Of the approximately 25,000 citizens of the Russian Federation who are subject to the statutory requirement for attesting the knowledge of the official language, more than half have applied for permanent residence permits, according to the latest non-final data compiled. Around 6,000 are still sorting language exams.
“Starting this week, citizens of the Russian Federation are starting to take repeated state language checks. These are those people who failed the first time. [..] We also have citizens of the Russian Federation who only now apply for the first time for the verification of state language skills,” said State Education Content Center representative Liene Bērziņa.
Meanwhile, over 800 people have chosen to get temporary residence permits to stay in Latvia. This means that several thousand are currently losing the legal basis for staying. However, these data are still being collected and may change.
Maira Roze, Head of the Office for Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) explained: "The order is that we inform [them] that the law has stated that their residence permit has now expired. They have to travel out in 90 days. If they haven't done it, then it will complicate life for them. They will no longer be able to legally cross the border without problems if they want it. They can't go anywhere."
PMLP is aware that there are people who leave voluntarily, but how many, and who, no one counts. Because not everyone crosses the border of Latvia-Russia, for example, through any other country in the Schengen area. If the PMLP gets the news that someone is staying here illegally for 90 days, then the person will be sent a letter asking for departure.
This is the existing order, taking into account that possible changes to the law, which would provide for a two-year additional time for passing a language exam, while receiving a temporary residence permit, have not yet been viewed in the Saeima. Besides, the government is changing.
On Monday, September 4, afternoon, the amendments to the law were also discussed at the meeting of the departing government, which has agreed conceptually to move the matter further. On Tuesday it is planned to be included on the agenda of the Saeima Defense, Internal Affairs and Corruption Prevention Commission.