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Visa-free travels

Due to the amendments in the emigration law – procedure and possibility of obtaining a residence permit for European investors became much easier.

One of the benefits of opening a company in Latvia for investors from Eastern countries, is that they automatically received residence permit for the period from one to five years. Considering the fact that Latvia is a member of the Schengen area, a residence permit allows visa-free travels to most European countries, thus establishing new business contacts.

At the moment, the Schengen area consists of 26 countries (including well-known tax jurisdictions such as Malta) with 4 more countries awaiting entry (including Cyprus) and almost all of them are members of the European Union. It could be concluded that the possibility of visa-free travel within the Schengen area countries provides additional benefits for business, especially for a foreign company owners.

Considering the fact that Latvia is a member of the Schengen area, a residence permit allows visa-free travels to most European countries, thus establishing new business contacts.

Unlike many other countries in the Schengen area, Latvia does not require for a persons to permanently live in Latvia that has received a residence permit. However, if the person obtained such permit, person can stay in Latvia until the expiration of permit.

The law provides standard options for obtaining a residence permit: family reunion (for example, if husband or wife moved to permanent residence in Latvia), work or business in Latvia (employment contract with the company, membership in a management board, a representative of a foreign company, etc.), studies in Latvia (study at an accredited educational institution, educational practice, internship, etc.) and other. Such residence permits usually have time limit from 1 to 5 years. However it is possible to obtain a new temporary residence permit upon expiration or to obtain a permanent residence permit if certain conditions are met.

As of January 1, 2014 Latvian law provides the following grounds for a temporary residence permit for foreign investors:

  • If a foreigner has invested in the company’s share capital not less than 150,000 EUR, provided that the company has at least 50 employees and turnover is at least 10,000,000 annually.
  • If a foreigner has invested in the company’s share capital not less than 35,000 EUR, provided that the company has at least 50 employees, turnover does not exceed 10,000,000 EUR and company pays taxes in the amount of not less than 40,000 EUR per year.
  • If the person has any kind of subordinated liabilities with the bank, including securities, etc with the term at least 5 years and amount of at least 280,000 EUR.
  • A foreigner purchased immovable property in Latvia for a sum not less than 250,000 EUR. Real estate cadastral value as of the purchase date should be at least 80,000 EUR.

Our company would be glad to assist in preparing the necessary documents to obtain a residence permit, as well as provide the necessary assistance and consultation regarding a company establishment in Latvia.