Around 1,000 Russian citizens should leave Latvia due to non-compliance with Immigration Law

  • 2024-01-16
  • LETA/TBT Staff

RIGA - The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) has currently identified 985 Russian citizens who should leave Latvia due to non-compliance with the Immigration Law, PMLP chief Maira Roze said in an interview with the Latvian public television (LTV) today.

In early January, the PMLP announced that 1,167 Russian citizens who had failed to comply with the requirements of amendments to the Immigration Law and had failed to submit documents to apply for a residence permit to live in the country were at risk of expulsion from Latvia. Roze said that repeated letters had been sent to 985 people.

These persons have now been given two weeks to respond to these repeated letters. As noted by LTV, no deportation decision has yet been executed.

According to Roze, there are several scenarios for further action - the recipients of the letters can still apply for residence permits in Latvia, they can inform that they need time to leave, or they can announce that they have already left the country.

If the PMLP receives no response to the letters, the State Border Guard will be sent to check whether the person has actually left Latvia. After sending the latest letters, the PMLP has already noticed that in some cases people have reacted immediately and applied for a residence permit, while others have informed that they are about to leave or have already left the country.

Another group of Russian citizens who will be subject to checks by the PMLP are those who once took a language test but did not pass it. They have the possibility to repeat the language test within two years, but until then they have to apply for a temporary residence permit for two years. However, out of around 5,000 such persons, some 2,500 have taken no further action and have not submitted any documents, so they are in fact not complying with the law and would have to leave the country. The PMLP will remind these Russian citizens of their obligations under the law and give them until April 1 to submit the necessary documents.

Roze noted that of the approximately 25,000 Russian citizens who were subject to the specific requirements of the Immigration Law, around 86 percent have submitted documents for new residence permits.

Under the Immigration Law, permanent residence permits issued to Russian citizens expired in September 2023. In order to live in Latvia, they had to apply for the status of a permanent resident of the European Union, but to obtain it they had to submit to the PMLP a certificate of a minimum level of knowledge of the national language and the availability of financial resources.