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Important information for applicants for a residence permit in Latvia in the conditions of pandemic

Almost two years have passed from the moment the world ceased to be the way we knew it before. The pandemic has made its own adjustments, restrictions, and new rules have changed our daily life. Despite the difficulties, obtaining a residence permit remains in demand among citizens who are not part of the EEA (European Economic Area).

What has changed since the "pre-covid" times?

The first and main difference for applicants for a residence permit in Latvia - is the submission of documents. Previously, certain categories of persons, such as investors in Latvian companies or real estate owners, could submit documents in Latvia directly to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. Now there is no such possibility, all documents for a residence permit must be submitted only through the Latvian embassy in the country of residence.

These restrictions do not apply to citizens of those countries with which Latvia has a visa-free regime, such countries include:

Citizens from the "visa-free list" who are in the territory of Latvia can submit documents for a residence permit request by mail to the address of any branch of the OCMA by regular, not registered mail. 

As for those who already have a residence permit in Latvia, to submit documents for the annual registration of a residence permit, the electronic method can be used by using the electronic signature issued together with the residence permit card, or by sending documents by mail to any branch of the OCMA by regular, not registered mail. 

In connection with the restrictions imposed by the government of the Republic of Latvia, after receiving a positive decision from the OCMA regarding the extension of the annual registration or issue of a residence permit, difficulties may occur to enter the RL for the obtaining of a residence permit card.

Epidemiological rules for entry into the territory of Latvia

It is necessary to give due regard to state institutions and, in particular, the OCMA, which understands the complexity and seriousness of the situation with the entry into the territory of the RL for foreign citizens. Therefore, for some categories of persons, primarily those who received a residence permit based on the acquisition of real estate, the term for obtaining a residence permit card was repeatedly extended. Previously, there were clearly defined deadlines in the law for the initial issuance or annual registration of a residence permit, which were 3 months from the date of the positive decision of the OCMA. If the foreign citizen, for some reason, did not appear at the OCMA during this period, then the decision was cancelled, and the procedure for submitting documents had to be repeated anew.

At the moment, there is a rule according to which the three-month period for receiving the residence permit card begins its countdown from January 1st, 2022. At the same time, a situation is not excluded in which this period can also be extended. This is good news for those who, for some reason, cannot arrive to Latvia for the final formalisation of a residence permit.

As for the list of documents required for filing and the grounds for obtaining a residence permit, they have remained the same as before the pandemic.

Sign up for a consultation on obtaining a residence permit in Latvia!

More detailed information can be obtained via e-mail or by telephone: +371 67373020.


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