A perfect blend of Eastern European charm, innovation and progress and an affordable lifestyle that isn’t rushed like many Western European countries. Latvia is developing rapidly and becoming a place where many expats find a new life and opportunities. 

Latvia has made an impressive recovery from the financial crisis; unemployment numbers have dropped dramatically and the average Latvian salary has doubled since the country joined the EU in 2013. Agriculture, forestry, chemicals and logistics are the four main industries in Latvia and Latvian high-tech innovations are appreciated all over the world. 

More than a third of the country is covered with forests and although forestry is an important part of the Latvian economy, 20% of the country is protected. Latvia is also home to many rivers, lakes and beaches and with so many beautiful natural escapes around there are also plenty of ways to enjoy your surroundings in your spare time. 

A third of the 2 million Latvians live in the capital city Riga, where renting an apartment near work is still possible and the public transport is well organised. It is one of the most promising cities in the Baltic region and a great choice for immigrants to start a new, comfortable life. 

Latvian companies may hire a non-EU national if they cannot find a local suitable for a position. Immigrants from the EU do not need a work permit to work in Latvia. 

Third-country nationals need to apply for a work permit and a residence permit, supported by the future employer. Part of the work permit application process is having an invitation letter from the company. This letter, together with a number of other documents, must be submitted to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs who reviews the application within two working days. 

Here are some of the ways you can live in Latvia:

 Through investment:

  • If you invest more than €50,000 in a small company of less than 50 employees with a company turnover of less than  €10 million. , you can apply for a residency permit.
  • If you invest more than €100,000 in a company or purchase equity in a company that is registered in the Republic of Latvia and that hires at least 50 employees., you can apply for a residency permit in Latvia.
  • If you invest more than €250,000 in property in specific regions and cities in Latvia, you can apply for a Latvian residency permit.  There is also a government fee of €25,000.
  • If you invest more than €250,000 in interest-free government bonds you can apply for a Latvian residency permit.  There is also a government fee of €25,000. 
  • If you take out a 5 year fixed deposit with a credit institution in the Republic of Latvia €280,000, you can apply for a Latvian residency permit.

Startup Visa:

Technically this is a subcategory of the residency permit and requires the following:

  • A free-form written description of the product you intend to develop in Latvia
  • A statement from your bank showing you have at least EUR 4560 worth of funds in your bank account to get you through the first twelve months, potentially without income
    • The sum of EUR 4560 is made up of 12 months of the minimal living wage, 380 euro per month. The immigration agency wants to be assured that you will have enough funds to support yourself, in case the startup is not profitable immediately.
  • A written statement that after you receive the residence permit and as soon as you become the chairman of your startup (or an employee), you will have a monthly salary of at least EUR 859 per month
  • A document stating where you plan to live while in Latvia for at least the first 6 months - this can be a rental agreement or a letter from the host of the accommodation. (this can be changed afterwards)

Through your Family:

  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Latvia, you are probably eligible for residency.  If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after 10 years of marriage and 5 years of residency in Latvia.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.
  • If your child is a citizen or permanent resident of this country, you may apply for a parent residency visa.

Here are some ways you can get citizenship in Latvia:

  • If one or both of your parents were citizens when you were born, you are probably also a citizen.
  • If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident of Latvia, you are probably eligible for residency.  If your spouse is a citizen, you can apply for citizenship after 10 years of marriage and 5 years of residency in Latvia.  Please note that your status of spouse needs to be legally recognised in this country.

The passport for Latvia allows you to travel to 149 countries without a visa.

Its global rank is 31.

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