Latvian passport issue fees might not double after all

The passport issue fee will increase this year, but not double, as it was announced late last year, Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis (New Unity) said at a meeting of the Saeima Parliamentary Inquiry Committee January 3.

In December, it was announced that Latvia plans to issue new model passports from February this year. The fee for issuing passports was said to increase from EUR 30 to EUR 60, while for children and persons with relief – EUR 30 instead of the current EUR 15.

MPs on the United List said in a submission to the Interior Minister that this would be disproportionate and asked to explain how the calculation of such a substantial increase in the fee had arisen.

“Given our economic situation – both inflation and rapid price increase, of course, the goal is that ultimately this fee does not increase at such a rapid pace,” said Edgars Tavars, head of the United List faction.

On the order of Interior Minister Rihards Kozlovskis, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) continues to recalculate changes in the personal document issuance fee.

“I am very aware of what this double increase that came out would mean, but it has no legal coverage whatsoever. We are working on this. What's more, we have individuals who get relief [for service of documents], clearly, those who don't get relief are paying for them. So I cannot say passports aren't going to get more expensive [..] but we're doing everything so it's not, as originally announced, double,” the minister said.

He also noted that currently, the fee for identity documents is lowest in the Baltic States – EUR 15 per ID card and EUR 30 per passport; Estonia has a fee 30 for issuing an ID card and 45 euros for a passport. Lithuania has EUR 10 per ID card and EUR 40 per passport respectively.

The final decision on the fee changes from February will then have to be made by the government.

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