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Latvia may force more than 3,200 Russians to leave the country



The Office of Citizenship and Migration Affairs of Latvia sent 3,255 letters to Russian citizens living in the country with information about the expiration of their residence permit. This was announced by the head of the department, Maira Rose, transmits Latvian radio and television portal LSM.

“According to the immigration law, the permanent residence permit expired on September 2 of this year. Therefore, these people must leave the territory of the Republic of Latvia by November 30, 2023,” she said.

According to Rose, all these people did not submit documents to request EU permanent resident status or an application for a re-examination in the Latvian language. It was previously reported that the total number of such Russians is 3,541 people. Rose explained that another 200 Russians do not have a declared place of residence, and therefore it is impossible to contact them. The rest are currently outside the republic, Rose added.

In September 2022, the Latvian Seimas (parliament) approved amendments that shorten the period of permanent residence permits issued to Russians until September 1, 2023. To stay in Latvia, it is necessary, among other things, to pass an exam on knowledge of the state language at level A2.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation named These amendments are discriminatory and violate fundamental international legal norms. On September 4 it was reported that on the first attempt the Latvian language exam didn’t pass 61% are Russian citizens. According to LSM, a total of 13,147 Russians were registered for the language proficiency test, of which only 11,301 people came for testing. 6,500 Russian citizens have already signed up for the retake.

September 14 Sejm approved amendments extending by two years the period during which Russians can take the language exam. As a result, those who did not pass or did not appear for a valid reason before September 1 for the exam will be able to apply for a temporary residence permit for two years. During this period, the applicant undertakes to learn the language and successfully pass the test.

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