Citizenship

NATURALIZATION

The right of being naturalized and obtaining citizenship of Latvia is available for each person, who:

  • Is at least 15 years of age,
  • Has permanently resided in Latvia for at least 5 years with a permanent residence permit, counting from the day when the residence permit was obtained.
  • Has passed naturalization tests on the knowledge of language, constitution, history and anthem,
  • Is able to certify own or his or her providers legal sources of income,
  • Is ready to renounce citizenship of own country.   

Citizenship of Latvia is not granted to persons who:

  • are officials of state power, administration or law enforcement institutions of any foreign country,
  • have turned against the independence of Latvia, expressed ideas of totalitarianism or encouraged race-hatred and other serious offences, established by a court judgement,
  • serve in armed forces, internal military forces, security service or police of any foreign country,
  • have been employees, informants or agents of USSR State Security Committee or security service, intelligence or other special services of any other foreign country,
  • have criminal record in Latvia or any other country for committing such an offence, which is considered as an offence also in Latvia.

A detailed list of reasons for rejection to grant citizenship of Latvia is available on the homepage of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

In order to become a naturalized citizen, you will have:

  • to submit a naturalization application in any territorial division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, and a document that certifies your or your providers legal sources of income. The sample of naturalization application is available here (WORD document “Naturalization Application Form”).
  • to pay a state fee in the amount of 28.46 EUR, which can be paid in any credit institution or with a bank card on site in any division of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
  • to pass naturalization exams. Listening, reading and writing skills are examined in the language exam. Examination of constitution, history and anthem knowledge is implemented both in writing and orally. An applicant can take each examination 3 times (taking repeatedly only the part of exam that was not passed in the previous time), then a new application shall be submitted. Latvian language proficiency exam can be taken repeatedly not earlier than after 3 months, whereas the exam on knowledge about the Constitution, national anthem lyrics and history of Latvia – not earlier than after 1 month.
  • to sign the loyalty oath to Latvia.
  • to submit a declaration on renunciation of the previous citizenship, or a document certifying losing of citizenship, because double citizenship is not allowed in Latvia. The conditions of this paragraph shall be fulfilled, when a person has officially received a confirmation, that there are no other obstacles for acquiring citizenship of Latvia. According to the amendments to the Citizenship Law, adopted in May 2013, double citizenship will be allowed for citizens of countries of the European Union, NATO and European Free Trade Association, for citizens of New Zealand, Brazil and Australia, and citizens of the countries with which Latvia has concluded bilateral agreements on admission of double citizenship. 

Also children (also adopted and natural children) up to 15 years of age and permanently residing in Latvia, are allowed to become naturalized citizens together with their parents. In order for children to also obtain citizenship pursuant to this procedure, their parents shall submit the childs birth certificate and photo, if the child has reached 14 years of age.
 
The Citizenship Law stipulates, that citizenship of Latvia can be obtained within one year through the naturalization process. After issuance of citizenship of Latvia, the previous passport becomes invalid and it cannot be used for crossing the border of Latvia.
 
You can become acquainted with samples of naturalization exams on information days, organized by the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, which are announced on the homepage and in branches of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.
 
State institutions and non-governmental organizations occasionally organize free courses for acquiring Latvian language, history and constitution, in order to help applicants to prepare for naturalization exams. To obtain information about these opportunities, we recommend to visit homepages of the responsible institutions and non-governmental institutions on regular basis. 
 
Information on the procedures of naturalization, payment of state fee and other issues related to naturalization is available on the homepage of OCMA.

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