Residence permit in Latvia for descendants of Latvians

09.02.2024 Irina Stromberga, lawyer

On January 1, 2024, the Repatriation Law ceased to apply, and some of our clients were concerned about whether it is now possible to obtain a permanent residence permit in Latvia for descendants of Latvians.

First of all, its necessary to note that the purpose of the Repatriation Law was to facilitate the resettlement of Latvian descendants to the land of their ancestors.

This law allowed to obtain:

  • the right to permanent resident status in Latvia not only for the applicant, but also for children, spouses, parents, including parents and children of the spouse,
  • the right to duty-free entry of belongings of persons moving,
  • the right to receive support from the state (benefits, cash assistance, compensation for moving expenses).

At the same time, the possibility of obtaining a permanent residence permit on the same basis was provided by the Immigration Law, but without the above preferences. Thus, a descendant of Latvians could obtain permanent residence in Latvia both on the basis of the Immigration Law and on the basis of the Repatriation Law.

From July 1, 2023, the Latvian Law has made quite large-scale changes to both of these Laws. The Repatriation Law abolished all provisions on state assistance to repatriates. The Immigration Law revised the very principle of obtaining permanent residence. Permanent residence can now be requested either by relatives (children, spouses, parents) of a citizen/non-citizen of Latvia, or by persons who have resided permanently in Latvia for 5 years before submitting the application and have learned the Latvian language.

Latvia still issues residence permits for citizens of any state if these citizens are descendants of Latvians, but not permanent, but temporary for a period of 5 years. At the same time as the applicant, spouses and minor children can request a temporary residence permit.

After these 5 years, the applicant can either apply for a second residence permit, or, if he has permanently resided in Latvia and learned the Latvian language, for a permanent residence permit.

Law Office Inlatplus is ready to provide its clients with full support in the process of obtaining a residence permit in Latvia.

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