Lithuanian parliamentarians opened discussion on Thursday on a set of laws prepared by the Interior Ministry to legalize the resettlement of asylum-seekers from abroad. The laws also specify their duties and rights along with integration timeframes.
© DELFI / Mindaugas Ažušilis

The bill will now go to parliamentary committees.

Amid Lithuania's plans to receive over 1,000 refugees, authors want to update the law with a new concept – resettlement of foreigners into the territory of the Republic of Lithuania. This would refer to resettlement of foreigners who meet the criteria for asylum within the European Union or under bilateral agreements.

According to the draft, resettlement would only be offered to individuals who apply specifically in Lithuania and meet certain criteria, with a decision on resettlement made by the government.

In the presentation of the bill at the parliament, Interior Minister Saulius Skvernelis emphasized that the integration process should start as soon as possible after the asylum seeker arrives and is granted asylum.

"We plan that the incoming person, after all the screening procedures, could get the [asylum seeker] status and start working. What does that mean? It means he will have social insurance and will receive different type of benefits," said the minister.

Skvernelis also stated that persons with the refugee status will enjoy free movement and will be able to travel to other countries.

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