official translation                         
                                                                                
                                                                                
                    THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA                                   
                               LAW                                              
         ON REFUGEE STATUS IN THE REPUBLIC OF LITHUANIA                         
                                                                                
                     4 July 1995, No.I-1004                                     
                             Vilnius                                            
                                                                                
                      1. GENERAL PROVISIONS                                     
                                                                                
     Article 1. Purpose of the Law                                              
                                                                                
     The Law shall establish the conditions and procedure for the               
provision or  denial of  refugee status  to asylum seekers in the               
Republic of  Lithuania, refugee's  rights, duties,  and the basis               
for entrance and deportation.                                                   
                                                                                
     Article 2. Recognition of Foreigner as Refugee                             
                                                                                
     In the Republic of Lithuania a foreigner shall be recognised               
as  a  refugee,  if  he/she  has  well-founded  reasons  to  fear               
persecution  because   of  his/her   racial   origin,   religion,               
nationality, membership  in some social group, or political views               
and cannot,  or fears  to, enjoy the protection of the country of               
which he/she  is a  citizen, or  if he/she  has no  corresponding               
citizenship and  is outside  the territory  of the  country where               
he/she used  to reside, and due to above reasons cannot, or fears               
to, return home.                                                                
                                                                                
     Article 3. Right of Foreigner to Apply for Asylum and Obtain               
               Refugee Status in the Republic of Lithuania                      
                                                                                
     A foreigner shall have the right to apply for asylum and use               
the Republic  of Lithuania  as asylum country, and obtain refugee               
status under  the  conditions  and  according  to  the  procedure               
provided for in this Law.                                                       
                                                                                
     Article 4. Reasons Preventing Foreigners from Enjoying                     
               Asylum in the Republic of Lithuania                              
                                                                                
     A foreigner shall not enjoy the right to use the Republic of               
Lithuania as asylum, if:                                                        
     1) there  are  sound  reasons  to  assume  that  he/she  has               
committed a  crime against  peace, humanity, or a military crime,               
as said crimes are defined in international documents;                          
     2) he/she  is accused of an actual non-political crime or if               
the judgement  for a  crime or action committed by him/her, which               
contradicts the  objectives and principles of the United Nations,               
has come into force;                                                            
     3)  there   are  sound   reasons  to   believe  that  he/she               
constitutes  a   threat  to  the  security  of  the  Republic  of               
Lithuania, or a danger to its society;                                          
     4) he/she possesses the citizenship of several countries and               
without  sound   reasons  does   not  avail  him/herself  of  the               
protection of a country of which he/she is a citizen;                           
     5) asylum  has been given to him/her in another country, the               
help and protection of which he/she has enjoyed;                                
     6) he/she  has come  from the  country in which he/she could               
have received asylum;                                                           
     7) he/she  has a  very dangerous  infectious illness or does               
not agree  to a  medical examination  under  the  suspicion  that               
he/she has one;                                                                 
     8) he/she  refuses to  furnish information about him/herself               
or provides  information that  is  clearly  erroneous  about  the               
circumstances of his/her entrance into the Republic of Lithuania;               
     9) his/her  request for  refugee status  was denied  earlier               
under the  procedure and conditions of the present Law, and there               
is no additional information included in his/her new request; and               
     10) he/she  could enter  the Republic of Lithuania under the               
procedure and conditions of the Immigration Law.                                
     If it emerges that a foreigner has no entrance documents and               
cannot use  the Republic  of Lithuania  as an asylum according to               
this Law,  he/she is  not allowed  to enter  the territory of the               
Republic of  Lithuania. The  decision not to allow a foreigner to               
enter the territory of the Republic of Lithuania shall be adopted               
according to  laws of  the Republic of Lithuania in the procedure               
established by the Government.                                                  
                                                                                
     Article 5. Foreigner with no Right to Receive Refugee Status               
               in the Republic of Lithuania                                     
                                                                                
     A foreigner shall not be provided with refugee status in the               
Republic of Lithuania, if:                                                      
     1) he/she  uses the  assistance and  enjoys  the  protection               
provided by  United Nations  organisations, other than the United               
Nations High Commissioner for Refugees;                                         
     2) the  competent authorities  of the  country where  he/she               
resides  acknowledge   the  rights  and  duties  related  to  the               
citizenship of said country; and                                                
     3)  there  are  sound  reasons  to  believe  that  prior  to               
receiving asylum  in the Republic of Lithuania he/she committed a               
serious non-political  crime, or  is  accused  of  activity  that               
contradicts the objectives and principles of the United Nations.                
                                                                                
     Article 6. Denial of the Right to Refugee Status                           
                                                                                
     The right to refugee status shall be denied, if:                           
     1) a  foreigner of  his/her own  free will  has enjoyed  the               
protection of a country of which he/she is a citizen;                           
     2) he/she  regains, of  his/her  own  free  will,  the  lost               
citizenship;                                                                    
     3) he/she  has acquired  a new  citizenship and  enjoys  the               
protection of the country of which he/she is a citizen;                         
     4) he/she,  of his/her  own free  will, has  returned to the               
country that  he/she  left  or  remained  outside  its  territory               
fearing persecution;                                                            
     5) he/she  cannot refuse  to enjoy  the  protection  of  the               
country of  which he/she  is a citizen, because the circumstances               
under which he/she was recognised as a refugee have changed;                    
     6) as  a person without any citizenship he/she can return to               
the  country   which  earlier  was  his/her  permanent  place  of               
residence, because  the  circumstances  under  which  he/she  was               
recognised as a refugee have changed; and                                       
     7) he/she  has received  refugee status  in the  Republic of               
Lithuania by dishonest means.                                                   
     The provisions  of Items  5 and  6 of this Article shall not               
apply to  refugees if they have sufficient sound reasons relating               
to the  former persecution  and refuse  to return  to the country               
which was his/her permanent place of residence.                                 
     The provisions  of Item 7 of this Article shall not apply to               
refugees if  the information  furnished by the foreigner does not               
influence significantly the decision to award refugee status.                   
                                                                                
     Article 7. Admittance of Foreigner who Wishes to Obtain                    
               Refugee Status, to the Territory of the Republic                 
               of Lithuania                                                     
                                                                                
                                                                                
     A foreigner  who wishes  to obtain  refugee status  shall be               
admitted to  the territory  of the  Republic of Lithuania through               
the border  control posts  according to  laws of  the Republic of               
Lithuania in the procedure established by the Government.                       
                                                                                
     Article 8. Inapplicability of Liability for Illegal Entrance               
                                                                                
     A foreigner  shall not  be held  liable for illegal entrance               
and stay,  if he/she  comes to  the Republic  of Lithuania from a               
country where  his/her life or freedom has been exposed to danger               
as provided  for  in  Article  2  of  this  Law,  and  introduces               
himself/herself to  officers of institutions of local authorities               
or town (regional) police within 48 hours.                                      
                                                                                
     Article 9. Prohibition on the Deportation or Return of a                   
               Refugee                                                          
                                                                                
     A foreigner  who seeks  to receive  refugee  status  in  the               
Republic of  Lithuania shall not be deported or returned from the               
Republic of Lithuania to the country he/she left, if his/her life               
or freedom  is exposed  to danger as provided for in Article 2 of               
this Law.                                                                       
     This provision  shall not  apply to  persons provided for in               
items 1-3 of Article 4 of this Law.                                             
                                                                                
     Article 10. Deportation of Foreigner                                       
                                                                                
     A foreigner who has no right to enjoy asylum in the Republic               
of Lithuania and obtain refugee status according to this Law, can               
be deported  from the  Republic of  Lithuania only  on the  basis               
provided for  in laws  of the Republic of Lithuania. The Minister               
of the  Internal Affairs of the Republic of Lithuania shall adopt               
the decision concerning deportation.                                            
     The foreigner  or a  representative  authorised  by  him/her               
shall be entitled to court appeal against a decision in favour of               
deportation made  by the  Minister of the Interior, no later than               
14 days  after being  notified of  that decision. The court shall               
give its ruling no later than 10 days after receiving the request               
for appeal.  The judgement of the court shall be final and cannot               
be appealed.                                                                    
     The procedure for deportation shall be set by the Government               
according to laws of the Republic of Lithuania.                                 
                                                                                
            2. PROCEDURE FOR PROVIDING REFUGEE STATUS                           
                                                                                
     Article 11. Request of Foreigner for Refugee Status and                    
               Provision of Temporary Asylum                                    
                                                                                
     A foreigner shall file his/her request for refugee status in               
writing or  in oral  form at  the  border  control  post  of  the               
Republic of  Lithuania. A request on behalf of under-age children               
shall be filed by their parents, legal guardians or an authorised               
representative of  the institution  for protection  of children's               
rights.  A   request  made   in  oral  form  shall  be  recorded.               
Information  about   the  filing  of  the  request  shall  remain               
confidential, unless  otherwise desired  by the person submitting               
the request.                                                                    
     Having established that, according to Article 4 of this Law,               
there are no reasons barring the use of the Republic of Lithuania               
as an  asylum, the  foreigner shall  be provided  with  temporary               
territorial asylum,  while the  request for refugee status in the               
Republic of  Lithuania is  examined, or  until he/she  obtains  a               
permit to  enter  another  country.  A  document  certifying  the               
temporary asylum  shall be  issued. This document, at the request               
of the foreigner, provides for free travel to the refugee centre.               
Travel expenses shall be covered by the refugee centre.                         
     In the  procedure established by the Government according to               
laws of  the Republic  of Lithuania, restrictions of movement can               
be imposed  on a foreigner who has received temporary territorial               
asylum.                                                                         
     Refugee centres  shall be  established to  settle foreigners               
who have  received temporary asylum. The refugee centres shall be               
founded, reorganised  or liquidated  by the  Ministry  of  Social               
Security and  Labour or,  upon the  approval of the Government of               
Lithuania, by the Red Cross Society. Funds shall be allotted from               
the State  Budget of  the Republic  of Lithuania  to maintain the               
refugee centres.  The Government  of the  Republic  of  Lithuania               
shall support  the founders  of the  refugee centres,  which also               
have the  right to  benefit from  the support of other countries,               
international organisations or foreign private persons.                         
     A person  who has  entered the country legally and is within               
the territory of the Republic of Lithuania shall submit a request               
for refugee status to the town (regional) police commissariat.                  
     A foreigner  who has  submitted a  request for  the  refugee               
status at  the border  control post  must go  the refugee  centre               
without delay.  In exceptional  cases, for  the  sake  of  public               
interest, the foreigner shall be escorted to the refugee centre.                
                                                                                
     Article 12. Time Limits for Examination of a Request for                   
               Refugee Status                                                   
                                                                                
     A request  for refugee  status shall  be examined  within  6               
months of the request being filed.                                              
                                                                                
     Article 13. Rights and Duties of the Foreigner while the                   
               Request for Refugee Status is Examined                           
                                                                                
     A foreigner requesting refugee status, while his/her request               
is being examined, shall:                                                       
     1) be  exempt from  payments and taxes related to processing               
of documents concerning the request for refugee status;                         
     2) use the services of an interpreter free of charge;                      
     3) live  in the  refugee centre  free of  charge and use the               
services offered by it;                                                         
     4) use medical services free of charge; and                                
     5) every month obtain a money allowance for minor expenses.                
     The duties  of a  foreigner requesting refugee status, while               
his/her request is being examined shall be as follows:                          
     1) to  live in  the refugee  centre and  obey  laws  of  the               
Republic of  Lithuania  and  the  established  procedure  of  the               
refugee centre;                                                                 
     2) to  allow a  doctor to  examine him/her  according to the               
form established by the Ministry of Health Care; and                            
     3) to take an active role in settling affairs related to the               
request for refugee status.                                                     
     The procedure  for offering  services set forth in item 3 of               
Paragraph 1  of this  Article and  determining the  amount of the               
allowance  set   forth  in  item  5  of  this  Article  shall  be               
established by the Government of the Republic of Lithuania.                     
                                                                                
     Article 14. Provision of Refugee Status and Personal                       
               Documents                                                        
                                                                                
     Refugee status  shall be  provided or denied by the Minister               
of Internal  Affairs of  the Republic  of Lithuania. The document               
certifying refugee status shall be issued to the foreigner by the               
Ministry of Internal Affairs.                                                   
     At the  refugee's request,  the Ministry of Internal Affairs               
shall issue  a travel  document for  trips outside the boundaries               
the Republic of Lithuania.                                                      
     In cases  where sound reasons of national security or public               
order prevent  a foreigner  who has  obtained refugee status from               
travelling abroad, the Ministry of Internal Affairs may not issue               
the travel  document on  the basis  established by  laws  of  the               
Republic of  Lithuania. The  procedure for  issuing of the travel               
document to  the refugee  shall be  set by  the Government of the               
Republic of Lithuania.                                                          
      The  Ministry  of  Internal  Affairs  of  the  Republic  of               
Lithuania, in  cases set  forth in items 1-7 of Article 6 of this               
Law, shall  take decisions  concerning the  revocation of refugee               
status.                                                                         
     The decisions of the Minister of Internal Affairs concerning               
the provision  or denial  of refugee  status to foreigners can be               
examined once  again by  the Council of Refugee Affairs set forth               
in Article 15 of this Law.                                                      
                                                                                
     Article 15. Appeal Against Refusal to Provide Refugee Status               
                                                                                
     A foreigner  can appeal against a refusal to provide refugee               
status within  14 calendar  days of receiving the decision to the               
Council of  Refugee Affairs.  One member  of the  Seimas  of  the               
Republic of  Lithuania of  the Committee  on Health  Care, Social               
Affairs and  Labour, and  the Committee on Human and Civil Rights               
and Ethnic  Affairs,   as well as representatives of the Ministry               
of Culture,  Ministry of  Social Security and Labour, Ministry of               
Health Care,  Ministry of  Education  and  Science,  Ministry  of               
Justice, Ministry  of Foreign  Affairs, Red Cross, and the Centre               
of Human  Rights shall  be appointed  to the  Council of  Refugee               
Affairs. On the recommendation of the Minister of Social Security               
and Labour, the composition of the Council of Refugee Affairs and               
its terms of reference shall be approved by the Government of the               
Republic of  Lithuania.  The  Council  of  Refugee  Affairs  must               
investigate the  foreigner's complaint within 10 calendar days of               
receiving it.  The decisions  made  by  the  Council  of  Refugee               
Affairs to satisfy the foreigner's complaint shall be final.                    
     The foreigner  can appeal in court against a decision of the               
Council of  Refugee Affairs  not to provide refugee status within               
14 days  of being  notified of  this  decision.  The  court  must               
investigate the  foreigner's complaint within 10 calendar days of               
receiving it.  The decisions made by the court to satisfy or deny               
the foreigner's complaint shall be final and cannot be appealed.                
     During the  investigation of  the appeal the foreigner shall               
use the Republic of Lithuania as a temporary asylum.                            
                                                                                
     Article 16. Adaptation and Naturalisation of Refugee, and                  
               Provision of Humanitarian Aid                                    
                                                                                
     According to  the procedure established by the Government of               
the Republic  of Lithuania the refugee shall have the opportunity               
to learn  the Lithuanian language and familiarise himself/herself               
with the  principles of  the  Constitution  of  the  Republic  of               
Lithuania, and  his/her own rights and duties. The naturalisation               
shall be  implemented according  to the  procedure and conditions               
established by laws of the Republic of Lithuania. The refugee may               
make use of humanitarian aid.                                                   
     Legal and natural persons of the Republic of Lithuania shall               
establish a  humanitarian aid  fund for refugees. The activity of               
the  funds  can  be  supported  by  other  states,  international               
organisations and foreign private persons.                                      
                                                                                
     Article 17. Rights, Duties and Liability of Refugee                        
                                                                                
     A refugee in Lithuania shall enjoy all the rights pertaining               
to foreigners,  which are established in international agreements               
and laws  of the Republic of Lithuania The refugee must obey laws               
and other  legal acts  in effect,  and shall  be liable for their               
violations under laws of the Republic of Lithuania.                             
                                                                                
                                                                                
                       3. FINAL PROVISIONS                                      
                                                                                
     Article 18. Quota for Acceptance of Refugees                               
                                                                                
     On the  recommendation of  the Government, the Seimas of the               
Republic of  Lithuania shall  each year establish a quota for the               
acceptance of refugees.                                                         
                                                                                
     Article 19. Co-operation with International Organisations                  
                                                                                
     The Republic  of Lithuania,  while solving  the problems  of               
refugees and  the issues  related to quotas for their acceptance,               
shall co-operate  with the  United Nations  High Commissioner for               
Refugees and  other  institutions,  shall  create  conditions  to               
fulfil their  obligations and  supervise the  compliance with the               
1951 Convention  and the  1967 Protocol relating to the Status of               
Refugees in  the Republic  of Lithuania,  shall furnish necessary               
information and  statistical data  on refugees, implementation of               
the Convention  and the  Protocol, and  effective or  coming into               
force standard acts concerning refugees.                                        
     Refugees and  asylum seekers  shall be entitled to appeal to               
representatives of  the  United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for               
Refugees, who  are in  turn allowed, upon the request of refugees               
and asylum  seekers, to contact them immediately. As an exception               
to the  confidentiality provided  for in  Article 11 of this Law,               
the United  Nations  High  Commissioner  for  Refugees  shall  be               
provided with information about requests for asylum.                            
                                                                                
     Article 20. International Agreements                                       
                                                                                
     Refugee problems  may be  solved by  signing  bilateral  and               
multilateral international  agreements, the  provisions of  which               
must not  contradict international  documents relating to refugee               
status. If  international agreements  signed by  the Republic  of               
Lithuania set  forth provisions that differ from the present Law,               
the provisions of the international agreement shall be applied.                 
                                                                                
     Article 21. Registration of Refugees                                       
                                                                                
     The registration of refugees shall be conducted according to               
the procedure  established by  the Government  of the Republic of               
Lithuania.                                                                      
                                                                                
     Article 22. Procedure for Implementation of the Law                        
                                                                                
     The procedure  for  implementation  of  this  Law  shall  be               
established by  the Resolution  of the  Seimas of the Republic of               
Lithuania  concerning  the  Implementation  of  the  Law  of  the               
Republic of  Lithuania on  Refugee  Status  in  the  Republic  of               
Lithuania.                                                                      
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                
     I promulgate  this Law enacted by the Seimas of the Republic               
of Lithuania                                                                    
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                
                                                                                
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC               ALGIRDAS BRAZAUSKAS