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Sunday 18.03.2018 | Name days: Ilona, Adelīna

More and more immigrants want to settle in Latvia

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Immigration pressure grows in Europe; more and more people are trying to get to one of the world’s richest regions. Even Latvia, located on the Eastern border, feels the pressure of the growing number of foreigners coming to the country.

Most people who travel to Latvia use it as a transit hub to travel further to richer countries. Nonetheless, the number of immigrants that want to remain in Latvia also increases. Because of this reason, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the State Border Guard have signed a bilateral agreement regarding voluntary return of immigrants.

“IOM offers voluntary return services across all European countries, helping several thousands of immigrants return to their homes every year,” – said Bernd Hemingway, Manager of IOM’s European Regional Bureau during the signing of the agreement.

Many people who enter the country ask for asylum, but most of them have not reason to receive a refugee status, so they are denied the opportunity to reside in Latvia.

In this situation, IOM’s offered voluntary return aid is most helpful. In specific cases, reintegration aid is also offered (medical expenses, apartment rent for families with small children is paid for several months, paid education courses, help in job search and other helpful initiatives).

The IOM started offering voluntary return services in Latvia in 2009, introducing a project co-financed by the European Return Fund. Current practice shows that the number of foreigners who want to use voluntary return help keeps increasing. In the beginning of the project, the number of such people did not exceed 30 people per year. Last year, however, 73 individuals returned to their homelands. This year’s number of returnees will be larger than 80. Most foreigners return to Georgia, Lebanon, Armenia, Moldova and Russia.

“Latvia has a choice – either to keep these unlucky people in a refugee centre or Illegal immigrants centre and then deport them with force, which is expensive, or allow them to return home voluntarily, with the help of the European Return Fund,” – said IOM Latvia Manager Ilmars Mezs.

Latvia is the first of the three Baltic States to sign this agreement. However, the government of Lithuania is expressing interest in signing a similar agreement in the near future.


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  1. Aziz says:

    Wellcome to Latvia .Poor salaries and unexisting social protection guaranted.Come on everybody.

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  2. JPR says:

    Latvians, do not let ANY MUSLMES in your country!!

    Chase them away!

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  3. Charlie S says:

    Latvia for Latvians!

    No Africans or Moslems!

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  4. Aziz says:

    I agree .Latvian for Latvia and Russians .There are so many places to go much more attractive than this little heaven.

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  5. John Rivers says:

    Latvians, listen! DO NOT LET INFERIORS IN TO YOUR COUNTRY! As a European people you have to keep you country free and strong. Do not let inferiors in to corrupt and destroy!

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Olaf says:

    The problem is corruption come from inside by local politics.

    Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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