The internal passport system (propiska); whether employment must be registered in a work book; whether the work book is returned to the holder after he/she stopped working for an employer (1990-May 2002) [LTU39061.E]

During a 21 May 2002 telephone interview with the Research Directorate, the Minister-Counsellor of the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Ottawa stated that the propiska, that is a stamp placed in an individual's internal passport, was abolished after the independence, but could not say exactly when. However, the Minister-Counsellor noted that Lithuanian citizens may "voluntarily" inform the local branch of the Interior Ministry of their place of residence, especially if they want to receive services from the state (ibid.).

In its section on Lithuania, a 12 October 2001 report by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe states the following:


43. The Constitution, adopted in 1992, guarantees the right of the citizens to move and to choose their place of residence in Lithuania freely (art.32).
44. Lithuania has been working on the legal reform of the propiska system. Relevant legislation was passed in July 1998 and came into force in July 1999. The Government Resolution Nr 967 on the "Procedure of record of data on a citizen's permanent residence place" adopted on 25 August 2000, replaced the previous Resolution Nr 461 of 1991 "On the record of a person's permanent residence place in the citizen's passport and the registration order".
45. According to the legislation, citizens must simply notify their local authorities about the change of their residence. The new Resolution has abolished all previous restrictions on the registration such as, for example, living space. There is no obligatory registration stamp in the passport (it may be stamped if requested by a passport holder).
46. However, some elements of the social security system are still linked to the registration/propiska.

With respect to the registration of employment, the Minister-Counsellor made reference to a "social insurance book" which mentions notably the holder's past and current employer(s) (21 May 2002). The book tends to be kept by the employer or the division in charge of personnel where the holder works, but is returned to the holder when the latter quits his or her employment (ibid.).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Embassy of the Republic of Lithuanian in Ottawa. 21 May 2002. Telephone interview with the Minister-Counsellor.

Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 12 October 2001. The Propiska System Applied to Migrants, Asylum Seekers and Refugees in Council of Europe Member States: Effects and Remedies. Doc. 9262. Report by the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography. [Accessed 21 May 2002]

Additional Sources Consulted

IRB Databases


Internet sites including:

East European Constitutional Review [New York]

Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania to the United States of America [Washington, DC]

International Labour Organization (ILO) [Geneva]

Lithuanian Embassy in Estonia

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) [Prague]

Seimas [Parliament] of the Republic of Lithuania

Teises Apzvalga (Law journal) [Kaunas]

Teisines Informacijos Centras (English version of Lithuanian laws)

UK Immigration and Nationality Directorate Country Assessments.

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

US Department of State. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices (1996-2001).

US Department of State. Foreign Affairs Manual. "9 FAM Visas."

World News Connection (WNC)