RESIDENCE PERMIT IN LATVIA / EUROPEAN UNION
Residence permit in Latvia - a document that gives a foreigner the right to stay in the Republic of Latvia for a certain period of time (temporary residence permit) or permanently (permanent residence permit). Residence permit in Latvia gives you the opportunity to freely enter and leave the country, to work here, to study, to use medical and public services, to issue an invitation for the issuance of visas to relatives. Residence permit in Latvia provides a visa-free travelling to any country of the Schengen zone. Owning a residence permit in Latvia facilitates the issuance of visas to other countries, e.g. the USA and England.
Advantages of a temporary residence permit in Latvia:
1. Staying in Latvia without limitation of the minimum and maximum period during the terms of the temporary residence permit.
2. Free intersection of borders of the Schengen zone countries and staying in these countries for up to 90 days within six months.
3. Upon receipt of a foreigner a temporary residence permit, the foreigner's family members (husband/wife and their minor children) will also be able to get a temporary residence permit.
4. After 5 years of residence in Latvia on a basis of temporary residence permit, the foreigner has the right to apply for a permanent residence permit under certain conditions - the acquiring of the state language and the absence in Latvia in less than a year over a five-year period.
After 10 years of residence in Latvia, a foreigner is entitled to apply for citizenship through naturalization process, which makes it possible to become a complete citizen of the European Union.
Temporary residence permit in Latvia is valid for 6 months - 5 years, depending on the statutory grounds to obtain a temporary residence permit. After the expiry of the temporary residence permit, the foreigner has the right to request a temporary residence permit for the same period and for the same reason or to change a base to obtain a temporary residence permit.
Foreigners who have received a temporary residence permit in Latvia on the basis of the purchase of real estate (if the purchase took place before 1 September, 2014), after a period of five years are also entitled to re-request a temporary residence permit for the same period and for the same reason, without additional purchasing of any real estate and not paying a 5% fee, as to such persons is applicable a revision of the Immigration Law of Latvia, valid until September 1, 2014.
Current applicable legislation of Latvia provide foreigners with the annual registration of temporary residence permit for the purpose of monitoring the statutory grounds of a temporary residence permit. In major cases, the ID-card of temporary residence permit is issued for one year. Not earlier than 90 days and not later than 45 days before the expiry date of the ID-card, a foreigner must apply for the registration procedure.
Prior to the adoption of amendments to the Law "On Immigration" of Latvia, a set of grounds for obtaining a residence permit in Latvia includes the standard requirements in most countries of the Schengen zone: family reunion, employment, business, education and others. On July 1, 2010 the amendments to this law took effect, which opened additional opportunities for wealthy people, if they have invested certain financial means to support the development of the Latvian economy.
Currently, the applicable legislation of Latvia provide the following grounds to obtain a temporary residence permit for investors to 5 years:
1. If a foreigner has invested in the basic capital of the company (Jsc. or Ltd.) not less than:
- 35 000 EUR, this company employs not more than 50 employees, an annual budget does not exceed 10 million EUR and the undertaking has paid taxes to the state budget and local government budget in the amount of at least 40 000 EUR during the financial year (unless a new company is established, confirming the payment of taxes is not required); carrying out investments in fixed assets, a temporary residence permit may be asked for not more than three foreigners;
- 150 000 EUR, the company employs more than 50 employees, an annual budget is over 10 million EUR (in this case, the presentation of any evidence on paid taxes is not required).
2. If a foreigner is registered in the Commercial Register of Latvia as a member of the board or member of the council, procurator, administrator or liquidator of the company, who have the right to represent the company or as a person, who is authorized to represent a merchant (a foreign merchant) in activities related to the branch, if commercial activities of the company or branch of a foreign merchant is entered in the commercial register at least 1 year prior to requesting of a temporary residence permit, and the enterprise operates an active economic activity, which results as economic benefit of Latvia.
3. If a foreigner is a representative of a foreign merchant representation.
4. If a foreigner has purchased in Latvia one functionally related built-up real property, the amount of which is not less than 250 000 EUR and paid into the state budget contributions amounting in the amount of 5% of the value of the real property.
5. If a foreigner has subordinated liabilities to credit institutions of Latvia in the amount of not less than 280 000 EUR, the term of the transaction concluded with the credit institution is not less than 5 years, and he has paid to the state budget a contribution in the amount of 25,000 EUR.
6. If a foreigner has purchased for the special purpose public-interest securities of nominal value of 250 000 EUR and paid into the state budget a contribution in the amount of EUR 25 000.
Current applicable legislation of Latvia also provides other grounds to obtain a temporary residence permit, which a foreigner can take advantage of in the case of matching his and his activity with the requirements of the law.
Law office INLAT PLUS has been offering its services on the Latvian market for more than 15 years. Among clients of the firm there are Latvian residents, as well as many foreigners, including Russians and nationals of other post-Soviet countries. INLAT PLUS board chairman Viktors Koposovs has shared with us what is so attractive about Latvia.