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how to get Latvian citizenship

Can you get Latvian citizenship by descent?

October 21, 2022

Latvia amended the law, according to which people can get dual Latvian Citizenship. This went into effect on October 1, 2013.

Suppose you are interested in acquiring Latvian citizenship. In that case, you should know that obtaining a Latvian passport is possible if one of your direct ancestors (parents, grandparents, great grandparents and even great, great grandparents) lived in Latvia from 1918 to 1940 and left the country during the occupation (June 14, 1940-May 4, 1990).

All people who are interested in obtaining Latvian dual citizenship can do it in case of birth in this country, naturalization, and following the laws regarding the acquiring of citizenship of the Republic of Latvia.

Eligibility Criteria for getting Latvian citizenship

These are the general rules by which you can obtain Latvian citizenship. But there are also other important points to keep in mind. Here are some of them:

  • If you or your ancestors lived in the territory of Latvia but left the country before 1918, you are not entitled to Latvian citizenship. Why? This is because Latvia declared its independence on November 18, 1918, and up to that time, it had not yet achieved sovereignty.
  • Today, children born after 2014 can be eligible for Latvian citizenship. Previously, people who would like to restore or receive Latvian citizenship had to be born before 2014. But due to legislation changes, children born after 2014 are now qualified to apply for Latvian citizenship. They can apply if their parents or relatives lived in Latvia and had Latvian citizenship in 1940. This is due to the principle of continuity which provides that children have the same right to citizenship as their parents. Children under the age of majority can only apply with their parents.
  • Are you a citizen of the Russian Federation and want to obtain Latvian citizenship? You must prove that your ancestors who lived in Latvia left this country due to the USSR occupation regime. Moreover, if your relatives arrived in Russia, because of the German occupation, you can also be eligible for Latvian citizenship.

You should pay attention to the next point. Getting citizenship will be difficult if your ancestors lived in the territory of Latvia but left before 1940. If they left Latvia before 1940, you may still try and apply for citizenship, but the chances of success may be slim. Finding the necessary documents before 1940 and information about the departure from acquiring citizenship will be an extremely challenging process in this case. But should documents showing you are eligible for Latvian citizenship are found, then according to the law you can apply for citizenship.

The process of obtaining a second Latvian passport

How long does the process take? The whole process lasts from 6 to 9 months. It consists of several stages:

  • The first stage is the preparation of the application. The preparation depends on the needed documents.
  • The second stage is the processing of the application by the Office of Citizenship and Migration. This stage can take up to 6 months.

The largest wave of emigration was in the 20th century in Latvia. About 120,000 Latvians ended up in Germany during World War II. Most of them were refugees, and the rest were prisoners of war. A lot of Latvians remained in Germany for a long time. Some of them emigrated to the USA, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain, where the Latvians remained to live forever.

The war and occupation of the country by Russia led to the fact that many people were forced to leave their homes and went to other countries in search of better lives. But as you know, every person has only one homeland. Many people are full of longing for their home country, and they want to go home. That’s why the descendants of forced emigrants feel the need to reconnect with their roots and they think about how to get Latvian citizenship.

Each person who seeks to acquire citizenship of Latvia has their aims. You can not only reconnect with your historical homeland but also receive additional benefits of European citizenship. So, if you know that your ancestors lived in Latvia, but you are not sure whether you can apply for Latvian citizenship, write to us. We will help you find out if you qualify for citizenship. Once we do, we will guide you throughout the entire process until finally get citizenship.

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