Belarus citizens who immigrated to Lithuania and who were denied the right to get new Belarusian passports, will now be eligible to receive special Lithuanian travel documents. The special passport will allow them to leave and enter Lithuania when crossing the border with Belarus. In an announcement made last month, the Interior Ministry explained that the special passports will be issued to Belarusian citizens who can legally reside in Lithuania but who do not possess a passport or equivalent travel document.

Once a Belarusian expatriate applies for the special passport, it will typically be issued within five days. “A foreigner’s passport is valid for more than one year but perhaps that term could be longer if the parliament would extend it,” deputy Interior Minister Arnoldas Abramavicius said.

In September, Belarus authorities announced that its diplomatic missions would no longer issue passports to its citizens permanently residing abroad. The ban could force thousands of Belarusians who fled the country over the past three years, amid growing repression, to return for the sole purpose of maintaining their travel documents. Lithuanian officials report that more than 58,000 Belarusian citizens currently reside in Lithuania.



Associated Press

Radio Free Europe

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