Home Travel & Adventure Over 100 Russians Depart Latvia After Language Learning Requirements Not Met

Over 100 Russians Depart Latvia After Language Learning Requirements Not Met


100 out of more than 1,000 Russian citizens in Latvia who failed to learn the national language and meet the new Immigration Law rules have left Latvia and the Schengen Area.

Such figures have been revealed by  Latvia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Rihards Kozlovskis in an interview for Latvian Television, SchegenVisaInfo reports.

The Minister also emphasised that two Russian citizens, subject to a departure order in line with the Immigration Law, have left Latvia.

Kozlovskis said that up to this point, nine citizens of Russia who didn’t meet the new Immigration Law requirements and didn’t submit an application for a residence permit in Latvia have been ordered to leave.

Seven extradition orders have not yet been executed, and if they are not appealed, the State Border Guard will try to forcibly deport these persons.

Latvia’s Minister of Internal Affairs Rihards Kozlovskis

The Minister stressed that these facts were found out in cooperation with the border guards of Lithuania and Estonia after Russian citizens could cross the external border from another country of the Schengen Area.

According to the Immigration Law, permanent residence permits issued to Russian citizens expired in September 2023.

In order to continue living legally in the Baltic state, they were required to apply for the status of a permanent resident of the EU; however, in order to receive it, they were required to submit a knowledge of the national language at the minimum level and the existence of the financial resources to the Directorate of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP).

Authorities in Latvia previously warned that on January 3, 2024, permanent residence permits of Russians affected by the amendments to the Immigration Law expired if they had not applied for EU permanent resident status by December 31, last year. This deadline for document submission only applied to those who had taken the state language test multiple times before November 30, 2023.

Latvia Maintains Pressure: Sanctions on Russia Persist

Earlier this month, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) announced that it took action by issuing exit orders to a group of six Russian citizens who failed to begin the process of acquiring residence permits in Latvia.

As a result of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Latvia introduced restrictions on Russia in September 2022.

In February this year, the Baltic state announced that it decided to maintain the entry ban on Russian tourists in place until March 4, 2025.

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