Legal advice

Can I be deprived of a permanent residence permit in Latvia if I am not in Latvia for a long time?

29.03.2023 Aleksandrs Koposovs, the member of the board

Yes, there is an article of the Latvian Immigration Law, according to which you can lose your permanent residence permit if you do not live in Latvia. Clause 4, part 1, article 36 of the Immigration Law determines that a permanent residence permit is canceled if a foreigner has been outside Latvia for more than 12 months continuously, excluding cases of documented valid reason (independent circumstances of the party or receiving an education).

If a foreigner plans to be absent from Latvia for more than 12 months for a valid reason, then it is necessary to notify the OCMA before leaving Latvia by submitting an application and attaching supporting documents to it.

The OCMA examines the application and issues a certificate to the foreigner stating that the OCMA has been informed of the need for the foreigner to stay outside Latvia for a long time.

If a foreigner has not declared his absence before leaving Latvia, then the documents can be submitted at the embassy while outside Latvia. In this case, the embassy issues to the foreigner a decision of the OCMA on permission to enter Latvia or a visa to enter Latvia or cancels the issued residence permit.

A foreigner entering Latvia shall show the issued certificate, decision of the OCMA or a visa to the State Border Guard Service.

If a foreigner has exceeded the 12-month period and has not submitted the above documents to the State Border Service, then this border service:

  • allows a foreigner to enter the territory of Latvia;
  • informs the foreigner of the need to come to the office within three working days to provide explanations;
  • immediately inform the OCMA about the permission for the foreigner to enter the territory of Latvia.
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