If you want to obtain permanent residency, learning about the Latvia Investment Immigration Program is a smart move.
Situated within Europe’s Schengen Area, Latvia is an EU nation on the Baltic Sea between Estonia and Lithuania. The landscape in this stunning country is marked by extensive beaches and sprawling forests as well. There are numerous places in Latvia that offer its residents biodiversity and nature to explore. Whether or not you (as an investor) are a nature lover, you can always find respite in stunning, welcoming, and peaceful Latvia.
Founded in 1201, Riga is its capital and it has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It takes immense pride in being home to art, wood, and an open-air museum, which showcases food, music, and local crafts. Latvia offers outstanding as well as cultural links with both Western Europe and Russia.
Why Invest in the Latvia Investment Immigration Program?
In 2010, Latvia launched its investment immigration program (also known as ‘Golden Visa’) to attract foreign investment. This investment program has proven beneficial for the country as it brought approximately €1.5 Billion in revenues. Since then, over 19,100 individuals have received a residence permit by investment.
Application volume has grown immensely more modest. That is due to the increasing minimum investments and aggressive competition from the golden visas of three European countries: Greece, Portugal, and Spain.
People can get a residence permit by investing in organizations without any hassle. Moreover, they can purchase real estate or acquire shares or contributions in the subordinated capital of credit institutions.
Investment Options to Obtain a Latvian Residency Permit
Here is a list of investment options you can choose from:
Real Estate Investment
No doubt, real estate is one of the most popular options for investment among investors. As an applicant, you will require a minimum investment of €250,000 plus a government fee of 5%. Property is required to be retained by the investment for no less than a minimum of 5 years only if you wish to apply for PR (Permanent Residency) to enjoy becoming a part of the country’s economy.
The real estate market in Latvia remains tremendously strong and it is still booming. Purchasing a Latvian property can be a very lucrative and affordable investment. There is a great demand for apartments as well as resorts in Riga, Jurmala, and Kaugri.
Business Capital Investment
The business capital investment option is appropriate for business individuals who wish to start or expand their businesses in Latvia. A minimum investment of €100,000 is required to get started with a new firm or invest in an existing business. In addition, you need to pay a fee of €10,000 – 20,000 to the state budget. Qualified business investors get permanent residency for five years along with family members.
You can make a bank deposit of €280,000 at a Latvian bank or credit institution to buy its bonds. Make sure you hold this investment for five years. Unlike with government bonds, you will receive any interest that might seem applicable. This could prove beneficial for you if you trust the Latvian financial institution and are looking for a set-it-and-forget-it investment. You will need to consider an extra government fee of €25,000 if you choose this route.
This has to be one of the safest investment options, which was introduced by the Latvia Government in 2015. A €250,000 deposit is made to the government securities account at the State Treasury. It is guaranteed by the Government of Latvia to be repaid to you without interest after five years.
You can purchase government bonds only after a residence permit has been granted, which is likely to take 2 months. The Residency Permit has a validity of five years. Also, you (as an investor) will need to pay a state fee of €38,000. This is after the permit has been issued.
Benefits of the Latvia Investment Immigration Program
Whether you have decided to opt for the Latvia Investment Immigration Program or you choose to remain on the fence, you can enjoy all the benefits offered by a permanent residency in Latvia.
Travel All Over the Schengen Area
Latvia, as a European Union Member State, permanent residency enables you to access the entire Schengen area without a visa. The Latvian passport allows you to travel visa-free to 184 nations. That way you can boost your freedom to travel.
You can get your permanent residence after 2-3 months of processing time.
An Inexpensive Residency Option
With investment routes starting at just €250,000, Latvia Golden Visa is one of the affordable ways to get permanent residency in an EU country.
Bring Your Family
An applicant’s family member can apply for the Latvia long-term residence permit with the applicant. According to immigration law, your family members include your spouse and children. Upon arrival at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia, you are required to visit the country to obtain a temporary residence permit card.
High Quality of Life
Latvia is a great European country that offers a high quality of life with safety and affordability.
Part of the Eurozone
The single currency zone proves beneficial for several various reasons. That is because it saves you time and money. You do not need to pay the fee for foreign exchange. You won’t even have to spend your time searching for the best exchange rates.
An Excellent Passport
If you opt for citizenship of Latvia in 10 years, you will be glad to know that your passport is better than that of Canada, Spain, and the UK. This signifies you will get visa-free access to 184 nations in the world, which includes the visa-waiver program to the U.S.
Dual Citizenship is Allowed
Latvia – a great European country – allows its citizens to have two (or more) passports. If you get citizenship in Latvia through naturalization, there is no need to give up your first passport.
Latvia is just 90 minutes away from Moscow by air, and with several flight connections to all the hubs in Europe.
A Favourable Tax Environment
Latvia has a minimum corporate tax rate of 15% and a 10.5% personal income tax rate.
Requirements for the Latvia Investment Immigration Program
To be eligible for Latvian permanent residency through investment, you (as the main applicant) should be 18 years or above. You and all your dependent family members can apply for Residence Permit, which is valid for five years with an annual renewal requirement.
You need to invest no less than €250,000 in one or two properties depending on the location. Kindly bear in mind that you are not allowed to purchase agricultural land, wood, or forests, nor can you pay in cash. The cadastral property value should be no less than €80,000. An extra 5% of the real estate purchase value is likely to be paid as government fees upon approval and 2% stamp duty for title registration.
Other than the requirements mentioned above, you ought to abide by and have the below-mentioned:
- Clean criminal record
- Sound health condition
- No real estate tax debts
- An ample amount of money to look after yourself and your family members
- Health insurance for 12 months after the permit is granted
Documents Required for the Latvia Investment Immigration Program
To obtain a residence permit by investment, you need to submit the documents mentioned below:
- A passport copy
- Make sure you submit a completed application form and a photo
- Documents to prove your legal income. For instance, an employment contract, securities, or an author’s contract.
- Payment documents that confirm the payment of state duties as well as fees.
- Health insurance policy
- Documents that confirm the fulfillment of the investment conditions, which are specified in the application.
- Certificates of no criminal record in each country of residence for the last 10 years (in those countries where the applicant has resided for over a year).
- Certificate of absence of tuberculosis
How You Can Obtain Latvian Permanent Residence by Investment
You can submit an application for permanent residence in Latvia after staying for five years in the country. You, as an investor, will need to adhere to the condition of constant residence in Latvia, which signifies you cannot be absent for over 6 consecutive months or for a total of over 12 months in the five years preceding the application.
To obtain Latvian permanent residence, you need to do the following:
- Submit an application to Latvia’s Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
- Confirm your income, which cannot be lower than the subsistence level.
- You ought to own or rent a property in Latvia.
- Pass an exam on knowledge of the Latvian language at a level, which is not lower than A2.
- You must pay the fee for the application evaluation
- Fulfill the conditions of the migration legislation on PR (permanent residence in Latvia).
The government takes a month to assess the application. The state fee to obtain permanent residence is €35. For an extra €90, the review can be completed in 10 days. For an additional €140, it can be completed in 5 days as well.
Latvian permanent residence can be canceled if you:
- Provide inaccurate data
- Were absent from the country for 12 months continuously for a year
- Committed serious crimes
- Submitted an application later than six months after the permanent residence card has expired
How to Apply for Citizenship in Latvia
To obtain a Latvian passport, you are required to reside in the country for 5 years as a residence permit holder and then another five years as a permanent resident. Citizenship applications can be submitted after 10 years of permanent residence in Latvia.
You need to do the below-mentioned to obtain citizenship in Latvia:
- Own or rent a property
- Have no previous guilty verdicts or serious offense convictions
- Pass the test on the Latvian language knowledge at least at the A2 level
- Pass the test on basic knowledge of Latvia’s history, culture, and constitution. Do learn the text of the national anthem.
- Abide by the conditions of the immigration law for PR
- Put your signature on the oath of allegiance to the Republic of Latvia
- Receive an income that is not less than the subsistence level for 12 months before the application was submitted and pay taxes in the country.
Bear in mind that second citizenship is not allowed in Latvia. Thus, those individuals who wish to obtain a Latvian passport need to submit a notice of repudiation of their previous citizenship. They must obtain permission to be expatriated from the nation of their previous citizenship.