Campaign asks for lower age limit for state language exams

An initiative on the portal “” is collecting signatures for reducing the minimum Latvian proficiency check age threshold to 65 years. Of the required 10 thousand signatures, around eight thousand have now been collected, Latvian Radio reported Wednesday.

The applicants refer to the Ombudsman's recommendation to reduce the age threshold, which is currently 75 years. The legal advisor to the Ombudsman's Office Santa Tivaņenkova explained that everyone living in Latvia should know Latvian, but when accepting amendments to the Immigration Law there have been a number of risks.

“Our initiative was to extend the discussion and to see whether the 75-year threshold was set appropriately,” Tivaņenkova said, adding that several groups of individuals had turned to the Ombudsman's office in writing, indicating that individuals subject to the national language testing pointed to health problems and the inability to pass the examination.

Tivaņenkova stressed that the age threshold was not determined by the Immigration Law but by Cabinet Regulation No 157, which determines the extent of the knowledge of the official language and the procedures for verifying the proficiency of the official language.

“In order to be more widely addressed, it is necessary to talk about these Cabinet rules, not the immigration law,” Tivaņenkova said.

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