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17 January
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Amendments to the Law on Immigration of Latvia
On January 1, 2018, the amendments to the Law on Immigration came into effect, which provide the elimination of exceptions for certain categories of foreigners who did not have to pay a state fee for the first time by repeatedly requesting a temporary residence permit.
New changes in the Immigration Law of Latvia
On March 2, 2017 the new amendments to the Immigration Law of Latvia (hereinafter referred to as  - the Law) came into effect, according to which several new grounds for obtaining a temporary residence permit in Latvia (hereinafter referred to  as –TRP), as well as the conditions for obtaining a TRP on the basis of registration of a representative of a foreign merchant.
Член Торгово-промышленной палаты Латвии Latvijas Tirdzniecības un Rūpniecības Kameras biedrs Member of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

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Since its foundation in 1996 the law office “INLAT PLUS” has been one of the most active and leading companies providing legal service in Latvia. The variety of the qualified legal services provided by the company will meet the most demanding requirements of its clients (legal and physical persons).

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What documents are required to issue for travelling with a child abroad?

Summer is a perfect time for travelling, and many parents are eager to please their children with a trip abroad. Accordingly, parents are wondering what documents are necessary for the child when travelling abroad. Of course, we all know that a passport is necessary as it is the most important document, however, there rises another question – is a power of attorney needed and what kind exactly – this causes a lot of doubts among parents.
What is the power of attorney in this context? It is a document by which one of the child’s parents (father or mother) or a legal guardian authorizes another person (whether a relative or a complete stranger) to travel abroad with the child outside Latvia.

First of all, let us talk about the children - Latvian residents. This is a citizen, non-citizen of Latvia as well as the child who has the status of a stateless person in the Republic of Latvia.

Many parents make one common mistake when they plan to travel in the European Union and countries of the Schengen area. Despite the fact that between these countries the border control has been simplified, it does not mean that the power of attorney is not required. On the contrary, it is usually required. Of course, if you plan to travel by car within the Schengen area, the probability that there will arise a need in the presentation of the power of attorney is very small (only if the border guards have any suspicions), and it is quite a different matter if you plan to fly! At a passport control you will be asked to provide the power of attorney. We will describe the execution of this document below. First, let us consider the cases in which there is a need for the notarized power of attorney.
There are several options for travelling with a child:
1) The child is travelling with one of the parents. In this case, a power of attorney is not necessary for travelling, except in the case when the parent with whom the child is travelling is not a citizen/non-citizen of Latvia, the European Union, or the Swiss Confederation. In this case a power of attorney from the other parent is still required.
In this situation, the following documents should be presented for travelling:
- Passport of the accompanying parent, where a relationship with the child is indicated. If the relationship in the passport is not specified, then:
- The child’s birth certificate or its notarized copy.
2) The child is travelling with an accompanying person who is neither his father nor mother, nor a legally established guardian. In this case, the power of attorney for the accompanying person (issued by one of the child's parents or the legal guardian), the child’s birth certificate or its notarized copy are required.
3) The child is travelling accompanied by a legal guardian. In this case, the power of attorney is not needed, but a decision of the Orphan's Court on the establishment of the guardianship or its notarized copy must be presented.
4) The child is travelling alone. In this case, it is necessary to issue a notarized consent of a parent or a legal guardian allowing the child to travel outside Latvia on his/her own. In addition, it will be necessary to present a birth certificate or a decision of the Orphan's Court on establishment of the guardianship or notarized copies of this documents.

Latvian legislation determines that a child can travel independently when reaching the age of compulsory education. Compulsory education in Latvia starts with a pre-school period, i.e. from 5 years.

Now let us consider the execution of a power of attorney more precisely. Of course, the power of attorney must be drawn up in the form of a notarial act. At the same time, we must understand that notarial acts are drawn up exclusively in the state language. Therefore the power of attorney must be translated at least into English. Moreover, it is preferable, in order to avoid misunderstandings, to translate it even into the language of the country where the child is travelling. It is highly dependent on the travel country/destination. For example, if the child goes to the EU country, Turkey, Egypt, etc., the translation into English will be sufficient. However, if destination is Russia, it would be preferable to translate the document into Russian.

After the power of attorney is translated, one should figure out whether it should be apostilled (legalized) as well.

Apostille is not required for use of the document in such countries as Belgium, Denmark, France, Estonia, Ireland and Italy.

Apostille is required for use of the document in the countries that have signed the Hague Convention on 05.10.1961 about the abolition of legalization requirements on publicly issued documents (the list of countries that have signed this convention can be viewed on the website of Foreign Affairs of Latvia in the section "Consular Information"). The document is apostilled in the Consular Department of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs within 2 working days.

Regarding the use of the document in countries that are not included into any of the above-mentioned categories, the procedure of legalization of the power of attorney is required. This is a quite long procedure. First of all, you put a mark on the legalization of document in the Consular Department of the Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and then - at the embassy of the country where this authorization will be applied. The duration of this procedure may be delayed - it all depends on whether or not the embassy has samples of legalized signatures and seals. If not, the data for such samples is requested in the channels of diplomatic mail. It is difficult to predict the terms in this case, thus, one need to take care of the correct execution of the power of attorney in advance, e.g. if the child is travelling to China.

If you still have some doubts about the required documents for travelling with a child abroad, their execution, or if you have a special case, feel free to contact our Law Office. Our experts will consult you in details.
/ Irina Stromberga, specialist of the Law Office INLAT PLUS /