Maira Roze, the head of Latvia's Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, made a significant announcement last Friday according to LSM. She stated that 3,255 Russian citizens are required to leave Latvia due to the expiration of their residence permits.
Latvian authorities have sent out letters informing Russian citizens that their residency permits have expired. This comes after a decision by the Latvian parliament in the summer of 2022, stating that Russian citizens must prove their proficiency in the Latvian language at the A2 level to receive permanent residency.
The new immigration rules also affect individuals who once held Latvian citizenship or "non-citizen" status but later became Russian citizens. These individuals are now allowed to reside permanently in Latvia under specific conditions.
There are some exceptions to this new directive, based on factors like age and health condition. It is estimated that around 18,000 people will need to undergo tests to comply with the new legal requirements.
According to last year's regulations, Russian citizens had until the beginning of September 2023 to submit the necessary documents for permanent residency. Failure to do so would result in the invalidation of their residence permits, requiring them to leave Latvia by December 2nd unless they applied for a temporary stay or visa.
In September, the Latvian Parliament extended the deadline for taking the required language tests by two years. This extension applies to those who have shown initiative in taking the exam and those who failed for justifiable reasons.
As a result, those who have not made any efforts to comply received letters from the Latvian Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs. These individuals must leave Latvia by November 30th, as reported by LSM.