Latvian parliament allows dual citizenship as of Oct. 1, 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
5. Birth certificates of children (for those born in the U.S. the birth certificate must have an
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 exiles passport from Latvias 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
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 ancestors place of residence in Latvias 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
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.
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
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:
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.
ADMISSIBILITY OF DUAL CITIZENSHIP
REGISTRATION OF CITIZENSHIP
EMBASSY OF LATVIA TO THE UNITED STATES Consular Section
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.
of Latvia in New York
Daris G. Delins - Honorary Consul