Latvia gains 52 new citizens via naturalization

On Tuesday, November 9, the Cabinet of Ministers approved the granting of Latvian citizenship by naturalization to 52 more people, the Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (PMLP) confirmed.

Of the 52 applicants for citizenship, 63% are ethnic Russians, 5% Ukrainian, 9% Belarusian, while ethnic Lithuanians, Poles and other nationalities are also represented.

7% of the applicants for citizenship have basic education, 51% - secondary education and 40% - higher education, according to the official data.

148,209 persons have now been admitted to Latvian citizenship by naturalization since 1995. So far this year, 316 people have naturalized, with the Covid pandemic appearing to significantly reduce numbers. In 2019 some 808 people naturalized and in 2020 the figure was 725. 

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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