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Latvia Will Not Issue Work Visas to Russians

The Saeima in the final reading approved amendments to the Immigration Law, which tighten the conditions for extending residence permits for Russian citizens, as well as introducing a de facto ban on issuing visas to Russian citizens in connection with work in Latvia or staying in Latvia while working remotely.

The requirements for extending temporary residence permits for citizens of Belarus are also becoming tougher. Citizens of the Russian Federation who were previously citizens or non-citizens of Latvia, and now live in Latvia on the basis of a permanent residence permit, are required to confirm knowledge of the state language.

Citizens of Russia, according to the new edition of the Immigration Law, will no longer be able to obtain a long-term work visa (up to a year) in case of work in Latvia or the right to stay in Latvia in connection with remote work for an employer who is registered in another country participating in the Economic Cooperation Organization and Development (OECD) or if a citizen of the Russian Federation is a registered self-employed person in an OECD member country. All other citizens of third countries, including citizens of Belarus, will have such a right. As well as the right, after the expiration of such a one-year visa, to request a residence permit.

Due to security reasons, Latvia will not issue humanitarian or other types of visas to those Russian citizens who avoid mobilization, nor will it change the border crossing restrictions for Russian citizens with Schengen visas introduced since September 19.

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