On Thursday, 9 June, Latvia’s Saeima performed a second review of amendments to the Immigration Law in relation to the parliament’s previously approved regulation regarding the payment of EUR 5,000 to the state budget when requesting residence permits a second time.
On 21 April, the Saeima adopted changes to the Immigration Law in the final reading. Among other things, amendments included the application of a EUR 5,000 fee to the state budget in cases when foreigners request residence permits in exchange for real estate purchases, investments into capital companies, bank capital and state bonds. President Raimonds Vejonis, however, decided to send amendments back to the Saeima for a repeated review.
On Thursday, deputies decided that foreigners would not have to pay a fee of EUR 5,000 to the state budget when requesting restoration of residence permits the first time.
Foreigners requesting restoration of residence permits a second time will not be applied with additional conditions in relation to the payment of EUR 5,000 to the state budget, deputies decided.
Amendments also state that issue of residence permits to third country residents can be halted in relation to the total number of them in Latvia and their possible influence on the country’s national security or economic development. Changes will also be added to conditions under which residence permits are issued to foreign investors that finance capital companies or buy real estate.
New rules state that the issue of residence permits to citizens of third countries will be allowed to be halted for no longer than a period of five years.
Amendments will also add conditions for the issue of residence permits for periods of up to five years to foreigners who invest money into Latvian companies. Minimal investment amount in Latvian companies has been increased (from EUR 35,000 to EUR 50,000). In addition, companies are to have no fewer than 50 employees and annual revenue no higher than EUR 10 million. Such companies are to pay no less than EUR 3,300 in taxes to state and municipal budgets annually.
From now on, residence permits in exchange for investments in a single company will be issued to no more than ten foreigners. In addition to investments into a Latvian company, those foreigners will have to pay EUR 10,000 each to the state budget. The required investment amount for capital companies has been reduced from EUR 150,000 to EUR 100,000. The company needs to have no fewer than 50 employees. Rules state that residence permits will remain in force as long as the company that received investments pays no less than EUR 100,000 in taxes. In addition, monthly tax payments should not be below EUR 8,300 for the first annual account period.
In relation to procurement of real estate properties, Saeima deputies decided to support the proposal that provides for permission to request residence permits for a period that does not exceed five years in exchange for purchase of functional real estate property in Riga, Jurmala, Adazi, Babite, Baldone, Carnikava, Garkalne, Ikskile, Kekava, Marupe, Olaine, Ropazi, Salaspils, Saulkrasti or Stopini worth at least EUR 250,000.
Amendments will come into force on 1 July.