Human Rights Issues in Eurasia / Правовые Вопросы В Регионах Евразии

Latvia’s New Law: Enter To Schengen Zone Throught Investment in Latvia

Posted by Info on 23/01/2011

Latvian Prime Minister Valdis Dombrovskis said said that when making the decision about residence permit the Latvian authorities are guided solely by law that did not automatically grant a residence permit to any foreigner who has made large investments in Latvia.
“We adopted a law last year that provides for issuing a residence permit in event of investment, for example, in bank capital or enterprises or real estate [in Latvia].This system has proved somewhat successful, and we can see that potential investors come and receive residence permits…and to use Latvia for travelling across the Schengen zone. “

According to the amendments to immigration legislation, which are in effect since July 1, 2010, a foreign investor may get a five-year residence permit in Latvia, if he has purchased immovable property there to the sum ranging from 50,000 to 100,000 lat (from 93,000 to 187,000 dollars), or if he invests no less than 25,000 lat (some 47,000 dollars) in the fixed assets of an enterprise registered in Latvia, which will pay to the central or local budget no less than 20,000 lat (37,000 dollars), or if he invests 200,000 lat in the subordinated capital of a bank.

However the former Moscow mayor Luzhkov had invested the needed 200,000 lat (some 375,000 U.S. dollars) in Latvia, in Rietumu Bank, one of the Latvian commercial banks and even owns real estate – a storehouse — in the resort city of Jurmala, he was denied the residence permit. In the opinion of the Interior Minister, “the ex-mayor does not deserve it because of his attitude to Latvia.” …his hostile statements about the country and his intention to use it for personal goals, as it is evident that his target was not to invest (any more?) in the country and its economy, but to use Latvia for travelling across the Schengen zone”

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