Citizenship of the European Union
July 24, 2014
Every person holding the nationality of a Member State (EU) shall be a citizen of the European Union (Article 20 (1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union). Citizen of the Union is vested with all rights provided for in EU legal acts, e.g. the right to freely reside, live and work in any Member State of the Union and Schengen Area, i.e. more than 30 countries.
For that reason obtaining Latvian citizenship as second citizenship has become even more attractive. Such opportunity is now available due to recent amendments in the laws of Latvia. It shall be noted, however, that dual citizenship is subject to certain eligibility requirements described below.
Prior to the above amendments Citizenship law of Latvia denied occurrence of dual citizenship to a person who was being admitted to Latvian citizenship (except for cases where a dual citizenship was granted to a newborn*). Therefore, upon applying for Latvian passport one had previously had to renounce his/her current citizenship without distinction being made as to which country such person comes from. Not all were satisfied with such regulation — persons eligible for Latvian passport weren't always ready to renounce citizenship of their home country.
The situation has changed, however. Due to amendments in the Citizenship Law of Latvia, which entered into force as of 1 October 2013, eligible persons, upon meeting the qualifying requirements, now have the opportunity to be admitted to Latvian citizenship yet keeping their current passport.
Pursuant to the Latvian laws in force dual citizenship may be granted to:
Persons of third category will normally have the right to undergo naturalisation after 5 years of permanent residence in Latvia. Therefore, dual citizenship might be of more interest to those of first category above, i.e. persons who were Latvian citizens on 17 June 1940 (or their descendants) but left Latvia during time period from 17 June 1940 till 4 May 1990 as a result of occupation regimes, or have been deported. Descendants of such persons have the right to renew their ties with the Republic of Latvia right away and enjoy the benefits of dual citizenship.
Our specialists will be happy to counsel you regarding your opportunities to be admitted to the citizenship of the European Union in the form of dual citizenship. We will guide you through the application process and assist with preparation of necessary forms and applications, as well as perform the search of and retrieve on your behalf documents which prove your eligibility to be admitted to Latvian dual citizenship, if said documents were lost or missing by other reasons.
* — Prior to the amendments in the Citizenship law dual citizenship could occur in certain cases only to newborns, e.g. in the event of coincidence of "jus soli" principle for determination of citizenship ("right of the soil" — a child is admitted to a citizenship of a country of their birth) and "jus sanguinis" principle ("right of the blood" - a child is granted citizenship of their parents).
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