On May 22, President of Latvia proclaimed amendments to the Immigration Law of Latvia, thus giving support to the changed requirements for obtaining a temporary residence permit, which will become effective from September 1, 2014.
Up to September 1, 2014, i.e., before the entry into force of the new amendments to the Immigration Law, foreign nationals can purchase property on the same conditions. To obtain a residence permit, an investor has to purchase and register with the Land Register before August 31, 2014 real estate in Jurmala, Riga or Riga region worth over EUR 143,000 or real estate in the regions of Latvia worth over EUR 72,000.
The new amendments of the Law, after they enter into force, provide for the minimum threshold value of EUR 250,000 for real estate (one functionally bounded with buildings) purchased by a foreign citizen in any region of Latvia to obtain a temporary residence permit. The minimum cadastral value of purchased real estate should be EUR 80,000. If the cadastral value of real estate is less than the above mentioned amount, a certified appraiser’s evaluation will be required, stating that the market value of the real estate is not less than EUR 250,000. Besides, according to the new amendments, 5 % of the value of real estate will have to be paid into the state budget by foreign citizens to obtain Latvia's residence permit.
If a foreigner applies for a temporary residence permit by placing subordinated deposit in a bank in Latvia, the timing and amount from September 1, 2014 will remain unchanged. It means that for obtaining a residence permit, an investor has to place a subordinated deposit in the amount no less than EUR 280,000 for a minimal period of 5 years. Besides, the new amendments suggest that investors, from September 1, will have to make contribution of EUR 25,000 to the state budget.
Amendments to the Immigration Law, effective from September 1, 2014, will not apply to the conditions for obtaining a residence permit in exchange for investment into a business. Foreign citizens will have the right to apply for a temporary residence permit by investing in business from EUR 35,000 to EUR 150,000, depending on the company's annual turnover and number of employees.
Public Relations Specialist