Back to guide / Updated on May 20, 2021
You are eligible to apply for Latvian citizenship under this category, if:
- you or at least of one of your parents or grandparents belong to the Latvian nation (i.e. is of Latvian or Liv ethnic origin), and
- you are fluent in Latvian language, and
- in 1881 or later your ancestor had been permanently living in the territory of Latvia as it existed until 17 June 1940.
Dual (multiple) citizenship under this category is allowed with any country.
Language fluency test is required.
Sometimes applicants are eligible for Latvian citizenship under several different categories at a time. In this case we’d recommend considering other application types, for instance, applying as a Latvian exile or as a Descendant of Latvian citizens. If you are unsure which category to apply for, please feel free to contact Belyaev & Belyaev for advice.
Standard list of the supporting documents
- Application (adult applicant) and Application (for children under 15);
- 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);
- Documents such as birth, marriage and death certificates to show your connection to the Latvian ancestors and the change of family name (e.g. if your ancestors’ family name changed upon marriage);
- A statement by the Latvian National Archive or other documentary evidence that your ancestors have permanently resided in the territory of Latvia at any point of time during the period 1881 – 1940;
- A documentary evidence that you or at least one of your parents or grandparents is of ethnic Latvian origin, e.g. a vital record containing information about one’s ethnicity, passport or a court judgment establishing Latvian ethnicity. In the event of absence of the said documents, the applicant may present a written statement by the Latvian community in his home country or other evidence of his/her Latvian ethnic origin.
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’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 – 12 months.
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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