Latvian exiles and their descendants
Back to guide / Updated on May 20, 2021
You are eligible to apply for Latvian citizenship under the category "Latvian exile", if you or your ancestor:
- was a Latvian citizen on 17 June 1940, and
- left Latvia in the period from 17 June 1940 to 4 May 1990 escaping from USSR or German occupation regime, and
- due to the reasons above did not return to Latvia for permanent residence before 4 May 1990.
Applying under this category will enable you to keep dual (multiple) citizenship with any country. No language fluency test required.
Standard list of the supporting documents
- Application (adult application) and Application (for children under 15);
- Confirmation form – a written statement where you confirm that you or your ancestor fled Latvia in the period 1940-1990 because of the USSR or German occupation regime;
- A photocopy of your current passport or passports, if you hold citizenship of several countries;
- Birth certificate – make sure that the birth certificate indicates the names of your parents to show the lineage;
- A document confirming your current marital status, if you are married, divorced or widowed (e.g. marriage certificate, divorce decree, spouse death certificate);
- If you are applying through your ancestor – documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates to show your connection to the ancestor and the change of family name (e.g. if your ancestors’ family name changed upon marriage);
- Document confirming that you or your ancestor was a Latvian citizen on the moment of 17 June 1940, e.g. an old Latvian passport, a statement by the Latvian National Archive, other documents which confirm the fact of citizenship.
Additional documents, which may be required depending on the case circumstances:
- If the applicant remarried, the Citizenship Office may ask to present certificates of previous marriage and divorce;
- If the applicant or his/her ancestor left Latvia during the USSR occupation, the Citizenship Office might request a copy of the USSR exit visa or of other document evidencing that the applicant or his/her ancestor left sometime between 17 June 1940 and 4 May 1990 (a search in the Latvian archives may be required for that purpose);
- If the applicant’s or any of his/her family members’ names changed other than by marriage – a document confirming the name change (a court order, a naturalization certificate, deed poll, extract from the foreign population registry with information about name changes, etc.);
- If you still hold the old format birth/marriage certificates issued by the USSR, then a new format certificate issued by the respective country may be required (it won’t be required if birth and marriage took place in Latvia during USSR occupation);
All public documents such as birth or marriage certificates issued by any country other than EU/EEA Member states or UK or Switzerland will require certification for the use abroad by means of authentication/Apostille in the country of origin of the particular document. If the country of origin is a member to the Hague Apostille Convention, then the document will have to be authenticated with Apostille. If the country of origin is not a member state of the Hague Apostille Convention, then the document will have to legalized for the use abroad by the competent institution in the respective country.
The statutory processing term of the application and the supporting documents – 4 months. In a straightforward case the Citizenship Office may approve the application faster. However, in complex cases the processing term can be extended up to 1 year or more.
If you require help with applying for Latvian citizenship, please feel free to contact Belyaev & Belyaev for advice and assistance.
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Belyaev & Belyaev is a full service law firm also specializing in Citizenship Law. Our services in the area of Citizenship law range from application drafting and archive research to complex legal matters involving representation at the court. If you require help with the process of applying for Latvian citizenship, please feel free to inquire about our services and fees by email or using the form below.
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