Right to request the removal reviewed

The circumstances of foreigner’s life might change so can the deportation decision.

When a decision to remove a foreigner is taken it is usually based on established lack of economic, social and family ties with the country in question. The law establishes a possibility for judicial review of the decision taken. A foreigner will be afforded state legal aid if he cannot afford one, but they need to make sure the individual arguments are heard, and the evidence is submitted. Seeking professional legal assistance is crucial in exploring available legal remedies. Once the deportation decision enters into force it should be implemented immediately.

However, it is important to remember that deportation is not necessarily the final outcome. The law establishes possibility to apply for residence permit if the deportation is practically impossible. Apart of this in certain circumstances, it may be possible to challenge or revoke the final deportation order in force through legal means.

In ReLex case, conducted in cooperation with Human Rights Monitoring Institute, we challenged a decision to remove an applicant based on the changed circumstances. The applicant arrived in the Republic of Lithuania in 2021 and submitted an asylum application, which the Migration Department examined urgently and decided not to grant asylum and to remove him to the Republic of Cameroon.

Following a change in the circumstances set out in the Migration Department’s decision, the applicant submitted a request to the Department to reconsider the decision to remove him and to annul it. The changed circumstances were the person’s closer ties with the Republic of Lithuania, established during 2 years of staying in the country, working and paying taxes, renting accommodation, learning Lithuanian, and engaging in various social activities. The Department refused to grant the application, stating that the decision had become final, its enforcement had been entrusted to the State Border Guard Service and that there was no reason to annul the decision. The court moved to grant the appeal. The Chamber noted that the Migration Department did not provide clear arguments as to why the above-mentioned circumstances do not constitute grounds for annulment or amendment of the decision, thus failed to assess the individual situation of the foreigner.

Article 128 of the Law on the Legal Status of Foreigners refers to the following circumstances to be evaluated when deciding whether to remove a foreigner: the length of his stay in the Republic of Lithuania; the family relationship with persons residing in the Republic of Lithuania; existing social, economic and other ties with the Republic of Lithuania; and the nature and extent of dangerousness of the committed offence. The Regulation on Procedures for Taking and Execution of Decisions on Ordering an Alien to Leave, Expulsion, Return and Transit through the Territory of the Republic of Lithuania equally refers to the health condition of the person in question. These circumstances can change over time and the deportation decision may require a revision.

The mere fact of employment would not constitute a reason to review a deportation order. However, as established in the above decision, every individual circumstance must be reviewed independently, in particular when the decision to be implemented was taken two years ago.





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