RESIDENCE PERMIT IN LATVIA
Due to the revolutionary amendments to immigration law Latvia offers the opportunity to become resident in a Schengen Area member country with minimal bureaucratic requirements. From May 2010 two new options (buying realty object or banking deposit) were introduced into Latvian legislation. Those options significantly simplified the acquisition of EU-residency for foreign nationals. Moreover, there is no need to spend any particular time actually residing in Latvia (in case eternal temporary residency is sufficient for you). Physical presence requirement was removed from the legislation with amendments of 2010. Nevertheless, if you wish to become eventually a permanent resident or citizen physical presence will apply.
Latvian residence permit allows you to visa-free travel to all Schengen states. A residence permit is initially issued for one year and should be renewed annually. After five years of legal residence it is possible to apply for permanent residency. After ten years of legal residence it is possible to apply for Latvian citizenship (EU citizenship).
There are the following legal ways to get residence permit in Latvia:
- Labor contract with a Latvian company (Our Company provide services of job placement).
- Incorporation of a company and investment of EUR 35,000. This option is not recommended because the immigration law stipulates that the company must bring annually EUR 40,000 of taxes into Latvian budget. In case business is not successful the residence permit is not issued. Taking into account that between first residence permit (renewed annually) and the possibility to apply for permanent residency lies the period of five years, this puts a foreign investor into shaky position.
- Incorporation of a representative office in Latvia. In this scenario the applicant must have some company in the home country that will be interested in establishing representation in Latvia.
- Buying a realty object (apartment or house) in Latvia. The object must cost the minimum of EUR 250,000. The Government fee for issuance of residency permit is 5 % from the property price indicated in the purchase contract(must be paid to the Latvian budget).
- Open a banking deposit of 300,000 EUR or 400,000 USD for 5 years with a Latvian bank. The deposit cannot be withdrawn before the maturity. The Government fee for issuance of residency permit is EUR 25,000.
- Studies in one of Latvian Universities. Studies cost starting from 3000 EUR/year. 4 year programms.