Thinking of taking the plunge, finally getting your Latvian citizenship, and starting a new chapter of your life together with a loved one? Or perhaps, you’re wondering if restoring your Latvian citizenship is worth it— after all, you’re already married and any big life decision affects your partner too.
Whatever your situation is, restoring citizenship is always a good idea. Not only does it give you a sense of connection to your roots, but also very tangible benefits for your future, whether you move to Europe or not.
If you’re married (or if you plan to be married), these benefits can look particularly attractive. After all, Latvia is a thriving place to live and to start a family. And what’s more romantic than a big, life-changing adventure with your significant other?
The big question: if you restore Latvian citizenship, will your spouse get it too? Or will they be able to get a residence permit?
When you get Latvian citizenship, does your spouse get it too?
Restoring Latvian dual citizenship by descent involves filling forms, researching documents, and presenting your case to the Latvian authorities (helping you through this process is what we do). All to prove you have an ancestor who was a Latvian citizen and left the country during the period of occupation (circa 1940-1990).
This means that your spouse won’t get citizenship when you do. It’s not passed on automatically (unlike what happens with any future children you have). The same goes if you’re not married when you acquire Latvian citizenship.
Are your big plans lost, then? Not at all! Keep reading to find out what you can do!
Even though the spouse of a Latvian citizen can’t become a citizen (unless they, too, can restore it by descent), other options allow you to start your new life together.
Namely, acquiring a residence permit in any given country in the EU— which is a much simpler process for the spouse of an EU national than for anyone else.
Applying for (and being granted) residence means that, though you’re not a citizen, you can live in the country for longer than 3 months. You’re also eligible for a work permit and can relocate with your Latvian spouse to any country within the EU.
Note: the immigration requirements and rules to acquire residence as a non-EU spouse vary from country to country. If you’re planning on relocating to a different state within the EU, you should check their specific laws.
However, there are general benefits you receive as the Non-EU spouse of an EU citizen:
● Right of family reunion— you have the right to join your Latvian citizen spouse and live together in the EU.
● This is more important than other criteria— you don’t need to prove your work experience, education, age, or criminal record. The right to family reunion is usually reason enough to be granted residence.
● As the spouse of someone with Latvian citizenship, you receive the right to work and study, as well as relocate to any country of the EU with your partner (with minimal paperwork involved).
● Eventually, you have the possibility of permanent residence and even citizenship. In Spain, Ireland, or Sweden, permanent residence comes after 5 years of uninterrupted legal residence. In Norway, three years’ the rule (plus other requirements). You should check the rules for your chosen relocation country.
What about living in the EU as a non-spouse?
For anyone who is not a spouse or partner of an EU national, who is not an EU national, and who wants to travel to the EU, the rules are a lot more stringent. The key differences when you’re not an EU national nor the spouse or partner of an EU national:
● You need to prove your reasons for traveling to the EU and apply for the relevant visa (when a visa is necessary).
● If you plan on a stay longer than 3 months or if you want to work or study, you need to show your credentials. For example, acceptance by an education institution or sponsorship by an employer.
● This means you need to go through a difficult and costly process of first finding an institution or a job with an employer that is willing to sponsor you. This is easiest for highly qualified workers but, even for them, it is not simple. If you aren’t a highly qualified worker, this becomes almost impossible.
● Unlike what happens when you’re the spouse of an EU citizen, when you only have a work permit or residence, you can’t stay if not working, studying or having another strong and valid reason to stay in the EU.
The spouse of someone with Latvian citizenship doesn’t receive citizenship automatically. However, they have the right to be reunited with their EU spouse and can easily apply to live and work anywhere in the EU. This is a clear advantage over anyone who isn’t the spouse of an EU citizen.
People are increasingly flocking towards stable European states— especially in the face of pandemics and political instability in their home countries. Our advice: if you’re thinking of relocating to Europe with your spouse (or just want a solid backup plan) and can restore your Latvian citizenship, it’s time to do so now. Don’t wait until it’s too late to act and secure the future of your family now.
Do you have Latvian descent and want to restore your Latvian citizenship? Write to us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We will help you with document acquisition, application preparation, translation, and guide you until citizenship is granted. Email us today so we can evaluate your eligibility for Latvian citizenship.