Latvia gains 51 new citizens via naturalization

On Tuesday, August 15, the Cabinet of Ministers approved granting Latvian citizenship to 51 persons who have successfully completed the naturalization procedure.

50 of those gaining citizenship were adults, with one more a dependent minor.

Of the 51 applicants for citizenship, 72% were ethnic Russians, 8% Belarusians, 4% Poles and other nationalities.

In order to become a Latvian citizen by naturalization, a person must confirm their basic proficiency in the Latvian language, as well as successfully pass an examination of the basic provisions of the constitution, the text of the national anthem and knowledge of Latvian history.

Citizenship can also be bestowed by special ruling of the Saeima for "special merit", which sidesteps the requirements for the language and other tests. However, this is a rare occurence.

So far this year 226 people have gained citizenship via naturalization. Last year 518 people took the same route to a passport. Since the naturalization process launched in 1995, a total of 149,102 people have successfully naturalized.

Congratulations to all our new fellow-citizens!

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