Where should you start when you return?
- Declare your place of residence
Declaring your place of residence entitles you to administrative and public services, social assistance, and benefits (such as childbirth benefits). On the other hand, declaring a place of residence in Lithuania also imposes certain obligations, such as paying compulsory social security contributions, which guarantee the right to free medical services in Lithuania.
You can declare your place of residence online via the E-Government Gateway, the self-service system of the Centre of Registers, or by going to the district/municipality where you live. You must do this within one month of arrival.
- Take out compulsory health insurance
Once you declare your residence in Lithuania, you will start to participate in the compulsory health insurance (CHI) programme and will have to pay CHI contributions. If you are immediately employed on your return, your employer will pay the fee for you, and you will not have to do anything on your own. If you belong to the group of persons insured by the state, the state will pay your CHI contributions for you. However, if you are not employed or intend to be self-employed, you will have to take care of your own CHI contributions. Social security contributions are paid to the State Social Insurance Fund − Sodra.
- Choose a healthcare facility
When you are covered by the CHI, you are entitled to receive treatment and healthcare at no extra cost. These services will be reimbursed to you by the health insurance funds from the Compulsory Health Insurance Fund. You are free to choose a clinic, medical centre, or family doctor’s office that provides treatment and healthcare services and has a contract with the territorial health insurance fund. You will need to sign up at the primary healthcare centre of your choice.
- Open a bank account
Open a Lithuanian bank account if you don’t already have one. With your e-banking logins, you will be able to use e-government services. You can open an account by visiting your preferred bank branch. Some banks offer online account opening.
If you wish, you can obtain a legally binding e-signature, which enables you to sign electronic documents securely online by accessing information systems. With an m-signature, there’s no need to waste time going to and waiting in offices − it’s all done with just a few swipes on your mobile phone. For an m-signature, please contact your mobile operator.
- Find out what benefits you are entitled to
Still no job when you get back? You can register with the Employment Service to apply for unemployment benefits. You can receive unemployment social insurance benefits if you have accumulated at least 12 months of unemployment insurance experience in the last 30 months before registering at the Employment Service. If you have completed this period abroad, you must submit a PD U1 document or a request for mediation to confirm your periods of work abroad to the Social Security Office.
Or maybe you spent 5 years abroad and have now returned and found a job in an occupation included in the list of high value-added occupations for which there is a shortage of workers in Lithuania? You might qualify for a one-off arrival allowance of €2,993 (from 2023-01-01 €3,444).
You can get maternity/paternity/childcare benefits if you have at least 12 months of maternity insurance in the last 24 months. You need to apply for this benefit from the State Social Insurance Fund.
Did you return with your children? You can get child benefits. Child maintenance benefits are allocated and paid to each child from the day of birth until the age of 18, or until the age of 21 if they are enrolled in a general education programme. You can apply for child benefits online or by contacting the municipality where you live. Or maybe you’ve returned with a child born abroad who’s not yet a year old? You can apply for a lump sum for the birth of your child from the municipality where you live.
If you don’t have any income when you return, you can apply for financial support from your municipality.
- Find a job in Lithuania
If you are looking for a job in Lithuania or want to retrain, you can contact the Employment Service. The Employment Service offers advice on finding a job, getting a job, acquiring a profession, and retraining. Or perhaps you’ve come up with the idea of setting up a job for yourself on your return? The Employment Service can provide you with a one-off grant to help you set up your own job, up to €22,630.
- Adaptation period
Psychological counselling. For many returnees, the decision to live in Lithuania is also the choice to switch their lives from the old and familiar “there” to the new and less familiar “here”. It’s only natural that when you return to Lithuania, you have all kinds of questions and emotions. A psychological consultation can help you look at your fears more objectively, explore your emotions, and understand what “return” means for you. Contact I Choose Lithuania for free psychological consultations.
Regional initiatives. Find out what Lithuanian municipalities and their communities are doing to help you fit into the everyday life of the town where you choose to live!
Communities. Many countries around the world have established communities of Lithuanians living there. Returnees often miss the connections and friendships that they made abroad. Don’t cut them off. Get involved in communities in Lithuania − they will help you reintegrate.