Latvian citizenship by naturalization

Latvian citizenship by naturalization is the process through which a foreigner or stateless person can obtain Latvian citizenship. It is a legal procedure that calls for fulfilling certain criteria, filing an application, and going through an assessment by the Latvian authorities. By naturalization, you can become a citizen of Latvia if you meet the requirements and follow the steps.

The residency requirement for obtaining citizenship in Latvia by naturalization

  1. Residency requirement. Before submitting an application for citizenship, you must have lived in Latvia legally for at least five years. If you meet specific requirements, such as being married to a Latvian citizen or having finished your studies at a Latvian educational institution, this period could occasionally be lowered to two years. If you have sufficient funds, you can invest in real estate in Latvia and get a residence.
  2. Language ability. You must pass a test to demonstrate that you have a sufficient command of the Latvian language. The precise language requirements may change, but generally speaking, you must be able to speak and understand some basic Latvian.
  3. Understanding of Latvia’s constitution. The Latvian Constitution and the rights and responsibilities of Latvian citizens should be familiar to you. A test is also used to evaluate this information.
  4. Sources of support. You must be financially capable of supporting yourself and any dependents without the aid of social services.
  5. Good behavior. You should not have any criminal convictions on your record and should not have participated in any activity that might jeopardize public order or national security in Latvia or violate Latvia’s constitutional standards.

If you match the requirements, you can apply for naturalization to become a citizen of Latvia. An application form, identification and residency paperwork, a certificate of linguistic ability, a certificate of constitutional understanding, and other supporting documents must all be submitted as part of the application process. The associated fees must also be paid.

The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs (OCMA) in Latvia oversees the citizenship process. They will examine your application, ask you questions if required, and then decide whether to grant you citizenship. If your application is accepted, you will be given citizenship in Latvia.


What is the residency requirement for Latvian citizenship by naturalization?

The residency requirement is generally five years of legal residency in Latvia. However, in some cases, such as being married to a Latvian citizen or completing studies at a Latvian educational institution, the requirement may be reduced to two years.

Is knowledge of the Latvian language necessary for naturalization?

Yes, knowledge of the Latvian language is required. Applicants must demonstrate a sufficient command of the language, typically through a language examination.

What is assessed in the examination for language proficiency?

The language examination evaluates the applicant’s understanding and ability to communicate effectively in Latvian. It may include tests on vocabulary, grammar, reading, writing, and speaking.

Are there any knowledge requirements about Latvian history and culture?

Yes, applicants are required to have a basic understanding of Latvian history, culture, and the principles outlined in the Latvian Constitution. This knowledge is assessed through an examination.

Can I apply for Latvian citizenship if I have a criminal record?

Generally, having a clean criminal record is a requirement for naturalization. However, each case is assessed individually, and minor offenses may not necessarily disqualify an applicant.

Can I apply for Latvian citizenship if I receive social assistance?

Applicants should be able to support themselves and any dependents financially without relying on social assistance. The ability to sustain oneself financially is a requirement for naturalization.

Can I retain my original citizenship when I acquire Latvian citizenship?

Latvia generally does not allow dual citizenship, except in certain circumstances, such as for Latvian citizens by birth or those who acquired Latvian citizenship through parents. If you acquire Latvian citizenship by naturalization, you may be required to renounce your previous citizenship, depending on the laws of your country of origin.

Can my children automatically become Latvian citizens if I acquire Latvian citizenship?

Children of naturalized Latvian citizens typically do not automatically acquire Latvian citizenship. They may be eligible for Latvian citizenship through a separate application process, which may require meeting specific criteria.


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