Even if you do not qualify for dual Lithuanian citizenship, you may get many of the same benefits through a right-to-nationality certificate.
Benefits of the certificate
Lithuanian right-to-citizenship certificates offer numerous benefits that citizenship of Lithuania offers:
a)A possibility to get a residence permit in Lithuania. Without a right-to-citizenship certificate, getting a Lithuanian residence permit may be complicated as it may require to, for example, have a job in Lithuania, and there are limitations on giving jobs to foreigners in Lithuania, making this impossible to many. The right-to-citizenship certificate waives such requirements. The residence permit then leads to access to the European Union. Somebody with a Lithuanian residence permit may freely move across the entire European Union.
b)Ability to get Lithuanian citizenship in a quicker way, if the owner of the certificate would so decide.
Unlike with Lithuanian citizenship, the right-to-citizenship certificate does not require one to drop his/her previous nationality.
As the certificate is not a nationality on itself, it also doesn‘t carry the rights and duties that are directly related to citizenship, such as having to perform military service or being able to vote and be elected.
Who qualifies to the Lithuanian descent certificates
In order to qualify for a right-to-nationality certificate, you have to qualify for Lithuanian citizenship. Basically, there are two ways: having had a great grandparent who was a Lithuanian citizen or having had a Lithuanian grandparent (note: „Lithuanian“ is not the same as „Lithuanian citizen“, read here). The two ways lead to different types of certificates (the „right of nationality restoration certificate“ or „certificate of Lithuanian descent“) but they are similar in all but name.
The caveat is, however, that far from everybody who qualifies to Lithuanian citizenship is allowed to retain their current citizenship after receiving the Lithuanian one. In many cases, however, people are not ready to drop their former nationality, and, in these cases, the certificate is useful.
Who benefits from the certificates?
For many, the certificate is a „stepping stone“: the person takes it as a form of „guarantee“ that could be „converted“ into Lithuanian citizenship or a residence permit if the person would so decide. Such „conversion“ is quicker than having to get citizenship or a residence permit „from scratch“.
For many others, the certificate itself has a symbolic meaning, a reconnection with the homeland of their parents, grandparents, or great grandparents, without having to accept the duties and obligations of the citizen, such as a (small) possibility of being conscripted for military service.