How to apply for Latvian citizenship through ancestry
Overview of recent amendments in Latvian Citizenship Law
Amendments to the Citizenship Law of Latvia allowing dual citizenship have taken effect on the 1st of October 2013. Now, those who meet certain qualifying requirements may apply for Latvian citizenship by descent without having to renounce their current citizenship(s).
All prospective applicants residing abroad or in Latvia are welcome to apply for Latvian citizenship through our firm. We offer full representation at the Citizenship Office in Latvia, as well as archive research, drafting of all forms and applications, applying on behalf of the client and supervising the application procedure.
For additional information on Latvian citizenship and how to apply please refer below or, if you haven’t find an answer to your question, please get in touch with us by email info@belyaev.lv or using the contact form.
Eligibility requirements for Latvian citizenship
According to the amendments in the Citizenship law of Latvia the following two categories of applicants are eligible to apply for Latvian passport with the right to keep their current citizenship(s) (dual citizenship):
1) Category “Latvian exiles”
A citizen of any country will qualify for dual citizenship of Latvia, if he or she (or at least one of his or her ancestors):
  • was Latvian citizen on 17 June 1940, and
  • left Latvia in the period from 17 June 1940 to 4 May 1990 escaping from U.S.S.R. or German occupation regime, and
  • due to the reasons above did not return to Latvia for permanent residence before 4 May 1990.
2) Category “Latvians & Livs”
A citizen of any country will qualify for dual citizenship, if he or she has certified:
  • his or her belonging to the Latvian nationals (applicant is Latvian or Liv by ethnicity), and
  • his or her fluency in Latvian language, and
  • that in 1881 or later his or her ancestor had been permanently living in the territory of Latvia as it existed until 17 June 1940.
Latvian dual citizenship may occur in certain other cases where, for example, one is admitted to Latvian citizenship through naturalization, at birth or other. In case of doubt please feel free to get in touch with us to schedule a consultation.
How to apply for Latvian citizenship
Prospective applicants are welcome to apply through our firm. Our experts will render full scope of services required to obtain Latvian citizenship for you and your children. The application process will be as follows:
  • We will consider your situation, review and examine the documents and advise you on the eligibility status;
  • We will locate and retrieve on your behalf all Latvian archive documents confirming your eligibility, if said documents were lost or missing for other reasons;
  • We will prepare all necessary forms and applications and advise on other requirements for document legalization or Apostille;
  • We will apply on your behalf to the Office of Citizenship and supervise the application process from start to end, ensuring favorable consideration of your application.
To commence the work or inquire about our fees please feel free to get in touch with us using the contact form on this website.
Processing times of Latvian citizenship applications
The process consists of two stages:
  • Preparatory stage normally takes 1-2 months and will be used to retrieve any missing documents from Latvian archive institutions, to legalize the documents, prepare necessary forms and applications, etc.
  • Application processing stage – statutory term of consideration by the authorities is 4-12 months (depending on the category under which one applies). However, the decision by the authorities is usually taken much faster.
Note: Previous experience shows that in less complicated cases whole procedure may take up to 2-2,5 months, but will mainly depend on the workload of the Citizenship Office of Latvia.
Costs involved with applying for Latvian citizenship
We will charge a fixed fee in matters related to obtaining Latvian citizenship. The amount of the fee will depend on the scope and amount of the work to be performed, number of family members wishing to apply for Latvian citizenship and other peculiarities of each individual case.
Therefore, in order to evaluate our fees we will normally perform the initial assessment of your situation. Please feel free to apply for consultation and inquire about our fees through email info@belyaev.lv or using the form below.
Other costs related to registration of Latvian citizenship are fees charged by Latvian institutions for issue of archive statements or copies of documents, notary fees, translation costs, document legalisation, postal expenses, etc. Said expenses will vary depending on the individual circumstances of your case, but usually don't exceed reasonable limits.
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