09.09.2022 - Economy, Startups

Stricter conditions regarding issuance of residence permits to citizens of Russia and Belarus

The government supported changes to the Immigration Law, which envisages setting stricter conditions for issuing residence permits to citizens of Russia and Belarus.

Similarly, from now on Latvian citizens and non-citizens who want to become a citizen of another country and continue to stay in Latvia will have to pass the national language test and prove regular and sufficient financial means.

The bill also includes the requirement to prove the knowledge of the national language for former Latvian citizens and non-citizens who received permanent residence permits before the entry into force of this draft law.

The requirement for proof of knowledge of the national language could apply to approximately 22,000 foreigners. If the person cannot prove appropriate knowledge by presenting a document issued by the State Education and Content Center on compliance with the A2 level of knowledge of the national language, the permanent residence permits of these persons will be canceled and a temporary residence permit (TUA) will be issued for one year.

“With the entry into force of the bill, the number of national language tests performed by the State Education and Content Center could increase, thus the issue of strengthening the capacity of the State Education and Content Center should be assessed,” says Interior Minister Kristaps Eklons.

Amendments to the Immigration Law also provide that until June 30, 2023, the issuing of repeated TUAs to citizens of Russia and Belarus will be halted, with the exception of persons who have stayed in Latvia for a long time, for example, former citizens of Latvia or non-citizens who do not qualify for permanent residence due to lack of knowledge of the national language permit or EU permanent resident status.

According to the directive of the European Parliament and the European Council, former students or researchers who want to continue staying in Latvia after the end of their studies or research project will also be an exception.

Also, referring to the request of the Investment Development Agency of Latvia, the exception would apply to persons who have been granted the right to employment in Latvia, who wish to continue staying in Latvia, and for whom regular personal income tax payments have been made, as well as TUAs would be entitled to startup board members after the term of the TUA issued in connection with the establishment of the startup has expired.

Individuals who fall into this category will be subject to a thorough investigation by competent national security authorities.

The norms provided for in the legal act do not affect the right of applicants for international protection to receive the status of international protection.

Source: labsoflatvia.com

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