On July 18, 2018 latest amendments to the Immigration law have come into effect. We would like to draw your attention to the following new aspects of the law:
- Immigration law has introduced a new definition: student (no such notion was defined in the previous version). Within the meaning of the Immigration law a student is a foreigner who has been accepted into the higher educational establishment or college as a full-time student. So from now, it’s no longer a question whether a student who studies in the college (and not in the university) is entitled to apply for the temporary residence permit – the answer is positive.
- One more important amendment in respect of the students. According to the previous version of the Immigration law, residence permit was granted for a period of time of studies of pupils of educational establishments accredited in the Republic of Latvia or full-time students. In the latest version of the Immigration law, one more phrase is added to the above-mentioned definition: for the period of time exceeding for 4 months a period of studies of the full-time student of the higher educational establishment or college. Apparently, this amendment has been introduced with the purpose of providing the student with sufficient time to find employment in Latvia after the studies are over or set up his or her own company.
- The latest version of the Immigration law has taken care of the s.c. perpetual students who enter Latvian higher educational establishments solely for the purpose of obtaining a residence permit. Now the law provides that a student can be refused the issue of a residence permit (or refused the registration of already existing residence permit) if the student has not achieved a sufficient progress in studies, which can be indicated by one or several of the following circumstances:
a) within the last five years before submitting a request for residence permit, the student was at least twice expelled for poor academic performance;
b) within the last five years before submitting a request for residence permit, the student at least twice started studies under an academic program and both times has dropped out before the end of the academic program,
c) studies under one particular academic program exceed at least for 1 year a term of studies specified in the agreement with this particular educational establishment (the term initially being not more than 3 years) or exceed at least for 2 years a term of studies specified in the agreement with this particular educational establishment (the term initially being more than 3 years).
- New amendments significantly simplify the procedure of obtaining a residence permit for representatives of foreign airline companies. As we know, in February 2017 the Immigration law introduced a much more complicated procedure of obtaining a residency for representatives of a representation of a foreign merchant, listing a whole variety of new requirements in respect of the foreign merchant itself (it had to be registered abroad at least for five years prior to submitting the application on a residence permit), as well as in respect of its representation in Latvia (it had to employ more than 50 employees over the past year, net turnover thereof had to exceed 10 million EUR), besides this particular type of residency was granted for just 2 years (instead of 4 years as it was before that), plus in subsequent two years the foreigner was not entitled to request a temporary residence permit for the same purpose.
Now the latest version of the Immigration law contains a separate subparagraph regarding a representative of a foreign airline company: residence permit to this particular type of foreigner is granted for 4 years. And no any other additional requirements!