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Latvia Golden Visa

Latvia Golden Visa is an excellent solution for investors who are planning to move to Europe.

Latvia is a small hospitable country in Northern Europe with a moderate seaside climate, picturesque nature, cosy towns and well-developed infrastructure. If you visit Riga, it will not go unnoticed that in some aspects this charming place is as good as the leading Western European capitals. The historic quarter of the Latvian capital is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Strolling through the ancient streets of Riga and along the embankment of the River Daugava, you may have thoughts of moving to Latvia.

In 2010, the Republic of Latvia launched its own version of the Golden Visa programme, under which foreign investors can obtain a residence permit for 5 years. While the Baltics have not become a popular destination for economic immigration to the EU, you have the opportunity to apply for the card for relatively little money. In terms of the number of opportunities provided to the investor, the Latvian investment programme is in no way inferior to its counterparts in other European jurisdictions.

In this Latvia Golden Visa guide we will take a detailed look at the Latvian programme of obtaining a residence permit for investment, including the different investment options, the intricacies of the application process, as well as all the pros and cons of this visa.

9 advantages of the Latvian Golden Visa programme

  1. Free movement within the territory of the Schengen states. Holders of the Latvian Golden Visa can travel freely to any of the 29 European countries that have signed the Schengen agreements.
  2. Affordability. Latvia offers one of the most inexpensive investment immigration programmes in Europe. As a rule, a residence permit in other European Union jurisdictions is much more expensive for a foreign investor.
  3. A wide variety of ways to obtain a European Resident Card for investment.
  4. Residence permit for the whole family. The main applicant can also apply for a Latvian residence card for his/her immediate family members: husband or wife, as well as for children under 18 years of age.
  5. Minimum requirements for an investor. To participate in the programme, you do not need to learn the language, nor do you need to pass a test on your knowledge of Latvian history and cultural peculiarities.
  6. Speed and straightforwardness of the procedure. With the help of our specialists the process of obtaining Latvia Golden Visa will take no more than 90 days, of which only 1 day will require your direct participation.
  7. The programme does not set a mandatory period of stay in the country. After obtaining the residence status, the investor is free to stay in Latvia or go home. To keep the residence permit, it is enough to visit this jurisdiction once a year. There are no other restrictions in this regard, unless you plan to obtain a permanent residence permit in the future.
  8. Full freedom of action. Investment residence permit holders can do anything on Latvian soil: run a business, get a job or study.
  9. Investors who have chosen this country for residence can apply for permanent residence after 5 years. The next 5 years of permanent residence in Latvia in the status of permanent resident will allow the programme participant to apply for the status of EU citizen.

Disadvantages of Latvia Golden Visa programme

There are no perfect economic immigration programmes in the world. Every independent jurisdiction that grants residence permits to foreign investors in exchange for investments in the economy has some disadvantages. Latvia has very few such disadvantages:

  • In 3 of the 4 possible immigration routes for investors, you will need to visit Latvia every year to renew your immigration status;
  • In order to apply for a permanent residence card after 5 years, you need to spend almost all your time in Latvia;
  • You must pay your taxes diligently. If you owe more than €150, you risk losing your Latvian residence permit;
  • The path to Latvian citizenship will take a long 10 years. During this period you must have a valid residence permit — 5 years in the honourable investor status and another 5 years in the permanent resident status. There are also certain requirements that must be met. You need to know the text of the national anthem, demonstrate good knowledge of the Latvian language, etc.

List of requirements of Latvian immigration authorities to the investor candidature

Citizens of Switzerland and EU and EEA countries do not participate in the Latvia Golden Visa programme.

The main applicant for an investment residence permit must be over 18 years of age.

The applicant must have sufficient funds at his/her disposal to make all necessary investments, pay the related state fees, and support himself/herself and his/her family members during his/her stay in Latvia.

The investor and his/her dependents must be in good health and have one year’s (minimum) health insurance.

Impeccable personal and business reputation of the main applicant is one of the key conditions! The Latvian immigration authorities will refuse the application if the applicant has:

  • Criminal record;
  • Involvement in the activities and/or financing of terrorist organisations;
  • Indebtedness to the state for fines and taxes;
  • Large outstanding debts and bad credit history;
  • Recorded violations of the immigration laws of other European countries.

For the first trip to Latvia, the future resident and his/her family must apply for a Schengen visa of category D.

How to get a “Golden Visa” to Latvia?

As it has already been stressed, one of the key advantages of the Latvian investment programme is the possibility to choose the most suitable way of investment from 4 options.

Option 1: Residence permit in Latvia through the purchase of property

The most popular option for obtaining Latvia Golden Visa is investing in local property. To obtain a resident card, you will need to spend at least €250,000 on the purchase of Latvian real estate, and the cadastral value of the purchased object must be at least €80,000. If it is lower, you will need the services of a certified valuer to document that the market value of the flat or house you are interested in is more than €250,000.

The purchase is made before your application is submitted. An additional 5% of the purchase price, plus a further 2% of the purchase price is payable as stamp duty for the registration of ownership.

Calculation of the minimum amount required to buy a property in order to obtain a Latvian residence permit

ExpensesAmount in €
Acquisition of a flat250 000
State duty 5%12 500
Stamp duty 2%5 000
Bottom line:267 500

Latvian authorities have imposed additional restrictions on those programme participants who obtain a resident card through the purchase of real estate:

  • Investment properties are purchased exclusively by cashless transfer;
  • 5 years is the minimum period of ownership of real estate purchased for the purpose of obtaining the Latvian Golden Visa;
  • Investment is made in only one property, if it is located in Jurmala, Riga and the suburbs of the capital;
  • If the property is purchased in other regions of Latvia, there may be more properties, but each individually cannot have a cadastral value of less than €40,000, and the total market value of your acquisitions must exceed €250,000;
  • Ownership of agricultural land or a part of the forest fund of the Republic does not lead to obtaining a temporary residence permit.

The advantage of this residence permit investment option is also the quality of housing offered on the Latvian property market. For €250,000 you will buy more than 100 square metres of high-class living space in the very centre of the capital. You will be within walking distance to cafes, shops, schools, clinics, in short, everything you need for a fulfilling life. It is also important that for the minimum allowable amount you will buy not bare concrete walls, but a ready-made flat with designer finishing with quality materials, in which you will only have to move in.

If you have a larger sum at your disposal, you can consider a two-storey apartment in a prestigious neighbourhood of the Latvian capital or even a separate cottage on the Baltic Sea coast as an investment. The activity of foreign investors in Latvia has led to a steady rise in property prices, so you will not only preserve your capital, but also earn money if you think of selling your house or flat.

The investment residence permit obtained for the purchase of Latvian property is valid for 5 years. However, the Golden Visa itself will need to be confirmed, first one year after obtaining it, and then 2 more times every 2 years. When the residence permit expires, the investor can either extend his/her immigration status in Latvia for the same period of time (in this case a fee of €5,000 is payable to the state) or apply for a permanent resident card.

Option 2. Residence permit in Latvia for business investments

A more affordable option for obtaining a Latvian Golden Visa is to purchase a share in the authorised capital of a commercial organisation operating in Latvia. The minimum investment in this case will be €50,000. The term of the investment is 5 years.

If you invest your money in a Latvian business, you will need to spend another €10,000 on state fees to obtain a Golden Visa. The firm in which the programme participant invests his/her money must pay at least €40,000 in taxes in each financial year.

The minimum permissible investment amount is €50,000. It is only suitable for buying a share in the share capital of relatively small companies with an annual turnover of less than €10 million and no more than 50 employees. If you plan to invest in a larger company, you must double your investment to €100,000.

A Latvian residence permit obtained for investments in a local company is valid for 5 years. The “Golden Visa” obtained in this way must be confirmed every year. Latvian immigration authorities must make sure that you have not withdrawn your money from the company, and the company itself has paid enough taxes in the past financial year. It should be reminded that a small company with an investment of €50,000 must pay at least €40,000 in taxes to the state in each reporting period.

You can find out more about this investment route by reading other publications on our website and by contacting Imperial & Legal’s advisers.

Option 3. Residence permit in Latvia for the purchase of state debt instruments

You can also obtain a Latvia Golden Visa if you purchase €250,000 worth of government bonds. These securities do not accrue interest, which means that at the end of the mandatory five-year holding period, you will only get back the amount you invested.

By choosing this route to obtain a Latvian Golden Visa, the investor pays an additional state fee of €38,000.

The advantage of investing in government securities is that in this case the Latvian Golden Visa does not require annual confirmation and is valid for all 5 years while you own the bonds.

Option 4. Residence permit in Latvia for opening a deposit account in a bank

The last option of obtaining a Latvian resident card for investments implies opening a bank deposit. You will need to open an account in a Latvian bank and deposit from 280,000 euros or purchase bonds of a Latvian financial institution for the same amount. A foreign investor interested in obtaining a residence permit may not withdraw funds from the deposit or sell his bonds for 5 years.

The difference between this option and the option of investing in government bonds is that you will be able to receive interest from a bank deposit in Latvia, while you will not be able to receive interest from government bonds. Another difference is that the visa obtained in this way will have to be confirmed every year.

An applicant for a Latvian Golden Visa who chooses a bank deposit as an investment must pay €25,000 as a state fee.

How long is the Latvian Resident Card valid?

A residence permit in Latvia is issued to an investor for 5 years. As already emphasised, in 3 out of 4 investment routes you will need to confirm your Golden Visa after some time.

Method of investmentLatvia Golden Visa confirmation timeframe
Buying a property1 year after receipt, then every 2 years thereafter
Investments in the authorised capital of a Latvian companyEvery year.
Purchase of government bondsThe resident card is issued immediately for 5 years
Deposit in a Latvian bankEvery year.

This procedure was introduced to enable the authorities to check whether the conditions for granting a residence permit to an investor are met. For example, those who have bought a house or flat in Latvia must prove during the annual inspection that they have no property tax debts and have valid health insurance.

It is better to submit the documents in advance, 1-3 months before the expiry date of the previous residence permit registration. In case of any difficulties at this stage, you can always ask for help from our specialists.

Next steps for the investor

After 5 years, a bona fide investor has the right to extend his/her temporary resident status. Those participants of the investment programme who, having obtained a residence permit, have moved to Latvia, apply for a permanent resident card upon expiry of the Golden Visa.

Every day our specialists successfully solve tasks related to obtaining a visa, opening a company, moving to another country. In our practice, we strictly adhere to an individual approach, which is why our solutions fully meet the needs of our clients.

Our staff will help you find the perfect flat and apply for a residence permit.

The process of obtaining a residence permit for investment in Latvia can be divided into several steps.

Step 1

At this stage, you contact our specialist, receive a preliminary consultation and sign a contract. With the help of our consultant, you will be able to choose the most suitable investment option for you.

Step 2

Dedicated to the preparation and collection of supporting documents, which are sent together with the application to the Latvian consulate. Our consultants will take care of the main part of this work, including the competent filling in of the application form.

Step 3

The applicant for a Latvian Golden Visa makes the investment in a pre-selected way. Our specialists take care of all the nuances, pay the associated state fees and send the application for a residence permit together with all the necessary documents.

The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs will review your documents and application.

Step 4

You and your relatives receive a temporary visa of category D to travel to Latvia. Upon arrival, you will need to undergo biometric registration and receive a resident card.

Step 5

Renewal of residence permit. There is no minimum period of residence in Latvia required to maintain a residence permit, but foreign investors in Latvian resident status are required to periodically visit the country to re-register. To extend the residence permit after five years, individuals must demonstrate that their investments have been maintained.

In addition to immigration support, Imperial & Legal specialists can advise you on starting a business, opening an account with European financial institutions, tax optimisation and other issues that arise for those who have decided to settle in Europe permanently.



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8 advantages of Latvia Golden Visa for investors

  1. The holders of the Golden Visa get the opportunity to live in a country with modern medical care, affordable and high-quality education. It is noteworthy that in quiet, cosy Latvia, European prosperity and economic stability are combined with a relatively low-price level.

  2. Due to its proximity to the sea and temperate continental climate, Latvia is among the recognised medical resorts in Europe. It is not too cold in winter and not too hot in summer. The air in the country is clean because more than 50% of its territory is covered with dense forests.

  3. Access to quality medical care and European education. Minor children of new residents of Latvia can count on free medical care. Holders of Latvian residence permits are admitted to local universities on absolutely the same conditions as native residents.

  4. The vast majority of young Latvians are fluent in English. In order to attract additional customers, many Latvian companies and institutions duplicate their information in several languages for international communication.

  5. The holder of a Latvian resident card may cross the borders of 29 Schengen countries without a visa and stay in the territory of these jurisdictions without registration for at least 90 days in any period of 180 days.

  6. Immigration possibilities of Latvian residence permit are not limited only to continental Europe, as in your new status it will be much easier for you to apply for a visa to enter the UK, Canada and the USA.

  7. With a Latvian residence permit in your pocket it is much easier to conclude service agreements with reliable European banks, as well as to buy and register cars, aeroplanes and yachts.

  8. Investors with Latvian residence permit can later become full-fledged citizens of the European Union. 5 years of permanent residence in the country, together with a high level of adaptation to the local society, which is expressed in the knowledge of Latvian language and cultural peculiarities of your second homeland, allow you to apply for permanent residence. The next 5 years of residence in Latvia after the permanent residence status is granted will be the basis for obtaining a European passport.

Permanent residence permit and Latvian citizenship

If you have spent at least 4 years in hospitable Latvia, your level of Latvian language skills allows you to pass the state exam, you know Latvian history and even learnt the anthem of this wonderful country, you will be able to become a permanent resident in Europe.

Latvia’s permanent residence permit almost equates immigrants with native residents in terms of rights and freedoms, but citizens have more opportunities, as the Latvian passport is also a passport of the European Union.

What requirements must an applicant for Latvian citizenship fulfil?

You must have lived in the country for more than 10 years, of which at least 5 years must be in the status of permanent resident. During all this time you must not be absent from Latvia for more than 6 consecutive months, and the total time spent abroad must not exceed 12 months in every 5 years. Additional proof of your continuous presence in Latvia is a permanent residence address and permanent employment in Latvia.

The future citizen must have an impeccable reputation. Criminal convictions and outstanding debts to the tax service and other state authorities are inadmissible.

The applicant must have a good knowledge of the Latvian language, the basic principles of the Constitution, remember the national anthem, and have at least a basic understanding of the country’s history and culture.

Unfortunately, Latvia does not recognise multiple citizenship, so you will have to give up your first passport to become a citizen of this country.

If you are interested in EU citizenship, Imperial & Legal can help you obtain a Golden Visa to Latvia, organise a family relocation to obtain permanent residency status and then obtain a Latvian passport.

Frequently asked questions on the topic of investment residence permit in Latvia

Who can an investor include in his/her application for a Latvian residence permit?

The primary applicant is entitled to include in the application:

  • Legal spouse;
  • Minor children under the age of 18.

In some cases, the investor is allowed to issue resident cards for parents if they are totally dependent on the applicant.

Important clarification: in Latvia, the investor’s children lose the right to obtain a temporary residence permit on the basis of the Golden Visa of one of their parents once they reach the age of majority. To avoid problems in the future, please contact Imperial & Legal to resolve this complicated issue.

Is it possible to rent out a flat acquired as an investment in Latvia?

If you do not consider this country as a place of permanent residence and you need a Latvian residence permit for travelling around Europe, you can rent out the purchased accommodation. The current Latvian laws do not stipulate any restrictions in this regard.

What to do if the cadastral value of properties bought in remote areas in Latvia is less than €40,000?

You will need an independent appraisal of the market value of your properties by a certified professional. If the total market value of all the properties you are interested in is at least €250,000, the purchase will be considered a residence permit investment.

How much does it cost to extend a Latvian residence permit?

If you have not withdrawn your investments from the Latvian economy, as soon as your first residence permit is about to expire, you will have the opportunity to extend your immigration status for another 5 years. You can do this in advance and also when the first Golden Visa is no longer valid (within 90 days).

The state charges a fee of €149.29 for its services. The accelerated procedure will cost more. Since 2017, for the extension of the residence permit in Latvia, the main applicant must pay an additional €5,000 as a state fee. At the investor’s request, this amount can be spread over the years, where you first pay €1,000 and then another €1,000 each year during the annual visa confirmation.

What other ways of obtaining a residence permit are available in Latvia?

Apart from the investment residence permit, there are at least 8 other legal grounds for obtaining a long-term visa to Latvia: from exotic repatriation to employment. The most common among them are:

  • Family reunification. When you have close relatives in Latvia in the status of citizen or permanent resident;
  • Work. You will first need to obtain a work permit in Latvia;
  • Business. For those who start their own firm and are active in the country;
  • Completion of secondary, vocational or higher education.

Looking for residence by Investment specialists?

Details about Latvia Golden Visa — an affordable solution for those investors who are planning to move to Europe or simply to travel freely in Schengen countries.