In just over 4 years since the temporary residence issue program’s launch real estate investments have reached 1,010 MEUR (831m EUR through real estate).

From 1 July 2010 to 1 July 2014 12,893 temporary residence applications were submitted to Citizenship and Migration Board by the foreign investors (including through purchase of real estate –10,147).

The vast majority of real estate appealing to foreigners (up to 80%) is located in Riga and Jurmala. A little more than 15% – not farther than 50 km away from Riga. Purchases in other regions are rare in comparison.

The residence permit of the Republic of Latvia automatically guarantees free movement of persons within the Schengen area, currently consisting of 25 European countries. Temporary residence permit will be available both for investors and their family members – spouses, underage children and persons that are under the surveillance/official care of such investors. Upon expiry of the term of residence permit investors and their family members are eligible to apply for the renewal.

According to amendments to the Immigration Act, which came into force on September 1, 2014, foreigners who bought real estate or placed a subordinated deposit with the Latvian Bank or invested in the fixed capital of an legal entity – resident of Latvia – can qualify for the Residence Permit (RP) in Latvia. In all three cases, the foreigner may obtain the RP for 5 years, which can be renewed annually and gives the right to move freely within the Schengen zone. The RP is also issued to all investor’s family members – his/her spouse, children (including those under guardianship) and persons under care. Furthermore, the investor and his/her spouse receive a permission to work in Latvia.

Fulfilment of one of the following criteria gives the right to apply for a 5-year residence permit in Latvia:

 1. Placement of term deposit (12% of issued RP’s)*

 2. Investment in real estate (83% of issued RP’s)*  3. Business establishment (5% of issued RP’s)*
 Subordinated term deposit  ≥ 200 000 LVL or equivalent in EUR, USD at the current rate of the Bank of Latvia (~ 280 000 EUR, ~ 400 000 USD) Term ≥ 5 years  Cost ≥ 250 000 EUR in Riga, in big cities of Latvia and regions.

 Invest in Latvian enterprise ≥ 35 000 EUR. Taxes per year ≥ 40 000 EUR.
There are no requirements on taxes if you invest EUR 150 000 into large companies.

 Pros:

+ Fast registration
+ Small but relatively stable income
Cons:
-Exposure to the risk of the credit institution where deposit placed
– Freezing of assets for at least 5 years
– The most expensive way to get the RP
– One-time RP request fee in the amount of 25 000 EUR
 Pros:

+ Fast registration
+ Elite property for work and relaxation in the EU
+ High-quality assets with versatile income possibilities
Cons:
– Requires a certain participation of the investor when choosing real estate
 Pros:

+ The least expensive way to get the RP
Cons:
– The most prolonged procedure for obtaining the RP (up to 1 year)
– Such company needs to be managed and monitored
– Restricting criteria during the registration/purchase of the company
WHAT CAN THE RESIDENCE PERMIT GIVE YOU?
The owner of the RP in Latvia has the right:
– to stay on the territory of Latvia for unlimited number of days in a year.
– to travel freely within the Schengen zone.
– to stay on the territory of other Schengen states, as well as in Switzerland, Norway and Iceland for a period of 90 days during each half-year period.
– to acquire vehicles registered in Latvia and use them on the territories of other countries without paying customs duties.
– to receive a driver’s license valid in all EU countries without any restrictions.
– to work in Latvia. This right does not apply to other Schengen countries.
– to receive (after 5 years) a Permanent Residence Permit in Latvia granting a status of the permanent resident of the European Union.
In addition, the Schengen RP facilitates the acquisition of visa for countries such as United States, United Kingdom, Australia and Canada.
BUYING PROPERTY FOR THE RP ACQUISITION
The cost of real estate in Riga and the rest of the territory of the Republic of Latvia must be at least EUR 250 000 and cadastral value at the time of purchase must be not less than EUR 80 000.
To obtain the RP, the investor may invest in only one real estate item and pay the state duty of 5% of the item’s value upon initial request for the RP. In addition, you can purchase a property for the Residence Permit by obtaining a mortgage loan from a Latvian Bank.
You can buy real estate from a legal entity registered in Latvia, Latvian or another EU country citizen, permanent alien resident of Latvia or a foreigner who resides in Latvia under a valid Residence Permit.
Buying real estate is the most popular method of obtaining the Residence Permit in Latvia. Investor can use purchased real estate in a variety of ways: as a quality asset with versatile possibilities of income generation; as private apartments for doing business and leisure in the EU and in order to freely travel to Europe with his/her family at any time.
THE PROCEDURE OF RESIDENCE PERMIT REGISTRATION IN LATVIA
The procedure for obtaining the RP is as follows:
1. You must have a reason for the RP acquisition (purchased real estate, assets invested in the share capital of the Latvian company or a deposit with a Latvian bank for 5 years).
2. The following necessary papers must be gathered:
a. Criminal Record for the country of residence;
b. A document certifying a place of residence in Latvia;
c. A document certifying the availability of funds for living expenses in Latvia (bank statement).
3. The standard application form with a photo must be filled in.
4. A state duty for the review of documents must be paid.
5. All necessary documents are submitted to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Latvia.
6. When receiving the Residence Permit, you must have a health insurance policy and a medical certificate stating that you have no tuberculosis in active phase.
Requirements may vary slightly depending on the citizenship of the investor and the grounds for the Residence Permit issuance.
TIME PERIOD NECESSARY FOR THE REGISTRATION AND ISSUANCE OF THE RESIDENCE PERMIT IN LATVIA
The document review procedure takes 7 to 30 days starting from their submission up to the decision taking (this time may vary depending on the size of the state duty paid for review of applicant documents). If there are no inaccuracies/errors during the submission of information on the investor side, the Schengen Property will meet target date (Latvian state may refuse to issue the RP if the investor provides false data).

Please contact us to find out more and to arrange temporary residence in Latvia!