Month: June 2010

Residence permit in Latvia: new possibilities

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Excert from The Baltic Course

Santa Garsniece, lawyer of the Law Office INLAT PLUS

Question: When will the new regulations regarding residence permits come into lawful effect and what shall be considered in the process of receiving a residence permit?

Answer: New amendments to the Immigration law will come into lawful effect on the 1st of July 2010 offering new possibilities of receiving residence permit by third-country nationals who wish to move freely in Schengen zone. At the same time, there are several issues worth consideration.

The terms for considering and issuing of residence permits is extended from 30 day term to 90 days.

According to the amendments, there are three new options for receiving residence permit in Latvia.

First option: To become owner of the company. Foreigner shall contribute LVL 25000 to the equity capital of the company registered in Latvia and pay not less than LVL 20000 in taxes throughout the year.

Second option: to become co-owner of a bank. Foreigner shall invest not less than LVL 200000 in the Latvian credit institution’s subordinated capital. It is of vital importance that the term for such transaction shall not be less than 5 years without the right of pre-term termination of the contract.

Third option: to buy real estate. Foreigner shall buy one or more real estates in Riga or other cities for a sum not less than LVL 100000. If the real estate is located outside of Riga, the sum shall not be less than LVL  50000. The most important provision of such transaction is that the payment shall be made with the use of non-cash funds.

Attention shall be brought to the way of executing the transaction. If a foreigner comes to Latvia from a country that doesn’t have a visa regime with Latvia, the documents can’t be submitted in any country of the Europe, excluding cases, when a person already received a residence permit in one of EU’s countries.

The terms for considering and issuing of residence permits is extended from 30 day term to 90 days.

Provision regarding the necessity of staying in Latvia for 180 days per year has been excluded from the Immigration Law. However if the person, who received a residence permit, after first five years wishes to receive constant residence permit, he or she will have to prove its continuous stay in Latvia, i.e. he or she didn’t spend abroad more than 6 months successively during last five years.