Lithuanian government approves migration system reform principles
The Lithuanian Cabinet approved on Wednesday principles for a migration system reform that envisages making one body responsible for citizenship matters and visa and identity document issuance.
The reform plan calls for merging the capacities of the police, the border guard service and the current Migration Department into the Vilnius-based Migration Department with ten territorial units starting next year.
Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis told reporters after the Cabinet's meeting that the reform was aimed at improving the quality of services and ensuring national security interests.
Under the approved plan, the Migration Department would be responsible for citizenship matters and the issuance and revocation of Lithuanian passports, ID cards and visas, and the State Border Guard Service would remain in charge of illegal migration control, Deputy Interior Ministry Giedrius Surplys told BNS.
Migration policies would be shaped by a special group at the Interior Ministry and guidelines for these policies would be drawn up by a newly-established commission that would be headed by the interior minister and would include officials from several other ministries.
Skvernelis said on that the existing migration system was stagnant.
The Migration Department has been criticized for not being ready for a recent inflow of immigrants. Evelina Gudzinskaitė, the department's director, says, however, that existing resources are insufficient to cope with growing immigrant numbers.