Non-EU citizens can obtain the right to reside (live, work, study or do business) in Latvia. In other words, a non-EU citizen can acquire a residence permit in Latvia for a definite or indefinite period, depending on the type of residence permit.
Types of residence permits
First of all, individuals personally connected to Latvia are entitled to a Latvian residence permit (Latvian ancestry). Secondly, EU citizens can always acquire a Latvian residence permit based on the free movement of persons.
Individuals who don’t qualify for the first two categories (non-EU citizens for example) can obtain a Latvian residence permit as well. The Republic of Latvia offers two options to obtain a residence permit for this category of individuals.
1. Foreigners who buy real estate in Latvia can apply for a 5-year valid residence permit.
2. Foreigners who invest in Latvia can obtain a residence permit. Following investments qualify:
- • Business investment in an existing or new Latvian company;
- • Financial investment in a Latvian bank.
Advantages of a Latvian residence permit
• The holder can spend more than 90 days in Latvia without additional red tape or formal registration procedures;
• The holder can travel hassle free within the Schengen zone. In other words, the residence permit holder is entitled to enter other Schengen countries without any visas or other formal registration procedures. This is very interesting for businesspeople who would like to manage their business in Europe hassle free. A Latvian residence permit holder doesn’t need to prepare documents and doesn’t need to visit an embassy which means he/she can save a lot of time and money;
• A Latvian residence permit holder can bring his/her spouse and underage children as these family members are automatically rewarded a residence permit as well;
• The holder is allowed to invite relatives for visa purposes, up to and including second degree relatives;
• The holder has the opportunity to receive a Latvian driver’s license;
• The holder is entitled to certain social privileges such as unemployment benefits, medical treatments and maternity benefits;
• The holder has the right to receive discounted or free education within the European Union;
• The holder is entitled to almost all of the rights normally granted to citizens of Latvia, except the right to vote and to participate in elections and to hold positions in governmental institutions and other state authorities.
Personal Income Tax Latvia
Latvian residence permit holders are taxed on their worldwide income. Latvia levies a flat personal income tax rate of 24%. This rate will decrease to 23% in 2015 and to 22% in 2016.
Latvia taxes investment income at favourable rates: domestic and foreign dividends are subject to a lower personal income tax rate of 10%. This offers opportunities for businesspeople who are active on international markets.
Do not hesitate to contact us if you should be interested in obtaining a Latvian residence permit. The Latvian residence programme is a very flexible programme and can be considered as one of the best for non-EU citizens who would like to get access to the EU and the Schengen zone.