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The Seimas Ombudsman calls on the Migration Department to investigate requests for a resident permit in compliance with the law

14 January 2018

A. NormantasAfter examining a few complaints about the actions of the Migration Department in handling aliens' applications for a residence permit in Lithuania, Augustin Normantas, the Seimas Ombudsman, concluded that the Migration Department does not follow the examination of claims provided for in legal acts and does not accurately inform applicants about the processing of applications.

Moreover, the Seimas Ombudsman noted that the Migration Department suspends the processing of applications without complying with the legal grounds for delaying the processing of an application.

"If an inspection is carried out due to company fictitiousness, examination of an application for the issuance of a temporary residence permit is not suspended, but merely considered in the general procedure," it is noted in the conclusions of the Ombudsman of the Seimas.

The Seimas Ombudsman also observes that the Migration Department does not suitably inform applicants about the reasons for stopping the examination of an application, does not specify what additional data they must provide.

"If there is insufficient justifying data for the issuance of a temporary residence permit, the Migration Department must inform the applicant in writing within a month from the day the application is submitted and establish a reasonable deadline for the submission of the necessary data," the Ombudsman reports.

Moreover, the Ombudsman observes that informing an applicant that he will be interviewed does not mean that he was adequately advised: "The Migration Department must inform the applicant, not only on the date and time of the interview but also of any documents or data he has to submit."

A. Normantas also notes that informing the applicants by telephone cannot be considered appropriate: "The Migration Department must provide applicants with information by e-mail or by post."

In rejecting the arguments of the Migration Department regarding three times the burden exceeding a public servant, the Seimas Ombudsman notes: "These circumstances do not give the officials of the Migration Department the right not to observe the established procedures and terms for examining applications. Examining the application for a temporary residence permit and taking decisions on these issues is one of the functions of the Migration Department, which is to be performed by the officials of the institution following the requirements established by law."

The Seimas Ombudsman recommended to the Head of the Migration Department, Evelina Gudzinskaite, to ensure that the applications of persons assigned to the institution's competence are examined within the time limits set by law. It was also recommended to the Migration Department to adequately inform applicants about the decisions made, including decisions on reviewing applications in a matter of urgency, and in the general procedure.

The Seimas Ombudsmen protects the human right to good public administration, which guarantees human rights and freedoms, supervises whether authorities fulfill their duty to serve the people and promote respect for human rights and freedoms while exercising the functions of the national human rights institution. The Seimas Ombudsmen also carry out national prevention of torture at detention facilities under the Optional Protocol to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

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