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17 January
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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.
Registration of refugee or alternative status obtaining, determination of protection from deportation (extradition)
Law office INLAT PLUS offers the following services in the field of obtaining a refugee or alternative status:
Член Торгово-промышленной палаты Латвии Latvijas Tirdzniecības un Rūpniecības Kameras biedrs Member of the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

About Us

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).

Contact information

Address of the office:
E-mail:
Brivibas 40-15, LV-1050, Riga, Latvia ip@inlatplus.lv
Phone:
Fax:
(+371) 67505970
(+371) 26403577
(+371) 67505978

Brave new world!

07.06.2016
After the amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing entered into force on March 1, 2016, some of our clients applied to us with a request to comment on these amendments in terms of their compliance with the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia and the Declaration on the protection of fundamental human rights and freedoms.
The essence of the adopted amendments in brief is as follows:
 
Firstly, the above-mentioned law is supplemented with a definition "a politically exposed person", "a family member of a politically exposed person", "a person who is closely associated with a politically exposed person".
 
Secondly, the legislator demands to pay more attention to monitoring of all transactions of the above-mentioned persons and organizations/companies, where these persons are officials, founders, and ultimate beneficiaries.
 
In order to implement this law, to identify the politically exposed persons, their relatives and persons closely associated with them, credit institutions will be required to hold an appropriate questionnaire to all their clients.
 
Before giving any appraisal reports on this normative act, it is necessary to be acquainted more closely with its content.
 
Politically exposed person - a person who in the Republic of Latvia or in another country holds a significant public position, namely, a senior official of the government, the head of state administrative unit (self-government), the head of the Board, the Minister (the Deputy of the Minister, the Deputy of the Deputy of the Minister), the State Secretary or another senior official of the state or self-government, a member of a parliament or of a similar legal structure, a member of the governance structure (board) of a political party, a judge of the constitutional or supreme court or a court of another level (a member of the judicial institution), a member of the Board or the Board of supreme Audit institution, member of the management board of the central bank, the Ambassador, the plenipotentiary clerk, the chief of the armed forces, the member of the board or the board of the state capital of the company, the head (director, deputy director) and member of the board of an international organization, or a person holding in this company an equivalent position.
 
A family member of a politically exposed person - husband/wife or a person equated to a spouse (for countries where such status is defined by law), politically exposed person’s child or his/her spouse, or a person equated to the spouse, parents, grandparents, grandchildren, brothers and sisters.
 
A person who is closely associated with a politically exposed person - a physical person who has transactions or other close relationship with a politically exposed person, or who is a shareholder or member in the same commercial company with a politically exposed person, as well as physical person who is the owner of such legal entity, which is actually set up in favour of a politically exposed person.
The purpose of these amendments - the prevention of corruption and money laundering.
 
Of course, the bank clients obtaining the questionnaires with a request to specify information about their relatives, partners in transactions, are experiencing negative emotions, believing that these questions are an invasion into their privacy. Article 96 of the Constitution of the Republic of Latvia states: “Everyone has the right to inviolability of his or her private life, home and correspondence". However, Article 116 of the same Constitution states that the rights of the person referred to in Article 96, may be limited in the cases provided for by law to protect the rights of other people, the democratic structure of the state, public safety, welfare and morals.
 
Are these anti-corruption amendments focused to protect the welfare and morals? In our opinion – definitely.
 
An additional question that concerns the bank clients: where this information is transferred, and how it will be protected? According to the Law on Credit Institutions, the banks are obliged to guarantee the secrecy of all information, documents, accounts, deposits and transactions of their clients. All the data is collected by the banks individually, it is kept by the banks, and they are authorized to provide such information only upon the official request of the competent authorities, such as: 1) Financial and Capital Market Commission, 2) The Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity, 3) the court, 4) the investigating authorities, 5) the prosecutor's office, 6) subjects of operational activities upon request accepted by the Chairman of the Supreme Court, 7) the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau, in case under investigation or prompt action, if a corresponding request is signed by the Chairman of the Supreme Court, 8) Public Finance Management, 9) the National Audit Office. In several cases, some of the information specified by law may be provided to the State Revenue Service.
 
It would be naive to believe that the relevant authorities are not able to get all of the above-mentioned information about everyone without questioning. Another thing is that the collection of information on each client on various public and private databases by sending the relevant requests to various public and private institutions is a long, expensive and complicated process. The introduction of amendments to the Law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing will make the process more centralized, systematic and quick.
 
With the development of new technologies that greatly simplify the process of gathering and accumulation of information, the concept of the right to privacy is somehow modified. For example, the Canadian Commission for the Protection of privacy has made a compilation of one day of a Canadian citizen. They show the life of a Canadian citizen starting from the early morning: when he leaves the parking lot, they record his coordinates on the highway in order to send him a penalty. He uses a mobile phone, so it is easy to determine a location of a person who uses a mobile phone. In the parking lot of his office, he shows a card to enter the gates. In the office, he turns on the computer, sends email to a friend or business e-mail, so it can be very easily intercepted not only by a system administrator, but also by his boss. He calls to his mother, and his boss can track his phone conversation. The automated banking machine that he uses to buy something with a credit card, an appointment to the doctor and so on - all is being monitored. If earlier the borders of private life had conditional physical expression and passed along the walls of the dwelling "my house - my fortress"), then now they have become informational.
 
The debates does not cease in the society about how to achieve a balance between the need of law enforcement authorities to investigate the activities of criminals and the protection of that the majority of citizens consider it their right to their privacy. On the one hand, everyone understands that by the development of technologies the possibilities of terrorists have reached a qualitatively new level, and law enforcement authorities need new tools for the prevention and investigation of crimes. On the other hand - without the rigid system of legal guarantees and methods of determining the necessity, proportionality and justification of the intervention of the state, there are no guidelines on minimizing the risks to privacy.
 
The time will determine the validity and necessity of the above-mentioned innovations.
/ Irina Stromberga, specialist of the law firm INLAT PLUS /