Acquisition of the citizenship of Latvia through naturalization
|There is information at the disposal of the Office of Citizenship and
Migration Affairs that commercial firms in the Internet offer foreign
citizens to process documents for Latvian citizenship demanding payment
for the service. It should be taken into account that the Office of
Citizenship and Migration Affairs is the sole institution authorized to
solve the issues related to naturalization or loss of citizenship. Any promises by private firms to process documents for Latvian citizenship for payment are to be considered fraudulent.
Naturalization applications are accepted and reviewed in any regional branch of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs
The citizenship of Latvia through naturalization can be granted to persons who have been registered in the Population register and:
- who have reached the age of 15;
- whose place of permanent residence, on the submission date of their application for naturalization, has been in Latvia for no less than five years counting from May 4, 1990 (for persons who entered Latvia after July 1, 1992, the five-year term shall be counted from the date of the issuance of their permanent residence permit);
- who know the Latvian language and the history of Latvia, the basic principles of the Republic of Latvia Satversme (the Constitution) and the text of the national anthem;
- who have a legal source of income;
- who have submitted a statement of renunciation of their former citizenship and have received an expatriation permit from the country of their former citizenship, if such a permit is provided for by the laws of that country, or have received a document certifying the loss of citizenship.
Children permanently residing in Latvia and up to the age of 15 can naturalize together with their parents.
The citizenship of Latvia through naturalization cannot be granted to persons who:
- through the use of anti-constitutional methods have turned against independence of the Republic of Latvia, its democratic parliamentary state system or the existing state power in Latvia, if such has been established by a court decree;
- after May 4, 1990, have propagated fascist, chauvinist, national-socialist, communist or other totalitarian ideas or have stirred up ethnic or racial hatred or discord, if such has been established by a court decree;
- are officials of foreign state power, foreign state administrative or foreign state law enforcement institutions;
- serve in the armed forces, internal forces, security service or the police (militia) of a foreign country;
- after June 17, 1940, have chosen the Republic of Latvia as their place of residence directly after demobilisation from the USSR (Russian) Armed Forces or the USSR (Russian) Interior Armed Forces and who, on the day of their conscription or enlistment, were not permanently residing in Latvia except the cases when they have been citizens of Lithuania or Estonia on June 17, 1940 or they are in wedlock with a citizen of Latvia at least 10 years;
- have been employees, informers, agents or have been in charge of a secret abode of the former USSR (Latvian SSR) State Security Service (KGB) or other foreign security service, intelligence service or other special service, if such a fact has been established in accordance with the procedures as prescribed by the law;
- have criminal records in Latvia or in another country for a crime which is considered to be a crime in Latvia as well at the moment the Law on Citizenship comes into force;
- after January 13, 1991, have acted against the Republic of Latvia through participation in the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (Communist Party of Latvia), the Working Peoples' International Front of the Latvian SSR, the United Council of Labour Collectives, the Organization of War and Labour Veterans, or the All-Latvia Salvation Committee and its regional committees or in the Union of Communists of Latvia.
In order to acquire the citizenship of Latvia through naturalization a person must
- submit the following documents:
- a naturalization application,
- a document on a legal source of income of the person or his/her supporter,
- a receipt about the state duty having been paid (if a person is not exempt from paying the state duty).
- submit one photo (3 x 4 cm) and produce his/her identity card (a passport).
- pass examinations in the proficiency of the Latvian language and the knowledge of the basic principles of the Satversme (the Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia, the text of the national anthem and the history of Latvia;
- submit a statement of renunciation of their former citizenship and have received an expatriation permit from the country of their former citizenship, if such a permit is provided for by the laws of that country, or have received a document certifying the loss of citizenship;
- sign the oath of allegiance to the Republic of Latvia.
After the citizenship of Latvia has been granted a person must receive the extract of the decree of the Cabinet of Ministers. It is a document attesting that the citizenship of Latvia has been granted and producing this document a person can receive a passport of a citizen of the Republic of Latvia.
The State Duty for Naturalization
The state duty for submission of a naturalization application is 20 Ls.
The politically repressed persons, disabled persons having category I; orphans, children who are not under their parents' charge and persons sheltered by social care institutions of the state or self-governments are exempt from paying the state duty.
The rate of the state duty shall be 3 Ls for the following persons:
- members of poor families or poor persons living separately;
- the unemployed persons registered in the State Employment Service;
- members of those families in which there are three or more under age children;
- persons receiving old-age and long service pensions;
- disabled persons having category II and III;
- pupils of the general education establishments and students of the professional education establishments certified by the state;
- full-time students of the tertiary education establishments certified by the state.
Examinations as prescribed by the Law on Citizenship
The examination of the language proficiency consists of two parts:
- a written part - an applicant executes a test to check his/her comprehension of the text listened to, executes a test to check his/her comprehension of the texts having been read, fills in a form, writes a letter on a topic of everyday life (the time provided is 90 minutes);
- an oral one - the examination commission interviews an applicant on topics of everyday life (the time provided is 15 minutes).
Those applicants, who have reached the age of 65, takes only the oral part of the examination of the proficiency of the Latvian language.
The examination of the knowledge takes place orally and in written:
- orally - an applicant answers one question on the basic principles of the Satversme (the Constitution) of the Republic of Latvia and the other one on the history of Latvia.
- in written - an applicant executes a test consisting of 18 questions.
In both forms of this examination an applicant has to write or to recite the text of the national anthem.
A special procedure for taking examinations has been prescribed for those applicants, who are disabled persons.
You can acquaint yourselves with examination questions and materials in publications.