Residence permit recievers

About 1200 foreigners have received residence permits in Latvia based on investments

The analytical news program ‘Nekā personīga’ reported on Sunday that since adoption of the Law envisaging issuance of residence permits in Latvia based on investments foreigners, mostly citizens of Russia, have invested more than EUR 100 million (approximately LVL 72 million) in our country and more than 1,200 people have received residence permits.

The leader of the political party ‘Latvias First Party/Latvian Way’ (‘Latvijas Pirmā partija un Latvijas Ceļš’ (LPP/LC)), Ainārs Šlesers was the initiator of these amendments to the Immigration Law drafted a year ago. In June and July, the number of transactions related to residence permits reached almost 200. Even Russian celebrities have shown interest.

Some expressed to the said program their concerns that with numbers growing at this rate we will have to address the increase in the influence of Russian-speaking nationals in Latvia. The political party “All for Latvia and For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK” (“Visu Latvijai/TB-LNNK”) together with “Unity” (“Vienotība”) now wants to revoke the above mentioned amendments to the Law.

However, only now these amendments made to the Law a year ago have generated the interest of foreigners to invest in Latvia. To receive a residence permit, families of foreigners have to obtain a statement from a medical institution, and one of the doctors who wanted to remain anonymous told to the program that now ‘these families come non-stop’.

A few years ago, many were convinced that it would not be possible to revive the Saliena village project in Piņķi, but now some cars with Russian or Belorussian registration plates can be seen in front of several houses, and during the last year investments of foreigners have amounted to EUR 6 million (approximately LVL 4 million).

Realtors conclude that because of residence permits the apartments which were “frozen” due to unpaid bank loans during the economic crisis are now sold. It has allowed the developers to start construction of 50 new buildings in Jūrmala. The owner of the real estate company “Latio”, Edgars Šīns who is one of the best real estate market experts is certain that the real estate market has been revived just because of the purchases made by foreigners.

Yet, the program reports that many people have different opinions. One of the Members of Parliament who wants to revoke these amendments to the Law is the representative of the “Unity” (“Vienotība”), Ainars Latkovskis. He believes that the country gains too little from these amendments. Latkovskis considers it to be a distortion of the market. According to the program the representative of the political party ‘For Fatherland and Freedom/LNNK’ (‘Tēvzemei un Brīvībai/LNNK’), Dzintars Rasnačs also thinks that the problems in future will be greater than the current gain for the economy of Latvia.