We let you know the terms that need to be met in order to get a Latvian residence permit by investment. We explain how to get a Latvian passport if you want to live in the country.
How to obtain a Latvian residence permit by investment
The Latvian government offers several ways of getting a residence permit by investment: purchasing real estate, investing in a business, buying bonds or investing in the subordinated capital of credit institutions.
Investors over 18 years old with an official income and no criminal record are eligible to participate in the Latvian residence permit program. The investor’s spouse and minor children can also be included in the same residence permit application. Parents can also be included in the application, provided that they are disabled and need constant care.
Buy real estate in Latvia for €250,000. The property can be sold after 5 years and the original investment returned to the investor. This is the most popular residence permit by investment option.
The real estate can be bought from an individual or organization. In order to participate in the program, you can only buy property from those individuals who are EU citizens or Latvian residence permit holders. The program does not allow you to buy property from a Latvian citizen.
If the seller is a company, it must be registered in Latvia, in a country in the European Union, or a country in the European Economic Community or the Swiss Confederation. The company selling the property must be a taxpayer in Latvia.
According to the residence permit program, a property can only be paid for by bank transfer. After the government approves the investor’s residence permit application, the investor pays a state duty of 5% of the value of the property.
Which real estate can be bought in Latvia to get a residence permit by investment
|Region in Latvia||What can be bought||Cadastral value of one property|
|Cities: Riga and Jurmala|
Municipalities: Adazi, Babite, Baldone, Carnikava, Garkalne, Ikskile, Kekava, Marupe, Olaine, Ropazi, Salaspils, Saulkrasti or Stopin
|One property worth €250,000||€80,000|
|Other regions of Latvia||Two properties costing €250,000 in total||€40,000|
Business investment. The investor can invest money in a Latvian company: by increasing the authorized capital of an existing company or creating a new business. The money invested can be returned after five years.
The state duty for investing in a business is €10,000, payable after the government’s approval of the residence permit application.
Minimum investment in a business:
- €50,000, if the applicant invests in a company that employs up to 50 employees and its annual turnover does not exceed €10 million;
- €100,000, if the company has more than 50 employees and the annual turnover exceeds €10 million.
Financial investment in the subordinated capital of credit institutions: €280,000. The state duty for a financial investment is €25,000, which is paid after approval of the residence permit application by the government.
Non-interest bearing government bonds: €250,000. The state duty payable for issuing a residence permit for investing in bonds is €38,000, which is paid after the government approves the residence permit application.
Applicants for a residence permit by investment do not need to take an exam on their knowledge of the Latvian language or permanently live in the country. These conditions will need to be met if the investor wants to obtain permanent residence or Latvian citizenship.
A residence permit card in return for investment is issued for 5 years. It can then be extended or the holder can apply for permanent residence, and after another 5 years, they can apply for Latvian citizenship.
What documents are required
In order to obtain a residence permit by investment, the following documents need to be submitted:
- A completed application form with a photograph.
- A copy of your passport.
- Documents that prove your income is legal. For example, an employment contract, an author's contract, securities.
- Confirmation of funds for living at or above the subsistence level, which when buying real estate is €1,500 per month; and when taking the option of making a financial investment, buying bonds or investing in a business, it is €500 per month. For each adult family member included in the application, the main investor needs to confirm an income of €500 per month, and each minor family member, they need to confirm income of €150 per month.
- Payment documents confirming the payment of state duties and fees.
- Documents confirming the fulfillment of the investment conditions stipulated in the application.
- Health insurance policy.
- Certificates of no criminal record in each country of residence for the last 10 years (in countries where the applicant has lived for more than 12 months).
- Certificate of absence of tuberculosis.
If the investor includes family members in the application, their marriage certificate and birth certificate must also be attached.
When investing in real estate, the applicant additionally submits documents on the purchase of real estate, confirmation of payment for the property by bank transfer and a certificate of compliance of the market value of the real estate with the requirements of immigration legislation.
When investing in credit institutions, the investor must provide a certificate confirming that they have contributed €280,000 for a period of 5 years and the deposit has not been withdrawn.
The documents are translated into Latvian and notarized.
Validity period of documents
|Documents confirming the required financial income||3 months|
|Certificate of no criminal record||6 months|
|Certificate on absence of tuberculosis||1 year|
Where to submit a residence permit application and how long it takes for the government to make a decision
An application for a Latvian residence permit by investment can be submitted at the Embassy of Latvia in another country or at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia.
Documents can be submitted electronically online or sent by ordinary, non-registered mail, indicating the applicant’s e-mail address and phone number in the application.
The term for consideration of the application by the government is 30 days. The state duty for obtaining a residence permit depends on the place of application. The cost of processing documents in Latvia is €150. There is also an expedited review service: the term is reduced to 10 days for an additional €300; and it is reduced to just 5 days for an additional €450.
The cost of the service increases by €110 for residence permit applications submitted at a Latvian Embassy in another country. The state fee for reviewing the application in the standard 30-day term is €260; the fee for an expedited review in 10 days is €410 and €560 for an expedited review in 5 days.
An additional 10 days are required for the production of a residence permit certificate. Before obtaining a residence permit, family members over six years old must submit their biometric data.
Other reasons for obtaining a Latvian residence permit
A residence permit is required if you want to spend more than 90 days in a six-month period in Latvia. A Schengen visa is sufficient for stays of up to 90 days. A Latvian residence permit is obtained for a period of one to five years, after which it can be extended.
In addition to investments, the most common reasons for obtaining a Latvian residence permit are work, study, medical treatment or marriage.
Work. The residence permit is obtained for the duration of the employment contract, but not for more than five years. Before submitting the residence permit application, the employing company must certify their invitation letter at the territorial office of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
The applicant has to confirm a legal income of at least €1,143 per month, as well as an additional €500 per month for each adult family member and €150 per month for each minor included in the application.
Study at an accredited university or educational institution. The duration of the residence permit matches the length of the course of study. Before submitting the application for a residence permit, the educational institution must certify their invitation letter at the territorial office of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
The applicant must provide a tuition contract and confirm an income of at least the subsistence level of €500 per month. If their family members are included in the application, each adult family member must also have a confirmed income of €500 per month and each minor family member must have an income of €150 per month.
Treatment in a hospital or rehabilitation center. The residence permit is obtained for the duration of the agreed treatment period. Before submitting the application for a residence permit, the treatment center must certify their letter confirming that they will treat the applicant at the territorial office of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
The applicant must provide a treatment contract and confirm income at the subsistence level of €500 per month. If any family members are included in the application, each adult member must have a confirmed income of €500 per month and each minor member must have a confirmed income of €150 per month.
Marriage with a Latvian citizen or a foreigner with permanent residence in Latvia. The residence permit is initially issued for one year, and then it can be extended for four years. After five years of residence, the holder can apply for permanent residence in Latvia.
The applicant provides a marriage certificate and confirms an income of at least the subsistence level of €500 per month. Before submitting documents for a residence permit, the applicant's spouse must certify their invitation letter at the territorial office of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
How to obtain Latvian permanent residence by investment
An application for permanent residence can be submitted after five years of residence in Latvia. The investor will need to comply with the condition of continuous residence in the country: they cannot be absent for more than six consecutive months or for a total of more than 12 months in the five years preceding their application.
To obtain permanent residence, the applicant needs to do the following:
- Submit an application to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia.
- Confirm their income, which cannot be lower than the subsistence level.
- They must own or rent a property in Latvia.
- Pass an exam on knowledge of the Latvian language at a level not lower than A2.
- Pay the state fee for the examination of their application.
- Fulfill the conditions of the migration legislation on permanent residence in Latvia.
The government takes 30 days to review the application. The state fee for obtaining permanent residence is €35. For an additional €90 the review can be completed in 10 days, and for an additional €140, it can be completed in 5 days.
The permanent residence card is issued for five years. It must be renewed no later than six months after its completion. To do this, you need to pay the state fee and submit an application for registration at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia.
Permanent residence is canceled if the applicant provided inaccurate data, was absent from the country for 12 months continuously for a year, committed serious crimes or submitted an application later than six months after the expiration of the permanent residence card.
How to apply for citizenship
To obtain a Latvian passport, you must first live in the country for five years as a residence permit holder and then another five years as a permanent resident. Applications for citizenship can be submitted after ten years of permanent residence in the country.
Residence is considered permanent if the applicant was not absent from the country for more than six consecutive months and a total of more than 12 months in the previous five years. Absence is considered justified if the applicant was ill or was absent due to extraordinary circumstances.
To obtain Latvian citizenship you need to do the following:
- Have no previous convictions or serious offense convictions.
- Own or rent a property.
- Receive an income not lower than the subsistence level for the 12 months before the application was submitted and pay taxes in Latvia.
- Pass the test on knowledge of the Latvian language at least at the A2 level.
- Pass the test on basic knowledge of the history, culture and the constitution of Latvia. Learn the text of the national anthem.
- Comply with the conditions of the immigration law for permanent residence.
- Sign the oath of allegiance to the Republic of Latvia.
Second citizenship is not allowed in Latvia. Therefore, those wishing to obtain a Latvian passport need to submit a notice of renunciation of their previous citizenship and obtain permission to be expatriated from the country of their previous citizenship.
What is the difference between a Latvian residence permit by investment from Latvian citizenship
Although a Latvian residence permit by investment offers a number of benefits and opportunities to the holder and their family, it does not offer all the advantages available to Latvian citizens. Keep in mind that after 10 years of permanent residence in the country, permanent residence holders can apply for citizenship.
What do a Latvian residence permit by investment and Latvian citizenship offer
|Opportunities||Latvian residence permit||Latvian citizenship|
|Visa-free access to Schengen area||Yes||Yes|
|Option to live in the country||Yes||Yes|
|Access to health care and education at universities, schools and kindergartens||Yes||Yes|
|Registration of family||Yes||Yes|
|Accounts in European banks||Yes||Yes|
|Easier to get a visa to the USA, Canada, Japan, Britain and Australia||Yes||Yes|
|Social benefits for Europeans||No||Yes|
|Work in any EU country||No||Yes|
|Residence in any EU country||No||Yes|
How can an investor extend a residence permit in Latvia
If the investor does not plan to obtain permanent residence, they can renew their Latvian residence permit an unlimited number of times.
Holders can apply to extend a residence permit either during its validity period or within 90 days after the expiration of the validity period. However, the 90 days are actually 50 days, as they include 30 days for the verification of documents and 10 days for the production of a residence permit card.
If an application for extension is submitted later than “90” days after the expiration of the previous residence permit or the investment object has changed, the application for a residence permit will be considered in the same way as an initial residence permit application rather than as an extension of an existing one.
Conditions for extending the residence permit:
- The investment object has been maintained.
- There are no tax arrears.
- The state duty has been paid.
- Confirmed income for living not lower than the subsistence level.
- Medical insurance for the duration of the residence permit.
Property owners must additionally confirm that they have no real estate tax debts.
Contributors to the subordinated capital of credit institutions have to provide a certificate of investment of at least €280,000 for a period of at least five years.
Investors in the authorized capital of a company must confirm the payment of taxes of €40,000 per annum (€3,300 per month) if the company has no more than 50 employees and the annual turnover does not exceed €10 million. If the company has more than 50 employees and the annual turnover exceeds €10 million, they have to confirm payment of taxes of €100,000 per annum (€8,300 per month).
The applicant pays a state fee of €5,000 after the government approves the extension of their Latvian residence permit.
How the terms for obtaining a Latvian residence permit by investment can change
In October 2021, the Latvian Seima submitted amendments to the bill on immigration for consideration. They propose excluding the issuance of residence permits to investors for the purchase of real estate or government bonds, as well as for deposits in the capital of credit institutions. Investors will be able to obtain a residence permit in Latvia only for investing in business.
These changes will not affect existing holders of the residence permit by investment: they will be able to renew their permits, or apply for permanent residence or Latvian citizenship.
How to get a passport or a residence permit in other European countries
It is possible to get a European passport or a residence permit card by investment in a shorter period of time. In some EU countries, obtaining citizenship through naturalization can take just one year. Furthermore, in most cases, applicants do not need to give up their original citizenship.
A Swiss residence permit for financially independent persons is obtained without the right to work in the country. The investor enters into an agreement with the cantonal administration and pays a lump-sum tax of ₣450,000. It takes about six months to register as a resident.
A Greek residence permit can be issued in return for purchasing real estate or shares in local companies, or by making a deposit in a Greek bank. The minimum investment is €250,000. Registration as a resident takes about three months.
Malta offers investors two options: permanent citizenship in return for investment or for exceptional services by direct investment.
Maltese permanent residence is issued if the investor fulfills the following conditions:
- Buys or rents housing on the island.
- Pays the government fee and administration fee.
- Makes a charitable contribution to a Maltese non-governmental organization.
- Confirms ownership of assets of €500,000.
The minimum investment is €150,000. The time required to process the application is six months.
Maltese citizenship for exceptional services can only be obtained by naturalization by direct investment of at least €690,000. The investor first receives a residence permit, and after one to three years they can apply for citizenship.
Portuguese residence permit. Applicants can choose from eight options. The following popular options were launched in 2022:
- purchase real estate for restoration for €350,000;
- purchase any real estate for €500,000;
- invest €500,000 in funds;
- transfer capital of €1,500,000.
An application for a Portuguese passport can be submitted after five years as a resident. At the same time, the residence permit holder is not required to live in the country: it is sufficient for them to fulfill the requirements of the residence permit program and renew it on time. In order not to lose their residence permit, investors must spend just seven days a year in Portugal.
Answers to frequently asked questions
Investors can obtain a Latvian residence permit for five years. This “golden visa” can then be extended or the holder can apply for permanent residence. Investors over 18 years old with legal income and no criminal record can apply for a residence permit.
Investment options for a Latvian residence permit:
- €50,000 investment in the authorized capital of a company;
- €250,000 purchase of real estate;
- €250,000 purchase of bonds;
- €280,000 investment in the subordinated capital of credit institutions.
No, you cannot obtain citizenship by investment in Latvia. Wealthy people can get a golden visa, which is effectively a residence permit in return for investment for five years. This can then be extended or the holder can apply for permanent residence, and after another 5 years, the holder can apply for Latvian citizenship.
No. Dual or second citizenship is not allowed in Latvia. Therefore, those wishing to obtain a Latvian passport need to submit a notice of renunciation of their previous citizenship and obtain permission to be expatriated from the country of their previous citizenship.
The holder of a Latvian residence permit by investment has the following rights:
- visa-free access to the Schengen area;
- they can open an account in a European bank;
- they can choose to live in Latvia, although there is no obligation for them to live in the country;
- they can use the local medical services under a health insurance policy;
- they can reside in any EU country for up to 90 days;
- they can include their spouse and minor children in their residence permit application.
A Latvian residence permit by investment makes it easier to obtain a visa to the USA, Canada, Britain, Australia and Japan, as well as other countries.