Amendments to the Latvian Immigration Law
On May 8, 2014 Latvian Saeima passed amendments to the Immigration Law. The law provides that a third-country citizen may apply for Latvia's temporary residence permit, valid for a period of up to five years, if the person has bought real estate (functionally bounded with buildings) worth over 250 000 EUR. The immovable property cannot consist of agricultural land or forest land. The minimal cadastral value has been increased to 80,000 EUR. Besides 5 percent of the value of real estate will have to be paid into the state budget by third-country citizens who apply for Latvia's residence permit for the first time.
These thresholds will apply to all regions in Latvia. The current regulation states that third-country residents can receive five-year residence permits by purchasing one or more properties in the amount of at least 142,300 EUR in Riga or 71,150 EUR elsewhere in Latvia.
Additionally, according to amendments, if the person invests at least 280 000 EUR in a credit institution for (at least) five years term (without rights to discontinue this investment earlier), 25 000 EUR will have to be paid into the state budget by third-country citizens who apply for Latvia's residence permit for the first time.
These amendments will come into force on September 1, 2014. The amendments also provides possibility from January 1, 2015 to apply for temporary residence permit for a period of up to five years, if the third-country citizen has bought interest-free government securities with the nominal value of EUR 250,000 and pay EUR 25,000 in the state budget.
Gunda Leite, lawyer of the Gencs Valters Law Firm in Riga.
Practising in fields of Immigration and Corporate Law.
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F: +371 67 24 00 91