Home Travel & Adventure Latvia Issues First Six Departure Orders to Russian Citizens: Heightening Immigration Enforcement

Latvia Issues First Six Departure Orders to Russian Citizens: Heightening Immigration Enforcement


The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) has taken action by issuing exit orders to the initial group of six Russian citizens who failed to start the process of obtaining a residence permit in Latvia.

Last week, Maira Roze, head of the PMLP, also announced that two individuals in the group have already left Latvia, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

According to the PMLP,  a total of 1,017 Russian citizens have failed to comply with Latvia’s legal requirements so far by not submitting the necessary documents to stay in the country.

Meanwhile, of the individuals above, 213 have chosen to leave Latvia via other European Union member states.

As the same explains, the remaining individuals have been granted a 30-day window to exit the country. In addition, 22 persons have been granted the opportunity to submit documentation for family reunification, which serves as a valid reason for their presence in Latvia, contingent upon completing the requisite paperwork.

Previously, about 3,500 Russian citizens in Latvia were notified by the migration authority in September 2023 to leave the country. Additionally, it is predicted that up to 6,000 Russian citizens in Latvia will receive official notices to vacate the premises by August 2023, underscoring Latvia’s strict enforcement of migration policies.

Russians Must Obtain Long-Term Status or Leave

Based on immigration law, permanent residence permits previously granted to former Russian citizens citizens of Latvia or ‘non-citizens’ expired in September 2023. To continue their stay in Latvia, these individuals were required to apply for the status of long-term residents of the EU, accompanied by a certificate showing proficiency in the official language at a minimum level and sufficient financial resources.

For those Russian citizens who attempted the Latvian language test but failed, the option remains to apply for a two-year temporary residence permit, with the option to retake the language test afterwards.

In the Baltic state, roughly a quarter of its 1.9 million residents are of Russian origin. These individuals are mostly descendants of immigrants from the Soviet era. A noticeable part, especially among the older population, have the status of “non-citizens” and do not have Latvian citizenship, while others have Russian passports.

Latvia Extends Entry Ban on Russian Tourists – Bans Cars with Russian Registration Numbers Too

Latvia’s stance on entry restrictions for Russian tourists remains effective, with the ban set to continue until 4 March 2025. Initially implemented in September 2022, these strict measures have been extended for another 12 months, highlighting Latvia’s commitment to maintaining strict regulations.

Last month, Latvian authorities announced a ban on cars with Russian registration numbers inside the country. As reported by Latvian Public Broadcasting, unregistered vehicles of Russian origin risk confiscation by the authorities, with fines ranging from €750 to €2,000 for individuals operating such vehicles.

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