A perfect blend of Eastern European charm, innovation and progress and an affordable lifestyle that isn’t rushed like many Western European countries. Latvia is developing rapidly and becoming a place where many expats find a new life and opportunities. 

Latvia has made an impressive recovery from the financial crisis; unemployment numbers have dropped dramatically and the average Latvian salary has doubled since the country joined the EU in 2013. Agriculture, forestry, chemicals and logistics are the four main industries in Latvia and Latvian high-tech innovations are appreciated all over the world. 

More than a third of the country is covered with forests and although forestry is an important part of the Latvian economy, 20% of the country is protected. Latvia is also home to many rivers, lakes and beaches and with so many beautiful natural escapes around there are also plenty of ways to enjoy your surroundings in your spare time. 

A third of the 2 million Latvians live in the capital city Riga, where renting an apartment near work is still possible and the public transport is well organised. It is one of the most promising cities in the Baltic region and a great choice for immigrants to start a new, comfortable life. 

Family Visas

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Latvia, you are probably eligible for residency.  
  • If your child is a citizen or permanent resident of this country, you may apply for a parent residency visa.

Investment Visas

Latvia offers some of the most reasonable residency visas for investors in Europe.  Latvia's programme was ranked 14 on the list of Henley & Partners 2017-2018 Global Residence Program Index, which evaluates world residence programs on a large number of factors such as quality of life, tax, visa-free access, time and effort required to get the visa.  Here are some of the ways to get residency by investment in Latvia:

  • Share Capital
    • Invest more than €50,000 in a small company of less than 50 employees with a company turnover of less than  €10 million.
    • Invest more than €100,000 in a company or purchase equity in a company that is registered in the Republic of Latvia and that hires at least 50 employees.
  • Real Estate Investment
    • If you invest more than €250,000 in property in specific regions and cities in Latvia, you can apply for a Latvian residency permit.  There is also a government fee of €25,000.
  • Other
    • If you invest more than €250,000 in interest-free government bonds you can apply for a Latvian residency permit.  There is also a government fee of €25,000. 
    • If you take out a 5 year fixed deposit with a credit institution in the Republic of Latvia €280,000, you can apply for a Latvian residency permit.

Startup Visa

Do you have a great idea for a new business?  Then the startup visa in Latvia may be for you.  To qualify you need to have a business plan as well as at least €4560 worth of funds in your bank account to get you through the first twelve months.  YOu also need to show evidence of residency in Latvia as well as some other requirements.

Work Visa

Latvian companies may hire a non-EU national if they cannot find a local suitable for a position. Immigrants from the EU do not need a work permit to work in Latvia. Third-country nationals need to apply for a work permit and a residence permit, supported by the future employer. Part of the work permit application process is having an invitation letter from the company. This letter, together with a number of other documents, must be submitted to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs who reviews the application within two working days. 

Citizenship by Descent

  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  • If one of your grandparents or great-grandparents was a citizen of Latvia on June 17, 1940 however was forced to flee Latvia between 1940 and 1990 due to the occupation, you and your descendants may be eligible for citizenship.  You need to be born before October 1, 2014

Citizenship by Naturalisation

  • If you are over 15,  have lived in Latvia for no less than 5 years, are fluent in the Latvian language and meet other requirements such as a steady source of income, you may be eligible for citizenship by naturalisation.  Click here for the official government website for further information on requirements.

The passport for Latvia allows you to travel to 154 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 30.

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