Latvia –The Baltic Paradise
Formerly a part of the mighty Soviet Union, Latvia is one of the three Baltic states. Situated on the eastern shore of the Baltic Sea, it is a country of pristine beauty and wonderful landscapes.
Latvia became a member of the European Union in May 2004 and joined the euro zone in 2014. It is a member of the Schengen countries and also a member of NATO.
Since its independence from the Soviet Union Latvia continues to revamp its economy for eventual integration into various Western European political and economic institutions.
Due to its geographical location, transit services are highly-developed in Latvia.Though traditionally an agricultural country, industries such as timber and wood-processing, manufacturing of food products, and manufacturing of machinery and electronics have also flourished in recent years.
Temporary Latvian residence permitwith investment in real-estate program:
On 1stJuly 2010, the amendments to the Immigration Law of the Republic of Latvia came into force expanding the possibilities to obtain a residence permit in Latvia for foreign nationals who want to stay and move freely within the Schengen area.
The uniqueness of these amendments lies in the fact that a new method for obtaining a residence permit was introduced – investing in real estate. It has attracted a large number of investors, as a foreigner investing in real estate has the possibility to move freely within the Schengen area. Citizens of the Russian Federation are especially interested in using this possibility, as Latvia is located in its vicinity and is a popular tourism destination due to its unique cultural monuments, well-known resorts and international festivals.
A residence permit is a document that gives a foreign citizen the right to temporarily (a temporary residence permit) or permanently (a permanent residence permit) stay in the Republic of Latvia.
The Latvian Residency by Investment Program is a two-step process that begins with a Temporary Residence Permit that can eventually be converted to a Permanent Residence Permit provided the applicant fulfills the required conditions.
Temporary residence permitby Investment:
Non-EU nationals can opt for temporary residence permit of Lativa by making the following types of investments:
- Purchase of real estate purchase of at least €250,000.
- Investment in subordinated capital (debt or adventures) or a 5-year term deposit at an annual interest rate of 4.5% for about €285,000.
- Minimum investment in equity of about €150,000 without additional conditions, or a minimum of about €35,000 and the capital company employs no more than 50 employees, has an annual turnover of balance lower than €10 million and pays at least €40,000 in taxes each year to the national and local governments.
Features of the temporary residence permit:
- Issued for up to 5 years and can be extended thereafter
- Must be re-registered every year
- Does not oblige the investor to reside in Latvia permanently
- Investor has the right to work in Latvia
A temporary residence permit gives a foreign national the right:
1) To stay in the Republic of Latvia for a period of time not exceeding five years
2) To freely cross borders between EU Member States and non-EU countries
3) To move and stay up to 90 days within a 6 month period to other EU countries except for the United Kingdom, Ireland, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Romania
4) To obtain a Latvian or EU permanent residence permit after five years
5) To obtain temporary residence permits for the spouse and children
Conditions on investing in real estate:
- Minimum transaction value of real estate located anywhere in Latvia must be €250,000
- The total cadastral value of the property at the time of acquisition should be at least €80,000
- Only bank transfer may be used for purchasing a real estate
- The foreign investor does not have and has never had any real estate tax debts in Latvia
- The transaction is concluded after 1st September, 2014
- Real estate acquired from a legal person registered in the Republic of Latvia or a natural person who is a Latvian citizen, Latvian non-citizen, citizen of the European Union
- A residence permit is issued after registering the ownership in the Land Register.
Additionally expected expenses related with buying the real estate:
- State fee for registration the new owner in the Land Register
- Stamp duties, notary fees & other
Residence permit for the family
Along with the main investor, his/her family members can apply for a temporary residence permit.Qualified family members are the spouse and children under18 years of age.
The investor is also required to show proof of possession of sufficient financial means to support the living expenses for himself and his dependents.
A foreign investor has to visit Latvia to obtain a residence permit no later than three months after being granted the permit.
Upon approval, the investor and his/her family members qualify for a 5 year residence permit issued by Latvia which can be extended thereafter. Permanent residency is possible after a 5 year uninterrupted stay in Latvia, which then leads to Latvian citizenship after another 5 years, speaking the Latvian language and fully integrating into the Latvian culture.
Benefits of the program:
- Cheapest way to get residence permit in Europe
- Latvia is a EU Schengen member country so the temporary resident permit allows visa free travel to Schengen and other EU countries including Switzerland
- Low cost of living
- Cheapest golden visa in Europe
- Temporary residency for spouse and children
- No requirement to live in Latvia (visit once a year)
- Ease of doing business in Europe