"The problem is old, the State Security Department started raising the issue six years ago, and no progress has been made (…). Lithuania's online reputation is as a country of easy access," the department's officer Vytas Lengvenis said at a meeting of the parliamentary National Security and Defense Committee on Wednesday.
His opinion was seconded by Kristina Sakalauskienė, another employee of the department.
She told about a case of a British national who wanted to establish a college in Lithuania and invite citizens of Nigeria and other third countries for alleged studies here. Arrival to study is one of the reasons to apply for a permanent residence permit in Lithuania. After the Briton failed to establish the college, he attempted to sign a relevant agreement with Klaipėda College.
"It didn't work this time but that is the tendency," Sakalauskienė said.
Ramune Kazakauskienė, chief of the Migration Division of the Border Control Organization Board at the State Border Guard Service, said that there had been an increase in the number of residence applications received from foreigners who have purchased companies in Lithuania.
The authorities know a case when a young man established more than 200 companies to later sell them to foreigners.
At the Wednesday's meeting, the parliamentary committee worked on ways to step up efforts against illegal migration amid the growing frequency of attempts to use legal gaps to enter Lithuania as a country of the EU and Schengen.
In an effort to receive temporary residence permits in Lithuania, foreigners use sham companies, fictitious marriages with Lithuanian citizens, or real estate on the Lithuanian soil.