Latvia’s Investor Visa Program
The nation of Latvia is located in Northern Europe with Russia, Sweden, Lithuania, and Belarus as its closest neighbors. As a member of the United Nations and the European Union with a high income country ranking and rapidly growing economy, Latvia offers attractive investment opportunities that should not be overlooked by foreign investors seeking to diversify their portfolio.
Currently, the rate of foreign investment into Latvia is not as high as that of its neighbors. In order to spur additional investments, Latvia has created an investor visa category to encourage foreign nationals to invest in the country’s real estate industry.
The Real Estate Immigrant Investor Visa
Latvia’s immigrant investor visa is a temporary residence permit that is valid for five years. To qualify for the investor visa, the foreign investor must purchase real estate that is physically located in the nation. Additionally, the investor must demonstrate that he/she can support the stay in Latvia.
Regarding the other requirements for this visa, Latvia recently amended its investor program and these changes will take effect in January 2014. The biggest change in the program is the increase in the minimum required investment. In previous years, the minimum investment was 25,000 Euros, but now the required amount has increased to 150,000 Euros.
The second biggest change is that Latvia will now be limiting the number of investor visas the nation issues to a maximum of 800 per year. Of these visas, 700 will be reserved for foreign investors who purchase real estate that is valued at a minimum of 150,000 Euros and 100 will be saved for investors who purchase real estate valued at 500,000 Euros.
Once the investor receives the temporary permit, the investor and family may reside in Latvia and travel throughout the EU without condition or restriction. After holding temporary residence for five years, the investor and family can apply for permanent residence. Then, after holding permanent residence for five years, the investor and family can apply to become Latvian citizens. However, it is important to note that Latvia does not recognize dual citizenship and therefore investors will be required to renounce their former citizenship.