The Lithuanian government is considering introducing the e-resident status to allow foreigners to set up companies, open bank accounts or submit tax declarations online. The proposal follows after a programme introduced in Estonia.
The Cabinet is to discuss a bill on e-residency, registered by the Interior Ministry, on Tuesday.
“We see how the world is moving, how mobile it is and how electronic services, fintech services are developing. We must make it possible in Lithuania, too,” Interior Minister Eimutis Misiūnas told BNS.
An eligible foreign applicant would get a digital identity that would give them online access to a range of administrative, public and commercial services.
The minister said he would discuss the scope of these services with other members of the Cabinet.
“The broader the range of services, the more efficient that program will be,” he said.
The ministry wants the e-resident status to be granted simply and quickly without excessive red tape.
Misiūnas says he takes potential security risks involved in offering e-residency seriously and plans to discuss ways of beefing up terrorist financing and money laundering controls with the Financial Crime Investigation Service.
“We take it quite seriously and see certain risks, but we are ready to manage them. We can't stop the progress,” the minister said.
“We always seek a reasonable compromise between speed, quality and convenience and security,” he added.
The ministry proposes to launch the e-residency programme in 2021. If the Cabinet endorses the bill, it will go to the parliament for approval.