Press information
Uzturēšanās atļauja PMLP

On 2 May, the Cabinet of Ministers decided to forward to the Saeima amendments to the Repatriation Law and the Immigration Law prepared by the Ministry of the Interior, which provide for granting a temporary residence permit for five years to beneficiaries of the repatriate status and their family members, with a permanent residence permit to be granted if the person has resided continuously in the Republic of Latvia and has mastered the State language at least at A2 level during these five years.

The draft laws also provide for a transitional period after which the granting of material benefits to repatriates is suspended, as well as a transitional period after which the Repatriation Law is suspended.

The aim of the draft laws is to reduce the threat to Latvia’s internal security by restricting the flow of persons to the Republic of Latvia whose entry does not comply with the basic idea of the Preamble to the Repatriation Law - to facilitate the return to their ethnic homeland of compatriots who have left Latvia because of genocide, war or the threat of assimilation. 

Both before and especially after the armed conflict in Ukraine caused by the Russian Federation, the responsible institutions noted an increase in the interest of citizens of the Russian Federation in emigrating from Russia in order to settle permanently in Latvia.

Although various mechanisms have been introduced to temporarily prevent Russian citizens from entering and staying in Latvia, the number of applications for residence permits accepted by Latvian diplomatic and consular missions abroad and forwarded to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) is increasing, especially from Russian citizens - repatriates, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Currently, a repatriate is granted a permanent residence permit on the basis of a first application, enabling them to reside permanently in Latvia, travel freely within the Schengen area, receive healthcare services and other social guarantees without having to prove that they are actually living in Latvia or that they know the State language.

The draft provides that, starting from 1 July 2023, in case of a favourable decision, repatriates will be granted a temporary residence permit or a registration certificate for five years.

The provisions of the Repatriation Law on material and social assistance to repatriates will also be repealed as of 1 July 2023.

It is also foreseen that the provisions of the Repatriation Law on the granting of the status of a repatriate and his or her family member will expire on 1 January 2024. In future, third-country nationals of Latvian or Liv origin and their family members will have the right to apply for a temporary residence permit for five years in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Immigration Law. The Immigration Law does not allow for as broad a list of family member categories as the Repatriation Law.

The need for such a provision is due to the fact that documents are being submitted in which nationality entries and legalization stamps have been falsified. Moreover, the possibilities of detecting these forgeries are rather limited.  In recent years, 217 checks have been carried out on suspicion that a document is forged, at least 80 criminal proceedings have been initiated and at least 200 residence permits have been cancelled or refused.

At the same time, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a draft law to be forwarded to the Saeima, which would invalidate the Repatriation Law as of 1 July 2028, although the provisions under which persons can apply for repatriate status are to be excluded as of 1 January 2024.

Given that in some cases there are still pending legal proceedings related to the revocation of repatriate status, and that situations may arise in the next five years where the repatriate has to repay the material assistance granted, it is appropriate to postpone the repeal of the Repatriation Law to allow the legal proceedings to be completed and the repayment of the funds to be ensured. 


Prepared by:
Ministry of the Interior
Communication Department