Issuance of residence permits to citizens of Russia and Belarus has been suspended
12.04.2022Karina Katz, lawyer
On April 9, 2022, amendments to the Latvian Immigration Law came into force, providing for the suspension (until June 30, 2023) of the issuance of primary residence permits to citizens of Russia and Belarus, subject to certain exceptions.
In particular, the following cases are considered exceptional:
a residence permit is requested on the basis of marriage with a citizen / non-citizen of Latvia, or with a foreigner who holds a permanent residence in Latvia;
a residence permit is requested by the parents of a citizen/non-citizen of Latvia who have reached retirement age;
a residence permit is requested by a foreigner who, as of June 17, 1940, was a citizen of Latvia, or one of whose parents is a citizen of Latvia;
a residence permit is requested in connection with employment (for a period not exceeding 1 year) in a Latvian company, where at least 51% of the shares are owned by a legal entity of an Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) member state or an individual who is a citizen of such a member state, or which as a beneficiary directly or indirectly controls a national of an OECD member country and which transfers its activities from Russia or Belarus to Latvia;
a residence permit is requested in connection with studies (for a period not exceeding 1 year) at an accredited university or college in Latvia.
It is important to keep in mind that these amendments will not affect those citizens of Russia and Belarus who already have a residence permit in Latvia, since only the issuance of primary residence permits is suspended, which, in the understanding of the law, means the following cases:
a residence permit is requested by a foreigner who did not previously have a residence permit in Latvia;
a residence permit is requested by a foreigner who previously had a residence permit in Latvia and more than 90 days have passed since the expiration of the previous residence permit;
a residence permit is requested again on the basis of investments (in the authorized capital of a Latvian company, in real estate, in a credit institution), but the object of investment has changed.
In addition to a suspension of the issuance of primary residence permits, additions are being introduced that will allow refusing to issue or cancel existing residence permits and permanent residence in cases where the competent state authorities have established that a foreigner has publicly glorified, denied or justified genocide, crimes against humanity, against peace, war crimes. Also, residence permits and permanent residence are canceled to those foreigners who provided significant financial, material, propaganda, technological or other support to persons or states that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of democratic states or the constitutional order.