39 more people naturalize as Latvian citizens

On Tuesday, March 15, the Cabinet of Ministers approved Latvian citizenship for 39 people who have completed the naturalization process, including two dependent children.

Of the 37 applicants for citizenship, 81% are ethnic Russians, 5% Ukrainians, 10% Belarusians, with Lithuanians, Poles and others also represented. 16% of applicants for citizenship have basic education, 51% - secondary education, 29% - higher education.

In the coming days, the new citizens will receive a notification by post from the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP), which will contain information about the person's admission to citizenship, as well as provide the most important information about the possibilities of obtaining a new Latvian citizen's passport.

In 2022 so far, 127 persons have obtained Latvian citizenship via the naturalization route. The total for all of 2021 was 419 and for 2020 it was 725. The coronavirus pandemic has complicated the process of in-person examinations required to complete naturalization. The peak year was 2005, when 19,169 people naturalized.

Since the opportunity to naturalize was introduced in 1995, some 148,439 people have completed the process.

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 fairly rare occurence.

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