Immigration to Europe - Trade in the EU, Travel in Schengen, Live in Latvia
Immigration to Europe - Travel the Schengen area, do business in the European Union, live in Latvia.
Now it is all possible through the process of immigration to Europe.
If you are:
- looking for European Union (EU) residency and the security this could mean for you and your family
- looking for a possibility to freely travel within the Schengen area without any need to apply for a Schengen visa
- considering starting business in the EU
- moving to Europe (i.e. Latvia)
- looking for investment opportunities
One of our Immigration programs - providing a 5 year EU temporary residence permit in Latvia, via investment, could be the solution.
Find the perfect immigration solution for you
|Establishment of a Business
|Investment in real estate
Things to know about immigration
|Enjoy the Benefits!
|Who can Apply?
|Travel within Europe (Schengen area)
|How to Apply?
|Do Business in Europe
|What is the Procedure?
|Live in Europe
Law firm specialising in Corporate and Immigration Law
Our legal team will assist with immigration issues and residence permits. We will also help you with the process of purchasing real estate and resolving any tax issues that arrise from your decision to live or do business in Europe.
Our principal specializations include the obtaining of Latvian residence permits and the formation of companies in Latvia and other Baltic States.
We provide a full range of legal services in these areas and pride ourselves in offering our clients the best possible solution to meet their unique requirements.
What do we offer?
- Consultations on the immigration legislation of Latvia (Immigration to Europe);
- Assistance with obtaining residence permits in Latvia (Residency in Europe);
- General legal assistance;
- Real estate search;
- Consultations on the Latvian real estate market, real estate market research;
- Full assistance, support and legal advice during the process of acquisition of real estate;
- Property management, assistance in choosing the best real estate options for your unique use requirements;
- Tax consultations, accountancy services, tax reports and representation with local Tax authorities;
- Other services and activities for the Client as required on individual basis
See more information about what we offer in the section 'Our services'
Jump directly to your area of interest:
- Schengen visas
- Residence permits
- The European Union Blue card
- Immigration to Europe
'Schengen visas' (a.k.a. the uniform schengen visa) are granted in the form of a sticker affixed by a Member State onto a passport, travel document or other valid document which authorises its holder to cross the borders of the Schengen Area - whether their voyage through Europe is just a journey, or an adventure.
The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders and have a uniform visa policy. It functions almost as a single country for international travel purposes, which, while still allowing member countries to add special provisions of their own with regard to residency and local visa types, ensures that some visa types are universal, and that an individual with a residency in one Schengen country does not need a visa to visit or transit another Schengen country - in this sense it comes very close to being a common European Union immigration policy (The United Kingdom and Ireland are part of their own separate agreement called 'the common travel area' and hence Schengen rules do not apply there, even though they are both part of the European Union. It is also with noting that the Schengen Area also includes countries that are not members of the EU.).
Read more here.
The Schengen Area consists of twenty-two European Union (EU) member states and four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states.
The list of countries where a Schengen visa is valid:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Read more here.
Possibilities within Europe
The economy of Europe, as a continent, comprises more than 731 million people spread across 48 different countries. Like other continents, the average wealth of individuals varies from state to state, although, even in the poorest European countries, the range in terms of GDP and living standards still ranks much higher than in most other continents. Europe has a thriving manufacturing sector, with a large part of the world's industrial production taking place in Europe.
Agriculture and fishing
Europe's agricultural sector is generally well developed. The process of improving and modernising agriculture in Central Europe is ongoing and is assisted by the accession of the Central European states to the EU. The agricultural sector among EU member states is supported by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), which helps provide farmers with a guaranteed minimum price for their products and subsidizes their exports, which increases the competitiveness of their products.
Investing and banking
Europe has a well-developed financial sector. Many European cities are financial centres with the City of London being the largest. The continental european financial sector was boosted by the introduction of the euro as a common currency. This has made it easier for European households and firms to invest in companies and deposit money in banks in other European countries. Additionally the Euro has gained the position of a global 'reserve' currency, meaning that many non-euro countries hold reserves of the currency as part of their foreign exchange reserves, primarily used when performing commodities transactions. The Euro is currently the world's second most widely held reserve currency after the US dollar, with some countries, such as Russia, holding the Euro as their primary foreign reserve currency.
Settling in Europe
To have a home in Europe and to enjoy migration to Europe there are some basic things that you will need to know.
For a list of some of the things you may need to know about relocation to Europe, skip to the list at the bottom of this page.
Requirements for Schengen visas
Normally, an individual, unless they already meet all the requirements, who wishes to travel (or migrate) to Europe has to apply for a visa (For the Schengen Area a Schengen Visa) in his/her country of residence at the embassy, high commission or consulate of the (Schengen) country which is his/her main destination. With regard to Schengen area states, then in exceptional cases it is possible to obtain a single-entry Schengen visa valid for up to 15 days on arrival at the border, as long as the individual can prove that he/she was unable to apply for a visa in advance due to time constraints arising out of 'unforeseeable' and 'urgent' circumstances as long as he/she fulfills the regular criteria for the issuing of a Schengen visa, and can prove all of this along with proving the urgency of the situation.
The requirements for entry are as follows:
- The third-country national (a person who is neither a citizen of the country in question, nor of any other EU country) must be in possession of a valid travel document or documents authorising them to cross the border; the acceptance of travel documents for this purpose remains within the domain of the individual member states;
- The traveller either possesses a valid visa (if required) or a valid residence permit;
- The traveller can justify the purpose and conditions of the intended stay and has sufficient means of subsistence/support, both for the duration of the intended stay and for return to his or her country of origin or transit to a third country into which the traveller is certain to be admitted, or is in a position to acquire such means lawfully;
- The Schengen Information System does not contain an alert for refusal of entry concerning the traveller, and
- The traveller is not considered to be a threat to public policy, internal security, public health or the international relations of any of the Schengen countries - it is worth noting that this final rule is the only one that can also be applied to EU citizens in order to refuse them entry.
The holder of a visa may still be denied entry at the border of the European Union if the border officials feel that he or she fails to meet the requirements for admission.
A residence permit is a document providing a foreigner with the right to reside in a specific country.
We offer legal services related to immigration in Latvia and receipt of the Latvian residence permit.
A residence permit in Latvia makes your life much easier if you want to reside, work or study in Latvia or simply visit other Schengen countries, or if you want to immigrate and live in Europe. Currently there are two kinds of residence permit available: the permanent and the temporary residence permits. The biggest advantage of a residence permit in Latvia is the fact that you are entitled to enter Schengen countries without any visa, or other formal registration, which makes it easier for you to run your business in Europe and travel.
Options for obtaining a residence permit
At the moment, there are three ways to obtain a residence permit, aside from the more traditional methods:
- Residence permit based on acquisition/purchase of real estate. Click here
- Residence permit based on investment in business. Click here
- Residence permit based on investment in a bank. Click here
European Union Blue Card
The European Union Blue Card directive applies to highly qualified non-EU nationals seeking to be admitted to the territory of a Member State of the European Union (common European Union immigration policy), excluding Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom, for more than three months for the purposes of employment and residence. The EU Blue card also allows qualifying individuals to bring their close family with them.
The 'Blue card' can be obtained using a single-track procedure, allowing non-EU citizens to apply for a work permit, which is then valid for up to two-years, and can be renewed thereafter.
The blue card gives a series of rights, including favourable family reunification rules. The proposal also encourages geographic mobility within the EU, between different member states, for those who have been granted a blue card.
To be admitted into the EU, the applicant must produce:
- a work contract or binding job offer with a salary of at least 1,5 times the average gross annual salary paid in the Member State;
- a valid travel document and in specific cases a valid residence permit or a national long-term visa;
- valid health insurance;
- for regulated professions, documents establishing that s/he meets the legal requirements, and for unregulated professions, documents establishing the relevant higher professional qualifications.
In addition, the applicant must not pose a threat to public policy in the view of the Member State to which he/she seeks admission.
Immigration to Europe
Immigration to Europe immigration issues, statistics, laws and policies throughout Europe.
Most European nations today (particularly those of the so-called EU-15) have sizeable immigrant populations, many of them of non-European origin. In the European Union, as EU citizenship implies freedom of movement and residence within the EU itself, the term 'immigrant' is mostly used to refer to third-country (i.e. non-EU) citizens.
Immigration policy in European Union
Immigration policy seeks to establish a framework for legal migration, fully taking into account the importance of integration into host societies. The EU measures in support of legal immigration cover the conditions of entry and residence for certain categories of immigrants, such as highly qualified workers subject to the 'EU Blue Card Directive' in addition to students and researchers. Family reunification and additional rights for long-term residents are also provided for.
In December 2011, the so-called Single Permit Directive was adopted. It creates a set of rights for non-EU workers legally residing in an EU State.
The aim is to simplify immigration procedures and give migrants clear employment-related rights. Furthermore, the Long-Term Residence Directive has created a single status for non-EU nationals who have been lawfully resident in an EU country for at least five years, thus establishing a legal basis for equal treatment in all EU countries.
Integration of non-EU nationals into EU countries
Successful integration of immigrants into their host society is essential to maximise the opportunities afforded by legal migration and to realise the potential that immigration has for EU development.
As the Official EU website europa.eu notes:
Greater mobility brings with it opportunities and challenges. A balanced, comprehensive and common migration policy will help the EU to seize these opportunities while tackling the challenges head-on. This policy – currently under development – is built upon solidarity and responsibility. It will have the added advantage of making a valuable contribution to the EU’s economic development and performance in the long term.
In 2010, 47.3 million people lived in the EU, who were born outside their resident country. This corresponds to 9.4% of the total EU population. Of these, 31.4 million (6.3%) were born outside the EU and 16.0 million (3.2%) were born in another EU member state. The largest groups of people born outside the EU were found in Germany (6.4 million), France (5.1 million), the United Kingdom (4.7 million), Spain (4.1 million), Italy (3.2 million), and the Netherlands (1.4 million).
Table of migration statistics in EU
|Total population (millions)
|Total Foreign-born (millions)
|Born in other EU state (millions)
|Born in a non EU state (millions)
Definition of immigration
Immigration - the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country. To come to a place or country of which one is not a native in order to settle there.
Immigrate - to move into another country to stay there permanently.
Immigrant - migrant/foreign workers (both legal and illegal) and refugees.
Emigrant - someone who leaves a country to settle in a new country.
Emigration - the act of emigrating; movement of a person or persons out of a country or national region, for the purpose of permanent relocation of residence.
Migration - an instance moving a place to live to another place for a while.
Illegal immigrant - someone who has immigrated into a country by bypassing customs and immigration controls or has overstayed a valid visa.
Undocumented immigrant - an immigrant who has entered a country in an unauthorized manner (often as a migrant worker) and has no documentation.
Asylum seeker - someone who flees their home country and seeks asylum in another; a refugee.
Asylum - place of refuge.
Exodus - a departure or emigration, usually of a large number of people.
Trek - to travel or migrate, especially slowly or with difficulty.
Transmigration - to migrate from one country to another in order to settle there.
Resettlement - the act or state of settling or the state of being settled.
Relocation - to move (a building, company, person, etc.) to a different location.
Displacement - the state of being displaced or the amount or degree to which someone is displaced.
Exile - anyone separated from his or her country or home voluntarily or by force of circumstances.
Voyage - a journey or expedition from one place to another by land.
Travel - to go from one place to another, as by car, train, plane, or ship; take a trip.
Moving to Europe
Europe is a big place, and it is made up of many individual parts. The European Union has about as many countries and languages as there are states in places like the USA and a population greater than the United States by a good margin. Simply put, it is impossible to offer a single definitive guide that will apply for every country in Europe.
There are large numbers of non-EU citizens living in Europe, originating from every region of the world - America, Asia, the Middle East, India and even Africa.
Have Car - What about parking?
If you bring your car to almost any major city in europe you will need either a private garage or some kind of allocated parking. The crowded cities of Europe with their often small and ancient streets can make having a car both difficult and inconvenient if you do not have a reliable place to park. Obviously it is much better to enjoy the security provided by a private garage - but in some cities these can be difficult or expensive to obtain, so it's worth thinking about parking when you are looking where you wish to relocate to.
Warranty coverage for vehicles depends heavily on what brand of vehicle you own and from where you purchased it. Some higher-end manufacturers do allow you to obtain warranty repairs in a different country than that in which you purchased your vehicle - but this is not universal. It is therefore wise to check with the dealer from whom you bought your vehicle before you go - that way, if you will not have warranty coverage then you can ensure that any existing issues are resolved before you go. It's also worth noting that in some European countries there are private automotive 'Extended Warranty' insurances available for purchase in order to provide repairs on a similar basis to a normal warranty - so this also is something that you could investigate.
Except for electrical items, ship most of everything you have and use. However there are some things that you need to be aware of. Ocean (overseas shipping to Europe) shipping costs are based on volume, not weight, so it actually cost less per Kg to move a piano than a couch. Additionally when shipping large items it is often worth examining the cost to purchase these items at your destination, since, depending on the item and it's relative cost, it can be cheaper to replace than it is to ship.
Major electrical appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines, dryers, ovens, and dishwashers can be special cases - depending on where in the world you are coming from. While people coming from most parts of the world will not encounter any problems, if you are using appliances designed for North America (or other places that rely on an 110v 60Hz mains electrical supply) then you will need to use some form of transformer to change from the 220v 50Hz supply common to europe. You should therefore check the power requirements of any electrical or motorised appliances that you intend to bring with you to europe in order to ensure that they support 220v @ 50Hz. If they do not then you should look at the cost of shipping as well as the needed transformer or converters in order to determine if it might be simpler and cheaper just to purchase new replacements at your destination.
European frequency is 50 Hz (American is 60 Hz). Practically speaking, all items with a motor will run slower in Europe then in America due to the lower frequency. This generally applies to stereos, tape decks, dial face clocks, and many other items. If the electrical nameplate does not state 50 Hz you should be prepared for some kind of less than optimum performance.
Televisions, VCRs, and DVD players can also be special cases, depending on where they were designed to operate. As well as the electrical considerations already discussed, the broadcast system used to decode the signal can also be different. For analogue TV transmissions, American televisions operate on the NTSC system, In most of Europe variations of the PAL standard are used, and In France, the SECAM system was once common. These days most of europe is abandoning these 'Analogue' TV signals and instead moving to the use of digital transmissions - which are more standard across Europe. If you are using a more modern Digital HD device connected via an all-digital connection such as HDMI then you are unlikely to have any problems, but older (analogue based) devices can have problems.
DVD players can also be country or region specific - allowing you to play only DVDs intended for the region for which the player was produced. However multi-region players are widely available in Europe and other places - allowing you to bring your movies from home as well as watching ones you purchase locally - So given the low cost of DVD players it can be well worth the money to buy a multi-region DVD player in Europe after you arrive.
Radios operate normally, so long as they follow the general rules on voltage and frequency.
Telephone dialing can be either 'tone' or 'pulse'. Pulse is the old system where the number is dialed by using a sequence of 'clicks' or 'pulses' on the line after you select the number - with the number of pulses representing a number. Tone dialing uses a different frequency tone, like a musical note, for each number based on an internationally agreed set of standard frequencies called DTMF. It is much faster to dial a number using tone dialing, and it is very uncommon to find the older 'Pulse' dialing phones in Europe.
European computers and peripherals accept the same 220v 50Hz input power as other electronic devices and so you will need to examine the power requirements of any computers that you wish to bring with you just as you would with any other electronic device. If you do have a computer that does not support the European 220v 50Hz power standard then you should investigate your options for replacing or changing the Transformer or Power Supply in the device. Depending upon your computer brand this can be a simple or a complex matter. Replacing a power supply for Laptops or Notebooks is usually the simplest and easiest but you should look at what options you have for your device.
If you are moving to Europe there are several ways it can be done. Those being transferred by their employer will find it rather simple in most cases. Moving or freight companies will be arranged for you, and you will simply follow the directions provided to you. Single people are usually given less help and assistance, while families are given better consideration and benefits. Here we can help you, contact us.
Before the movers show up, you should have filled out your inventory and insurance papers for the items which are going to be shipped and any that are going into storage.