Latvian (EU) Residency Program
Due to the revolutionary amendments to immigration law Latvia offers the opportunity to become resident in a Schengen Area member country with minimal bureaucratic requirements. From May 2010 two new options (buying realty object or banking deposit) were introduced into Latvian legislation. Those options significantly simplified the acquisition of EU-residency for foreign nationals. Moreover, there is no need to spend any particular time actually residing in Latvia (in case eternal temporary residency is sufficient for you). Physical presence requirement was removed from the legislation with amendments of 2010. Nevertheless, if you wish to become eventually a permanent resident or citizen physical presence will apply.
Latvian residence permit allows you to visa-free travel to all Schengen states. A residence permit is initially issued for one year and should be renewed annually. After five years of legal residence it is possible to apply for permanent residency. After ten years of legal residence it is possible to apply for Latvian citizenship (EU citizenship).
There are the following legal ways to get residence permit in Latvia:
- Labor contract with a Latvian company (Our Company does not provide services of job placement).
- Incorporation of a company and investment of EUR 35,300. This option is not recommended because the immigration law stipulates that the company must bring annually EUR 28,200 of taxes into Latvian budget. In case business is not successful the residence permit is not issued. Taking into account that between first residence permit (renewed annually) and the possibility to apply for permanent residency lies the period of five years, this puts a foreign investor into shaky position.
- Incorporation of a representative office in Latvia. In this scenario, the applicant must have some company in the home country that will be interested in establishing representation in Latvia.
- Buying a realty object (apartment or house) in Latvia. The object must cost the minimum of EUR 250,000. The Government fee for issuance of residency permit is 5 % from the property price indicated in the purchase contract.
- Open a banking deposit of 300,000 EUR or 400,000 USD for 5 years with a Latvian bank. The deposit cannot be withdrawn before the maturity. The Government fee for issuance of residency permit is EUR 25,000.
Our Company can assist only with residency applications only based on the 4 and 5 list items.
Questions and answers regarding Latvian residency program:
Question: Are there any other EU country that allows foreigners to get residency based on property investments?
Answer: Yes, there are similar programs in Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Portugal. In these countries, you can also get temporary residence permit based on investment into property. Greece requires the same amount of property investment as in Latvia – EUR 250,000. In Bulgaria and in Cyprus the minimum threshold is EUR 300,000. In Portugal and in Spain the requirement is to invest EUR 500,000. In both Cyprus and Portugal, you can get permanent residency after 5 years. In Bulgaria, you can never get permanent residency because real estate option immigration in Bulgaria is not a category that leads to permanent status or citizenship.
Question: We are planning to immigrate in Latvia and we have read the information in your site.
What is the best and the fastest way to immigrate to Latvia? We want to know how long it takes time to get residency if we register a company. Which is better: buy a house or put 300.000 EUR in credit institution? How much do you charge?
Answer: Registration of company as such will not lead to residency. You will be expected to invest at least 100,000 EUR into actual business and have a realistic business plan. And even you invest there is no guarantee you apply successfully. If you purchase property that costs 250,000 EUR you will have a good chance of getting residency. The process will take 3-4 months. We charge legal fee 5,000 EUR per main applicant + 1,000 EUR per each family member.
Question: In how many steps we must pay the charge? And one more question: if somebody bought realty and his application was rejected can he refund the realty?
Answer: The legal fee must be paid in full before we start working. If you buy realty and your application is refused you can sell the realty object and recover your investment. At the same time we can give no guarantee that you will be able to sell it fast. Good sale depends upon the current market conditions and upon good luck.
Question: I am very much interested in purchasing a house in Latvia, as it seems like an excellent investment option as well as a nice place to live. I do, however, have several questions regarding the residence permit. Is there an annual registration fee (or anything of the like) for a foreigner with the 5-year residence permit?
Answer: No. But to maintain a permit you will be expected to visit Latvia annually and to confirm that realty object was not sold and that all public utilities bills were settled.
Question: What happens after 5 years? Do I need to submit a new application and buy another house, or I can just renew my 5-year permit?
Answer: After 5 years, there are two options. If you permanently reside in Latvia you will be able to apply for permanent residency. If you were absent from Latvia for more than 10 months out 5 years you will not be able to apply for a permanent status but will have a possibility to get another permit for 5 years.
Question: I hold the Jordanian Nationality and would like to participate in the Latvian Residency Program. Please advise the following in order to proceed with your company. How long do I have to stay in Latvia per year in order to obtain the residency? Will the residence permit allow me to work and move freely in the 25 Schengen countries?
Answer: No specific residence requirements. But you must to be present in Latvia at least several days annually for a permit renewal. As to employment authorization, you will be able to work only in Latvia and visit Schengen states.
Question: Is there any additional payments each year to be made on top of the 71,500 Euro and your agency fees? Any taxes or fees to be paid each year on the apartment?
Answer: We charge 5000 EUR per main applicant for assistance in initial (first) residence permit + 1000 EUR per each dependent. We consult only in immigration matters. But we can recommend tax consultant if you become our client and our legal fees for residence assistance are paid.
Question: Will I get the permanent stay card after 5 years for sure and the nationality after 10 years for sure?
Answer: No. In order to get Permanent Residency you must prove that you lived in Latvia 4 years out of 5 before application. If you were not physically present you can only renew temporary residence forever. As to citizenship, yes, it is possible to get citizenship provided 10 years of physical residency in Latvia and renunciation of the previous citizenship. Latvia does not recognize dual citizenship.
Question: Can I share the same apartment with two more people and we all get the residency?
Answer: If two more people are wife and child under 18 years old, then yes. If those two persons are not close relatives, the answer is no.
Question: Can I rent the apartment for a second party or it cannot be used for commercial purposes?
Answer: Yes, you can use it a commercial property.
Question: Is there any probability that this program is cancelled by the Latvian government after some years and I lose my residency?
Answer: We do not think that the program will be cancelled in the nearest years. And if it is cancelled in the future it will not affect those who get residency now.
IMPOTANT NOTICE: Elma Global no longer provide legal and immigration services in Latvia. If you are interested in EU residency through purchase of property we can assist in Greece, Cyprus, Portugal, and in Spain.