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Latvia: Immigration law amendments
26th May 2014
Latvian parliament adopted amendments to the Immigration Law in Latvia on May 8th, 2014. The amendments will come into force on September 1, 2014. Changes refer to the minimum thresholds of the property that qualifies for temporary residence permit.

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News: Foreigners have invested millions in Latvian real estate

The possibility to obtain a temporary residence via investment was used by 1,956 foreigners in total, who invested almost LVL 123 million.

Similarly to last year, also this year foreigners were most concerned in the possibility to obtain a Latvia residence permit by purchasing real estate in Latvia – a total of 1,549 foreigners requested residence permits on the basis that they themselves or members of their family had purchased real estate in Latvia for at least LVL 100,000 or 50,000.

The activity of foreigners was mostly captured by apartments in Riga and Jūrmala, where they have purchased accordingly 325 and 225 properties. The statistics collected by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) present that foreigners have invested LVL 95.8 million in real estate of Latvia.

A significantly smaller amount, namely, LVL 24.4 million has been invested in the subordinated capital of banks this year, which also allow foreigners to request residence permits in Latvia. The statistics of the OCMA also show that the possibility to obtain a residence permit has not significantly stimulated the interest of foreigners to invest in the fixed capital of enterprises, as during the relevant year LVL 2.7 million have been invested in the fixed capital of only 53 enterprises, based on which 114 persons have requested residence permits.

It has already been assigned that on 1 July 2010, the amendments to the Immigration Law came into force, inter alia envisaging the possibility for foreigners to obtain a temporary residence permit, if they have purchased real estate in Latvia for a specific sum, have invested in the subordinated capital of banks or in the fixed capital of enterprises.

During one and a half year, since the amendments to the Immigration Law became valid, residence permits in Latvia have been requested by 2,257 investors and their family members, who have invested LVL 142.5 million in the economy of Latvia.

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