ua en ru

Latvia orders first Russians to leave country

Latvia orders first Russians to leave country Illustrative photo (Facebook)
Author: Liliana Oleniak

In Latvia, the first Russian citizens who no longer have residence permits have been ordered to leave the country, according to Der Standard.

According to the Migration Department in Riga, six Russians have received the relevant notification. Two of them have already left the country, says the head of the department, Maira Roze. The remaining four have to do so within 30 days.

This is due to changes in Latvian immigration legislation that were adopted in the fall of 2022 in response to Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine.

Now, anyone who wants to legally live in Latvia with a Russian passport must apply for permanent resident status and - with rare exceptions - prove their knowledge of the Latvian language suitable for everyday use at a language exam.

Individuals who fail to provide evidence within the prescribed timeframe and do not fulfill the legal requirements for obtaining a residence permit must leave the Baltic country.

According to the authorities, there are currently about 1,000 Russians under deportation threat in Latvia. According to available information, over a fifth of them have already left Latvia for other EU countries, Roze says.

Restrictions on entry of Russians to Latvia

Restrictions on entry for Russian citizens were introduced in Latvia on September 9, 2022. According to the government's decree, the issuance of visas to Russians has also been restricted.

In addition, in January of this year, the Latvian authorities sent letters to about a thousand Russians living in the country demanding that they leave the country within two weeks. They can also regulate their residence status under the applicable laws.