Latvia a country that lies in Baltic Region, is a North European country. Latvia is surrounded by borders of Russia, Lithuania, Belarus, Estonia and Baltic Sea. Parliamentary democracy system of government is used in Latvia. In this system, the chief of state is the president while the head of government is the prime minister. In Latvia, the price of goods and services are established in a free price manner, which changed its economy into a market-based one and its open economy is part of the EU single market.
Latvia joined EU in 2004, became member of the World Trade Organization in 1999 and Eurozone in 2014. Two years after joining the Eurozone, became the member of OECD. On the Ease of Doing Business Index organized by World Bank, it secures 14th position in the world. Latvia is amongst the high human development nations, according to the Human Development Report in 2011. The capital city of Latvia is Riga while Euro is the national currency of Latvia.
Latvia – from the prospective of residence
Latvia presents incredible potential for expatriates. The advantages of living in Latvia are:
Riga which is the capital city of Latvia is very fascinating. There are a lot of bars, restaurants, clubs and pubs in Riga’s old town. Their local entertainment scene is the best enjoyment for party lovers.
Living cost is relatively low in Latvia.
There is a distinctive feeling of Scandinavian in natural forests of Latvia, and some fascinating beaches in Jurmula region which are the reason of attracting tourists during summer.
There are a lot of mesmerizing historical places in areas i.e. Singula.
In Riga, attending shows in the National Opera House is one of the many activities which you can do. If you want to admire the beauty of the nature, you can sit in Scenic Park that flows along the river.
There are four national parks in Latvia including the Gauju National Park located in Gauju Valley, which has more than 500 monuments.
Half of Riga’s land area is comprised of untouched ecosystems which provides a lot of natural scenery.
Apartments with cheaper rates are in abundance.
Latvia gives prominence to castles, cliffs and wonderful lakes.
In Latvia, communicating in English is not problematic since the level of their education is outstanding.
Entrepreneur Settlement visa
Latvia offer permanent residency to those foreign tycoons who invest at least 80,000EUR in new Latvian businesses. To qualify for a residence authorization in Latvia, the requirement includes job creation.
The minimum of 80,000EUR investment is needed to take a Latvian entrepreneur visa. In order to take a temporary residence permit, the foreign shareholder should be a director of the newly established Latvian company. This temporary residence permit is valid for 1-2 years and can be renewed.
In Latvia, a temporary residence permit allows the expatriate tycoons the privilege to move free of cost to other Schengen region countries. The shareholders can leave the country anytime they want. It is not required for them to live in the country, permanently. For the application of permanent residence permit, the foreigner must have lived in the country for 50 months for the past 5 years continuously.
Either by buying a Latvian property for 270,000EUR or by crediting an equal amount in a Latvia’s bank, the foreigner can get a long-term permanent residence permit. In Latvia, the most low-cost way to get a residence permit is the business choice. After living 10 years in Latvia legally, you can apply for its citizenship.
Benefits of Residence Permit in Latvia
Residence permit is an essential document which provides an expatriate the privilege to move to Latvia for a defined period of time. This permit is given the status of identification card, on 2nd April 2012. Therefore, before issuance of the residence permit, the fingerprints of people starting from 6 years old and digital photo of person’s face, known as biometric information, must be submitted.
The utmost benefit of getting a residence permit in Latvia for many people, is the fact that without any formal documents or visas, you are permitted to visit other Schengen Region countries. Because of this, managing your European business, traveling without managing any documents and presenting yourself in an embassy has become simpler.
There are a lot more benefits such as:
The opportunity to invite your 2nd degree relatives and family members for visa.
An easy application process for getting visas for several countries i.e. Canada, United States of America, and New Zealand which are not in the Schengen Region.
Issuance of residence permit for your better half and young children automatically.
Issuance of a driver’s license.
The privilege to benefit from either free or discounted education in European Union’s member countries.
Opportunities to start business in the European Union.
You are given medical facilities, joblessness benefits, maternity benefits and other social favors, if you have a residence permit in Latvia.
If you have residence permit in your hand, you can enjoy every right that is given to local community of Latvia. These rights are not limited to just give a vote, you can take part in elections and can hold government body position.
Requirements for residence permit in Latvia for the whole family
To get the residence permit of Latvia for your whole family, you must have following requirements fulfilled:
At least 30,000 Euros as secondary term deposit in a bank in Latvia for 5 years with 3 percent per annum interest rate.
A general document for pursuing the guidance of a professional company.
Proof of owning a place of residence in Latvia.
Evidence that the candidate has a source of earnings.
Character certificate with no previous criminal records.
Authentic insurance policy that can be practical in Latvia as well.
Method for applying for an entrepreneur visa
To bring more foreign investors in to the country, Latvian government provides Latvian start-up visa. It has been very difficult for foreigners to develop a business in Latvia, until just two things are required; the easier visa application requirements and available financing.
The documents which you require to apply for start-up visa are:
A well-written business investment plan, which must be to the point and suitable for your visa application acceptance by the authorities. To satisfy the authorities that your startup will provide value to Latvia’s economy, you should provide your business idea, finance plans, target audience, startup team etc. clearly.
A passport sized picture.
For the residence permit, a complete visa application form.
Evidence of no previous criminal history.
Lest your new startup is not making money immediately, a bank statement indicating that, to live easily for your first year in Latvia, your account has minimum of 4560EUR.
Written statement stating the place of your residence in Latvia for minimum of six months after getting visa.
An official document affirming that your monthly earnings will be at least 859EUR after getting the residence permit and becoming the director or employee of your business.
Before submitting application, proof of payment of the visa application fee.
Visa application can be completed in any of the four languages; English, Russian, German, Latvia or French. However, Latvian translated documents are required for other free-forms. You can translate these documents by qualified translators. According to Latvian government’s language law, in government institutions the formal language of communication is Latvian language, which is the country’s official language. If you are facing difficulty in understanding Latvian, you can take help from a professional firm for translation.
You can send the visa application either at the Embassy of your home country or at the Citizenship and Migration Affairs Office. The application process usually takes around 30 days. You can get your start-up visa in between 2 to 10 days, if you get a positive response.
Conditions for entrepreneur’s visa
In Latvia, while you are applying for start-up visa, you should meet certain conditions. The visa can be rejected if you don not met these conditions:
The person who is applying for visa should apply for a position in management team or in the Board of Director in a company which is at least a year old in Latvia.
The person should start his/her work in the startup within three months of being issued the visa.
The new firm is supposed to raise a minimum of 30,000EUR within half a year of receiving the entrepreneur’s visa and 60,000EUR within 1½ years.
After getting a temporary residence permit from the authorities, a person should submit:
An authentic medical insurance policy.
Proof that the person is not tuberculosis patient, in the form of a medical certificate by a Latvian medical institute.
Legal documents of your expected residence place.
You are free to manage your business legally in Latvia as soon as you get your start-up visa. Following are the legal units specified in the Commercial Law of Latvia:
Individual trader (Sole proprietorship)
Limited liability company.
JSC (Joint-stock company).
Representative office, identical to a branch office, is a dependent legal entity. Its functions are limited i.e. it cannot perform economic activities.
In Latvian’s Commercial Register, all firms should be registered. To have a legal status, the creators of those companies must prepare a legal address confirmation, agreement of organization, articles of association, receipts as proof of registration duty payment and the charges to publish the announcement in newspaper of the state. These documents must be submitted to the Enterprises Registrar.
Based on the kind of business, the registration duty varies. Enterprises Registrar evaluate applications. If larger fee is remunerated then they register firms within a day, which is very amusing as you can register your company in only one day.
Latvia has ease of access to big markets of the world which makes leading business much easier. If a business is supervised and handled appropriately, then it flourishes easily. The things that draw foreigner’s attraction is Latvia’s first-class infrastructure and free trade economy.
Foreign investment in Latvia
After Latvia became the part of European Union, the Foreign Direct Investment has raised rapidly. In 2017, it touched 14370 million Euros, its highest point. The most important reasons increasing the inflow of foreign direct investments are unswerving financial policy, the country’s calculated geographical location between European Union and CIS nations, new market opportunities, and its outstanding infrastructure.
Latvia planned to apply some severity measures because of the great affect by the worldwide monetary crisis. Consequently, Latvia’s economy, confidence of expatriate stockholders, and Foreign Direct Investment inflow has fostered.
Factually, a greater part of Latvia’s foreign investment has initiated from neighboring Baltic States and other EU countries. In 2017, 19% of total foreign investment stock, the highest number of investments, in Latvia’s economy were obtained from Sweden. Similarly, in 2017, 78% of all the accumulated foreign investment is represented by Foreign Direct Investment from European nations.
Normally, though, the Latvia’s Foreign Direct Investment inflow contains a wide range of different economic divisions. The major part is credited to the service industry and other great investments in manufacturing, real estate sector and trade industry. To benefit from Latvia’s competitive advantages, many international firms have established their system in Latvia including Coke, Cytec, Schneider Electric, Bucher Schoerling, and Cemex.
Availability of bigger markets
Latvia has a specific geographical and cultural position. Due to this, it has become a strategic location for main business activities intended for new marketplaces of the eastern neighboring countries and developed economies of the EU. Latvia plays a role of natural doorway between EU, Asia and United States of America. The advantages of aiding the successful business functions are:
New transport systems: Latvia, situated on Baltic Sea’s coast, has 3 major international ports including Liepaja, Riga and Ventspils. Latvian land-based setup such as Rail and pipeline systems and well-developed road are connected to these ports. In Baltic region, Riga International Airport is the vastest airport. In 2017, Riga international airport broke yearly passenger record by serving 6.09 million passengers and dealt with 25,525 tons of baggage.
Excellent trade system: In Latvia, international businesses and customer policies is based on free trade concept. Due to relation with European Union (EU), member of Schengen and active member of World Trade Organization (WTO), the Latvia business man can enjoy all the compensations of open trade in world market. All processes related to Border and customs have been standardized for improved preparation and collaboration with global business associates. Another important thing is that Latvia is a full member of OECD.
Assistance and knowledge export: To enlarge their operations international and nationally, national firms continue to raise their goods export thus developing environment of experience and competence. Latvians history has prepared the national workers with professional skills and cultural customs that allows collaboration with Western Europe countries.
Life Quality in Latvia
Latvia gives all types of services including professional facilities, entertainment pursuits and beautiful scenery to all its foreign lenders. Riga, which is a capital and largest city of Latvia is a cultural center, due to its rich culture and beautiful building in neoclassical style UNESCO named Riga on a world heritage website.
Latvia is providing all those modern amenities to business personnel and families which are provided by world developed countries. These services are:
Trouble free convenience for business and vacation tour because it is advantageously situated between Eastern and Western Europe. Riga International Airport which is the largest airport in the Baltic state provides the facility of direct flights to more than eighty destinations all over the world.
Giving facilities and necessary services to all international persons. There are many universities, two international schools, advanced health facilities, mobile networks, up to date internet service and very developed transport in Latvia.
Latvia has very good diplomatic relations with other countries of the world. Therefore, diplomatic representation from many countries is present in Latvia as well as embassies and ministry offices are present in Latvia. It is an active member of the world great organizations such as European Union, United Nations, NATO, OECD and many other universal organizations.
The people of Latvia are industrious and hardworking and they have northern European cultural life. They are motivated and always enthusiastic to fulfill their aims. They have firm work norms and passionate about their jobs. Foreigner’s investors and families can take pleasure of variety of leisure and entertainment activities with friends and families. These are the following fun and relaxation activities which people of Latvia enjoy and love to participate:
Historical remnants in museums and exhibitions in Riga and other parts of country gives a closer look into Latvia history.
The friendly- moderate environment and non-natural resources gives an opportunity to take part in various kinds of sports and games. These physical activities can enjoy people of all age groups. Games which are popular in country are ice hockey, football, bobsledding, track and field, and skeleton.
Latvia is bejeweled with widespread white-sands shoreline and various beautiful lakes and rivers. The scenery is certainly magnificent. Latvia is covered with natural forests and almost half of the forest is natural ecosystems. Latvia is the greatest place for ecotourism and cultural travel. These natural beautiful landscapes calmly mix with dynamic and cultural cities. Many foreigners are moving and investing in Latvia due to its wonderful qualities and rich cultural.
Residence permit visa allow foreigners to live, do business legally and enjoy all facilities in Latvia. To start a business in Latvia and for investment it is important to follow all the rules and regulations. If anyone will not follow the rules then his application may be rejected.
After living in Latvia for five years on temporary residence permit, one can apply for permanent residence visa. You can apply for citizenship, after living ten years on residence visa. The process of application is easy, smooth and not complicated. If you did not understand about anything about visa process, then you should consult with any consultant and professional organization for help. A consultant organization is better option because they are familiar with country’s rules, regulations and laws regarding visa and immigration very well as compared to other persons.