If you have Latvian ancestry, it might be possible for you to obtain Latvian dual citizenship and passport. Besides connecting to one’s heritage, Latvian passport holders can also benefit in multiple practical ways from their new citizenship.
Why Should I Get a Latvian Dual Passport?
For sure, having a Latvian passport allows you to live in Latvia, but most people do not know that apart from this, one can also get the following benefits:
Possibility to live and work in Europe without need for residence and work permits,
Right to own property anywhere in the EU,
Visa-free travel to over 150 countries,
Ease of opening a business and bank accounts in the EU,
Possibility to study in the EU for free or for highly reduced rates,
Right to pass on Latvian citizenship to children, grand-children and so on.
To understand better the process of applying for Latvian dual citizenship, we broke it down into separate steps for you:
Before you apply for Latvian citizenship by descent, you have to satisfy the eligibility criteria set by the Citizenship Law of Latvia. In simple terms you should meet the following criteria:
One of your ancestors was a Latvian citizen before 1940,
They fled or were exiled from Latvia during the 1940-1990 period.
In short, if you have at least one Latvian ancestor that was Latvian citizen before WW2 and fled Latvia during or after the WW2, you might be able to restore your dual Latvian citizenship and get Latvian passport.
The Citizenship Law of Latvia sounds deceptively simple, but the actual application process is also regulated by rules of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs and precedent forming decisions of the courts. So in order to accurately assess the chances of getting the citizenship, it is always better to get an opinion of a lawyer specialized in this area of law.
Finding documents that prove Latvian citizenship of your ancestor
The next step of the citizenship restoration process is finding documents that prove Latvian citizenship of your ancestor. The best document for proof of citizenship is Latvian passport, however, many other documents might be used for the purpose, such as land ownership documents, certain documents about studies, military service documents, etc. One has to keep in mind that not all documents issued in Latvia or abroad would be considered to be a proof of Latvian citizenship, therefore you have to know what to look for.
Collecting additional documents and preparing the applications
After proof of Latvian citizenship of your ancestor is found you can proceed to the next step of the application process; collecting other supporting documents and preparing the application itself.
The following documents are some of the documents that you might need to acquire:
Your birth certificate,
Your and your parents’ marriage certificate if surnames were changed,
Immigration and naturalization documents,
Copy of your current passport.
You will also have to fill out the application forms and, possibly, additional explanation documents to speed up the application process. You will also need to certify all the documents, by a notary public and/or apostille.
The exact package of documents needed and how they have to be certified differs depending on the specific situation of the applicant, the country, and types of the documents. Devil is in the detail and any error will significantly delay the processing time of the application.
Translation and submitting
After all the documents are collected and certified, they have to be translated to Latvian and submitted for the application processing to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
The application processing time at the moment takes about 4-6 months (from the moment the application is submitted to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs). After the decision to grant Latvian citizenship is made, the applicant can get Latvian passport in the closest Latvian embassy or consulate. The day you will get Latvian passport might change your and your children’s life since you will be not only Latvian but also an EU citizen, with many more opportunities because of that.
We at De Civitate offer Latvian dual citizenship assistance to people with Latvian ancestry. Our clients do not have to be in Latvia during the application process. We will handle the application process until Latvian passport is granted to you and will help with the document search, translation, application submission, and making follow-ups with the Latvian authorities until citizenship is granted.