Latvian immigration has resulted in hundreds of thousands of people with Latvian ancestry living outside Latvia. Large waves of Latvians migration occurred during the 19th and 20th century. Communities in the United States, Australia and Canada make up the largest part of this diaspora.
People of Latvian descent who have never been citizens of Latvia may be entitled to acquire Latvian dual citizenship under a simplified procedure, regardless of their current permanent residence. You can prove Latvian descent by submitting documents that establish that one of your parents or grandparents is/was a Latvian.
How do I know if I qualify?
Many people whose parents, grandparents or great-grandparents were born in Latvia qualify for Latvian dual citizenship through descent or exile category.
Since October 1, 2013 it is possible to have a double citizenship, if certain conditions are met:
Double citizenship is possible for persons who have acquired citizenship of other state, that is part of European Union, European Free Trade Association, NATO or Australia, the Brazil Federative Republic or New Zealand or have received permission from Cabinet of Ministers to maintain citizenship of Latvia.
Latvian of Liv, whose predecessors in 1881 or later have lived in territory of Latvia, or exiles have the right to retain dual citizenship with any country.
Person who have become citizenship by process of naturalization cannot be double citizenship, exception is previously mentioned countries.
The cases when dual citizenship is allowed in Latvia include:
1. Exiles (those who were forced to leave Latvia between June 17, 1940 and May 4, 1990 due to foreign occupation) and their descendants who were born by October 1, 2014
2. Your ancestor was a Latvian citizen between 1918 and 1940;
3. A child acquires dual citizenship at birth;
4. Child-adoption cases;
5. Acquisition of citizenship of Latvian in exceptional cases or by a person having a status of a refugee.
The process of claiming Latvian dual citizenship (Latvian exiles and their descendants)
Claiming a Latvian dual citizenship isn’t easy. Like any citizenship by descent program.
Before applying for the Latvian citizenship by descent or through exile category, it is recommended to pay close attention to the documents, which are going to be submitted to substantiate the application. It is very common that archive documents regarding the ancestor of an applicant contain contradictory information. The procedures for obtaining Latvian dual citizenship can be complex and there are many details that often get overlooked. One of the most common failures is not having the right documents from the beginning. This can be a costly and time-consuming mistake to fix. In fact, if you don’t have the right documents, your application will be denied. For instance, one of the most common situations is when the birth year indicated on the birth certificate does not correspond with the year on some other archive documentation. This will definitely cause some difficulties for the applicant and starting a court case may be required to overcome the issue.
The process of preparation of the documents for dual citizenship in case of reinstatement of citizenship of Latvia shall be started from collection of the required documents and search for the lacking ones. Such a search is often carried out at archives of Latvia. The search for documents at Latvian archives may continue for from 20 to 40 workdays. After collection of the required documents, they shall be certified according to the procedure provided in laws and their translation shall be carried out, if the language of the documents is other than Latvian. Documents issued in foreign states shall be certified by Apostille or legalized, unless otherwise is provided by international treaties of Latvian or legal norms of the European Union.
The principal documents to be submitted for a reinstatement of Latvian dual citizenship:
1. The application completed in Latvian;
2. The passport;
3. The confirmation statement (For exiles and Latvian descendants)
3. The documents certifying that the person was a citizen of Latvia prior to 17 June 1940 or is a descendant of a person who was a citizen of Latvia prior to 17 June 1940;
4. The evidences of the circumstances proving the person to be eligible for dual citizenship;
5. The documents certifying the family connections (the exile's passport or birth certificate);
6. A document evidencing the change of name or surname where such personal data have been changed.
What are the Benefits?
There are huge benefits to having Latvian dual citizenship and a Latvian passport, especially if you are a non-EU citizen. And those benefits aren’t just for you – they extend to your entire family. You can pass Latvian/EU Citizenship to your children, grandchildren and beyond. Think about it: You will receive all the benefits of a EU citizen. Free university for your kids in Europe. The right to work, study, retire, reside in any EU country for as long as you want, without any restrictions. Affordable health care. And much more. Here are some of our favorite benefits: Since Latvia is a part of the European Union, all Latvian citizens are automatically European Union (EU) citizens. This means that after you confirm your Latvian citizenship, you will receive all the benefits and rights of an EU citizen. By obtaining your Latvian Citizenship by descent you can live, work, travel, study, buy property and operate businesses in any of the 28 EU countries with no restrictions. After you obtain your Latvian dual citizenship and Latvian passport, eligibility is then passed onto all your children and their descendants!
How can Baltic Migration help me?
We offer a free and confidential eligibility assessment. If you are eligible, we can provide you with a no-obligation quote. Should you decide to proceed with us, we 'provide you with linguistic, administrative and legal support and navigate through regulations on your behalf.
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