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Latvian Residency Permit
A residence permit in Latvia 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.
Currently there are two main kinds of residence permit issued by the Republic of Latvia:
B- Permanent (PRP)
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/acquisition 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.
- Residence permit based on investment.
- If you have funds to invest in a new or existing business in Latvia then an investment might be an option for you.
- If you have funds to invest, but prefer more security than can be offered by a business investment, then a residence permit based on financial investment in a Latvian Bank might be the option for you.
Advantages of a TRP:
- 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 ect.)
- 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.
How to Get a TRP (Temporary Residency Permit) in Latvia.
1-Residence permit in Latvia based on real estate.
Acquisition of a residence permit based on the purchase of real estate (immovable property) is one of the most popular investment-based methods for obtaining a Latvian residence permit. Of the types of investment which qualify for a residence permit, Real estate investment provides possibly the best liquidity and security while also being the most effective way to get approval from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
In order to receive a residence permit in Latvia for 5 years, with an opportunity to extend this term later, there are several requirements that have to be met according to the law:
- The property that must be purchased at the moment of filing the request for a residence permit you must possess the certificate from the Land Register which confirms your title;
- The total price of the purchase must NOT be less than EUR 250 000.
- The purchase contract and the Land Register certificate must be completed in the name of the person requesting the residence permit.
- The cadastral value (tax valuation) of the property must be higher than EUR 80 000.
- Payment must be made in non-cash form. (I.e. bank transfer of funds).
- Immigration law states that real estate should have been purchased from a legal person or natural person registered in the republic of Latvia, who is citizen of Latvia, a non-citizen of Latvia, a citizen of the European Union or other foreigner, who is staying in the Republic of Latvia with a valid residence permit, if a foreigner has purchased the real estate from a person who is not in above mentioned list - then the application for a residence permit will be denied.
- The purchaser has to pay from his/her personal funds - that is not to say that a loan or financial assistance cannot be obtained from another person or institution, but such funds would need to be in the purchaser's personal account prior to the purchase, such that payment for the property comes directly from with individual from funds available to him/her.
- All applicable real estate taxes must be settled.
2-Residence permit in Latvia based on business investment.
Acquisition of a residence permit based on business investment is most suitable for those who wish to establish or develop their business within the European Union, while taking advantage of the benefits of having legal residency within the EU - with all the convenience that it brings in terms of travel.
Financial investment in local business.
Qualifying Investors who complete a successful application receive a residence permit for an initial period up to 5 years, with further extensions possible.
When it comes to the size of investment required, there are two possible options, but since the changes to the immigration law that took place on September 1st 2014, the second option becomes almost impossible to accomplish.
a. The first option is a contribution to the equity of a Latvian company in the amount of more than EUR 35,000. However, to qualify with this smaller investment, there are additional requirements: you must invest in the equity of a joint stock company or a limited liability company, and this company has to pay taxes in the amount of not less than EUR 40,000 per year.
b. The second option is contributing EUR 150,000 to the equity of a Latvian company (joint stock or Limited Liability Company). While this option requires a greater initial investment, the advantage is that there are no requirements as to the amount of taxes that the company pays annually. The company must employ at least 50 employees and have at least 10 million EUR of annual turnover.
3-Residence permit in Latvia based on financial investment in a Latvian bank.
Acquisition of a residence permit based on investment a Latvian bank is often a superior option for those who are looking to obtain a residence permit while ensuring a stable investment with a guaranteed return, rather than exposing themselves to the possible variable gains sometimes seen when investing in real estate.
Financial investment in a Latvian bank
In order to apply for a residence permit in Latvia based on financial investment in a bank you need to place with a bank at least EUR 280,000 in the form of subordinated capital and pay a state fee of EUR 25 000 to the government. The subordinated capital is funds that the bank is borrowing from a customer for a term of at least 5 years (Like a Corporate Bond ? but where the corporation is a bank). If you choose this option, then you should know that the term of your residence permit will be the same as the term of the subordinated capital (The length of the Bond). The banks usually take all the risks. Also, it's worth noting that the bank pays you interest, like with any other bond, so it can be a good, low risk way to ensure a return on your investment and increase your capital over time at the same time as obtaining your residence permit. The interest rate will be agreed in advance, and therefore this option effectively guarantees the amount of return on your investment, while perhaps not providing the same level of liquidity you see with a real estate purchase - where you have the option to sell at any time.
4- How to Get a PRP ( Permanent Residency Permit) in Latvia.
According to the Immigration law foreigner who is married to the Latvian citizen is authorized to request:
- For the first time handing in documents ? residency permit for 1 year;
- For the second time handing in documents ? residency permit for 4 years;
- For the third time handing in documents ? permanent residency permit.
Latvian citizenship can be obtained only via the naturalization procedure after living in Latvia permanently for 5 years (5 years of living in Latvia are considered as of the date when the permanent residence permit has been obtained), therefore it is necessary to live in Latvia for 10 years to start the naturalization process.
Latvia Immigration Packages
1. Latvia Business Immigration Package (EUR 80,000)
Get residency in Latvia through company investment (The investor will become a board member or similar to qualify for TRP). The total not refundable costs will be around EUR 80,000 and it takes 2-3 months to receive your Temporary Residence Permit (TRP). This is a special immigration option for people who can?t be in Latvia all the time. You still can get Permanent Residency (PRP) after 5 years.
2. Latvia Real Estate Investment Package (EUR 250,000 + 5% state fee)
Just buy a real estate in the Latvia; you will receive a Temporary residence permit (TRP) in Latvia which is valid for 5 years. The total costs come starting around EUR 280,000 for the real estate and about 3 months to receive the residence permit.
The Latvia business immigration is the cheapest way to get residence permit in Europe. Now and for a short period you also can start with a test year for as little as ? 27.000. For the golden business immigration option the total non refundable amount is ? 80.000 and it will be payable in installments. After 5 years we will file the permanent residency application for you. The minimum real estate investment is EUR 250,000 plus a 5 % State fee on the purchase price. You have to calculate a minimum of around ? 280.000. Non-EU investors will be issued TRP `temporary residence permit` with annual renewal. You have to visit Latvia while renewing the permit, takes 7-10 days. The TRP residence permit issued is a biometric card (replaces visa sticker) allows visa free travel to all 25 Schengen countries and is allowed to stay 90 days in every 6 month period in Schengen countries. It is also issued to any family members accompanying with the investor. The temporary residence permit grants the investor right of free movement to other European countries in Schengen zone. The investor is free to leave the country anytime and is not required to stay permanently in Latvia. If the foreigner wants to apply for "permanent residence permit" after 5 years, he/she must have continuously stayed in Latvia for 4 years and 2 months for the past 5 years. Exception is the business immigration option.