Four refugees have received Latvian citizenship since 2010

Four refugees in total have received Latvian citizenship since 2010, Igors Gorbunovs, the head of the naturalization department at the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs, said on the 900 Seconds program of LNT channel Wednesday.

These people are from Sudan, Belarus and Uzbekistan. The number of such cases is low, however, Gorbunovs admitted.

Non-citizens’ interest in obtaining the Latvian citizenship has remained unchangingly low, as roughly 1,000 people have applied for naturalization over the last three years.

Meanwhile, residents of foreign countries, mostly Russians, Belarussians and Ukrainians, have been seeking the Latvian citizenship increasingly actively, Gorbunovs said. People from the United States, Britain and Germany have also been inquiring about the dual citizenship option.

Commenting on the non-citizens’ low interest in obtaining the Latvian citizenship, the representative of the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs said that people just did not see any real benefits from naturalization.

Also, many non-citizens feel that they should be given the citizenship automatically and are waiting for the respective legislation to change, while others are deterred by the necessity to take the naturalization exams, said Gorbunovs.

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