How can foreigners open a bank account in Lithuania?
Why do you need a Lithuanian bank account when living in Lithuania? 🇱🇹 🏦
Salary. If you work for a Lithuanian company – you will probably need to provide your IBAN to the employer to receive a salary.
Scholarship. You may also be a foreign student who gets a scholarship from university.
Shopping. When shopping online, many shops at checkout may ask you to choose your bank to cover the bill. The provided banks are often those popular in the country. In some e-shops (in physical stores also) – you can pay by card. But if your card's currency is not euro – you will pay high exchange fees each time you settle the bill, so having a local debit card is an advantage. You may also want to link your card to Apple Pay or Google Pay for even easier payments.
Residence permit. In order to get a Lithuanian residence permit, you need to provide some financial statements to prove that you will be able to maintain yourself and that your earnings or savings are sufficient. If you only have a foreign bank account – such statements will need to be translated and notarised – which will cost you extra money, and in some cases, they might not even be accepted in the first place.
Utilities. If you are renting accommodation in Lithuania, you may need to cover electricity, water, and heating bills. This will be much much easier if you do have a local bank account ready.
Access to state services. But most importantly, a bank account is often needed to confirm your identity when accessing many state-provided services online (healthcare, taxes, car registration, etc.).
How can a foreigner get a Lithuanian bank account? 🤔
For a foreign national to get a bank account in Lithuania may not just be difficult but also pricey. The opening of a traditional bank account alone can cost 200 EUR, not to mention monthly account fees. The process may take a few days, if not weeks, and various documents may be asked to support your reasoning for the bank account needs.
However, it does not have to be this way. A foreigner may open a Paysera account completely free of charge, do it fully online, and this will take up to one business day. Anyone from the countries supported by Paysera may do it.
After opening, you will have a multi-currency account (more than 20 currencies), will be able to order a Visa card, will have a European IBAN, and many other benefits. All of this will be easily accessible via a convenient mobile app.
💻 E-Government Gateway – access state institutions with a bank login
All other benefits aside, the most important reason to have a Lithuanian bank account is to access all state-provided services. During the pandemic, everything went online, and now to the majority of places you can (if not must) register online. And in order to safely log in to these state websites and book doctors’ appointments, declare taxes, manage study documents, and so on, Lithuanians use online banking.
You might have come across the website https://www.epaslaugos.lt/portal/. This is the so-called E-Government Gateway, but you can also often see it in Lithuanian – Elektroniniai valdžios vartai. On this website you can see various state-run services, access to which is linked to your bank account.
❗ Your Lithuanian residence permit must be added as one of the documents in your bank account for the login to work.
Some services, to get which you need to log in via the E-Government Gateway:
✅ COVID pass. One of the more recent examples of the necessity to have access to a Lithuanian bank account is to have a possibility to take out a digital COVID pass (GP - galimybių pasas; National Certificate) to prove your vaccination status, negative covid test result, or antibodies.
To do that, you need to log in to gpasas.lt > press Get > and choose the login method. If you have Paysera (with your residency permit added to the account) – choose it and the login will be confirmed in seconds.
👩⚕️ Healthcare. In order to register to a hospital or a doctor, check blood test results, or similar, you will need to log in to esveikata.lt. You may need the help of a translator or your Lithuanian speaking friends for this one, but eventually, to access the services you will again be asked to use the E-Government Gateway page.
💸 Taxes. Every year Lithuanians fill out tax reports to see if they overpaid or underpaid their taxes. For that, you will need to log in to the Electronic declaration system, and the login again relies on your bank account.
💼 Documents for freelancers. If you are working as a freelancer, you will need to take out something called an Individual Activity Certificate. This document will legalise you as a freelancer and taxpayer. This can be done on the website of the Lithuanian State Tax Inspectorate. Choose to log in via “Elektroniniai valdžios vartai” (engl. E-Government Gateway). Or call them on one of the provided phone numbers, since the application process is not very user friendly, and can be difficult to understand even for a Lithuanian speaker.
🚙 Driving licence. Want to get your driving licence in Lithuania? Or maybe register a car? To access these services (provided by Regitra) online you will again need to log in via the E-Government Gateway (lit. Elektroniniai valdžios vartai).
All in all, when moving to Lithuania, it is worth knowing that many state-provided services can be easily accessed online and you don’t need to wait in physical or phone queues to register. However, you do need to have a Lithuanian bank account with a residence permit added to it, to access all the online systems. Opening a Paysera account became a solution for many foreign nationals in Lithuania – it saves clients time, money, and trouble no matter where they came from – Belarus, Italy, Ukraine, or elsewhere.