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Latvian parliament allows dual citizenship as of Oct. 1, 2013
09.10.2013


As of Oct. 1, 2013, many Latvians abroad are allowed to hold dual citizenship.

Until now, Latvia's laws did not permit Latvian citizens to simultaneously be citizens of another country. In the years following the restoration of Latvia's independence in 1991, an exception was made to allow Latvian citizens in exile, and their descendents, who had acquired the citizenship of their countries of residence, to reclaim their right to Latvian citizenship without renouncing the citizenship of their home countries. But to take advantage of this exception one had to reclaim the right to Latvian citizenship by mid 1995. In the case of minors, their parents had to apply on their behalf. After 1995 this opportunity was no longer available.

On May 9, 2013 the Latvian Saeima (Parliament) adopted changes, effective October 1, 2013, to the laws to allow dual citizenship and most Latvians living in the USA and other countries may be eligible to apply for and receive Latvian citizenship while retaining other citizenship they may hold.

The following information is posted here as a public service and in order to interest those who may be eligible to take advantage of this opportunity, but please note that only information received directly from government sources may be considered authoritative. Please contact the Consular Department of the Embassy of Latvia in Washington DC to get the latest instructions before proceeding with any application. Visit www.latvia-usa.org.

Information from the EMBASSY OF LATVIA

INFORMATION REGARDING THE PROCESS OF REQUESTING LATVIA CITIZENSHIP AS OF OCTOBER 1, 2013

In order to request Latvian citizenship you first need to select one of the categories which justifies your eligibility for citizenship because different rules apply for each category: 

1. Exiles (those who were forced to leave Latvia between June 17, 1940 and May 4, 1990 due to foreign occupation) and their descendants who were born (and will have been born) by October 1, 2014 Latvia citizenship can be requested by those who were citizens of Latvia on June 17, 1940 and whofled occupation and left Latvia between June 17, 1940 and May 4, 1990, and for this reason did not return to Latvia, as well as their descendants, who will be born by October 1, 2014. Dual citizenship is allowed with any other country! 

2. At the time of your birth at least one of your parents was a citizen of Latvia In this case dual citizenship is allowed for those who are citizens of the member states of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), NATO or if you are a citizen of Australia, Brazil or New Zealand (children are eligible for dual citizenship with any country, but at age 25 will have to make a choice). 

3. You are an ethnic Latvian or Liv In requesting citizenship based on your ethnic origin you will be required to pass a language exam in Latvia. You are allowed to maintain dual citizenship with any other country! 

List of documents which must be submitted: 

1. Application letter with a request to grant you Latvian citizenship (form will be available on the Embassy of Latvia website) 

2. An identifying document (passport or other ID) 

3. Birth certificate (for those born in the U.S. the birth certificate must be certified with an Apostille authentication from the state in which the document was issued) 

4. Marriage certificate or divorce decree (U.S. issued documents must have an Apostille authentication) 

5. Birth certificates of children (for those born in the U.S. the birth certificate must have an Apostille) 

6. Documents that support your eligibility for citizenship (see below) 

7. Fee for the processing of documents. 

Documents that prove your eligibility for citizenship as an exile or as a descendent of an exile: 

1. The exile’s passport from Latvia’s first period of independence or other document that affirms citizenship of Latvia on June 17, 1940. 

2. A written statement that theperson fled Latvia to escape occupation (information on what this statement will requirewill be on the Embassy of Latvia website) 

3. Descendants of exiles must provide documents confirming their relationship to the exile. 

Documents which prove your eligibility of acquiring citizenship based on the fact that at the time of your birth, one of your parents was a citizen of Latvia: 

1. A document proving that citizenship of the country which does not allow dual citizenship has been renounced (children under the age of 18 do not have to renounce the citizenship of another country) 

2. A document proving that you are not a citizen of another country. This document must be submitted only by those who are requesting citizenship based on being a Latvian citizen on June 17, 1940 or their descendants. 

Documents that confirm the eligibility of acquiring citizenship based on ethnic origin: 

1. Document that confirms your ancestor’s place of residence in Latvia’s territory between 1881 and June 17, 1940. 

2. Documents proving your relationship to this ancestor 

3. Documents confirming your ethnic background (if you cannot prove yours, then documents confirming that of your parents or grandparents, for example, passports, birth/marriage certificates etc.) 

4. Document confirming that you have passed the language examination in Latvia. 

Documents can be submitted in person to the Embassy of Latvia in Washington, D.C. or can be mailed to the Embassy. Submitted documents must be originals or authenticated copies of documents. Documents issued by the U.S. must have an Apostille authentication. 

The Embassy will make copies of the originals and send the originals back to you. The fee for the return of documents via the U.S. Postal Service registered mail is $10.00; for return by Federal Express: $30.00(money order only, made out to the „Embassy of Latvia.”). If you submit copies of documents, they must first be notarized; second, they must have an Apostille affixed by the Office of the Secretary of State. Documents should be sent to: Embassy of Latvia, 2306 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington DC 20008. 

Your citizenship application and supporting documents will be forwarded to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs in Latvia, which is the authority responsible for citizenship matters. Your documents will be processed in: one month for children of citizens of Latvia; in 4 months for exiles, in one year for ethnic Latvians and Livs. In case all necessary documents have not been submitted in their entirety, the process of granting citizenship can be extended. 

For additional questions please see the Embassy of Latvia website: www.latvia-usa.org. Taking into account the large number of inquiries regarding the acquisition of Latvian citizenship, we are advising that responses to questions submitted by e-mail may take longer than usual. 

This information was prepared on September 19, 2013 and may change once regulations issued by the Cabinet of Ministershave been approved!!!

Information from the CONSULATE OF LATVIA IN NEW YORK

Since our last email update we have received some updated information from the Embassy in Washington D.C. that could be of interest to you.  There have also been some changes to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs website links that now include information in English for those who need it. Please read on below this quick update from the Embassy in D.C.

Due to large numbers of inquiries regarding dual citizenship received at the Latvian Embassy, at this time we are sending out only general information regarding who is eligible for the dual citizenship and guidelines for the application process.

More information is available at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs website:
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/registration-if-citizenship/

If you submit documents to the Embassy, you have to include a money order for 60 USD (payable to the Embassy of Latvia) - the fee for document forwarding to the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

Add to your money order 10 USD for mailing back your original documents with USPS certified mail or 30 USD - for Federal Express.

CITIZENSHIP
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/

ADMISSIBILITY OF DUAL CITIZENSHIP
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/dual-citizenship/admissibility-of-dual-citizenship.html

REGISTRATION OF CITIZENSHIP
www.pmlp.gov.lv/en/home/citizenship/registration-if-citizenship/

EMBASSY OF LATVIA TO THE UNITED STATES – Consular Section
www.mfa.gov.lv/en/usa/consular/

Please note, the Consulate of Latvia in New York cannot process any applications or approve any official documents for citizenship applications. This is all handled by the Embassy in D.C.

Consulate of Latvia in New York
Mr. Daris G. Delins - Honorary Consul
Tel: 1-646-230-0590
Fax: 1-646-230-0591
E-mail: info@latvia-newyork.org
Home page: www.latvia-newyork.org



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