Once I had all of my documents, Apostilles, translations, my application etc. compiled. I was ready to submit my Lithuanian Dual Citizenship application in person to the consulate. My final folder included the following items:
Lithuanian Dual Citizenship Application
- My application
- My mother’s birth certificate and Apostille, paper clipped to the translated version of my mother’s birth certificate.
- My mother’s marriage license and Apostille, paper clipped to the translated version of my mother’s marriage license.
- All records from the Lithuanian Archives
- My “Explanation” of grandparents’ story, paper clipped to the translated version of the explanation.
- A photocopy of my current US passport.
Your passport MUST be valid. I highly recommend if your passport needs to be renewed in the next 6 months, you do so before applying for citizenship. While I was in line, someone had a visa denied because their passport was only valid for another 6 months.
When you are ready to submit your evidence, you are required to go to the Lithuanian Consulate in person, with the following items:
- Your physical US passport (yes, even though there is a photocopy with your application)
- Your entire application folder
- 55.00 CASH ONLY (Or the fee relevant to processing citizenship documents at the time you go.)
Here is a link to all consular fees. https://usa.mfa.lt/usa/en/
As I noted before, I began this journey in November. By February I finally had all the necessary documents and my application was complete. I took the day off work and drove to the Lithuanian Consulate in Chicago. If you’re doing this, you should plan to spend all day there. I made lunch plans in the afternoon and didn’t even come close to making them, even though I arrived at the consulate at 9am.
When I got to the consulate, I found the appropriate room for visas and citizenship. There were two windows. I went to the first window, and proudly handed her my folder that I had worked really hard to organize and ensure everything was included.
Well. Sort of. For the most part my application looked really good, but she did have some complaints. The first complaint was that, some of the names on my documents were different. For example, as I mentioned before, my mother’s name was different on her birth certificate from her drivers license. Well she goes by the name on her drivers license, so that is also what she wrote on my birth certificate.
In addition, my grandparents had their names changed when they came to Ellis Island. Their names are the same, but they Americanized the spellings. The lady at the consulate let me know that the Lithuanian government was going to ask for legal documentation showing a name change. I insisted with her that there is no such documentation, as my mother’s name is still legally what is on her birth certificate, and my grandparents did not receive any documentation.
She suggested that we write up a quick explanation for the problem. She was kind enough to write it for me, since I do not speak Lithuanian. We went over each word and I signed it. She said they could accept it and they could send it back. No way to know. I wasn’t 100% sure if they’d accept it until they actually did.
The second complaint, was regarding the explanation of my grandparents’ story. If you recall, in a previous post I mentioned that my aunt wrote this explanation for me and I then had it translated into Lithuanian. I also mentioned that it was a mistake. It was a mistake because the explanation should have come from me, not my my aunt. The lady at the consulate told me that if it were to be turned in as written by my aunt, she would need to be present at the time of application submission, and sign the application with me.
The lady, who I will now refer to as “The Angel of the Consulate”, was kind enough to take my explanation, read through it, and cross out every instance of words like “my father” or “my mother” and change it to “my grandfather, my grandmother”. She had me go grab some lunch and come back in a half hour. Then, after she gave me my edited document. I hand-wrote the entire explanation over again with her edits. It really meant a lot to me, because I took the day off from work to be there, and it would have really put a damper on things to have to leave and come back another day.
After I was finished, I was finally able to submit my completed application and pay the fee. She then let me know that it could take….
Are you ready for this?
TWO YEARS for a decision. This was some pretty heart breaking news for me. I had just spent 4 months living and breathing documents, translations, and Apostilles – and now I was supposed to just wait for two years? The first 3-4 months was pretty terrible. I checked my email every day and even reached out to see if it had been properly submitted. Eventually I let it go though, and started focusing on other things. 7 Months later (end of September), they called and left me a voicemail. My citizenship has been restored! and I am now able to come apply for my Lithuanian passport!
She offered to keep my decision letter at the consulate and said I could pick it up when I came in to submit the passport application. However, I just started a new job and therefore am unsure about which day I can take off to go in. So instead, I opted to have her mail me the decision letter. I hope to make it to the consulate to submit my Passport application, soon.