Residence permit in Latvia

A residence permit in Latvia (Uzturēšanās atļauja in Latvian) is a document (ultimately a physical residence card), which provides a foreigner with the right to reside (live, work, study or do business) in the Republic of Latvia for a definite or indefinite period depending upon the type of permit issued.

A residence permit makes your life much easier if you want to spend longer than 90 days in Latvia as well as making your travel to other Schengen countries (members of the Schengen Area) easier, since any person holding a residence permit in one Schengen country does not require any further visas or documentation to visit another Schengen state for the purposes of business or tourism.

a picture of filling a visa application

Currently there are two main kinds of residence permit issued by the Republic of Latvia: Permanent and Temporary.

At the moment, if you are not personally connected to Latvia or anyone already there in a way which would entitle you to a residence permit (i.e. EU Citizenship, Family reunification, Family immigration, Latvian Ancestry etc.), then there still exists in Latvia two major ways to receive a residence permit:

  • Residence permit based on the purchase/aquisition of real estate.
    • If you are willing and able to purchase suitable property or real estate in latvia then you might have the option of a 5 year residence permit based on real estate purchase
    • The property purchased can be used for any purpose: you can live in it, rent in, sell, or do anything else
  • Residence permit based on investment.

Each of these routes comes with it's own pros and cons. We can help you choose the best option for you.

According to statistics from the State Land Service, since the regulations regarding the granting of residence permits based on the acquisition of real estate came into force, almost 500 million Lats have been invested in Latvia. According to reports from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, only 3.4% of applications based on real estate were denied, and all of these were due to the provision of false information during the application process or for other exclusions which are listed in the official regulations which meant that the investor did not originally qualify to apply.

For many, the biggest advantage of the residence permit in Latvia, is that you are entitled to enter other Schengen countries without any visas or other formal registration, which makes it trouble free for you to oversee your business in Europe as well as to travel without ever needing to think about preparing documents and visiting an embassy.

However, there are other advantages as well:

  • The opportunity to invite relatives for visa purposes, up to and including second degree relatives.
  • A simplified procedure for receiving visas for a number of countries outside the Schengen zone. (USA, Canada, New Zealand e.t.c.)
  • Automatic provision of a residence permit for your spouse and underage children.
  • The right to receive discounted or free education within the European Union.
  • New commercial opportunities within the European Union.
  • The holder of a Latvian residence permit is also entitled to social privileges, such as medical treatment, maternity benefit, unemployment benefit, etc.
  • The holder of a Latvian residence permit is entitled to almost all of the rights normally granted to citizens of Latvia, except the right to vote and to participate in elections and to hold positions in governmental institutions and other state authorities.
  • The opportunity to receive a driver’s license in Latvia.

Look at the rest of our site, or contact us, for more information on the acquisition of residence permits based on investment or real estate.