Of the more than 25,300 Russian citizens living in Latvia, 13 thousand people have applied for a permanent residence permit. On September 1, it is known that an additional six thousand have applied for a re-examination of the language they have to undergo by the end of November. These are the figures of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP).
So at least for 19 thousand Russian citizens, nothing will change in the next few months.
PMLP Chief Executive Maira Roze said that the data will be updated next week: “The legislator has given us a period of 10 working days to gather information, because the documents that need to be processed have yet to be collected, they have to be found in the information system and so on. Those who have applied for a temporary residence permit are also staying. That means it is already 20 thousand. I think we'll be able to make it even more clear next week.”
This means those Russian citizens who have so far done nothing to apply for residence permits will receive a letter from the PMLP asking them to leave Latvia within 90 days. Roze estimates they could be about 4.5 thousand people.
Recently, the Ministry of Interior submitted an offer to change the Immigration Law, which would give Russian citizens living in Latvia another two years during which to pass a Latvian language check. Whether this will only apply to Russian citizens who have tried to pass the language test, but who have failed to do it, whether it will also apply to those who have done nothing so far, is unknown.
With the change of government, it is not yet known when the commission responsible will see changes to the Immigration Law. The Members addressed responded that this could also happen next week.