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Acquisition of land

Acquisition of land

Following the provisions of the Article 47 Part 3 of the Constitution of Republic of Lithuania, foreign subjects may acquire land in Lithuania in accordance with the Constitutional Law on a Membership of Lithuania in European Union. However, it should be noted that according to the said Law, only the subjects that conform to the European and Transatlantic criteria may acquire land in Lithuania. Subjects that conform to the said criteria include: legal entities established in European Union Member States, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Member States or free economic zones. It is considered that citizens and permanent residents of the above-mentioned states and permanent residents of Republic of Lithuania (even if they are not citizens of Republic of Lithuania) conform to the European and Transatlantic criteria.

For persons who wish to acquire an agricultural land in Lithuania, the legal norms of Lithuania set special requirements to be satisfied by a physical person or a legal entity for provision of an opportunity to acquire an agricultural land in Lithuania. The requirements set for physical persons are, first of all, associated with their professional skills and competence related to use and management of agricultural lands. Whereas legal entities (who wish to acquire an agricultural land in Lithuania) should be involved in agricultural activities for a certain period; in addition, they should provide a declaration on the crops and gain the set minimum income from the agricultural activities. In addition, Lithuanian legal norms imperatively point out the maximum area of land that may be owned by a person or associated persons, i.e. 500 hectares. Moreover, prior to acquisition of an agricultural land, the person shall fill a declaration and confirm in it that the total area of agricultural land owned by the person does not exceed 500 hectares. If a person wishes to sell an agricultural land, he (she) shall inform the chosen notary public or the National Land Service in the territory where the land is situated. So, it may be concluded that in the meanwhile, an acquisition of agricultural land in Lithuania is a complicated and long-lasting process.

In case of inheritance of land, i.e. when an owner of a plot of land (who is a citizen of Lithuania) dies and an assignee of the rights for the land is a foreigner that does not conform to the   European and Transatlantic criteria, such a heir shall have a right only for the amount of money obtained from selling the land. If an assignee is a foreigner that conforms to the   European and Transatlantic criteria, he (she) will acquire the property rights for the land, i.e. shall be entitled to use, manage and dispose it freely at the own discretion, because the relevant legal norms of Republic of Lithuania provide him (her) a right to acquire land in Lithuania. It is notable that the same rules are applied in case of donation of land to a foreigner. If an agreement on donation of land is concluded with an alien that does not conform to the  European and Transatlantic criteria, such an agreement shall be recognized null and void from the date of its conclusion as being in conflict with imperative legal norms (for such persons, no procedure for acquiring land parcels in Lithuania is provided by laws). Whereas foreigners that conform to the   European and Transatlantic criteria, may acquire land in Lithuania without any restrictions even on a base of an agreement on donation.

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