Foreign investors to be able to pay for renewing residence permits gradually

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Foreign citizens who have obtained Latvian residence permits by making investments in the Latvian economy will be able to make the €5,000 payment for renewed residence permits in installments under draft amendments to the Immigration Law, approved on November 13 by the Saeima Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee.

The €5,000 payment will now be charged on all foreigners who have received their residence permits in exchange for investments in real estate, company capital or subordinated bank debt.

Under amendments to the Immigration Law effective as of June 6, 2017, those foreign citizens who had received temporary residence permits for the investments made in company capital, real estate or subordinated bank debt or for buying interest-free government securities have to pay €5,000 for renewing their expired residence permits.

Those foreign investors who had obtained their residence permits before that date have been exempt from the €5,000 payment.

On February 2, 2017, Saeima passed new amendments to the Immigration Law, applying the exemption also to those investors who had purchased interest-free government securities.

On September 8, the government ordered the Economics Ministry to draw up new amendments to the Immigration Law to cancel these exemptions.

On November 13, the Saeima committee endorsed the government's proposal to allow the foreign investors to make the €5,000 in installments - the applicants would have to pay the first installment, worth €1,000, upon filing their request for a new residence permit, and to pay €1,000 annually as they register their residence permits.

Around 70% of the foreigners who have received temporary residence permits in Latvia apply for new residence permits upon the expiry of their existing permits. The Economics Ministry has warned, however, that the foreigners, especially those who have invested in company capital, might become more reluctant to renew their residence permits.

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