RIGA - Since the amendments to the Immigration Law adopted by the Saeima at the end of last year, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) has adopted 112 decisions on refusing to grant permanent EU resident status to Russian citizens, LETA was informed.
In more than 80 cases, the State Security Service (VDD) has informed the PMLP about risks, which led to the decision to refuse to issue permanent residence permits.
The remaining Russian citizens withdrew their applications for EU permanent resident status in order to apply for temporary residence permits. Such permits are granted for one year.
There are also persons who decided to withdraw their application for a permanent residence permit and leave Latvia.
Persons who have a negative decision from the VDD or did not apply for a temporary residence permit are obliged to leave the country voluntarily within 90 days. At the same time, the law provides that persons also have the right to appeal these decisions.
As reported, Saeima on Thursday forwarded to committees the Interior Ministry's amendments to the Immigration Law, which stipulate extending state language tests for Russian citizens in Latvia by two years so they could obtain a permanent residence permit in Latvia, provided that they have taken the initiative to take the test.
81 Saeima members voted in favor of forwarding the amendments to committees, 13 National Alliance MPs voted against, one Saeima member from the United List abstained, and three did not vote.
The extension will also apply to Russian citizens who have failed the state language test for justified reasons.
For the above two groups of Russian citizens in Latvia, the deadline to take the state language tests required to obtain a permanent residence permit will be extended by two years.
Saeima is expected to adopted the amendments in the final reading on September 14. The date of the vote may change depending on when Saeima votes on confirming the new government.
The current version of the Immigration Law provides that permanent residence permits issued to Russian citizens will expire on September 1, 2023. To live in Latvia, they must apply for European Union permanent resident status, but to obtain it they must submit proof of A2 level of the national language and financial resources to the Office for Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
LETA also reported, the Latvian government in August instructed the Interior Ministry to prepare amendments to the Immigration Law, which provide for Russian citizens living in Latvia to pass a Latvian language test within two years at latest in order to be legally allowed to continue residing in Latvia.