monthly rental, tenants responsibility

Health Care

Lithuania provides state-funded public healthcare to all citizens and registered long-term residents who make compulsory health insurance contributions. Private healthcare facilities as well as private health insurance options are also available in the country. The public healthcare in the country needs investment, but medical professionals are well qualified, with Lithuania’s cardiologists being the most advanced in the former Soviet bloc.

The country has a high number of General Practitioners (also called Family doctors) and the number compares favourably with numbers in other EU countries. Family doctors are the first point of contact with the Lithuanian health system. Citizens can register with the doctor of their choice; however, people seeking state-funded medical care must apply to one of the public medical institutions (Lith. poliklinika).

GPs prescribe drugs, treat acute and chronic illnesses, and provide preventive care and health education. GPs working at the public medical institutions also provide free home visits to those who are too sick to attend the medical facility.

Lithuania provides a competent ambulance and emergency health service. Emergency care is available free of charge for everyone including those without health insurance.  Emergency treatment is provided at the emergency room of all hospitals, which is open 24/7. You may use their services if you need immediate attention (for that call 112), or if the GP refers you to them, or if there is no GP service available.

Schools

Each foreign child with a permanent or temporary resident status in Lithuania has the right for education. Children education in state schools is financed through a state budget.

The school education structure in Lithuania:
Pre-school education (2-5 years old);
Pre-primary education (6 years old);
Primary education (7-10 years old);
Lower Secondary education (11-16 years old);
Upper secondary education (17-19 years old).

Lithuania’s Pre-school education system provides opportunities for families in which both spouses work. It develops the child’s social and elementary skills like drawing and music. Pre-primary education nurtures math, writing, reading, music, drawing skills, etc.

School is obligatory from the age of 7 to the age of 16 or until the acquisition of the Lower Secondary education. Majority of schools belong to the state and a few are privately owned. At the state schools there is no tuition fee, and parents must only buy school supplies and pay for food. Parents may freely choose a state school for a child if there are vacant places in the selected school. A state school is required to ensure educational opportunities for each child who resides in the school’s residential area.

The state school admission process for foreigners is exactly the same as for Lithuanian citizens. A child should be registered at a school by the 1st of June; however, there are many cases when a foreign child starts school only in the middle of the school year (upon his family arrival to Lithuania). If a child does not know the Lithuanian language, he/she is educated in a special class or group until he/she can join a regular class. Parents should submit to the selected school an application for admission together with a copy of the child’s personal identification document or a birth certificate. If your child has already attended school, documents certifying education obtained abroad or in another school in Lithuania must also be presented. The school has also the right to ask for a copy of a residence permit.

The academic year usually starts on the 1st of September and lasts till June of the following year. It mainly consists of a study period and holidays, which include one week in autumn, two weeks at Christmas and one week in spring. The maximum number of lessons per week varies from 20 (grade 1) to 34 (grade 9). At Upper secondary schools the number of lessons may be 35 or greater.

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