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European residence is easy with Latvia Golden Visa

PUBLISHED: 20 December 2019
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Citizenship guide
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Most EU countries are characterised by a stable economy, high living standards, independent courts and transparent legal system. That is why they attract so many wealthy and entrepreneurial people from all over the world.

Which country to choose?

It is well known that residence in Europe, first of all, means convenience – you can live in the chosen country and travel in Europe visa-free. But the question is, how to choose a country that would suit your purpose and secure your future without a huge investment on your part?

Many people are dreaming about relocating to the Western Europe thinking that they would be better off in a high-income country. However, the other side of the coin of economic prosperity would be high property prices, high living costs and stricter requirements for migrants.

Latvia residence as a key to Europe

If you do not have enough money or do not want to spend a lot, but you care about comfort and safety, the Republic of Latvia is worth considering. There is a special program operating in the country to attract foreign investments – Latvia Golden Visa. By purchasing a property for at least €250,000 you can get this Golden Visa that would allow you to stay in the country for 5 years. Besides, it gives you a free access and right to travel across Europe. You can also apply for a Latvia residence permit for your family.

There are minimum requirements for applicants. Immigration authorities just need to make sure you have no issues with the law, not hiding from creditors, are healthy and have sufficient funds to support yourself and your family. As an investor you don’t need to go to interviews, learn Latvian, and you will not have to stay in the country all the time.

Buying real estate in Latvia

It is absolutely essential to talk about real estate market in Latvia. To start with, a house or a flat is a profitable investment because property prices are gradually climbing up each year.

Furthermore, €250,000 is a lot of money, but it will not buy you a big flat somewhere in Germany or Belgium, with designer interiors and in a popular area of the capital city. However, it is still possible in Latvia though they are slowly catching up.

Moreover, cost of living in Latvia will be a pleasant surprise to you and another reason to choose it. On top of that, think about beautiful nature, mild climate, proximity to the sea, and a tranquil, laid-back rhythm of life.

Permanent residence in Europe: benefits

A long-term visa is still a visa and gives you right to reside in a country only temporarily. Besides, you could be limited in terms of what you can do in the country and where you can work.

However, once you become permanently resident, you automatically get more freedom. With a permanent residence status, you can stay in the country of residence indefinitely and travel visa-free to any European country and do whatever you want.

You can start your business, get any job, study in a university or do nothing. In essence, you will have the same rights and freedoms as the locals with one exception; you won’t be able to vote.

Do I need to live in Europe to get permanent residence?

Yes, you must. If you wish to get permanent residence in a European country, you must meet certain criteria. And one of the key requirements is a continuous (4-5 years) residence in that country. Other important criteria:

  • Knowledge of a local language;
  • Integration in the society: acceptance and knowledge of a local culture, customs and traditions and history of the country.

You must prove this by taking special tests.

Latvia permanent residence and Latvia passport

If you have lived in the country for 4 years out of 5, while the Latvia Golden Visa is valid, you can apply for permanent residence. You must pass a Latvian language test and prove your knowledge of the local culture and history. Apart from that, be ready to learn the national anthem.

At least 5 years after becoming Latvia permanent resident you can apply for Latvian citizenship. If you pass all the tests and comply with all legal requirements, you will get a European passport and with it the right to live anywhere in Europe and travel visa-free to more countries.

However, if you do not plan to become an EU citizen and are happy with your temporary residence in Latvia, you can extend your Golden visa every time the previous one expires.

You must be able to guess how much time it will take you to find and buy a property in Latvia, to prepare all the documents and applications for a Latvia residence permit and solve many other issues. Therefore, it is better sometimes to contact a legal company for help and advice because they have years of experience of dealing with these matters. Our experts have been successfully helping clients relocate to Europe and we would be happy to assist you with your relocation.

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