On Tuesday, 28 September, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the submission to the Saeima of the draft law “Immigration Law”.

The draft law “Immigration Law” has been elaborated in order to establish a balanced system of entry and residence of foreigners that is in line with the interests of the Republic of Latvia.

The draft law merges the currently valid Immigration Law and the “Law on the Status of a Long-term Resident of the European Union in the Republic of Latvia”, as well as excludes the provisions relating to the entry and residence of citizens of the European Union Member States, the European Economic Area countries and the Swiss Confederation and their family members in the Republic of Latvia, by including these provisions in a separate draft law.

Several changes are introduced in the framework of the Immigration Law, e.g. the draft law is supplemented with an accelerated deadline for applying for a long-term visa.

In the area of residence permits, a number of significant differences from the current legislation are envisaged. For example, only one type of permanent residence permit will be issued, granting the status of a permanent resident of the European Union in accordance with the Council Directive.

In addition to the rights currently laid down in the Immigration Law, the processing of data is to be carried out in a manner consistent with the purpose of the Law in order to ensure the protection of national interests, public order, health and national economic interests.

Another important novelty in relation to temporary residence permits is the waiver of registration of temporary residence permits, thus avoiding ambiguous interpretation of legal norms in cases when a foreigner is granted the right to stay in the Republic of Latvia, for example, for two years, but has not registered a temporary residence permit.

Also, the norms that provided for granting temporary residence permits to foreigners who invested in the Latvian economy by purchasing real estate or non-interest-bearing state securities or by investing in the subordinated liabilities of a credit institution will be eliminated.

The draft law still needs to be approved by the Saeima to enter into force.


Communication Department of the Ministry of the Interior