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Latvia has suspended the issuance of “golden visas” for citizens of Russia and Belarus

Latvia will not issue “golden visas” to citizens of Russia and Belarus until June 30, 2023, according to yesterday’s parliamentary decision, according to DPA. These visas entitle non-EU nationals to permanent residence in exchange for investment in the country.

Latvian MPs have made exceptions for professional or educational purposes, as well as family reunification. The new provisions strengthen the legal requirements for the issuance and revocation of permanent residence permits in the Baltic Republic. Such a document, for example, will be rejected or revoked for those who support war crimes. This will also apply when considering the acquisition of citizenship.

According to the Latvian Migration Service, it has issued a temporary residence permit to more than 10,000 Russian citizens. Slightly more than half of them acquired this right through the purchase of real estate and a “golden visa”. In addition, about 40,000 Russian citizens have the right to permanent residence in Latvia.

The EU has long been discussing the so-called gold visa, which gives virtually all EU countries access to freedom of movement within the bloc. In view of Russia’s military invasion of Ukraine, the EU has called on member states to end the practice of issuing such visas.

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