Latvia, like many European countries, has a long and complex history. During World War II, Latvia was occupied by Nazi Germany, leading to the persecution and genocide of its Jewish population. Latvian Holocaust survivors are individuals who endured the horrors of the Holocaust in Latvia during World War II. Many of these survivors were forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in other countries, while others remained in Latvia and struggled to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the war. Many Latvian Jews were sent to concentration and extermination camps, and those who survived were often forced to flee the country.
The experiences of Latvian Holocaust survivors are a crucial part of the country’s history, and their stories serve as a reminder of the atrocities committed during this dark period.Today, their descendants may be eligible for Latvian citizenship through a special provision in the country’s citizenship law.
The Law on Citizenship of the Republic of Latvia, adopted in 1994, allows for the restoration of citizenship to those who were citizens of Latvia on 17 June 1940, and their descendants. This provision was added to acknowledge the injustice suffered by Latvian Jews during the Holocaust and to provide them and their descendants with a way to reconnect with their ancestral homeland.
During the Holocaust, many Jews fled Europe and sought refuge in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and Israel. In many cases, Holocaust descendants have the right to obtain a second Latvian citizenship. Dual citizenship always provides more opportunities. And given the fact that Latvia is a member of the European Union, these opportunities become even more significant.
The eligibility criteria for descendants of Holocaust survivors to obtain Latvian citizenship are as follows:
The applicant must be a direct descendant of individuals who was living in Latvia as citizens of the Latvian republic from 1918-1940
The applicant’s ancestor(s) must have left Latvia during the Holocaust period (1940-1945) or during the Soviet occupation (1945-1991)
The applicant’s ancestor(s) must have left Latvia due to persecution and oppression by the occupying forces
When applying for Latvian citizenship by descent, potential challenges or obstacles may arise during the application process. For example, if the applicant’s ancestor left Latvia before 1940 and became a citizen of another country, their descendants may not be eligible for Latvian citizenship. In addition, applicants must provide thorough documentation proving their ancestry and may face delays or rejections if any information is missing or incorrect. It is recommended to seek the assistance of a qualified legal professional with experience in Latvian citizenship law to navigate the application process successfully.
In conclusion, Latvian citizenship for descendants of Holocaust survivors is a unique provision that acknowledges the historical injustices suffered by Latvian Jews during the Holocaust. It provides an opportunity for individuals to reconnect with their ancestral homeland and can offer certain benefits, but the application process should be approached with caution and with the assistance of legal professionals.
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.
Latvia does not prohibit multiple citizenships and there is no problem for you if you have two, three, or four citizenships and passports.
Having Latvian dual citizenship allows you to have more than one passport, which provides many different personal and travel benefits. Think of it this way: a passport is basically a document of your freedom. This allows you to travel outside of the country where you live. By holding multiple passports, you have greater access to more countries. There are financial benefits as well, as some banks and financial institutions tend to be more willing to work with citizens of certain countries while avoiding other countries that have complex financial or tax requirements.
On May 9, 2013, the Latvian Saeima (Parliament) adopted changes, effective October 1, 2013, to the laws to allow Latvian dual citizenship, and most USA Latvians or living in other countries may be eligible to apply for and receive Latvian citizenship while retaining other citizenship they may hold.
The Latvian Citizenship law allows descendants of Latvian citizens that left during WWII to get DUAL Latvian citizenship. People with Latvian ancestors have the possibility of obtaining dual Latvian citizenship. At the same time, our team at Latviancitizenship.eu sometimes receives inquiries from people who want to know if they can get Latvian citizenship if they already have the citizenship of two or three countries.
In the case of Latvia, it’s not a problem if you already have dual citizenship. You have the opportunity to acquire Latvian citizenship without renouncing any of your citizenships.
Latvian law considers dual and multiple nationals in the same way as those who have only Latvian citizenship. If a Latvian citizen also has the citizenship of another state, the Latvian authorities will consider that person to be a Latvian citizen both in Latvia and abroad.
However, some countries in Europe forbid their citizens from having two or more citizenship. Among them are Croatia, Denmark, Germany, Malta, Monaco. Some other Europe countries do not recognize dual citizenship as well.
For example, when applying for German citizenship, you not only need to show that you have applied for renunciation of another citizenship but also provide a document confirming that you have actually renounced it. There is a similar procedure for applying for Danish citizenship.
At the same time, some countries (among them USA, Canada, UK, Brazil, Israel, South Africa, Ireland, Belgium, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Switzerland, and some others) allow their citizens to have two or more citizenships.
How to get Latvian citizenship
First of all, you need to check the eligibility criteria to get Latvian citizenship and check whether you meet these criteria. If yes, you can fill out an application on this site and our experts will help you check the possibility of restoring citizenship by descent.
When you are ready to draw up the documents, our lawyers will help you prepare the set of documents necessary for filing an application. If necessary, we will contact the archives to obtain the missing documents. We will prepare all translations and arrange the submission of your application.
You will not need to come to Latvia to submit documents. As a result, we will arrange for you to obtain a passport as a citizen of Latvia.
Having Latvian citizenship will provide you with a number of benefits. If you have Latvian ancestors, you might be eligible for dual Latvian citizenship.